Two convicted, two to go:
A Dothan woman was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison—a term later amended—for her part in a voter fraud scheme that got a city commissioner re-elected. Lesa Coleman is one of four people arrested for falsely witnessing absentee ballots in the 2013 municipal election. Of 124 absentees cast, Commissioner Amos Newsome received 119 votes in the District 2 contest.
Houston County Circuit Judge Henry D. “Butch” Binford opted to give Coleman a split sentence—180 days in the county jail followed by probation…
Coleman is one of four people, including Newsome’s longtime girlfriend, arrested in the alleged voter fraud scheme after a lengthy and complex investigation by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office. Olivia Reynolds—the commissioner’s girlfriend—and another person have yet to be tried. Defendant Janice Hart pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced to probation.
Yes, people do risk felony charges to commit voter fraud – sometimes in coordinated efforts – and sway election outcomes, especially in local races decided by small numbers of votes. See also Mississippi, New Jersey, South Texas…
Just three more fraudulent votes would have flipped the outcome of this Democrat primary:
Hector Ramirez, who ran for State Assembly in 2014, was in Bronx Supreme Court on Tuesday, having been busted on voting fraud charges. Despite allegedly using fraudulent absentee ballots, he still lost the election by 2 votes.
Hector Ramirez was arrested Tuesday on massive voter fraud charges in his failed 2014 Assembly bid. Ramirez and his allies went door-to-door in his west Bronx district duping voters into letting the veteran pol’s campaign staff vote on their behalf, a prosecutor charged as the 242-count indictment was unsealed.
I have this op ed published at the Las Vegas Review Journal today:
Nevada might soon become the 35th state to pass a law requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls, and that’s a good thing.
If these proposals (Assembly Bill 253 or Assembly Bill 266) become law, voting would join many other activities for which you need to prove your identity in Nevada, such as buying a gun, opening a bank account, or getting married. Clark County Clerk Lynn Marie Goya currently requires similar documents for every couple seeking to get married. Nevada already requires first-time voters who registered by mail to prove their identity with photo ID.
Nobody complains about these requirements. So why not make sure voters are who they say they are and enact voter ID?
Voting is one of the most precious rights we have as citizens. Perhaps that is why Americans continue overwhelmingly to support voter ID requirements. A recent poll found that 70 percent of registered voters are in favor of identification laws. Support is not limited to Republicans; rather, it is present across all racial and political spectrums. A majority of black, Hispanic and Democrat respondents indicated support for voter ID.
Yet a small but vocal minority oppose voter ID and claim such laws disenfranchise voters.
Reality, however, has proved otherwise.
(Full op ed at link above).
On the night before Philly’s primary, four local election officials are accused of casting extra votes in order to balance their numbers.
Sandra Lee, 60, Alexia Harding, 22, James Collins, 69, and Gregory Thomas, 60, are all charged with voter fraud. Warrants for their arrests were issued Monday. All four suspects were election officials from Philly’s 18th Ward, 1st Division.
“The suit takes issue with requiring absentee ballot voters to write on the envelope their name, address, date of birth, signature and proof of identity.”
“It’s dangerous for this to occur without consequence”
Two Donna campaign workers who bribed voters with cocaine and cash during the 2012 elections both were sentenced to less than a year in prison Thursday.
Veronica Saldivar, 42, was sentenced to eight months in prison and two years of supervised release after she pleaded guilty to election fraud… Saldivar was accused of paying up to 29 voters with cash, beer, cigarettes and cocaine to vote for a Donna school board candidate… Rebecca Gonzalez, 45, worked alongside Saldivar and was sentenced to four months in prison and two years of supervised release.
Saldivar and Gonzalez are the latest of several South Texas politiqueras indicted in connection with fraudulent activity in 2012 elections to be sentenced.
As U.S. District Judge Randy Crane said at the sentencing hearing, “Our country requires that our voting process be clean and free of fraud for democracy to work. It may seem a little inconsequential for little city of Donna to be paying for a few votes in a school board race, but it’s a matter of principle, it’s dangerous for this to occur without consequence.”
“A Le Sueur couple who reportedly deceived elections judges about where they were living in order to cast ballots in March’s St. Peter School bond referendum are facing charges of voter fraud.”
“What this whole election contest has been about — doing the right thing”
In South Texas as elsewhere, voter fraud happens, and it changes the outcome of elections. In this city of Weslaco contest, an appeals court affirmed that voters deserve another chance to make a choice free of fraud that marred the original election:
The 13th Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a ruling voiding the November 2013 election, in which Commissioner Lupe Rivera was victorious over challenger Letty Lopez by just 16 votes, and calling for a new election…
Lopez contested the election due to what she and her attorney believed were the inclusion of votes cast illegally. Murray’s ruling required the city to hold another election after it was discovered that about 30 votes were indeed illegally cast…
At the center of the legal wrangling were [Texas Democratic Party chairman] Gilberto Hinojosa, who’s representing Rivera, and Lopez’s attorney, Jerad Najvar, long-contending the validity of the votes cast in said election… Specifically, Najvar questioned votes that were cast by people who claimed residency inside District 5, of which Commissioner Rivera serves, but didn’t actually live there. Najvar also claimed that mail-in ballots were cast with improper help.
Brietbart has the interview and story:
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said the government taking control of the infrastructure of internet with “net neutrality” will eventually lead to attempts to take control of content on websites like the Drudge Report. Pai said, “It’s not so much the FCC that I’m worried about in terms of online content regulation. But what we do see is that at places like the Federal Elections Commission there is a regulatory impulse to regulate what heretofore has been a pretty open marketplace of ideas.”
He continued, “Net neutrality would insert government jurisdiction over the infrastructure of the internet and in time, other agencies might try to regulate the content.”
He concluded, “If you look at what some of these agencies are thinking about doing right now—last year for example at the Federal Elections Commission, three regulators suggested that they did want to consider online content, like the Drudge Report, potentially as an in-kind contribution given that it had an impact on political campaigns.”
Link to Bangor Daily News. The path through which a bill becomes a law in Maine is unclear and confusing for anyone not involved in the legislative process on a daily basis. With Republicans in control in the Senate and Democrats with the majority in the House, the path to creating new laws is even more filled with thorns this year.