January 23, 2012

Voters Wanted: Dead or Alive

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 9:02 am

The South Carolina Attorney General sent data to the US Attorney for South Carolina suggesting potential voter fraud in South Carolina.  Specifically, data reviewed by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles suggests that 953 dead people voted in recent elections.

Here is the letter from South Carolina’s Attorney General to the US Attorney for the District of South Carolina.

And that’s why Idaho was right in passing legislation requiring positive photo identification for voters.

November 12, 2011

What Are They Trying to Do?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 1:09 pm



It appears that Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and his Chief Deputy Tim Hurst are intent on making it more difficult for Idaho’s county clerks to achieve and maintain the integrity of Idaho’s municipal elections. (more…)

September 27, 2011

On Appeal — The 2009 Coeur d’Alene City Election Contest

Coeur d’Alene attorney Starr Kelso has filed his opening brief appealing the First District Court’s (court) decision in the November 2009 Coeur d’Alene City election contest lawsuit.  The brief was filed with the Idaho Supreme Court (Court) on behalf of Appellant Jim Brannon.  A link to the entire brief is provided near the end of this post.

Before going to the brief, however, readers should first understand that an appeal brief is not written as entertainment reading for the general public.  It is a road map to guide the Idaho Supreme Court justices through the 2,676 pages of documents in the trial court record, 111 exhibits consisting of 563 pages, 876 pages of trial transcript, and transcripts of numerous other hearings held before and after the trial.  Much of that information is available to the justices during their preparation and deliberation.  Readers expecting the appeal brief to give them the complete picture of every detail will be disappointed.  (For more detailed information about the case as it developed, see my February 2011 report titled  The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Election Contest Lawsuit – 2009-2011.)

This current post with the link to the appeal brief will identify the ten issues raised on appeal and then briefly try to explain each issue. (more…)

August 22, 2011

Pulling the Plug on Satellites

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 1:33 pm

Sunday’s Coeur d’Alene Press ran a story headlined Vote here, only.  The story reported that newly-inaugurated Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes had decided to not provide satellite polling places for absentee, in-person voting.  For residents of Coeur d’Alene (and Canada), that means voters will no longer be able to cast an absentee in-person ballot at Coeur d’Alene City Hall.  Rather, they will have to drive for about 6 minutes over the 1.9 miles to get to the County Elections Office at 3rd and Locust.

Predictably, the usual suspects were indignant!  Councilman Mike Kennedy huffed and puffed at the August 16 Council meeting that the County Clerk was “depressing the [voter] turnout” and “removing a service that had served the citizens well for a long time. ”  According to the news/views/skews paper article, Kennedy and Coeur d’Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers said this makes it harder for people to vote.

There’s more to the story within the Press story, however.  (more…)

August 4, 2011

The Residency Police

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 3:52 pm


One of the lame excuses offered by the previous Kootenai County Clerk and his Elections Office manager was, “We are not the residency police.”  The underlying premise seemed to be that no one had the authority or the time to make sure registered voters were in fact lawfully registered to vote in each election in Kootenai County.

This press release issued today by  the present Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes seems to blast that lame excuse to smithereens.  The Clerk and his staff deserve praise for making the effort to not only ensure that only lawfully registered voters can vote, but also to help correct inadvertent oversights by well-intended registrants so they can vote lawfully.


May 17, 2011

Election Administration Update

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 9:33 am

I voted in the school district and highway district elections at precinct 38, Woodland Middle School, this morning.  The polling place workers carefully checked my identification, and I verified that my residence address was correct as printed in the poll book.  I also noticed that the ballot I was to receive had been preprinted in the poll book.  After receiving the ballot, I checked it to make sure I had received the correct ballot and voted it.  Overall, it seemed to me as if the polling place workers performed their duties intently and diligently.  (more…)

April 28, 2011

2009 Election Update

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 9:38 am

The Wednesday, April 27, 2011, edition of the Coeur d’Alene Press ran an article headlined “Illegal voter hit with fine.”  The article was by Press staff writer Tom Hasslinger.  It began on page C1 and then concluded on page C6.  It did not appear online, so I cannot link to it directly.    There is more information available in the public record that will clarify and elaborate on Wednesday’s Press article.   (more…)

February 7, 2011

Coeur d’Alene Election Lawsuit 2009-2011

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 7:20 pm

Since Jim Brannon’s lawsuit contesting the November 2009 Coeur d’Alene city election was filed in Idaho’s First District Court on November 30, 2009,  the public has been kept almost totally in the dark about every aspect of that matter.  Our local newspaper, the Coeur d’Alene Press, and our regional newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, have failed miserably to fulfill one of any daily newspaper’s principal responsibilities:  Provide the public with accurate, timely, complete information we can understand so we, the people, can exercise our responsibilities to oversee and evaluate the conduct of our public officials.

In February 2010 I began keeping notes and researching the court filings and other public documents.  It has been an ongoing effort resulting in the paper titled The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Election Contest Lawsuit – 2009-2011.  There are hyperlinks to other material embedded in the paper.

As Dan Gookin would say (correctly!), it’s clunky.  It is divided into logical sections with headings describing the section’s content.  I’ve tried to base the content on the questions I believe people would like to have answered by credible newspapers.  In the section titled “Major Issues of Statewide Importance,” I’ve tried to identify the larger issues legislators will have to address.

One promise I can make:  After reading this, you will have a better understanding of the election contest lawsuit than Coeur d’Alene’s mayor, city council, and city clerk.

January 24, 2011

Residency — Chicago Style

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 5:03 pm

As anyone who has followed Jim Brannon’s election contest lawsuit growing out of the November 2009 Coeur d’Alene city election knows, “residency” as a qualification to vote in the city election was a significant factor.

Today’s news is reporting that an Illinois appeals court has determined that during his service as the President’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel did not actually reside in Chicago as required by the Illinois Municipal Code and is therefore not eligible to be on the ballot for the upcoming Chicago mayoral election.  Here is a link to the appeals court decision.  Most expect this decision to be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Keep in mind that the law applied in the Illinois case was Illinois law.  Unlike some Idaho district court judges, it appears that Illinois judges understand and follow their own state’s laws.

Addendum on 01-25-2011 at 11:52 a.m.:  The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to stay the ruling of the Illinois Court of Appeals.  The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to consider the issue based on the briefs already filed with the Appeals Court and will not hear oral argument.  Until the Illinois Supreme Court rules, that Court has ordered that Emanuel’s name appear on any ballots printed.

August 29, 2010

Kennedy Admits Brannon Is Right

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 11:38 am


“Residency” for voting purposes is possibly the most important issue in the election contest lawsuit filed by Jim Brannon.  For months now Team Kennedy has been arguing that persons who reside outside Coeur d’Alene, even outside Kootenai County, even outside Idaho were in fact residents of Coeur d’Alene and therefore entitled to vote in the contested November 3, 2009, City election.

But in an August 23, 2010,  public record court filing, Team Kennedy now admits it was wrong.  Read on.


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