Does Anyone Think There Might Be a Party-Based Trend Here?
Registration Volunteers Under Investigation For Vote Fraud
Individuals Investigated For Filling Out False Registration Cards
POSTED: 4:54 pm EDT September 17, 2004
CLEVELAND -- Suspected vote fraud is under investigation in several counties around the state, including Cuyahoga County, concerning voter registration cards for people who don't exist.
NewsChannel5's Debora Lee reported that three individuals are being investigated in Cuyahoga County.
These people, known as paid volunteers, were being paid by voter registration organizations to go out and sign people up to vote.
The paid volunteers would receive $1 to $2 for every registration card that they turned in, but the people under investigation are suspected of filling out the cards themselves with names of people who don't exist, so they could submit them for payment.
Cuyahoga County Board of Elections director Michael Vu stressed that it is individual paid volunteers that are being investigated, not the groups that hired them.
Sorry, I'm not buying the last paragraph based on the final and much more recent item below. And who ARE these organizations registering new voters?
More Than 800 Voter Registration Cards Being Investigated
Akron, OH -- The state of Ohio is stepping in to investigate possible voter fraud in Summit County. And the Lake County prosecutor is also looking into fraud there.
More than 800 voter registration cards in Summit County are under investigation, NewsChannel5 reported.
The Board of Elections said the voter registration cards in question are for addresses that don't exist, spelling mistakes or have similar handwriting.
Fifty of those questionable cards apparently came from the AFL-CIO central office in Cleveland, WEWS reported.
The AFL-CIO said it's registering thousands of union members this year, and had no knowledge of the faulty cards, which are filled out by volunteers.
..... In the meantime in Lake County, elections officials said some voter advocacy groups are forging registration cards.
In one example, a man who's been dead for 20 years is apparently a new registered voter.
And in another case, it looks as if an entire neighborhood will be out of town on Election Day. Everyone there applied for absentee ballots.
Hmm. The AFL-CIO denies it all, despite another report (link is to The Buck Stops Here blog; Akron newspaper link no longer available) that "The cards were mailed to the board by the AFL-CIO office in Cleveland, which is part of a larger voter registration drive effort in Cuyahoga County. Summit workers are sending confirmation cards to all the voters at the addresses listed on cards in the packet forwarded by the AFL-CIO. Most have been returned. So far, none has been valid, Williams said."
And here's one example of a "voter advocacy group" forging registration cards --
October, 20, 2004 (photo no longer available):
UNDATED PHOTO - Chad Staton, 22, of Defiance, Ohio, is shown in this undated Defiance County Sheriff's photo. Staton is charged with false registration of voting forms. Sheriff's officers allege that Staton filled out more than 100 voter registration forms for Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, with fake names. Authorities allege that Staton was paid in crack ...
More on this one from the October 19, 2004 The Toledo Blade:
Defiance County Sheriff David Westrick said that Mr. Staton was working on behalf of a Toledo woman, Georgianne Pitts, to register new voters. She, in turn, was working on behalf of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which was formed by the NAACP in 2000 to register new voters.
Sheriff Westrick said that Pitts, 41, of Toledo, admitted she gave Mr. Staton crack cocaine in lieu of cash for supplying her with completed voter registration forms. The sheriff declined to say how much crack cocaine Pitts supplied Mr. Staton, or to say whether Pitts knew that the forms Mr. Staton gave her were falsified.
Hmmm. AFL-CIO. NAACP. Raise your hand if you think election officials caught all the registration hanky-panky in 2004 (I don't see any).
So of course Bobby Kennedy Jr. and his acolytes think the big story out of Ohio's 2004 election is Republican-orchestrated voter fraud. Uh-huh.
As far as REAL and not fantasized voter fraud is concerned, nothing has changed this year:
Workers paid by a liberal group to register voters in Franklin County have turned in more than 500 forms with nonexistent addresses and potentially fake signatures, elections officials said yesterday.
Board of Elections Director Matthew Damschroder said he has forwarded the cards to county authorities for possible criminal charges.
Elections workers verifying new-voter forms discovered signatures with the same handwriting, addresses that were for vacant lots and incorrect information for voters who already were registered, Damschroder said. One card had the name of an East Side man who’s dead.
All the questionable cards were turned in by workers for Ohio ACORN, a group that’s also paying people to gather signatures for a proposed November ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage.
Katy Gall, the group’s head organizer, said ACORN is cooperating with the investigation and already has fired some of its paid circulators.
"We are interested in seeing people who are gaming the system prosecuted," she said.
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, faced similar problems in 2004 during a drive that added 189,000 new voters to Ohio’s rolls. Prosecutors were unable to trace the originators of some falsified forms, but one ACORN worker was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury.
Interesting -- ACORN even has a track record of association with registration fraud. Last Sunday's New York Times was worried about whether the new rules about registrations "are making it much harder to register the poor," and quoted ACORN's Katy "Nearly-in-Hot-Water" Gall whining about them. Anyone want to take odds that the Times will follow up on the recent "difficulties" Ms. Gall's organization is facing?
As has been the case since the 2000 election, and often before, the people accused of vote fraud, fixing elections, and suppressing the vote are the ones trying to keep the election process clean. And as usual, the ones perpetrating the real fraud are, "strangely" enough, closely associated with the party that throws around the reckless accusations.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.