Skip to comments.'MASSIVE' VOTER FRAUD UNDER INVESTIGATION IN SOUTH DAKOTA...
Posted on 10/12/2002 6:55:14 PM PDT by vannrox
Possible voter fraud worker named
By Journal staff and AP
Officials for the South Dakota Democratic Party responded Friday to allegations of voter-registration fraud, saying that two invalid absentee ballot applications now under investigation were submitted by an independent contractor with the Democratic Party.
The contractor was identified as Becky Red Earth- Villeda, who also goes by the name Maka Duta. She was fired after the invalid applications were discovered, according to a news release from the Democratic Party.
Associated Press attempts to reach Red Earth-Villeda on Friday were unsuccessful.
The Dewey County auditor had notified party officials Oct. 3 about possible discrepancies with four absentee ballot applications submitted by Red Earth-Villeda. When party workers were unable to contact by telephone the people named on the ballot applications, party attorneys traveled to Dewey County to try to find the voters.
"After discussions with the individuals whose names appeared on the applications, it was determined that two of the absentee ballot applications were invalid," states a news release from the party. "On Monday, Oct. 7, legal counsel for the South Dakota Democratic Party notified the Dewey County auditor, the Dewey County sheriff and the U.S. attorney."
The release said the South Dakota Democratic Party has a "zero-tolerance approach to anything less than full compliance with South Dakota and federal election regulations."
Joel Rosenthal, chairman of the state Republican Party, said GOP officials had heard of the allegations of wrongdoing.
"We've known for some time that there is a lot of fraudulent voter registration taking place," he said. "There is some indication there's ties to the Democratic Party in this."
There has been a tremendous surge in voter registration this year, with many races in the state's Nov. 5 general election likely to be decided by close margins. According to a news release from Secretary of State Joyce Hazeltine, county auditors in the state have processed nearly 17,000 voter-registration cards since the June primary election.
Fall River Auditor Sherrill Dryden, who handles general elections for Shannon County on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, has experienced that first-hand. "Our increase in the total number of voters in Shannon County has increased probably over 1,000 (since June), and we're still putting people in," she said, adding that Shannon County started with about 5,700 registered voters.
That's a 25% increase! Imagine. There must be an abnormally excellent rate of economic success in the region! If they all vote for just one party... they effectively decide whom will be in office.
The FBI is in charge of the voter-fraud investigation because the six counties in question include Fall River, Dewey and Ziebach, all of which are on or close to AmericanIndian reservations.
The South Dakota Democratic Party is one of several groups that has conducted voter-registration drives on or near reservations this year. State Attorney General Mark Barnett said Friday that, so far, there is no information to indicate others besides Red Earth-Villeda were involved in the voter fraud, "but that could change."
State officials say ensuring a fair election process for the state is crucial so that South Dakotans know their votes aren't being cast against illegal ballots. Barnett said the short time remaining before the Nov. 5 election makes the federal and state investigation into irregularities urgent.
"There are enormous stakes," he said. "Besides protecting the rightful winner, it's far more important to maintain the faith of the voter in the integrity of the system."
Barnett said ballots cast since absentee voting began Sept. 24 likely would be examined closely. He also said next year's Legislature may want to tighten state election laws on absentee voting and voter registration.
"It's pretty easy to register under a false name, have the registration confirmation sent back to your home, then send in by mail an absentee ballot request, get it and vote under the false name, send it back and get it counted," Barnett said.
Anyone not currently registered to vote can do so by 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21.
Questions or comments? Contact reporter Heidi Bell Gease at 394-8419 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
The authorities in SD need to send a loud strong message with this case, that message being that elections are sacred business in this country and any Maka Duta caught cheating will be severely punished. In other words, long term incarceration.....
Ron Volesky: Americas first Indigenous Governor? http://www.wellnations.com/v2i3st1.html
There are some great stories about how Gephardt alters voting machines during predictable power outages in St. Louis on election night.
I don't see how this qualifies as "news".
"Election and Voter Registration Fraud Investigation Underway"
With the election less than a month away, allegations of voter registration fraud erupt in the Mount Rushmore state. State Attorney General Mark Barnett says the feds, with assistance from the S.D. Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating possible voter fraud in several counties.
Federal authorities have taken the lead since these irregularities were found in counties within or near Indian reservations.
The Attorney General says the investigation involves reports of voter registration under names that don't exist, people who are dead, or not old enough to vote.
Barnett says the probe's centered on on one person who has ties to the Democratic party. State Democrats say that person is Becky Red Earth Villeda, who also goes by the name Maka Duta. She has since been fired. Villeda was under contract with the Democrats to register voters.
Party officials have agreed to cooperate with the investigation. They emphasize their zero tolerance approach to anything less than full compliance with South Dakota and federal election regulations.
Meantime, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office is investigating a separate allegation of voter forgeries. County Auditor Julie Pearson says, "we know there are two people that filled out cards for those that are deceased. The rest we believed may be copied out of a phone book or made up the addresses".
Pearson says there are close to 200 voter registration cards in Pennington County with irregularities. And she says the problem was uncovered by the West River coordinator for the Sioux Tribes Voter Education Project.
Clarence Skye is the executive director for the United Sioux Tribes of S.D. Development Corporation, which overseas that voter education project. He says project workers get paid more when they sign up more people to vote. Meanwhile, Pearson stresses this investigation should not have any effect on the November election."
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Story by: Lenka Gerrish"
In all the articles, it's striking how quotes from South Dakota Democrats belittle the magnitude of the problem, and spout platitudes about cooperating and abiding with law enforcement, and only one person responsible.
The democrats would have you believe Becky Red Earth Villeda,aka Maka Duta is the only problem. The Feds haven't been able to find her for questioning. Let's hope when Villeda, aka Maka Duta is found, she doesn't appreciate being made the fall guy, for what appears to be wide-spread democrat voter registration fraud. And why is she hiding? From local authorities and the FBI?
"Brian Drapeaux, a former aide to Tom Daschle is South Dakota's "Native American Vote Chair", in charge of voter registration, keenly interested in absentee voting. Democrat spokesmen haven't mentioned him.
We know this won't reach all the up to bite Tom Daschle. Like Harkin, he will claim ignorance, but Tom Daschle has got to be frantic that the other senate seat in his state might go republican. Just how far would Tom Daschle (or his loyal crew), go to keep President Bush from claiming another victory...and in his own backyard.