Monday, July 12, 2010

Voter Fraud: The Risk is REAL

Friends, this is a long post, but it's probably one of the most important things I've written for this site.  Please take the time to read to the end, share with your friends, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments...

You've probably heard about the Department of Justice dropping the case against the Philadelphia Black Panthers accused of voter intimidation (you know, the nightstick-wielding guy who wants to kill all the "crackas"), and maybe you've seen the funny sight of  Facebook users changing their profile pictures to actual crackers:

(The Ritz Cracker Company does not support racism or voter fraud)

OK, now for the serious stuff, a story much more serious than one idiot with a big stick and even bigger mouth.  Yesterday, I came across a story about a filmmaker named Gigi Gaston,  a lifelong dedicated Democrat, who started a new documentary project after the 2008 elections that aimed to disprove accusations by Hillary Clinton supporters that there had been widespread voter fraud in the Democratic Presidential primary process.

Gaston started her film with the belief that the accusations were just nonsense and conspiracy theories, but as she met more and more Democratic voters who told her their stories and showed her their evidence, she became convinced that the accusations were true, the stories of voter fraud and intimidation were real, and, most importantly, a deciding factor in Barack Obama winning the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008.  The documentary quickly reversed from its original direction and she gave it the title "We Will Not Be Silenced."

Here is Gaston being interviewed on Fox & Friends:

The official website for the film describes the voter fraud that propelled Obama to the White House:
Senator Clinton, by all accounts, except caucuses, won the Primary Election and, therefore, should [have been] the 2008 Democratic Nominee.  That didn't happen, due largely to illegitimate and illegal acts. We have interviews of many accounts from caucus states recounting threats, intimidation, lies, stolen documents, falsified documents, busing in voters in exchange for paying for "dinners," etc. There are at least 2000 complaints, in Texas alone, of irregularities directed towards the Obama Campaign, that have lead to a very fractured and broken Democratic Party.
This documentary is about the disenfranchising of American citizens by the Democratic Party and the Obama Campaign. We the People have made this film. Democrats have sent in their stories from all parts of America. We want to be heard and let the country know how our party has sanctioned the actions of what we feel are Obama Campaign "Chicago Machine" dirty politics. We believe this infamous campaign of "change" from Chicago encouraged and created an army to steal caucus packets, falsify documents, change results, allow unregistered people to vote, scare and intimidate Hillary supporters, stalk them, threaten them, lock them out of their polling places, silence their voices and stop their right to vote, which is, of course, all documented in "We Will Not Be Silenced."
"We Will Not Be Silenced" is about the people who fight back by simply telling their stories: Teachers, professors, civil rights activists, lawyers, janitors, physicists, ophthalmologists, accountants, mathematicians, retirees - all bound together by their love of America and Democracy. They will tell us their experiences and how they feel betrayed by their own party. They will discuss how their party has disenfranchised them and how, when they saw and reported multiple instances of fraud, everyone turned a blind eye.  Rather than support and protect the voices and votes of its loyal members, the DNC chose to sweep this under the rug by looking the other way, or using ceremony and quasi-investigations to assuage angry voters. It is our opinion there never before has been such a "dirty" campaign...
The website also has a video preview posted, showing excerpts of some of the statements gathered from Democratic caucus voters, election poll workers, civil rights activists, and other witnesses to the fraud.  If you have time, I encourage you to watch the entire preview, but it's over a half an hour long (you can also check it out in five separate parts on YouTube).  Here's a shorter version:

One of the most chilling statements in these clips comes from a Democrat in Gary, Indiana, whose face had been hidden and voice changed because of fear of reprisals from Obama supporters:
If this is acceptable in American politics, then our country is in trouble.
Yes, friends, our country is in trouble.  Remember, the filmmaker here is a lifelong Democrat.  The people you see being interviewed in the excerpts from the documentary are all Democrats.  These are all Democrats who strongly believe that the Obama campaign and the DNC conspired to disenfranchise them and steal the 2008 election.  

Think about it.  This is what the Obama campaign was willing to do to defeat Hillary in 2008, and what the DNC was willing to ignore in order to win at all costs.  What do you think they will be willing to do to protect their control of Congress in 2010, and the White House in 2012?  Voter intimidation like the Philadelphia Black Panthers committed is only the beginning.

There's already a strong stench of trouble in the air as we approach the midterm elections, including the evidence in many states linking Democrat activists to  third parties under the "tea party" name, including Michigan, Nevada, and, as I have discussed in detail many times on this blog, here in Florida.  

Fortunately, the hard-working people involved in the actual tea party movement are doing an excellent job educating the public about these fake tea party attempts, but there are many more risks of voter fraud present in our system and ready to be utilized by unscrupulous parties.

I gained some firsthand experience with how voter fraud could be accomplished this past May, when I was retained to represent several parties who were challenging the results of the Gainesville mayoral election.  The conservative candidate had lost a very close race, with the final margin of victory being reported as just 42 votes, after several recounts.  

While the court granted a motion to dismiss the part of the case that sought to overturn the election results, the litigation and the investigative work of my clients revealed some significant problems with a number of voter registrations in Gainesville. 

The Alachua County Supervisor of Elections (Gainesville ordinances designate the Alachua  Supervisor as the governing authority over city elections; state statutes allow municipalities to cede this power to county SOEs) was allowing voter registrations to be submitted with a variety of problems, such as retaining a Gainesville address for voter registration even after selling a home and claiming homestead in another county, registering at commercial addresses and vacant lots, registering at addresses belonging to churches with no residences on site, etc.  The most egregious example was one voter who claimed the "Salty Dog Saloon" as a home address.  As anyone who attended UF since the early 1960s can tell you, the Salty Dog is a bar on University Avenue, right across the street from the main UF campus, and certainly not a place that you would want to sleep (unless you didn't care what you smelled like, if you contracted typhoid fever, etc.).

The investigation of these voter registrations in Gainesville showed that the Alachua County SOE was apparently doing darn near nothing to verify addresses when they were submitted.  At one point, the SOE had represented to my clients that their computers would reject any applications that were submitted with commercial addresses or vacant lots, but that was proven to not be the case when multiple registrations with just such problems were uncovered.  

Please note that I am not advocating that we engage in widespread purging of the voter rolls.  Instead, what should happen when an irregularity is detected is the utilization of already established statutory and regulatory procedures, to contact that voter and allow them to clarify or correct their records.  For example, consider someone who claimed their office instead of their home as their address for voter registration out of ignorance of the law, not any truly fraudulent intent.  The SOE would have an alert triggered when a commercial address was submitted on the voter registration application, a letter would be sent to the voter informing them of the law, and the voter could then respond with a corrected, residential address.  If the record was not corrected before an election date, then the voter could be offered a provisional ballot and instructed to submit evidence of their address within a certain number of days.

If a legal voter is not allowed to cast their ballot, we all know that's wrong and a violation of the right to vote.  But remember, it's also an attack on the right to vote if we allow people to vote if they are not legal voters, if you let them vote at a location other than their legal precincts, or if they are allowed to vote more than once.  Allowing an illegal voter to cancel out a legal voter has the same effect as not allowing that legal voter to cast a ballot at all. 

You'd expect that maintaining current and accurate voter rolls would be part of a Supervisor or Elections' standard to-do list, wouldn't you?  Florida Statutes specifically require that the Supervisors of Elections must be granted access to available computerized government databases with such information as drivers licenses, homestead registrations, felony convictions, as well as to each other's databases of voter registrations.  If someone sells their house in Alachua County and moves to Osceola County and claims homestead there, all these nice shiny computer systems should make it very easy to tell that that person should no longer be voting in Alachua County.  For heaven's sake, it's not like we're stuck sending smoke signals!  I bet you could find a high school kid in every county in Florida who could write a computer program to handle this task.

Several Supervisors of Elections across the state seem to be taking the position that they do not have any obligation to verify the information submitted on voter registration applications, or to take any steps to investigate whether that information is still current.  The vulnerability of the voter registration databases is  a serious problem in a state like Florida, with a highly transient population including seasonal workers, snowbird retirees, and several large university populations scattered around the state.  If a little college town like Gainesville is allowing someone to register to vote from the Salty Dog bar for years, then what sort of madness should we expect to find in Miami?

We've seen the controversy surrounding ACORN's voter registration efforts during the past few elections, and while ACORN may have been defanged by the efforts of James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, the atmosphere in Florida is saturated with opportunities for those who have fraudulent or evil intent.

There are two very important things that we can all do in the upcoming months leading up to the November elections to help protect the integrity of our elections.  

First of all, contact your Supervisor of Elections.  Check out the website for your local SOE, call them, email them, send them letters, visit the office in person, and submit public records requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the Sunshine Law.   The more attention that is focused on them, the more people asking questions, the more pressure they will be under to comply with the law and help prevent voter fraud.  

Demand to know what your SOE is doing to maintain current and accurate voter rolls.  Ask what computer databases the SOE uses to maintain their records, and how often they are accessed.  Make sure your own registration is accurate and lists your current residential address.  Ask your family, friends, and neighbors to do the same.  Conduct your own investigations.  Compare registrations to the records of your County Property Appraiser, and other available public records.  Ask your questions over and over, to different employees, to see if you ever get different answers.  Take careful notes, including date, time, and name of every person to whom you speak.  

The second thing you can do is use your own eyes and ears to observe what happens on Election Day (including early voting days).  If you have the time, you can sign up to be a poll watcher with the Republican Party or a candidate you support (note that this requires registration by a certain deadline before the election and special training) but the most important thing is to just be observant when you go to the polls yourself. Take detailed notes, and pictures, or video if you can, with your cell phone or a digital camera (The reason we know about the Philly Black Panthers is because of one brave guy with a video camera, just one guy).

Here are some things to look for: Is the polling location clearly marked with signs or was it hard to find?  Can you easily access the location and park your car or is anything or anyone blocking your way?  Where is the entrance to the building?  Is anyone standing outside the entrance?  What are they doing and what are they wearing?  Is the "campaign-free zone" boundary clearly marked?  Is anyone campaigning or approaching voters behind that boundary?  Who is inside the polling location?  Where are the SOE employees and poll workers located?  How many of them are there?  Who else is inside, and where are they standing?  How are the poll workers checking voters' IDs and verifying registration?  What instructions are voters being given?  Is anyone besides official poll workers handling the ballots before or after they are in the voters' possession?  Are voters given privacy when they fill out their ballots?  Is anyone trying to "assist" voters while they vote, or observe how they vote?  Can you see the counters on any ballot counting machines?  What number do the counters show?  Does the number go up by one when a ballot is fed into the machine?  Are all ballots immediately put into the machine?  Is there anything or anyone in or around the polling location that seems odd or out-of-place, or anything that made your access to the polls confusing or intimidating?  At the end of the voting day, who declares that the polls have closed?  Are the people already in line still allowed to vote?  What is done to make sure that no one else gets in line after the polls close?

So what if you do see something weird?  Every polling location in Florida will have an official SOE employee designated as in charge of that location, and they have a direct phone number for the County Supervisor.  If you see what look likes  an attempt to commit voter fraud or intimidation, ask who is in charge and tell them you want to make a complaint.  If you are not satisfied with their response, find an RPOF poll watcher and tell them what you have observed.  The poll watchers will all have contact information for party officials and election law attorneys who can take the necessary action.  If you cannot find a poll watcher at the polling location, contact the RPOF or your county Republican Executive Committee as soon as possible. 

I strongly believe that our country is at a crucial, and potentially dangerous, tipping point, and the 2010 and 2012 elections may be the most important in United States history, at least during the past century.  Protecting the integrity of these elections is an absolutely essential part of ensuring that we continue to enjoy the freedoms and blessings that we have historically had as Americans, and we can all help the effort.


  1. Totally OT but wow, your blog looks great!!! I am jealous ;-)

  2. Thank you, from one blogger named Sarah to another :)

    This is just a blogger template...they added some new options under the design and layout settings. Email me if you have any trouble setting it up.

    P.S. to everyone should check out Sarah's blog at for some fun feisty writing from a conservative chica in Georgia.

  3. Thanks, Sarah, that's a very complete guide for poll watchers. Have you offered this as a written publication for the RPOF? I was a poll watcher in the 2008 election, and instructional materials were... minimal.


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