Tag Archive: voter fraud

Michigan Democrats Turn Out to Protest Christie Fundraiser for Terry Lynn Land

197061Protesting Chris Christie & Terry Lynn Land outside Oakland Hills Country ClubIt’s so fascinating to see some of the questionable characters Chris Christie’s willing to leave NJ to raise money for. Terry Lynn Land is Michigan GOP’s hopeful in their effort to flip a seat long held by a Democrat, Senator Carl Levin, who is retiring. Christie’s in Michigan right now.

But Land, as turns out, has ethics problems of her own. As Secretary of State and Michigan’s highest-ranking election official, she launched a massive purge of Michigan’s voter rolls, in ways that cast suspicions on her motives, which appeared to be directed less by her responsibility as public servant than by her party’s desire to disenfranchise likely Dems. It took the ACLU challenging her tactics in a federal lawsuit, a federal judge’s decision that some of her practices violated the National Voting Rights Act and additional scrutiny from the NYTimes to alter her course. Land callscalls her 2-term tenure “rooting out fraudulent activity.” Washington Examiner says Michigan “became a hotbed of identification fraud” on her watch. Michigan Dems say she ducks questions on those issues.

They also say Land faces a potential investigation just like Christie –  for coordinating with outside special interest groups like the Koch Brothers, who’ve spent upwards of $2.3M to help her buy a Senate seat.  

Below the fold, photos of about 50 people who showed up to protest Christie outside the Land funder at a country club in Bloomfield Hills. Also video of Land’s voter purge history.

GOP Malarkey

Lest you think Republican voter suppression is limited to swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, it’s going on right here at home, too.

This morning, Willingboro Democratic Committee Chair Lavonne Johnson described how GOP sympathizers are working to suppress the Democratic vote in Willingboro – a town that must realize a heavy voter turnout if Shelley Adler has any chance of upsetting Jon Runyan.

Voter Fraud Alleged in Hoboken’s 4th Ward Race

In Hoboken’s 4th Ward, candidate Michael Lenz today filed a complaint and order to show cause with New Jersey Superior Court, charging that voters were paid to cast Vote-by-Mail ballots – essentially paid for their votes – according to a Lenz campaign release in The Hoboken Journal.

Working through the details of this:

  • 3 residents of Ward 4 swore out affidavits saying they were offered “$40 as an incentive to vote absentee” (read them here, beginning page 84)
  • In Occhipinti’s 10/25 ELEC report, there are a series of $40 payouts in two sequential groupings. Under Schedule 1(D) – Disbursements, there are 36 payouts of $40 each to individuals beginning on page 13 of 37, then another group of $40 payouts to 43 people begins on page 21 of 37. Each recipient of the $40 is categorized: ADMIN: PERSONNEL/SALARY/TAXES – CAMPAIGN WORKER. Addresses are at or near Housing Authority residences, where some of the city’s poorest live.
  • Crossing the list of those getting $40 payouts with the list provided by the county of vote-by-mail records show 79 of 80 campaign workers have indeed voted by mail. Occhipinti spokesman David Cruz calls this an “anomaly”.

    Two long-time Hoboken political players are named in the affidavits as involved; Matt Calicchio, and Frank Raia. Raia has denied wrongdoing. Occhipinti spokesman Cruz says their campaign did have people sign affidavits but they were in essence employment contracts for such services as wearing campaign tee-shirts, handing out flyers and “talking up the candidate.”

    The finger-pointing goes both ways. Yesterday, the Occhipinti campaign released a statement accusing Lenz of taking $1,000 in campaign contributions from two developers in exchange for a favorable vote on a zoning variance, according to nj.com. Occhipinti has called for an investigation by both Attorney General Paula Dow and US Attorney Paul Fishman. Lenz wrote to Dow two weeks ago asking her office to supervise the election to avoid ballot fraud.

    For anyone outside Hudson County, this all seems like madness. For anyone inside Hudson County, it may feel maddeningly familiar. This may end up having to be untangled by the Attorney General or the court. Nevertheless, it seems to me that the fact both campaigns are hurling accusations doesn’t mean they’re both dirty. If you were running a dirty campaign, and word was out, what’s the first thing you’d do? Right. You’d sharpen up that finger and get it ready to point.

  • Republican Voter Fraud In New Jersey!

    Apparently all the hullabaloo about ACORN and liberal voter fraud from the right missed the horrors of Republican voter fraud right here in Warren NJ!

    A 52-year-old township woman surrendered to authorities Wednesday on charges she used her dead mother’s identity to vote by absentee ballot and insure three cars, maintain a driver’s license, obtain a handicapped parking placard and receive Social Security benefits.

    Mary Stewart, of King Georges Road, has been released on her own recognizance after being charged with theft by deception, fraud and forgery, said Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest.

    Ms. Stewart is a registered … Republican!

    UPDATE: Oooops.  Ms. Stewart was a registered Republican, and voted in the 2008 Republican presidential primary. Her late mother is still a Republican, but Ms. Stewart has since changed to be a Democrat.


    Another Deep Thought

    The fact that Andy Unanue dropped out of the Senate race negates his need to move back to New Jersey, but still leaves the problem of his being registered to vote at a fraudulent address, one that is different from the state where he files his income taxes.  And it doesn’t change the fact that Anunae knowingly voted in the February 5 presidential primary from the fraudulent address.

    And it doesn’t change the fact that the people tasked with enforcing these rules at the state or federal level really don’t care.

    Bookends for Chris Christie?

    Chris Christie has made a lot of hay over his bi-partisan political convictions, a record that is largely reliant on his early indictment of Republican Jim Treffinger in spring 2002.  At the time, Treffinger was the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for US Senate.

    Now Christie has an opportunity to bookend his career as a US Attorney — even if McCain wins it is very unusual for a US Attorney to continue after eight years — by investigating and indicting another leading candidate for the Republican nomination for US Senate: Andy Unanue.

    Mr. Unanue appears to have committed voter fraud by maintaining and exercising his voting rights at his parent’s house in Alpine while admittedly living on Central Park West in Manhattan.  According to Unanue’s campaign manager, Unanue “votes in New Jersey.”

    That is a clear and almost admitted case of voter fraud, something that the Department of Justice — the folks Christie works for — has made a priority over the years.  All Christie has to do is get the voter files from Bergen County, see if Unanue voted in the 2006 congressional elections or the 2007 legislative elections, and then impanel a grand jury for the indictment.  It’s not a heavy lift.

    Think this is a minor thing that is beneath the interest of a United States Attorney?  The Department of Justice doesn’t think so:

    Department officials defend their record. “The Department of Justice is not attempting to make a statement about the scale of the problem,” a spokesman, Bryan Sierra, said. “But we are obligated to investigate allegations when they come to our attention and prosecute when appropriate.”

    And the man who hired Christie (and received a no-bid sweetheart contract worth up to $52 million), John Ashcroft, also considered this a priority:

    Combating voter fraud, Mr. Ashcroft announced, would be high on his agenda. But in taking up the fight, he promised that he would also be vigilant in attacking discriminatory practices that made it harder for minorities to vote.

    “American voters should neither be disenfranchised nor defrauded,” he said at a news conference in March 2001.

    Christie is most likely aware of all this, since US Attorney’s went through special training.

    At the same time, the department encouraged United States attorneys to bring charges in voter fraud cases, not a priority in prior administrations. The prosecutors attended training seminars, were required to meet regularly with state or local officials to identify possible cases and were expected to follow up accusations aggressively.

    Well, Mr. Christie.  Your job is clear, and you can demonstrate your commitment to non-partisan justice by investigating and prosecuting this already admitted case of voter fraud.

    Unanue committing voter fraud?

    Republican Senate candidate Andy Unanue’s campaign manager:

    “Andy Unanue lives in New Jersey, he votes in New Jersey, his car is registered in New Jersey, he pays New Jersey auto insurance, and his business is in New Jersey. Andy Unanue is New Jersey.”

    Andy Unanue:

    “For the past few years I’ve lived in New York. I’m in the process of moving back to New Jersey.”

    So if he votes in New Jersey but doesn’t live here, isn’t that voter fraud?

    North Jersey Impeach Group for Voters’ Bill of Rights

    Voters’ Bill of Rights

      From unreliable electronic voting machines and millions of uncounted ballots, to partisan election officials and 10 hour waits at the polls, it’s clear our electoral system is in dire need of an overhaul.  To build a more just, secure and robust dem-ocracy, support the following 10-point Voters’ Bill of Rights:

    1. Eliminate Rigged Voting Mechanisms  — 
      Hard Copy Paper Ballots are Most Reliable

      It’s demonstrated indisputably that no type of voting machine produced is “tamper-proof.”  All mechanisms available today, whether voting by lever, computerized electronic machines, optical scan devices, even systems that offer “paper trail receipts” can record your vote as cast but actually vote for the other candidate in the tally — the final vote count.  The only real tamper-proof system is voting by paper ballots with votes physically marked by the voter, and those votes tallied with non-partisan oversight conducted under oath with federal  penalties for misconduct in the election vote counting.
    This must be our national standard for democracy.

    2. Replace Partisan Oversight with Non-Partisan Election Commissions
      It’s time to overhaul our federal, state, and local election agencies to guarantee fair elections.  We must replace the current system of partisan election administration, in which partisan secretaries of state, county clerks, election commissioners, and other partisan officials are able to issue rulings that favor their own political parties and themselves, with a non-partisan, independent system of running elections.  We must end the practice of contracting out fundamental election functions, such as the maintenance of voter lists, to private corporations. We must also insure that independent internnational and domestic election observers are given full access to monitor our elections.

    3. Celebrate Democracy: Make Election Day a National Holiday
      People should not be forced to choose between exercising their right to vote and getting to work on time.  While the laws of 30 states guarantee the right to take time off from work to vote, many workers and employers are unaware of these laws.  Holding national elections on a national holiday will greatly increase the number of available poll workers and polling places and increase overall turnout, while making it much easier for working Americans to go to the polls.  Election Day is already a holiday in Puerto Rico in presidential election years, and many Puerto Ricans celebrate and make Election Day a fun and festive party with a purpose.  It’s time for the United States to follow Puerto Rico’s lead.

    4. Make it Easier to Vote
      Many citizens are discouraged from voting by unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and restrictions.  We must simplify and rationalize voter registration so that no one is again disenfranchised for failing to check a superfluous box, as occurred this year in Florida, or for not using heavy enough paper, as nearly occurred in Ohio.  We must require voter registrars to sign affidavits promising to submit any registrations in their possession in a timely manner.  We must eliminate police intimidation, language, physical disability, extra-legal requirements of personal identification, and other barriers to voting.  To ensure that all qualified voters are able to vote, we must follow the lead of states like Minnesota and Wisconsin by replacing restrictive voter residency requirements with same-day voter registration, allowing qualified voters to register at the polls on Election Day itself.

      Our current system forces millions of voters to wait up to 10 hours to vote.  This is unacceptable, and it disenfranchises those who cannot afford to wait.  To increase access to the polls, all states must provide sufficient funding for enough early voting and election day polling places to guarantee smooth and speedy voting.  To ensure equal access and minimize the wait at the polls, election authorities must allocate resources based upon the number of potential voters per precinct.  We must put an end to the government-backed practice of allowing partisan activists to challenge the voting rights of individual voters at the polls. Instead, the government must invest in campaigns designed to educate voters about how they can exercise and protect their right to vote.

    5. Count Every Vote!
      Voters must know that their vote will count and make a difference.  Every recent presidential election has been marred by the discounting millions of spoiled, under-vote, over-vote, provisional and absentee ballots.  This discounting of votes has disproportionately impacted people of color, especially African Americans, and is a fundamental voting rights and racial justice problem.  Election officials must ensure that every voting precinct and wards is adequately staffed with sufficiently trained personnel and professional supervision; that old and unreliable voting machines are done away with; that absentee ballots are mailed with a sufficient time for delivery; that all ballots, including provisional ballots, are counted; and that provisional ballots count for statewide and federal contests regardless of where the vote is cast. Election officials should wait until after any recounts have been completed to provide final certification of election results.

    6. Re-Enfranchise Ex-Felons & Non-Felons
      The permanent disenfranchisement of former felons, a practice that falls outside of international or even U.S. norms, is an unreasonable and dangerous penalty that weakens our democracy by creating a subclass of four million excluded American citizens.  The practice has also been used to purge voter lists of hundreds of thousands of citizens never convicted of any felony.  Because the criminal justice system disproportionately penalizes African American males, this disenfranchisement is racist in its impact and is constitutionally suspect.  Those states that permanently disenfranchise felons (Florida, Virginia, Nebraska, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, Alabama, and Arizona) must amend their laws and practices to restore full citizenship to ex-offenders.

      We must replace our current “first-past-the-post” system with Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).  Unlike our current system, which forces voters to reject their preferred candidate in favor of a “lesser evil” who may have a better chance of defeating the candidate they most fear, IRV allows them to choose both.  In this way, it eliminates the so-called “spoiler” and “wasted vote” effects and gives voters a more democratic set of choices.  Under IRV, voters simply rank candidates in order of their preference (first, second, etc.).  If a candidate wins a majority of first choice votes, that candidate is the winner.  If no candidate gets a majority of first choices, the lowest vote-getting candidate is eliminated, and his/her votes are given to the candidates whom the supporters of the eliminated candidate chose as their second option.  Counting continues until one candidate has received a majority.  IRV therefore not only allows voters to voice their real preferences; it also ensures that the will of the true majority, not a mere plurality, produces the winner of each election.  In addition, IRV makes it possible to conduct the runoff count without the need for a separate and expensive runoff election. Instant Runoff Voting is used successfully around the world, including Ireland, Australia, and most recently, San Francisco.

      The right of representation belongs to all citizens.  Our winner-take-all elections award representation to the largest factions and leave everyone else, often the majority, unrepresented.  The winner-take-all system unnecessarily restricts choice, polarizes politics and limits political discourse.  We must adopt Proportional Representation (PR) for legislative elections to ensure the fair representation of all voters.  Millions of Democrats in Republican areas and Republicans in Democratic areas are unrepresented in our system, and the majority of Greens, Libertarians, and other independents are unrepresented at all levels of government. Our system should provide fair representation to all voters, in proportion to their numbers.

    8. Replace Big Money Control With Public Financing and Equal Air-Time
      In a system where the amount of money a candidate spends is directly related to their likelihood of winning, it is not surprising that voters think politicians are more concerned with big campaign contributors than with individual voters.  We must follow Maine’s lead by establishing a nationwide system of full public financing for all ballot-qualified candidates.  We must require the broadcasting corporations that license our public airwaves to provide air time for debates, and free time for all ballot-qualified candidates and parties.

    9. Guarantee Equal Access to the Ballot and Debates
      In our current electoral system, independent parties such as the Greens and Libertarians face a host of barriers designed to limit voter choice and voice.  Ballot access laws and debates specifically designed to exclude independent party candidates discourage voting and undermine the legitimacy of our elections.  In most cases, the established parties have never themselves met the signature require-ments they impose on independent parties.  We must eliminate prohibitive ballot access requirements, and replace the partisan Commission on Presidential Debates with a non-partisan Citizens Debate Commission.

    10. Abolish the Electoral College and Enact
      Statehood for the District of Columbia

      It is time to end the safe state/battleground state dichotomy and make all votes equal, no matter the state of the voter. We must amend the Federal Constitution to replace election of the President by the Electoral College with direct election by the voters.  At the same time, for so long as the Electoral College persists, we must amend our state laws and constitutions to allocate each state’s electors proportionately to the popular vote.

      It’s also time to end the disenfranchisement of the over half million Americans who reside in the District of Columbia.  DC residents deserve the same political rights enjoyed by citizens of our nation’s fifty states, namely full voting representation in both houses of the U.S. Congress, as well as legislative, budgetary, and judicial sovereignty.  Washington D.C. is the only existing majority African American federal jurisdiction, and the denial of DC voting rights is thus inherently racist.  Furthermore, the denial of DC voting rights can’t be defended on the basis of population size; the majority white State of Wyoming has a smaller population.  It’s time to grant statehood to the District of Columbia.
    North Jersey Impeach Group
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