Skip to comments.When 1,099 felons vote in race won by 312 ballots
Posted on 08/07/2012 10:45:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
In the eyes of the Obama administration, most Democratic lawmakers, and left-leaning editorial pages across the country, voter fraud is a problem that doesn't exist. Allegations of fraud, they say, are little more than pretexts conjured up by Republicans to justify voter ID laws designed to suppress Democratic turnout.
That argument becomes much harder to make after reading a discussion of the 2008 Minnesota Senate race in "Who's Counting?", a new book by conservative journalist John Fund and former Bush Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky. Although the authors cover the whole range of voter fraud issues, their chapter on Minnesota is enough to convince any skeptic that there are times when voter fraud not only exists but can be critical to the outcome of a critical race.
In the '08 campaign, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman was running for re-election against Democrat Al Franken. It was impossibly close; on the morning after the election, after 2.9 million people had voted, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes.
Franken and his Democratic allies dispatched an army of lawyers to challenge the results. After the first canvass, Coleman's lead was down to 206 votes. That was followed by months of wrangling and litigation. In the end, Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes. He was sworn into office in July 2009, eight months after the election.
During the controversy a conservative group called Minnesota Majority began to look into claims of voter fraud. Comparing criminal records with voting rolls, the group identified 1,099 felons -- all ineligible to vote -- who had voted in the Franken-Coleman race.
Minnesota Majority took the information to prosecutors across the state, many of whom showed no interest in pursuing it. But Minnesota law requires authorities to investigate such leads. And so far, Fund and von Spakovsky report, 177 people have been convicted -- not just accused, but convicted -- of voting fraudulently in the Senate race. Another 66 are awaiting trial. "The numbers aren't greater," the authors say, "because the standard for convicting someone of voter fraud in Minnesota is that they must have been both ineligible, and 'knowingly' voted unlawfully." The accused can get off by claiming not to have known they did anything wrong.
Still, that's a total of 243 people either convicted of voter fraud or awaiting trial in an election that was decided by 312 votes. With 1,099 examples identified by Minnesota Majority, and with evidence suggesting that felons, when they do vote, strongly favor Democrats, it doesn't require a leap to suggest there might one day be proof that Al Franken was elected on the strength of voter fraud.
And that's just the question of voting by felons. Minnesota Majority also found all sorts of other irregularities that cast further doubt on the Senate results.
The election was particularly important because Franken's victory gave Senate Democrats a 60th vote in favor of President Obama's national health care proposal -- the deciding vote to overcome a Republican filibuster. If Coleman had kept his seat, there would have been no 60th vote, and no Obamacare.
Voter fraud matters when contests are close. When an election is decided by a huge margin, no one can plausibly claim fraud made the difference. But the Minnesota race was excruciatingly close. And then, in the Obamacare debate, Democrats could not afford to lose even a single vote. So if there were any case that demonstrates that voter fraud both exists and has real consequences, it is Minnesota 2008.
Yet Democrats across the country continue to downplay the importance of the issue. Last year, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, denounced "the gauzy accusation that voter fraud is somehow a problem, when over and over again it has been proven that you're more likely to get hit by lightning than you are to [be] a victim of voter fraud."
Wasserman Shultz and her fellow Democrats are doing everything they can to stop reasonable anti-fraud measures, like removing ineligible voters from the rolls and voter ID. Through it all, they maintain they are simply defending our most fundamental right, the right to vote.
But voter fraud involves that right, too. "When voters are disenfranchised by the counting of improperly cast ballots or outright fraud, their civil rights are violated just as surely as if they were prevented from voting," write Fund and von Spakovsky. "The integrity of the ballot box is just as important to the credibility of elections as access to it."
Kind of sad to see Minnesota join the ranks of “lost cause” states. I used to think they had a shot at redemption.
The money quote:
“The election was particularly important because Franken’s victory gave Senate Democrats a 60th vote in favor of President Obama’s national health care proposal — the deciding vote to overcome a Republican filibuster. If Coleman had kept his seat, there would have been no 60th vote, and no Obamacare.”
“Felons for Franken” is a powerful voting bloc in MN.
That’s why the SOS and AG office are so important for rats to keep control of here.
Actually, vote fraud is a worse form of disenfranchisement. If you're told you can't vote, you can do something about it -- be sure you're registered for next time, cast a provisional ballot, sue, whatever, depending on the circumstances. If your vote is canceled out by a ghost or felon, you never even know for sure.
The Dems argue that requiring voter ID is unconstitutional. Someone ought to make the counterargument that not requiring voter ID is unconstitutional.
I’m having friends & family call Governor’s offices to ask what’s being done about fraud. I’m particularly concerned about absentee as I think they’re getting thousands of votes that way.
If we each contact our local and state officials, maybe they’ll look at it before it’s too late and Obama completes his coup.
Voter fraud would stop immediately once we start imprisoning the candidates who benefit thereby.
DUPLICATE VOTER REGISTRATIONS: We discovered thousands of voter records that have an exact match on the criteria of first name, middle name, last name and birth year. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires duplicate registrations to be removed from SVRS.
DOUBLE VOTING: Using the SVRS list provided by the Minnesota Secretary of state, we found evidence of nearly 100 cases in which voter registration and voter history records strongly indicate that a single voter may have voted more than once in a single election. Weve identified thousands of additional voter records that merit additional investigation.
VACANT AND NON-DELIVERABLE ADDRESSES: The United States Postal Service (USPS) has flagged the addresses recorded for nearly 100,000 voters as being either “vacant” or “undeliverable”. We visited approximately two-dozen of these undeliverable addresses to verify the USPS results and discovered approximately 50% of the addresses in our sample to be correctly flagged, in that the addresses did not exist. We have taken photographs of empty lots and non-existent addresses where our investigation revealed invalid addresses.
RETURNED POSTAL VERIFICATION CARDS: In addition, the states primary registration verification tool is the Postal Verification Card (PVC). These post cards are mailed to newly registered voters. If the PVC is successfully delivered to the stated address, the voter is assumed to be legitimate. If the card is returned as undeliverable mail, the voters identity is in question and they are supposed to be challenged for proof of identity and residence at the polls in the next election. Over 46,000 of these postal verification cards have been returned to the county auditors as non-deliverable since 2004. About 38,000 of them were from 2008 and 23,000 stemmed from Election Day Registrations (EDRs). After accounting for legitimate reasons for undeliverable PVCs, over 6,000 unexplained, undeliverable PVCs resulting in challenged voter status remain outstanding from the 2008 election, and over 1,200 from 2010. See our full report on Unverifiable Voters in Minnesota’s Elections.
DECEASED VOTERS: Using a standard deceased matching service commonly utilized by mailing houses, we discovered thousands of individuals flagged as deceased who are still on the active voter rolls. Following the 2008 election, we were able to check the SVRS voter history against a list of dead voters and found thousands of potential matches. Further investigation into a small sampling turned up (high confidence match) death records for several voters indicating that they had died before voting in the 2008 election.
FELONS REGISTERING: Just prior to the 2008 election, an investigation by Fox 9 News discovered nearly 100 convicted felons who had newly registered to vote in 2008. Some were registered while in prison, suggesting someone else may have registered in their name. When these findings were brought to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, he said he wasnt aware these felons had registered, but assured the reporter that felons would be checked for and appropriately challenged for the election. See the TV news report by KMSP Fox 9.
FELONS VOTING: Following the 2008 general election, we obtained a disk containing a list of all convicted felons on book in Minnesota from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Comparing that list to the Voter Histories in the Statewide Voter Registration System revealed 2,803 exact matches on name (first, middle and last) and year of birth. Checking court records against the BCA and SVRS data, we have so far been able to positively confirm approximately 50% of the felons identities and match them to SVRS voter histories indicating fraudulent votes. We followed up by checking polling place rosters for signatures of ineligible felon voters and made copies of some examples. We have forwarded the names of suspected felon voters to the state’s 87 county attorneys for investigation. As of August, 2011, 113 ineligible voters have been convicted of the crime, “ineligible voter knowingly votes.” The number of convictions continues to rise as hundreds of additional suspected ineligible voters were charged and awaiting trial at that time. See our full Report on Fraudulent Votes Cast by Ineligible Felons in Minnesota’s 2008 General Election and our October 2011 Report on Felon Voter Fraud Convictions Stemming from Minnesota’s 2008 General Election. See TV news coverage by KSTP Channel 5 here. Why can’t felons vote?
VOTING BY INELIGIBLE, MENTALLY INCAPACITATED WARDS: In October of 2010, a number of mentally disabled individuals were observed being led into the Crow Wing County Courthouse to vote early by in-person absentee ballot. What witnesses described seeing would seem to amount to voter fraud by exploiting mentally incapacitated vulnerable adults. Conclusive evidence has been obtained demonstrating that unlawful voting was indeed taking place in
Crow Wing County. See our joint report on Ineligible Wards Voting in Crow Wing County. Also see news reporting on the story.
VOTE TOTAL MISMATCHES: Hundreds of precincts have reported different vote and registered voter totals in the SVRS system than were reported on election night 2008.
SVRS / CANVASS MISMATCH: A comparison of the SVRS voter histories and the State Canvassing Board certified election results revealed a mismatch of 40,000 unaccounted for ballots in Late April, 2009. As of September 2009, the discrepancy still had not been reconciled.
CANVASS / VOTER SIGNATURES MISMATCH: Examining the original polling place precinct rosters in 5 Ramsey County precincts revealed that more ballots were tallied in the official election results than there were signatures of voters in those precincts. In 4 of the 5 precincts, the voting machines tabulated more ballots than there were signatures and AB (Absentee Ballot) stamps on the precinct voter roster pages. This could in part, explain unreconciled discrepancies in SVRS and it demonstrates a potential hole in the integrity of the system, making it possible for some voters to vote twice - once by absentee ballot and once in person with both votes being counted.
NON-CITIZEN VOTERS: Prior to the 2008 election, state Representative Laura Brod discovered that several non-citizens had become registered to vote. The non-citizens were identified by Department of Public Safety Status Check data. Status Check is an indicator in drivers license records attached to visitors in the United States on a visa. It is designed to alert law enforcement to check the individuals visa expiration date. Only a non-citizen would have the Status Check indicator in their drivers license record. Rep. Brod brought a list of voters who had DPS records flagged Status Check to the secretary of state before the 2008 election. Secretary Ritchie indicated that he wasnt aware that he could check for that, despite the fact that his office had been receiving weekly updates from DPS for nearly two years. Ritchie gave his assurances that the non-citizens would be cleaned from the voter rolls and checks would be made regularly going forward. A check of SVRS voter histories after the election showed that not only were some of the same non-citizens still registered, some had cast ballots.
POST-ELECTION REGISTRATIONS: The April 25th 2009 SVRS data provided by the Secretary of States Office indicates many voters were registered to vote the day after voting in the 2008 general election. We are attempting to ascertain the explanation for this discovery.
UNLAWFUL DESTRUCTION OF ELECTION-RELATED DOCUMENTS: Through correspondence with county auditors and county attorneys, we discovered that at least two counties have been destroying returned voter postal verification cards (PVCs) before the required 22 month retention period has expired.
NON-COMPLIANCE WITH HAVA AND STATE STATUTES REQUIRING TIMELY RECORD UPDATES: Several county election departments including Hennepin and Ramsey are consistently failing to update voter records within the state and federally defined deadlines. HAVA stipulates that the records must be immediately updated and state statute specifies 6 weeks from the election. Some counties are taking 6 months or longer to update these records.
DEFICIENT VOTER REGISTRATIONS: Minnesota Statute 201.071 requires voter registrations recorded after August 1, 1983 to include the voter’s name, address, date of birth and signature. We discovered thousands of voter registrations that would be considered “deficient” under Minnesota law due to missing or invalid information. Minnesota law requires these deficient registrations to be corrected before an individual is allowed to vote. Records show that many of these voters have voted in recent elections without updating or verifying this required information.
ALLEGED VOUCHING FRAUD UNDER INVESTIGATION IN MINNEAPOLIS: Eyewitnesses including an election judge at a Minneapolis polling place submitted sworn affidavits to the Hennepin County Attorney after observing alleged vouching fraud during the 2010 general election. Students with DNC-Funded Organizing for America were systematically vouching for Election Day registrants they did not personally know according to the complaints. See coverage of the incident from the Minnesota Daily (U of M paper) and Fox News. Also see eyewitness accounts of vouching fraud: Video 1; Video 2.
OTHER INCONSISTENCIES: We have discovered several thousand voters registered after August 1, 1983 that had birth years suggesting these individuals are 108 years of age or older. We also found nearly 2,000 individuals who appear to have registered and voted before the age of 18.
I wonder, is this state one of the states whose baloots will be counted by the Soros owned Spanish company counting ballots in 2012? And which states and counties will be ‘using the Soros’ services for the November voting? Does anyone have a list? Do the stupid feckless congressional republicans even care that they will be disenfranchised by voter fraud?
The majority of our elections have been tainted wirh various forms of election fraud and the Democratic party has been responsible for the bulk of it. Look at every election from 1865 to 1965 and you can see the Democratic party doing its damndest to rig every election for example.
How much of this will still go on in 2012? Also, aren’t these findings sufficient to recall Franken?
I’ve never forgotten Tim Pawlenty babbling about “Minnesota nice,” while hundreds of votes were drained from Norm Coleman. Not only did he not fight, he didn’t even know he was in one. He doesn’t even belong on a long list for VP.
The state is less rat than it used to be.
Yep, Coleman just seemed to roll over despite all the ammo he was being given.
The right to vote is the hill conservatives must die on!
The right to vote is the hill conservatives must die on!
...the leftist wins.