05-25-2018  11:52 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

The Latest: 3 injured in hit-and-crash in downtown Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on hit-and-crash in Portland, Oregon (all times local):11:20 a.m.Police say three women have been injured in a hit-and-run crash near Portland State University.Portland police Sgt. Chris Burley say the vehicle hit the women while they were on a sidewalk...

Hit-and-run driver strikes pedestrians in downtown Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say paramedics are tending to "multiple patients" after a hit-and-run driver struck pedestrians in downtown Portland.Portland Fire and Rescue says the crash happened Friday morning near Portland State University.Police have not said how many people have been...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

The highest-paid CEOs by state

Here are the top-paid CEOs by state for 2017, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.The survey considered only publicly traded companies with more than jumi billion in revenue that filed their proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and April 30....

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

Students hand back in yearbook after racial slur is pictured

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Students at a coastal Georgia high school are being asked to hand back in their yearbooks after a racial slur made for some bad memories.The Savannah-Chatham County school district tells news outlets that the publisher has recalled the Windsor Forest High School yearbook...

Column: Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being black

Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being an unrepentant black man who beat up white men for a living.High-flying and flamboyant, he refused to live by the unwritten rules of American society in the early 1900s. That made him a target, and that eventually cost him his freedom after being convicted of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Famed chef Mario Batali's Vegas Strip restaurants will close

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mario Batali's three Las Vegas Strip restaurants will shut down July 27, officials said Friday, as the celebrity chef faces sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women.Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group partner Joe Bastianich sent a letter to nearly 300 workers...

The Latest: Weinstein takes books on theater, film to arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sexual misconduct probe of film producer Harvey Weinstein (all times local):11:40 a.m.Harvey Weinstein was in and out of custody so quickly in his rape case, he probably didn't have time to read the books he brought with him.The film mogul carried three...

Weinstein faces sex charges amid #MeToo reckoning

NEW YORK (AP) — It was the moment the #MeToo movement had been waiting for: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs.His face pulled in a strained smile and his hands locked behind his back, the once-powerful Hollywood figure emerged from a police station Friday facing rape and criminal sex act...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

For CEOs, .7 million a year is just middle of the pack

NEW YORK (AP) — Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year,...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed...

Police: Suspected restaurant gunman had no criminal record

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The man suspected of shooting three people inside an Oklahoma City restaurant before...

Putin says US exit from Iran deal could trigger instability

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday that the U.S. exit from the...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

Netherlands, Australia hold Russia liable for downing MH17

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A day after international prosecutors said they had unequivocal evidence of...

Voters voting in the 2010 election. (Wikimedia photo/Alex Lee CC BY 2.0)
CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY, Associated Press

Calls by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his supporters to watch for fraud at the polls have raised concerns about a longstanding but little used Election Day tactic — citizen voter challenges.

At least four battleground states — Florida, Iowa, Nevada and Pennsylvania — not only allow private citizens to challenge the eligibility of other voters inside polling locations but place the burden of proof on the person who is challenged. In Florida and Pennsylvania, a challenged voter in certain circumstances must cast a provisional ballot that may or may not be counted.

Voting experts said they do not expect such challenges to be widespread. They also said anything is possible on Tuesday following Trump's unprecedented and unsubstantiated warnings of a "rigged" election.

In states where the burden rests heavily on a voter who is challenged, untrained private citizens could create chaos.

"Some voters might decide it's not worth the hassle to deal with this and may end up disenfranchised," said Rick Hasen, an election law expert and professor at the University of California, Irvine. "To the extent, if this is happening on a large scale, it could lead to long lines and deter people from waiting."

The ability of citizens to challenge the eligibility of fellow voters is different from the use of trained poll watchers, who are selected in advance by campaigns or political parties and must register in advance with local election officials. The Democrats' overall ground game advantage in swing states includes having many more of these registered election monitors than the Republicans.

Of the 39 states that allow private citizens to challenge voters at the polls, just 15 require challengers to provide proof of their claims, according to a 2012 report by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's School of Law. Some of those do require challengers to sign an affidavit and include penalties for making a false or frivolous claim.

In recent years, Alabama, Ohio and Texas have banned citizen challenges at the polls.

There are generally two types of voter challenges: those that occur before an election and those allowed on Election Day.

The NAACP in North Carolina recently filed a lawsuit alleging thousands of people, many of them black, were removed improperly from voter rolls after being challenged by private citizens. In most of those cases, mail sent to the person's address was returned as undeliverable. County boards can accept this as evidence that the voter no longer lives there.

Among those challenged in Beaufort County, North Carolina, was a 100-year-old black woman, Grace Bell Hardison, who uses a post office box for mail.

Experts say voter challenges that occur ahead of Election Day can allow local officials to look into the claims and voters to fight for their right to vote. More troublesome, experts say, are those that happen on Election Day, which can leave voters scrambling to ensure their ballot is counted and allows for the possibility of intimidation or discrimination at the polls.

"There is a high risk of confrontations and abuse of the process, especially in presidential elections," said Wendy Weiser, head of the democracy program at the Brennan Center. "You don't have enough time to properly resolve those kinds of challenges without disruption to the voting process, and it's a lot to place on election officials who are already operating on shoestring budgets trying to manage a high-stakes election."

In Pennsylvania, voters who have been challenged must sign an affidavit and produce a witness who also is a registered voter in the same precinct to vouch for them. If the voter is unable to do so, the voter must cast a provisional ballot.

"It's a burden because most people when they go to vote on Election Day, they are working or going to school. They have child care issues, and most people vote by themselves," said Allegra Chapman, head of the voting and elections program at Common Cause. "I just imagine a lot of people wouldn't come back."

Pennsylvania is one of four battleground states in which Democrats filed lawsuits this week challenging Trump's call for his supporters to act as election observers. In Ohio, the Democratic Party accused Trump of conspiring to prevent minorities from casting ballots.

Election officials in Pennsylvania say challenges must be limited to questions of identity and residency and can be made only by a registered voter from the same precinct. Philadelphia elections commissioner Al Schmidt said such challenges are rare and those who knowingly file false claims could find themselves investigated by local authorities.

"You can't just challenge people for the hell of it," Schmidt said. "The challenge has to be done in good faith."

In addition, federal law prohibits any conduct that would target voters based on race or would intentionally block eligible citizens from voting, but experts say these challenges often happen before they can be stopped.

During a 2004 municipal election in Bayou La Batre, Louisiana, about 50 Asian-American voters were challenged by opponents of Phuong Tan Huynh, who was seeking a spot on the City Council. The voters faced challenges that they were not citizens, had felony convictions or didn't live in the city. The challenged voters were required to fill out paper ballots, which were counted if another registered voter vouched for them.

The concerns surrounding the election prompted the Justice Department to send observers to monitor a subsequent runoff election, which Huynh won.

There also was a report in 2002 of students at Dartmouth University being challenged at the polls over questions of residency. The students were able to cast their ballots after signing an affidavit, but the challenges contributed to long lines at polling place and concerns that some voters might have left due to the wait.

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Follow Christina Almeida Cassidy at http://twitter.com/AP_Christina.

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