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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

10 Examples of Voter Fraud Across America

Voters
by Jason Snead, Robert Batista, Hans von Spakovsky and Brandon Johnson*: Contrary to the assertions of many, voter fraud is not a myth.

It is a stark reality that exists nationwide, from the rural counties of Georgia to the urban centers of New York.

The Heritage Foundation has documented nearly 250 cases where nefarious citizens, officials, candidates and campaign operatives conspired to commit vote fraud, compromising the integrity of our elections to achieve their ideological goals.

That list is just a tiny sampling of voter fraud, and it keeps growing. In May, the Heritage Foundation highlighted several recent cases.

Here are some of the egregious new additions to the voter fraud database:

1. Kentucky
In eastern Kentucky, Ross Harris and Loren Glenn Turner funneled $41,000 to the 2002 county judgeship campaign of Doug Hays for what the defendants claimed was a lawful operation to pay more than 1,200 people $50 each to drive voters to the polls.

But a jury determined that this alleged vote-hauling program was just a disguise for what was in reality a vote-buying scheme. The punishment reflected the severity of the fraud: Hays was sentenced to six months behind bars, and Harris was hit with a $100,000 fine.

2. Mississippi
Not to be outdone, William Greg Eason of Tallahatchie County, Mississippi bribed voters with beer and money to cast fraudulent absentee ballots for a district supervisor candidate in a 2003 run-off election. A jury found him guilty, and he was sentenced to two years in prison, a punishment that also clearly reflected the severity of the offense.

3. West Virginia
Voter fraud and its ill effects are not limited to elections for local offices. On the contrary, voter fraud can and often does occur in connection with elections to the nation’s highest offices. In Lincoln County, West Virginia, Circuit Clerk Greg Stowers and five other Democrats were charged in 2005 with participating in a conspiracy to buy votes in congressional and presidential elections dating back to 1990.

The men paid for votes in liquor and cash (typically $20 per vote), handed out slates listing preferred candidates, and performed favors for supporters. All six eventually pleaded guilty to these charges in 2006, and Stowers was sentenced to six months in federal prison.

4. Georgia
A case out of Georgia shows that voter fraud has the power to steal an election from the rightful victor.

Tommy Raney, a 2007 candidate for a city council seat, and his campaign worker, Debra Brown, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit absentee ballot fraud.

Raney won the election against Larry Pickett by only 27 votes. Raney and Brown were fined $158,000 and $20,000, respectively. Despite the fraud, the election results were never officially overturned, and Raney did not resign his city council seat until nearly two years later, in September of 2009.

5. Iowa
Martia Yvonne Phillips and eight others in Iowa pleaded guilty to voting in the 2008 election despite being convicted felons who had not had their voting rights restored. Phillips voted while still on probation for a 2006 felony drug conviction. She was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison, a sentence that was suspended to two years’ probation.


6. Madison County, Georgia
Mohammad Shafiq of Madison County, Georgia, was none too happy with Madison County sheriff candidate Clayton Lowe.

So Shafiq started campaigning for the other candidate by submitting fraudulent voter registration cards supposedly for new voters, apparently intending to eventually vote under those registrations.

When the fraud was detected, he coerced a couple to sign affidavits falsely saying they had registered themselves.

He was charged with two counts of voter identification fraud, two counts of perjury, and three counts of tampering with evidence.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years probation and a fine of $6,750.

7. Magoffin County, Kentucky
During the November 2014 election for county judge-executive, Larry Perkins of Magoffin County, Kentucky, saw fellow resident Simon Marshall with a crisp, new $50 bill.

When Perkins asked Marshall—who had limited intellectual ability—where the money came from, Marshall replied, “It is Election Day.”

A judge threw out the results of the election, which was decided by only 28 votes, citing evidence that “people sold their votes” as well as numerous other violations of election rules, including a lack of required information on applications for absentee ballots, precinct officers failing to document how they identified voters and improperly helping people vote, and residents casting early ballots when there was no Republican election commissioner present as required.

The judge ruled the election was the result of fraud and bribery.

8. Turkey Creek, Louisiana
In a close election, Mayor Heather Cloud of Turkey Creek, Louisiana, was voted out of office by a margin of only four votes.

It was later revealed, however, that a campaign employee working for challenger Bert Campbell had paid $15 each to four mentally impaired individuals in exchange for their promise to vote for Campbell.

Following Cloud’s challenge to the results of the election, a Louisiana Court of Appeals ordered the four votes struck and a new election held.

In the aftermath, Cloud won the election and the campaign employee pleaded guilty to illegal electioneering.

The guilty plea carried with it a six month suspended jail sentence, 18 months probation, $500 fine, and $2,000 in restitution to Mayor Cloud.

9. Fort Worth, Texas
Hazel Woodard, a Democratic precinct chairwoman candidate in Fort Worth, Texas, was concerned that her husband would not make it to the polls to vote for her.

So, she simply had her teenage son vote in his place in an election in 2011 before the state’s new voter ID law was in place.

The impersonation at the poll went unnoticed until the husband showed up at the same polling place later that day and tried to cast a second ballot in his name.

Hazel recently pleaded guilty to impersonation fraud at the polls, and was sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication probation.

10. Perth Amboy, New Jersey
A lot of elections between candidates are close—but New Jersey politician Fernando Gonzales won his seat on the Perth Amboy City Council by only 10 votes.

A judge found that his wife, Democratic Chairwoman Leslie Dominguez-Rodriguez, took advantage of nursing home residents, including a blind man, a resident who could not remember her address or voting, and others who testified Dominguez-Rodrigues coerced them into voting for her husband.

A Superior Court judge overturned the election results and ordered a new election be held.

11. Sandoval County, N.M.
One prosecution resulted from a voter trying to show how easy it is to commit voter fraud.

To prove his point, Eugene Victor of Sandoval County, New Mexico, voted twice. Victor first voted at the polls under his own name, and then waited until the next day to do the same thing under his son’s name.

After getting away with impersonation fraud without being detected, he turned himself into the authorities.

Victor pleaded no contest to the felony charge of false voting, and is currently serving 18 months probation.

Voter fraud clearly exists in many forms and in many places despite earnest efforts by some authorities to crack down hard on offenders. Moreover, voter fraud is easy to commit and tough to investigate after the fact, particularly when inadequate safeguards exist to detect the crime in the first place.

That is why it is important for state legislatures to enact commonsense legislation designed to combat voter fraud before it can distort an electoral result. Voter ID laws—which many liberals love to criticize, but which a majority of Americans across ideological lines support — are an answer to many types of voter fraud, including fraudulent use of absentee ballots.

But other measures are also needed, such as requiring proof of citizenship to register and verification of the accuracy of voter registration information.

Critics often argue that laws intended to uphold the integrity of elections are ineffective and unnecessary.

Voting Fraud Prevented
But take the case of Carol Hannah of Colorado. Hannah was registered to vote in Mohave County, Arizona and Adams County, Colorado and was convicted of voting in both states during the 2010 election. Hannah’s double-voting was detected by the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, a system that examines shared voter data from more than 25 states and checks for identical name and date-of-birth matches to ensure the accuracy of voter rolls and to ensure that individuals like Hannah cannot unlawfully double-dip.

In that case, the program did exactly what it was designed to do. Hannah was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Democracy is one of America’s finest traditions; voter fraud is not.

The implications of these cases are clear: election fraud exists, and it is neither isolated nor inconsequential. We can and must take steps to detect and deter this problem.

To see more cases in many different states, visit this database at The Heritage Foundation that lists election fraud convictions.
----------------
*The abave article is a composite of two Daily Signal articles detailing voter fraud. The first article was by Brandon Johnson and Hans von Spakovsky - an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative.

The second article was by Jason Snead - a policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation's Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, and Robert Batista - a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: Jason Snead, Robert Batista, Hans von Spakovsky, Brandon Johnson, Heritage Foundation, America, Voter Fraud, examplesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 6:30 PM - Post Link

2 Comments:

Anonymous Bryan King said...

Surprised Arkansas didn't have at least a couple in the top ten.

7/26/2015  
Blogger Bill Smith said...

Bryan: The Hertiage Data base linked in the story at http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/.../VoterFraudCases... does have two Arkansas cases:
> Hudson Hallum, Kent Hallum, Phillip Wayne Carter,
and Sam Malone
CONVICTED: 2012
Fraudulent Use of Absentee Ballots and Buying Votes
> Larry Gray
CONVICTED: 2002
Fraudulent Use of Absentee Ballots

7/26/2015  

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