Thursday, May 03, 2007

More evidence of 'voter fraud' ... or ... A Conspiracy of Dunces

posted by The Sailor @ 10:31 PM Permalink

It's a bit long, so please bear with me
2006 Missouri's election was ground zero for GOP

Accusations about voter fraud seemed to fly from every direction in Missouri before last fall's elections. State and national Republicans leaders fretted that dead people might vote or that some live people might vote more than once.

The threat to the integrity of the election was seen as so grave that Bradley Schlozman, the acting chief of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and later the U.S. attorney in Kansas City, twice wielded the power of the federal government to try to protect the balloting. The Republican-controlled Missouri General Assembly also stepped into action.
Few have endorsed the strategy of pursuing allegations of voter fraud with more enthusiasm than White House political guru Karl Rove. And nowhere has the plan been more apparent than in Missouri.

Before last fall's election:

-Schlozman, while he was acting civil rights chief, authorized a suit accusing the state of failing to eliminate legions of ineligible people from lists of registered voters. A federal judge tossed out the suit this April 13, saying Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan couldn't police local registration rolls and noting that the government had produced no evidence of fraud.
-Two weeks before the election, the St. Louis Board of Elections sent letters threatening to disqualify 5,000 newly registered minority voters if they failed to verify their identities promptly, a move - instigated by a Republican appointee - that may have violated federal law. After an outcry, the board rescinded the threat.
Missouri Republicans have railed about alleged voter fraud ever since President Bush narrowly won the White House in the chaotic 2000 election and Missouri Republican Sen. John Ashcroft lost to a dead man, the late Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan, whose name stayed on the ballot weeks after he died in a plane crash.
The following summer, then-Secretary of State Blunt alleged in a 47-page investigative report that the use of affidavits to allow more than 1,000 "improper ballots . . . compels the conclusion that there was in St. Louis an organized and successful effort to generate improper votes in large numbers."

But an investigation by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, launched before Ashcroft settled in as U.S. attorney general in 2001, found the reverse. In a 2002 court settlement with the department's Voting Rights Section, St. Louis election officials acknowledged that they'd improperly purged some 50,000 names from voter lists before the 2000 elections and had failed as required by federal law to notify those people properly that they'd been placed on inactive status. No one knows how many eligible voters were denied their right to cast ballots.
Things didn't heat up again until 2005, when Schlozman authorized a Justice Department suit naming the newly elected Missouri secretary of state - the daughter of the late governor - as the defendant. It alleged that her office had failed to make a "reasonable effort" to remove ineligible people from local voter-registration rolls.

A federal judge dismissed the suit last month, saying the government had provided no evidence of fraud.

Five days before the election, U.S. Attorney Schlozman got another voter-fraud headline, announcing the indictments of the four workers.
Justice Department spokesman Boyd said the policy that prosecutors "refrain from any conduct which has the possibility of affecting the election" didn't bar pre-election indictments and was intended to ensure that investigators didn't intimidate voters during an election.

But Joseph Rich, who headed the department's Voting Rights Section from 1999 to 2005, said the timing of the indictments "flies in the face of long-standing policy. . . . There was no need to bring cases on the eve of the election."
I'm too tired to connect the dots for ya'all, but this ties in with why Rove had the United States Attorneys fired for not being 'aggressive' enough to uncover non-existent voting fraud and why the ones who kept their jobs pursued spurious claims of corruption until a Federal Appeals Court held the evidence was "beyond thin" ... which just happened to be after the election.

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