Keep the charges coming. This group obviously has no respect for the democratic process and should be treated as such.
Do any of you jerks in this circle know the difference between voter-registration fraud, voter fraud, and caging? Enough of a difference to throw the last 2 elections to Bush.
Do any of you think it's OK to disenfranchise our GI's fighting overseas on your behalf? The best part is, they don't even realize that their absentee ballots are thrown out!
Did you know that the RNC has been caught multiple times in the past, and signed a consent decry, that they would never do it again? Are you all real proud of your thievin', lyin' heroes?In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud
Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.
Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year.
Most of those charged have been Democrats, voting records show. Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, a review of court records and interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers show.
In Miami, an assistant United States attorney said many cases there involved what were apparently mistakes by immigrants, not fraud.
In Wisconsin, where prosecutors have lost almost twice as many cases as they won, charges were brought against voters who filled out more than one registration form and felons seemingly unaware that they were barred from voting.
One ex-convict so unfamiliar with the rules that he provided his prison-issued identification card, stamped ''Offender,'' when he registered just before voting.
A handful of convictions involved people who voted twice. More than 30 were linked to small vote-buying schemes in which candidates generally in sheriff's or judge's races paid voters for their support.
A federal panel, the Election Assistance Commission, reported last year that the pervasiveness of fraud was debatable. That conclusion played down findings of the consultants who said there was little evidence of it across the country, according to a review of the original report, according to a review obtained by The New York Times and reported on Wednesday.
Mistakes and lapses in enforcing voting and registration rules routinely occur in elections, allowing thousands of ineligible voters to go to the polls. But the federal cases provide little evidence of widespread, organized fraud, prosecutors and election law experts said.
''There was nothing that we uncovered that suggested some sort of concerted effort to tilt the election,'' Richard G. Frohling, an assistant United States attorney in Milwaukee, said.
Richard L. Hasen, an expert in election law at the Loyola Law School, agreed, saying: ''If they found a single case of a conspiracy to affect the outcome of a Congressional election or a statewide election, that would be significant. But what we see is isolated, small-scale activities that often have not shown any kind of criminal intent.''
For some convicted people, the consequences have been significant. Kimberly Prude, 43, has been jailed in Milwaukee for more than a year after being convicted of voting while on probation, an offense that she attributes to confusion over eligibility.
In Pakistan, Usman Ali is trying to rebuild his life after being deported from Florida, his legal home of more than a decade, for improperly filling out a voter-registration card while renewing his driver's license.
In Alaska, Rogelio Mejorada-Lopez, a Mexican who legally lives in the United States, may soon face a similar fate, because he voted even though he was not eligible.
The push to prosecute voter fraud figured in the removals last year of at least two United States attorneys whom Republican politicians or party officials had criticized for failing to pursue cases.
The campaign has roiled the Justice Department in other ways, as career lawyers clashed with a political appointee over protecting voters' rights, and several specialists in election law were installed as top prosecutors.
Department officials defend their record. ''The Department of Justice is not attempting to make a statement about the scale of the problem,'' a spokesman, Bryan Sierra, said. ''But we are obligated to investigate allegations when they come to our attention and prosecute when appropriate.''
Officials at the department say that the volume of complaints has not increased since 2002, but that it is pursuing them more aggressively.
Previously, charges were generally brought just against conspiracies to corrupt the election process, not against individual offenders, Craig Donsanto, head of the elections crimes branch, told a panel investigating voter fraud last year. For deterrence, Mr. Donsanto said, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales authorized prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against individuals.
Some of those cases have baffled federal judges.
''I find this whole prosecution mysterious,'' Judge Diane P. Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, said at a hearing in Ms. Prude's case. ''I don't know whether the Eastern District of Wisconsin goes after every felon who accidentally votes. It is not like she voted five times. She cast one vote.''
The Justice Department stand is backed by Republican Party and White House officials, including Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser. The White House has acknowledged that he relayed Republican complaints to President Bush and the Justice Department that some prosecutors were not attacking voter fraud vigorously. In speeches, Mr. Rove often mentions fraud accusations and warns of tainted elections.
Voter fraud is a highly polarized issue, with Republicans asserting frequent abuses and Democrats contending that the problem has been greatly exaggerated to promote voter identification laws that could inhibit the turnout by poor voters.
The New Priority
The fraud rallying cry became a clamor in the Florida recount after the 2000 presidential election. Conservative watchdog groups, already concerned that the so-called Motor Voter Law in 1993 had so eased voter registration that it threatened the integrity of the election system, said thousands of fraudulent votes had been cast.
Similar accusations of compromised elections were voiced by Republican lawmakers elsewhere.
The call to arms reverberated in the Justice Department, where John Ashcroft, a former Missouri senator, was just starting as attorney general.
Combating voter fraud, Mr. Ashcroft announced, would be high on his agenda. But in taking up the fight, he promised that he would also be vigilant in attacking discriminatory practices that made it harder for minorities to vote.
''American voters should neither be disenfranchised nor defrauded,'' he said at a news conference in March 2001.
Enlisted to help lead the effort was Hans A. von Spakovsky, a lawyer and Republican volunteer in the Florida recount. As a Republican election official in Atlanta, Mr. Spakovsky had pushed for stricter voter identification laws. Democrats say those laws disproportionately affect the poor because they often mandate government-issued photo IDs or driver's licenses that require fees.
At the Justice Department, Mr. Spakovsky helped oversee the voting rights unit. In 2003, when the Texas Congressional redistricting spearheaded by the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, was sent to the Justice Department for approval, the career staff members unanimously said it discriminated against African-American and Latino voters.
Mr. Spakovsky overruled the staff, said Joseph Rich, a former lawyer in the office. Mr. Spakovsky did the same thing when they recommended the rejection of a voter identification law in Georgia considered harmful to black voters. Mr. Rich said. Federal courts later struck down the two laws.
Former lawyers in the office said Mr. Spakovsky's decisions seemed to have a partisan flavor unlike those in previous Republican and Democratic administrations. Mr. Spakovsky declined to comment.
''I understand you can never sweep politics completely away,'' said Mark A. Posner, who had worked in the civil and voting rights unit from 1980 until 2003. ''But it was much more explicit, pronounced and consciously done in this administration.''
At the same time, the department encouraged United States attorneys to bring charges in voter fraud cases, not a priority in prior administrations. The prosecutors attended training seminars, were required to meet regularly with state or local officials to identify possible cases and were expected to follow up accusations aggressively.
The Republican National Committee and its state organizations supported the push, repeatedly calling for a crackdown. In what would become a pattern, Republican officials and lawmakers in a number of states, including Florida, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Washington, made accusations of widespread abuse, often involving thousands of votes.
In swing states, including Ohio and Wisconsin, party leaders conducted inquiries to find people who may have voted improperly and prodded officials to act on their findings.
But the party officials and lawmakers were often disappointed. The accusations led to relatively few cases, and a significant number resulted in acquittals.