Crooks & Liars Department: Ballot Theft

Republican partisans unclear on the concept of free and honest elections, from KOS:

What voter fraud REALLY looks like.

Three Hialeah voters say they had an unusual visitor at their homes last week: a man who called himself Juan, offering to help them fill out their absentee ballots and deliver them to the elections office.

The voters, all supporters of Democratic congressional candidate Raul Martinez, said they gave their ballots to the man after he told them he worked for Martinez. But the Martinez campaign said he doesn’t work for them.

Juan ”told me not to worry, that they normally collected all the ballots and waited until they had a stack big enough to hand-deliver to the elections department,” said voter Jesus Hernandez, 73. ‘He said, `Don’t worry. This is not going to pass through the mail to get lost.”’

Hernandez said he worries his ballot was stolen or destroyed. He and two other voters told The Miami Herald that the man was dispatched by a woman caller who also said she worked for Martinez. But the phone number cited by the voters traces back to a consultant working for Martinez’s rival, Republican congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

Martinez’s campaign manager, Jeff Garcia, has asked the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office to investigate.

If this is how Republican congressmen get themselves elected, just imagine the dirty tricks they have been up to while in office.  It is time to show these unprincipled ideologues the door.

Update:

This plea for help was published on KOS today:

Attention Law-talking Folks: We Need You

By Adam B.

Are you a lawyer? A law student? A legal professional?  Or are you at least smart enough to recognize when something you see presents a problem that a lawyer should probably look at?

We need you to join the Voter Protection Team.

You don’t need to know a thing about election law to do this.  Trust me.  What we need are folks who are smart enough to recognize a problem (and we’ve got checklists), address it on-site if possible using basic persuasion skills and the psychological power of business attire, and who will know when something needs to be referred back to HQ.

We are especially in need of people registered to vote in Philadelphia who are lawyers, law students, legal professionals and anyone who you think is probably smart enough to go to law school to serve as inside-the-polling-place monitors for the campaign.  How in need?  Eric Holder visited my firm and others in Center City today to recruit people for the task.

The campaign is especially concerned about Philadelphia because it is the largest city in a swing state, and is likely to be central to any GOP efforts at voter intimidation and legal challenges on Election Day.  Just weeks ago, fliers were anonymously placed under car windshield wipers in minority sections of the city, falsely insisting that “on the day of the election there will be undercover officers to execute warrants” based on those who come out to vote and that anyone who had “outstanding warrants or traffic offenses” had better clear things up, since voting was the one time they had to use their real identities.  The flier also asserted that at polling places, police cars equipped with “plate identification computers” would boot any scofflaw cards.

During our 2003 Mayor’s race, men with clipboards driving black vans bearing official-looking insignias were reportedly dispatched to African American neighborhoods to ask minority voters for their identification cards. Tom Lindenfeld, who ran a counter-intimidation campaign for Democratic candidate John Street, said there were 300 cars with the decals resembling such federal agencies as the DEA and ATF and that the men were asking prospective voters for identification. In a post-election poll of 1000 African-American voters, seven percent said they had encountered such efforts.

We have no idea what they have planned for Election 2008. We need to ensure that all legal voters can exercise their right to vote in an atmosphere free of free of coercion and intimidation, and to be able to identify problems as soon as they occur.  Lawyers and other law-talking folks are our eyes and ears, and our first responders to any crisis.

If you are not registered to vote in Philadelphia but are otherwise in the area, we can still use your help as an observer outside the polling places.  We are not in the business of challenging Republican voters or engaging in confrontational behavior; we want all legal voters to be able to vote.  Period.

Please reach out to anyone in Philadelphia who can serve on Election Day, or even a half-day, and urge them to email voterprotection [at] paforchange [dot] com to sign up and visit http://www.pavoterprotection.com to learn more.

Wherever you are in America, if you have legal talents that the campaign can use on Election Day, join the Voter Protection Team.

Update:

This in from Huffington Post:

A phony State Board of Elections flier advising Republicans to vote on Nov. 4 and Democrats on Nov. 5 is being circulated in several Hampton Roads localities, according to state election officials.

In fact, Election Day for voters of all political stripes remains Nov. 4.

More on Voting Problems

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