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(PA-08) Murphy: GOP using 'Florida-style' tactics
Bucks County Courier Times ^ | 10/28/10 | Peter Hall

Posted on 10/28/2010 8:08:03 AM PDT by randita

Murphy: GOP using 'Florida-style' tactics

By: PETER HALL

Bucks County Courier Times

The Congressman charged Republicans with using unfair tactics to give their candidate for the 8th Congressional District an edge.

Congressman Patrick Murphy blasted Bucks County Republicans for using "Florida-style" tactics to deny voters the right to participate in Tuesday's election, which includes the hotly contested race between Murphy and his Republican challenger Mike Fitzpatrick.

Murphy's statement in a brief news conference Wednesday afternoon came shortly before Democratic Party lawyers filed a response to Republican claims that Murphy's campaign is behind an effort to mislead voters into applying for unneeded absentee ballots and flood the voter registration office with fraudulent applications.

In documents filed with the Bucks County Board of Elections, the state Democratic committee said the Republican Party machine that controls county government is working to disenfranchise voters.

"What makes their current scheme so egregious is that the Republicans are trying to prevent people, many of whom are ill or bedridden and incapable of going to the polls on Election Day, from legally casting absentee ballots," wrote Philadelphia attorney Keith Smith, of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, in the response for state Democrats.

The response asked the board of elections to dismiss the Republican complaint in its entirety.

A letter to the board of elections penned for the state committee by Doylestown attorney Jordan Yeager noted that among more than 600 absentee ballot applications rejected by board of elections staff for defects including signatures and birthdates that don't match voter registration records, 82 percent were from Democratic voters.

The letter called upon the board of elections to provide more time for voters to submit absentee ballots due to the large number of rejected applications and subsequent delays in obtaining ballots.

Yeager said the state election code contains a provision for emergency absentee ballots to be submitted until the close of polls on Election Day. Normally, the deadline for absentee ballots is the Friday before the election. The deadline for voters to apply for an absentee ballot was Tuesday.

"We're saying, 'You're the cause of this. You ought not hold them to that five o'clock Friday deadline. Give them until Tuesday. We're still trying to clean up the mess you made,' " Yeager said.

In his news conference, Murphy charged Republicans with using unfair tactics to give their candidate for the 8th Congressional District an edge. Murphy defeated Fitzpatrick, then the incumbent 8th District Congressman, in 2006 and was re-elected in 2008.

"It's sickening that the Republican-controlled board of elections would abuse its power to deny hundreds of Democrats their right to vote. But because their candidate is down in the polls, Republican Party operatives are using Florida-style Bush tactics to stop registered, eligible voters from voting," Murphy said Wednesday.

"Six Democratic applications have been rejected for every Republican application. Well, they're messing with the wrong paratrooper, and they're not going to get away with it," he added, in reference to his Army service in Iraq.

In his own news conference Wednesday, Fitzpatrick called for Murphy to answer questions regarding the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort that included a series of letters to Bucks County voters the Republicans labeled misleading.

Questions about the validity of absentee ballot applications in Bucks County began to surface last week after the voter registration office began receiving dozens of complaints about a letter from the fictitious "Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office."

The letters warned recipients that their right to vote would be in jeopardy if they failed to return an enclosed absentee ballot application. The letters also included a postage-paid envelope addressed to a post office box in Bristol Borough that Republicans revealed in their filing Tuesday is controlled by Murphy's campaign manager Tim Persico.

The letters also included a disclaimer that says they are paid for by "PA Victory 2010, a project of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee."

Fitzpatrick said he wants to know who compiled the list of addresses where the letters were sent, why those people were targeted and who is going door-to-door on behalf of his campaign. While Persico acknowledged the campaign's involvement with the letters, he said Tuesday that the Murphy campaign has not employed anyone to canvass neighborhoods.

Fitzpatrick also praised Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, a fellow Republican, for launching a criminal investigation of the absentee ballot issues and called for federal prosecutors to begin a probe of voting rights violations.

State Republican committee spokesman Michael Barley said the allegations against the Democrats and Murphy are serious and called for the criminal investigation to continue.

"Republicans continue to stand in favor of ensuring that every registered voter can cast their ballot while Patrick Murphy seems OK signing people up for absentee ballots whether or not they actually requested them," he said.

In its response to the GOP complaint, the Democratic state committee provides a rebuttal to the Republicans' claims, dismisses its accounts of misconduct by campaign workers and argues that the election code does not allow the relief the Republicans request.

Advertisement The Democratic state committee asserts the letters were part of a voter education effort to inform recipients of their right to vote by absentee ballot if they meet specific qualifications. The committee also contends that letters comply with state election law.

It rejects a GOP allegation that the Democrats had voters return their ballot applications to a post office box rather than the county voter registration office so that the party could screen them.

"Since the letter was only addressed to registered Democratic voters, there would be no rationale to 'screen' applications," the Democrats' response says.

The committee also says Republicans have no evidence to support their allegation that applications were screened or discarded.

The Democrats also criticize the Republicans' inclusion of affidavits by Bucks County voters who claim they were approached by "a man" or "young man."

The Democrats also say that six affidavits by Bucks County voters included in the Republican petition are unreliable. The voters claim they were approached by young men who encouraged them to apply for unneeded absentee ballots or complete an application on a family member's behalf.

"Based upon the description provided + it is not possible to identify who the people were that allegedly approached the accusers," the Democrats' response says. The Democrats also say neither the party nor any Democratic candidate would have authorized the activities alleged in the petition.

Finally, the state Democrats argue that the state election code provides no legal basis for the Republicans' request to prevent absentee ballots from being counted until the board of elections can complete an investigation of the party's allegations.

Under the election code, the board of elections' decision to approve absentee ballot applications is "final and binding." Individual applications can be challenged on the basis that the voter is unqualified to use an absentee ballot, the Democrats contend.

The Democrats also argue the election code requires that absentee ballots must be counted or challenged at the polls after the conclusion of voting on Election Day and spells out a limited set of circumstances under which a challenge would be granted.

"The provisions are mandatory. Therefore, the BOE cannot adopt any procedure that does not conform with Pennsylvania Election Law," the Democrats' response says.

Yeager's letter on behalf of the state committee alleges the board of elections has disenfranchised voters by falsely claiming the signatures on their absentee ballot applications does not match the signatures on file with the board of elections. A review of 13 voters' files reveals the signatures on their applications do, in fact, closely match those on file, Yeager wrote.

Yeager also wrote that the board of elections appears to have denied absentee ballots because the applicants provided invalid excuses for not voting at the polls. He said the Democrats identified a representative sample of 11 voters whose applications were denied despite providing valid reasons for their absence including work and family obligations.

Several people contacted by the newspaper Wednesday whose ballot applications were rejected said they had similar experiences to those described in the Democratic responses.

Betty Schramm of Furlong said her daughter Katherine Schramm-Strosser received a notice that her ballot application was rejected because the signature on the application did not match county records. Schramm said her daughter's signature has likely evolved in the 12 years since she first registered to vote.

Karen Monahan of Middletown said her son Brett Monahan applied for an absentee ballot because he attends college in New York. His application was also rejected because the signature did not match the one on file.

A school teacher from Bristol, who asked not to be identified, said he was approached by a 20- to 22-year-old man going door to door in the Crestwood condominium complex who asked him to complete an absentee ballot application. The teacher said he has never used an absentee ballot and votes at the polls in most elections.

"Truthfully, the reason I filled it out was because I wanted to get the guy out of my hair," he said, adding that he was holding his child at the time.

He said he received a notice that the ballot application had been rejected. A note on the application in the voter registration office said it was denied because the signature did not match the one on file.

Cathy Reutlinger, of Perkasie, said her husband Stephen Reutlinger submitted two applications for an absentee ballot that were both rejected because the signature did not match.

"I had to physically drive there and show them his voter registration card," she said. "Now we have the ballot and things are good."

Nathalie Phillips, of Middletown, submitted a ballot that was rejected because the date of birth on the application did not match that on file with the county. Phillips, 92, admitted she was to blame for the discrepancy.

A former poll worker, Phillips said she changed her birth date in county elections records more than 20 years ago to shave five years off her real age.

"I made a mistake. When I filled it out I put my real birth date on there," she said. "I don't know what date I put on the second application, but I got my absentee ballot."

Joan Hellyer and Matt Stanley contributed to this report.

Peter Hall can be reached at 215-345-3067 or phall@phillyBurbs.com


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: democratvotefraud; khr; pa08; ushouse; voterfraud

1 posted on 10/28/2010 8:08:05 AM PDT by randita
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To: Tribune7

Murphy: GOP using ‘Florida-style’ tactics

The shoe’s on the other foot and they’re crying foul.


2 posted on 10/28/2010 8:09:35 AM PDT by randita (Visit keyhouseraces.com to find GOP House candidates who need your support to knock off a DEM.)
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To: randita

PA-8, please rid us of this corrupt hack. He and his team should go to prison for mail fraud, among other felonies.


3 posted on 10/28/2010 8:10:45 AM PDT by mwl8787
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To: randita
among more than 600 absentee ballot applications rejected by board of elections staff for defects including signatures and birthdates that don't match voter registration records, 82 percent were from Democratic voters.

That is because the Democrat ballots are fraudulent!

4 posted on 10/28/2010 8:15:57 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
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To: randita
Sounds like a typical case of libtard projection: accusing your opponent of doing what you are doing.

What do these libtards expect we, the middle class, to do? Just roll over for their corruption and let them tax us into extinction?

Even your RINO's understand that a healthy, vibrant private sector is necessary to generate the taxes needed to support the nanny state. That's why the whores on Wall Street are backing more Republicans this year.

5 posted on 10/28/2010 8:19:11 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: randita

Ha, Murphy says he’s up in the polls. That’s funny. Starting tomorrow I’m going door to door to get our voters out so we can say good bye to Patrick once and for all. And Patrick, don’t go away angry, just go away.


6 posted on 10/28/2010 8:27:59 AM PDT by jpf (me in 2012.)
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To: randita
From the article:

A former poll worker, Phillips said she changed her birth date in county elections records more than 20 years ago to shave five years off her real age.

"I made a mistake. When I filled it out I put my real birth date on there," she said. "I don't know what date I put on the second application, but I got my absentee ballot."

So, she filed fraudulent information on her voter registration. Then she accidentally used her REAL birth date in her application. Now she has lied about her birth date and gotten her ballot.

Is it legal in Pennsylvania to lie about your age on your voter registration?

Did this woman illegally use her position as a poll worker to get access to the records to change her birth date?

7 posted on 10/28/2010 8:36:51 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: BenLurkin

Sounds like their objection to the “overrepresentation” of certain demographic groups in prison or getting arrested.

It’s not that these groups commit more crime,
it’s because they are being targeted by police.


8 posted on 10/28/2010 8:40:54 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: Vigilanteman
From a piece in the American Thinker today:

Without belief in anything that transcends man to use as a yardstick for behavior, they ultimately have nothing left to use but the "god within," which is just a gussied-up name for emotion. And their emotion-driven ends really do justify their means. If they feel conservatives are "evil," conservatives must be. And if they feel that any tactic necessary to vanquish that evil is fair game, it must be. Understand that beneath the light of their deified feelings, lying, cheating or stealing to win elections is not merely justifiable - it is a "good," and one they do with the only approval they need: self-approval.

9 posted on 10/28/2010 8:41:42 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: randita

Murphy is lying again when he says he is up in the polls.

http://grassrootspa.com/pdf/fitzmurphymemo.pdf


10 posted on 10/28/2010 8:45:05 AM PDT by Lazlo in PA ("Forces of Evil" member in good standing)
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To: randita

Shoe on the other foot??? Have you read any of the accusations against this Democrat? On top of that, I believe that the guy is so far behind that he cannot possibly cheat enough to win. The only hope for the Democrat is to mobilize the large gay population that live out near New Hope and surrounding area.


11 posted on 10/28/2010 8:51:27 AM PDT by Eva
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To: mwl8787
PA-8, please rid us of this corrupt hack. He and his team should go to prison for mail fraud, among other felonies.

That kid Murphy is a real piece of sh!+. He originally won the "Bucks County seat" without even winning Bucks County! He won thanks only to the gerrymandered slivers of Philadelphia and Montgomery County that are included in the district. I think that little freaking weasel Murphy is in for a drubbing and all the Democrat vote fraud in the world won't save him.

12 posted on 10/28/2010 8:55:08 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

What makes this funny is Murphey VOTED FOR GWB in 2000! He changed parties because he saw the tide going against Bush. This clown has no core beliefs or principles. He is a career politician wannabe.

He wouldn’t know the truth if it kicked him in the balls. My favorite story about this imbecile is his TALL TALE from Afghanistan where he claimed a soldier approached him covered in body armor, in 115 degree heat and said....”Hey man. Do you think you can do something about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?” There is NO WAY this story is true. This LIE was his lame attempt to win favor from the large homosexual population from New Hope, PA.

This chump makes me sick. What a turd.


13 posted on 10/28/2010 9:24:15 AM PDT by LeonardFMason
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To: Lancey Howard
"He won thanks only to the gerrymandered slivers of Philadelphia and Montgomery County that are included in the district."

It makes a mess of Montco too. We have a gerrymandered District 13 which includes a long swath of Montgomery County and part of Philadelphia County. Ugly.

14 posted on 10/28/2010 10:59:00 AM PDT by Think free or die
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To: Owl_Eagle; brityank; Physicist; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; GOPJ; abner; baseballmom; Mo1; Ciexyz; ...

ping


15 posted on 10/28/2010 11:16:30 AM PDT by Tribune7 (The Democrat Party is not a political organization but a religious cult.)
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To: Eva

I probably phrased that wrong. What I meant by shoe on the other foot was having the kitchen sink thrown at him for a change rather than his doing the throwing.


16 posted on 10/28/2010 12:09:12 PM PDT by randita (Visit keyhouseraces.com to find GOP House candidates who need your support to knock off a DEM.)
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To: randita; Tribune7; Kid Shelleen
Just so you don't think this is not an aberration, I found this courtesy of     The Logistics Monster - "There Are No Coincidences When It Comes To Voter Fraud":

This is NATION-WIDE, FRiends - Don't let them get away with it!

17 posted on 10/28/2010 3:09:51 PM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !! )
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To: randita

bump


18 posted on 10/30/2010 10:49:08 AM PDT by lowbridge (Rep. Dingell: "Its taken a long time.....to control the people.")
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