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Official raises concerns of voter fraud in Hidalgo County (Heart of DemocratCounrty in Texas).
The McAllen Montior | 10/22/2002

Posted on 10/22/2002 10:12:42 PM PDT by The South Texan

Official raises concerns of voter fraud in Hidalgo County

By Susan Martinez

The Monitor

PHARR — A study commissioned by the Hidalgo County Republican Party shows that about 16,000 dead or unqualified voters remain registered to vote in the county, dramatically increasing the opportunity for voter fraud in the November election, party officials said.

Hidalgo County Republican Party Chairman Hollis Rutledge Jr. said the results of the study damage the integrity of the county’s voting system, and he questions the efficiency of the county officials responsible for maintaining accurate voter registration rolls.

“I’m very disappointed by Hidalgo County’s failure to maintain the integrity of our voter files and election administration,” he said. “The dead and ineligible voters still on Hidalgo County’s rolls offer ample opportunities for voter fraud and political mischief as election day approaches and during the current early voting period.”

VoterViews Information Systems of Austin, a nonpartisan research firm that opened in 1998, conducted the study.

The company’s general manager, R.L. Edwards, said the company performs studies for both parties. He said he did not know the margin of error for the Hidalgo County study.

VoterViews in May began compiling the county’s voter registration list, cross-referencing it with information on deaths obtained from the Social Security Administration and with change of address information from the U.S. Postal Service.

According to the study, VoterViews identified 11,638 people from U.S. Postal Service records that filed a change of address outside of the county but remain on the voter registration rolls.

It also identified 4,223 names and addresses on the voter rolls that are “potentially dead” with information provided by the Social Security Administration.

Of those 4,223 believed to be dead, 912 were identified as active voters during their lives. Of those, 227 voted in the 2000 General Election after their death.

Hidalgo County Elections Administrator Teresa Navarro said no one has contacted her office with the allegations and she is shocked to find out that Rutledge, a member of the county election commission, took it upon himself to commission the study.

“I’m disappointed that he would conduct this study without the assistance of the election administration and commission,” she said. “How can we do anything about it if he doesn’t work with us?”

Rutledge said he would “entertain” presenting the findings to the election administration, but thought releasing the information to the public was more important.

He said there was room for error in the study because VoterViews could only cross reference exact names with addresses. So, if two exact names showed up at the same address, that name should be flagged on the county’s voter rolls and the person would be required to show identification at the poll in order to vote.

“My father and I lived at the same address until he died two years ago,” Rutledge said. “Both of our names came up because I’m a junior and we lived in the same house. These types of errors can be corrected.”

Rutledge said he didn’t know how many of the names found by VoterViews could be attributed to this same error and VoterViews did not release margin of error information.

“The elections commission cannot intrude on the daily duties of elections administrator,” he said. “I am not criticizing or accusing anyone. I’m just perturbed that over the years they have not been paying attention.”

Navarro said her office complies with the law governing election procedure set forth by the state Legislature and overseen by the Texas Secretary of State’s office, which provides each county with updated information on its registered voters. The office also receives death certificates from the County Clerk’s office.

“We are bound by the election code,” she said. “We are not investigators and cannot investigate whether someone is dead or alive. We go on what is provided to us by the Secretary of State.”

Navarro said the county’s voter registration information is updated daily.

She and County Clerk J.D. Salinas said the county’s voter registration system is old and outdated, but that requests for a new one repeatedly have been turned down by the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court.

“For the last four years as county clerk, I have been talking about investing money into a better registration system before we buy new voting machines,” Salinas said. “Ours is completely outdated and we need a new system that would be more efficient in taking care of these kinds of problems if they do exist.”

Navarro said finding 16,000 of the county’s 257,753 registered voters ineligible seems like an inordinately high number. She also pointed out that grand jury investigations have found voter fraud in the county to be limited to mail-in ballots, which her office has taken steps to correct.

The state does not require driver’s license numbers or Social Security numbers when a person registers to vote, she said. Once a voter signs the card saying he lives in the county, the county is bound by law to allow that person to vote.

“The changes (Rutledge) is calling for require legislative changes,” she said. “If we had (Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers) to track, that would be great. But until the state requires it, there’s nothing we can do.”

Rutledge said the Republican Party was prompted to look at Hidalgo County’s voter registration rolls after the 1998 presidential election, when only 2,000 votes decided the election and Florida’s voting system came under scrutiny. He said he wants Hidalgo County to avoid the same sort of voting problems.

“We do not want another Florida here in Hidalgo County,” he said.

Hidalgo County Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Guerra said the study is simply a ploy by the Republican Party to intimidate Hidalgo County voters during early voting.

“The Republican Party knows that here in Hidalgo County, where we have a record (early) turnout, the vast majority of those votes are Democrats, and they’re scared,” he said. “They are trying to make voters lose confidence in the voting system because when voters don’t have confidence in the system, they don’t vote.”

Guerra pointed out that the county’s voter turnout has increased by about 500 percent since 1998. On the first day of early voting in 1998, only 327 people voted. This year, 1,925 voted.

“This is a company hired by the Republican Party. How in the world can this be accurate?” he said. “The elections administration has been trying to clean up the voter registration rolls and they’ve done a good job of it with the limited technology they have.”


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Politics/Elections; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: cornyn; kirk; perry; sanchez; texasgovernorsrace; ussenate; votefraud; voterfraud
The Fix is in , maybe. And this is probably the tip of the iceburg down here.
1 posted on 10/22/2002 10:12:42 PM PDT by The South Texan
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To: The South Texan
i can't remember seeing so many cases of voter fraud being exposed before an election ... and against democrats ... the press aren't doing their jobs protecting them
2 posted on 10/22/2002 10:17:06 PM PDT by InvisibleChurch
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To: The South Texan
DemonRATs and voter fraud-- like peas and carrots
3 posted on 10/22/2002 10:23:43 PM PDT by let freedom sing
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To: The South Texan
"Early voting" has also started in Florida. Between fraud in early voting and absentee voting, the Democrats will likely pull ahead.
4 posted on 10/22/2002 10:23:46 PM PDT by Deb
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To: let freedom sing
Like peas and peas.
5 posted on 10/22/2002 10:29:55 PM PDT by chnsmok
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To: chnsmok
Ashcroft, send in the FBI
6 posted on 10/22/2002 10:31:39 PM PDT by bybybill
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To: InvisibleChurch
i can't remember seeing so many cases of voter fraud being exposed before an election

The sunlight is definitely a good thing. But will anything be done about it, until after the fact?

7 posted on 10/22/2002 10:33:45 PM PDT by PianoMan
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To: The South Texan
A study commissioned by the Hidalgo County Republican Party shows that about 16,000 dead or unqualified voters remain registered to vote in the county...

        Coming to your
      precinct Nov. 5!

     

FGS

8 posted on 10/22/2002 10:33:46 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake
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To: bybybill
What? Deny voters the right to vote? </sarcasm> This is getting REALLY scary.
9 posted on 10/22/2002 10:34:31 PM PDT by chnsmok
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To: The South Texan
Shades of Lyndon Johnson!
10 posted on 10/22/2002 10:35:35 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: The South Texan
Ah yes anyone remember how LBJ got his votes?
11 posted on 10/22/2002 10:35:40 PM PDT by rolling_stone
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To: Torie
Hidalgo County Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Guerra said the study is simply a ploy by the Republican Party to intimidate Hidalgo County voters during early voting.

New dog, old tricks, great timing.




12 posted on 10/22/2002 10:35:53 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: rolling_stone
Ballot Box 13 in Jim Wells County, up the road from Hidalgo County and west of Corpus Christi is how LBJ won his senate seat in the Democrat primary no less. Yes Rats even cheat against one another, not just against Republicans.Wouldn't surprise me one bit if something like this happens in this part of the state on election night. The Rats are desperite and they would love to embrass the President by having the Rats win the governorship and the senate here in Texas.
13 posted on 10/22/2002 10:44:34 PM PDT by The South Texan
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To: Sabertooth
"It just so happens that your friend here is only POTENTIALLY dead. There's a big difference between POTENTIALLY dead and ALL dead. ... Now, POTENTIALLY dead is slightly alive. Now, all dead...well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing that you can do. "
~ Miracle Max (paraphrased :)

It also identified 4,223 names and addresses on the voter rolls that are “potentially dead” with information provided by the Social Security Administration.

14 posted on 10/22/2002 10:45:41 PM PDT by Psycho Francis
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To: The South Texan
“I’m disappointed that he would conduct this study without the assistance of the election administration and commission,” she said."

Oh I just bet she is. I didn't know you didn't have to have ID to register to vote, that means any illegal can vote. I had to show my ID to register. Texas needs to clean up it's act. Voter fraud will decide this election nation wide.

The worse offenders are in office because of election fraud. It must be very flustrating for Gore to have it all come unraveled when the golden ring was almost in his grasp. It's a little late at this point for Republicans to point out this fraud, they should have been screaming about it from 11/2001. Of course it's hard to hear the screams when the major news media is in on the fix.

15 posted on 10/22/2002 10:48:10 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: The South Texan
Bump!
16 posted on 10/22/2002 10:50:53 PM PDT by TheLion
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To: Psycho Francis
It just so happens that your friend here is only POTENTIALLY dead. There's a big difference between POTENTIALLY dead and ALL dead. ... Now, POTENTIALLY dead is slightly alive. Now, all dead...well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing that you can do--VOTE TWICE. "
Max Baucus
17 posted on 10/22/2002 11:05:41 PM PDT by Mygirlsmom
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To: *Vote Fraud
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
18 posted on 10/22/2002 11:07:42 PM PDT by Free the USA
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To: Mygirlsmom
Actually, Miracle Max' suggestion (after being queried by Inigo Montoya :) was to "go through their pockets and look for loose change". Of course, he could have meant "look for loose address change forms".
19 posted on 10/22/2002 11:15:24 PM PDT by Psycho Francis
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To: rolling_stone
Well, the ones that Coke wasn't able to steal, anyway.....
20 posted on 10/22/2002 11:18:50 PM PDT by Psycho Francis
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To: The South Texan
“This is a company hired by the Republican Party. How in the world can this be accurate?” he said. “The elections administration has been trying to clean up the voter registration rolls and they’ve done a good job of it with the limited technology they have.”

WIPE the registration rolls after every election. Require re-registration thirty days before any election or vote.

How hard is this?

Mr.M

21 posted on 10/23/2002 3:29:45 AM PDT by Marie Antoinette
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To: Marie Antoinette
Well, you makem folks feel stoopid 'n scare oh somethin. You'd be franchissin em!
22 posted on 10/23/2002 3:51:33 AM PDT by Professional
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To: InvisibleChurch
i can't remember seeing so many cases of voter fraud being exposed before an election ... and against democrats ... the press aren't doing their jobs protecting them

You are so right … usually the allegations of vote fraud happen after the election has already been stolen, and the Republicans are then labeled as “sour grapes”claimants.

23 posted on 10/23/2002 4:19:15 AM PDT by bimbo
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To: bimbo
Elections in Texas are controlled by the Secretary of State who is appointed by the (Republican) governor.
24 posted on 10/23/2002 4:37:27 AM PDT by karlamayne
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To: The South Texan
Yes, fraud is possible all over South TX. That explains why the Democrats are so self-confident and Ann W. Richards has dreams of the Demos sweeping all statewide offices for the first time in 20 years, when she was the party nominee for state treasurer. Ann won't be on the ballot, but her surrogates will be. It is good that the registration of the dead is being exposed, but I fear nothing will be done to rectify this problem. The Egyptians had the "Book of the Dead." In South TX many counties have a "Book of the Dead" too -- the voter registration roll! Such activities renew the hopes of the Sanchez-Sharp-Kirk forces.
25 posted on 10/23/2002 5:31:01 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: MissAmericanPie
“I’m disappointed that he would conduct this study without the assistance of the election administration and commission,” she said. “How can we do anything about it if he doesn’t work with us?”

By "do anything about it" she of course means suppress the evidence and allow the dead to vote in peace.

26 posted on 10/23/2002 6:05:48 AM PDT by San Jacinto
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To: San Jacinto
"vote in peace" ROFL

We need to bug Fox News to follow up on all of these vote fraud scandals.
27 posted on 10/23/2002 7:00:08 AM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: The South Texan
[The Fix is in , maybe. And this is probably the tip of the iceburg down here.]

Now I always thought it was the famous or infamous Duval County that gave LBJ his start.

My grandmother used to say, "Yes, I knew LBJ when he stole his first election."

28 posted on 10/23/2002 7:32:01 AM PDT by nanny
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To: The South Texan
Good Morning Fraud Alert Bump!
29 posted on 10/23/2002 8:11:58 AM PDT by The South Texan
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To: nanny
The amazing thing here...unreported by the national media...is that all these voter fraud allegations are against Democrats.

South Dakota, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Harkin's shenanigans in Indiana, now Texas, and we don't know yet, how many others.

Until the national media connects the voter corruption dots, Democrats will continue to get away with election theft.

30 posted on 10/23/2002 8:19:10 AM PDT by YaYa123
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To: nanny
The actual Box 13 was in Jim Wells county which is next to Duval county. The actors were the famous Parr family who were the political bosses in Duval county hence the name the "Duke of Duval." There is a great book out there by that name, and those of you that want to get a good history about corrupt politics in South Texas it's a good read.
31 posted on 10/23/2002 8:21:03 AM PDT by The South Texan
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To: The South Texan
[There is a great book out there by that name, and those of you that want to get a good history about corrupt politics in South Texas it's a good read.]

I would like to read that. My brother was born in Duval Country, my grandparents and many other members of my family are buried in Alice, so I am a little familiar with Duval country. I really wish I could recall all the stories my mother and grandparents used to tell about that county

32 posted on 10/23/2002 8:59:05 AM PDT by nanny
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To: YaYa123
[South Dakota, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Harkin's shenanigans in Indiana, now Texas, and we don't know yet, how many others.]

Well, shenanigans in Texas is nothing new, especially in South Texas. I think with the influx of illegals down there, it will get worse.

Actually, when I was young, after each election there would be a story of irregularities in Duval County. It became a joke.

33 posted on 10/23/2002 9:05:55 AM PDT by nanny
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To: nanny
And it would still be just a joke, no action taken, if not for FOXNews, the internet, and a new conservative media influence in Washington and New York.
34 posted on 10/23/2002 9:21:23 AM PDT by YaYa123
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To: The South Texan
You will never see anything like this in New York. Not because vote fraud doesn't happen, but because it's a main staple of the DemonRats here.

Wonder how many dead and 'invisible' people voted in New York? Wonder what such a study would show?
35 posted on 10/23/2002 9:49:24 AM PDT by Darksheare
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: nanny
There may be several books out, but the one I like best is The Rise and Fall of the Duke of Duval, written by William Sessions.

It describes the corruption in Duval County, and how the Duke of Duval stole the election for LBJ by stuffing the ballot box in adjoining Jim Wells County.

The book covers far more than that, though, and it really opens your eyes on county politics in Texas.

County government is actually FAR more powerful than state government in Texas, which has very limited powers. That's why all the busts of city and county officials in this state come from the FBI.

37 posted on 10/23/2002 11:20:58 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: YaYa123
"Until the national media connects the voter corruption dots, Democrats will continue to get away with election theft."

Don't forget they had 102% voter turnout in Philadelphia under Ed Randell as mayor. Did the media do anything? Sure, the're getting him elected as our next governor.

38 posted on 10/23/2002 11:44:36 AM PDT by AGreatPer
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To: The South Texan
the GOP nees to file charges everywhere they find fraud
39 posted on 10/23/2002 11:46:03 AM PDT by The Wizard
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To: The Wizard
"the GOP nees to file charges everywhere they find fraud"

May I compliment your gift of understatement?

40 posted on 10/23/2002 11:49:12 AM PDT by YaYa123
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To: Dog Gone
[County government is actually FAR more powerful than state government in Texas, which has very limited powers. That's why all the busts of city and county officials in this state come from the FBI. ]

Yes, I did know there was a lot of power in county governments.

Thanks for the info on the book. I am going to try to locate it.

41 posted on 10/23/2002 1:00:16 PM PDT by nanny
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