Skip to comments.Local Update - Election Fraud in South Dakota [my title]
Posted on 10/19/2002 6:11:06 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
Indian vote seen as key
PIERRE - It's no coincidence that various campaigns are under way to increase the number of American Indians who will vote in South Dakota on Nov. 5.
Efforts by the state Democratic Party and United Sioux Tribes have gained public attention because of allegations that election laws are being flouted. Individual tribes also are involved in voter-registration efforts.
Indian turnout typically is poor in elections, but the potential political clout has not been lost on the Democratic Party, primarily because Indian reservations are a stronghold of Democratic sentiment.
One arrested for voter fraud
RAPID CITY -- As the Nov. 5 election looms in 17 days, a Rapid City man arrested Friday became the first South Dakotan facing charges in the expanding statewide probe of alleged voter-registration irregularities.
Lyle Duane Nichols, 45, faces five charges of forging voter-registration cards submitted to the Pennington County Auditor's Office through the Sioux Tribes Voter Education and Registration Committee.
The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each felony count. Nichols is in Pennington County Jail pending his court arraignment.
"It appears the vast majority of cards he submitted through this organization were fraudulent," Pennington County Sheriff Don Holloway said. "It looks like what he was doing was picking names out of the phone book or out of the newspaper."
At least two of the registrations were made in the names of dead people, Holloway said.
Big voter gains on reservations
SIOUX FALLS The only South Dakota counties with voter-registration gains of 10 percent or more since the June primary are on American Indian reservations, according to an Associated Press analysis.
"I'm not positive why that is, but I think that's where the main focus is for the voter drive," Kea Warne, election supervisor in the Secretary of State's office, said. "I'm not going to speculate whether that's because of the fraud investigation or not.
"That's something that the attorney general's office will determine."
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 5 general election is Monday, so final pre-election figures won't be available until later this month.
But as of Thursday, the database that is updated by county auditors indicates huge voter gains in seven counties, some of which are part of a controversy over voter registration and absentee ballots in and around reservations.
Duplication, registering dead people and forging signatures have been reported.
Among the findings:
-- Buffalo County, home to the Crow Creek reservation, had a net gain of 178 voters, or 16 percent, from June to now.
-- Corson County, on the Standing Rock reservation, registered 315 more voters, or 11 percent more since the June primary.
-- Dewey County, on the Cheyenne River reservation, had a 12 percent increase in voter registrations, or 488 more.
-- Ziebach County, also on the Cheyenne River reservation, has 169 more voters on the books now than in June, or 10 percent more.
-- Lyman County, where the Lower Brule reservation is, reports an increase of 318 voters, or 12 percent.
-- Shannon County, on the Pine Ridge reservation, has 1,194, or 17 percent, more voters now than in June.
-- Todd County, which makes up the Rosebud reservation, records 13 percent, or 694, more voters since June.
Of those counties, auditors for Dewey, Shannon and Ziebach have reported irregularities.
The state Democratic Party fired contract employee Becky Red Earth-Villeda after registration and absentee-ballot problems surfaced in Dewey and Ziebach counties.
The party paid Red Earth-Villeda a total of $12,867 in 18 paychecks the past three months, according to Federal Election Commission records from July, August and September.
Contractors such as Red Earth-Villeda are paid by the number of voter-registration cards and absentee ballots they collect.
The auditor for Shannon County said one of every 10 new voter registrations is being investigated.
Pennington County's auditor said authorities are looking into possible inaccuracies in 230 voter-registration cards.
The 10 percent to 17 percent gains are a stark contrast to most of the other counties in the state that have had voter registration rises of 1 percent to 3 percent since the pri-mary.
Voter-fraud suspect suing Flandreau tribe
PIERRE A woman being investigated for possible violations of state election laws has asued the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe over her unsuccessful attempts to run for tribal president.
State and federal officials have been investigating Becky Red Earth-Villeda of Flandreau, who also goes by the Dakota Indian name of Maka Duta, on allegations that she falsified voter registrations and requests for absentee ballots on some American Indian reservations.
South Dakota Democratic Party officials said they fired Red Earth-Villeda after discrepancies were found in two applications for absentee ballots she collected in Dewey and Ziebach counties, which comprise the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation.
|Absentee voter numbers on the rise
I don't know, the above article is all I can find...but my guess is the absentee voting process will be one that would make Al Capone blush.