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Obama launches commission to investigate voting irregularities

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US President Barack Obama Thursday tasked a presidential commission to probe long lines at polling stations and other irregularities faced by voters in last year’s election.

Obama, making good on a promise issued in his victory speech last November, signed an executive order to charter the commission, which will deliver a report within six months of its first formal meeting.

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The nine-member panel will be chaired by Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsberg, who served as top lawyers for the presidential campaigns of Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney last year.

They will be tasked with finding ways to shorten lines at polling booths and to promote efficient elections by helping voters from the military, those with poor English skills and the disabled to cast their ballots.

It will look into the location, management and operation of polling places, the training of poll workers and the efficiency of often problematic voting machines that are used in many states.

White House deputy spokesman Josh Earnest said the report was intended to serve as a “best practices guide” for state and local election officials.

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He said Obama also supported any effort by Congress to improve voting conditions.

In practice however, Obama’s commission will be more of an attempt to promote reform rather than mandate it, as voting laws are mostly administered by states, hence the widely differing standards throughout the country.

Reports of voting irregularities, long lines at the polls and attempts to disenfranchise voters often surface following US elections, but only in ultra-tight races like in 2000 do they have the potential to sway a result.

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In November 2012, there were tales of voters enduring hours-long waits outside polling stations as well as allegations of failures of voting machines.


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Giuliani’s public invitation to Ukraine to interfere in US elections opened the door for other countries to run to Trump

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President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani turned heads with his bizarre, unhinged rant on national television that effectively urged Ukraine to continue trying to gather dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden — and for news outlets to take whatever they find seriously.

As Casey Michel wrote in The Daily Beast, even if this effort ultimately fails to turn up useful opposition research against Biden, this is a profoundly dangerous development for American democracy.

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Trump whistleblower needs to go directly to FBI because Bill Barr can’t be trusted: Ex-FBI director

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Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi blew up Donald Trump's claim that he is the victim of a "Ukraine Witchhunt."

He then added that the whistleblower who went to the inspector general with a serious charge against the president should take what he has and go to the FBI within a week if nothing happens.

"We've got to get to the bottom of this, and we can't rely on leaks and certain reporters getting certain tidbits of information," the ex-FBI man explained. "This needs to be explored and it's likely this could end up in a criminal investigation."

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Furious Biden goes scorched earth on ‘serial abuser’ Trump over smears in epic rant

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On Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden furiously laid into President Donald Trump amid reports he tried to strong-arm the Ukrainian government into digging up dirt on him and his son.

"Here's what I know, I know Trump deserves to be investigated," said Biden. "He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question, why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader, if that's what happened? That appears to have happened. You should be looking at Trump. Trump's doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum and he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me."

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