What do GOP superstar Ann Coulter, the head of the GOP’s California voter registration firm Mark Anthony Jacoby, and, as of yesterday, Indiana’s newly elected GOP Secretary of State Charlie White all have in common? Unlike the four-decade old community organization ACORN, each of the Republicans appear to have committed voter fraud and/or voter registration fraud.
Coulter’s well-documented acts of voter fraud and voter registration fraud took place in 2005 in Palm Beach County, FL, and were preceded by likely acts of voter fraud in Connecticut in 2002 and 2004 as well. Jacoby’s voter registration fraud in CA led to his 2008 arrest and subsequent guilty plea. And now White, the new chief election official in IN, the state with one of the most draconian voter suppression polling-place Photo ID restriction laws in the nation, has been charged with three counts of voter fraud (as well as additional counts of perjury, financial institution fraud, and theft), just two months after being sworn in last January, for having lied about his address when he voted in last year’s GOP primary…
The state’s top election official will face seven felony counts, including voter fraud, perjury and theft, a special prosecutor said today.
Secretary of State Charlie White was accused of intentionally voting in the wrong precinct during the May 2010 primary, a potential felony.
White turned himself in at the Hamilton County Jail Thursday afternoon and was released after posting $10,000 bond.
White has admitted to voting in a district where he no longer lived.
As The BRAD BLOG has documented in great detail, Republican author, controversialist, and former Constitutional attorney Coulter similarly voted knowingly in a precinct where she did not live after lying about her residency on her voter registration form. She managed to escape felony charges after hiring a former Bush Administration attorney, receiving inappropriate help from a former boyfriend in the FBI, and then stalling several investigations long enough to run out the statute of limitations clock in Florida.
Last October, after a nearly inexplicable 20-month investigation, the Connecticut State Election Commission determined it could not “make a full and fair determination of the allegations” that Coulter had illegally voted absentee using her parents address in Connecticut in 2002 and 2004 while living in her million dollar condominium in New York City.
Indiana’s White, who had previously served as the chair of the Hamilton County Republican Party, is refusing to step aside from the SoS post despite calls from both Republicans and Democrats to do so, according to the Courier-Journal.
In a statement released yesterday, Republican Governor Mitch Daniels said: “It would be neither credible nor appropriate for the state’s top elections official to continue to perform his duties while contesting criminal charges, some of them under the very laws the secretary of state implements.”
In 2008, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6 to 3 support of Indiana’s new polling-place Photo ID restriction laws, among the most draconian in the nation, elderly veterans, as well as nuns and students were turned away from the polling place while trying to exercise their legal right to vote. The law, as instituted under the previous Republican SoS, now-Congressman Todd Rokita, created enormous obstacles to voting for Indiana residents —- mostly elderly, students, and minorities (read: Democratic-leaning voters) —- who did not already own state-issued photo ID cards.
Studies cited [PDF] by the League of Women Voters, and many others, have warned that more than 20 million legal American voters —- the majority of them Democratic-leaning —- stand to be disenfranchised nationally by such laws. So, naturally, Republicans continue to work to institute such restrictions in state after state across the country, even as those like White are regularly found to have flaunted such laws.
Last January, the candidates for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee each attempted to out-do each other in their rhetoric promising a crack down on “massive Democratic voter fraud,” despite the virtual complete lack of evidence to suggest that any such voter fraud “epidemic” is actually taking place. Critics charge, with a great deal of evidence in support, that such laws are little more than attempts to suppress the Democratic vote.
In 2007, the New York Times detailed “scant evidence of voter fraud” found during the unprecedented effort by the Bush Administration’s Dept. of Justice to crack down on the supposed epidemic long-touted by Republicans. At the time, DoJ statistics revealed just 23 convictions for fraudulent or multiple voting nationwide, out of hundreds of millions of votes cast during the same three-year period extending across the 2004 general election.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, hysterical charges of “massive Democratic voter fraud” reached a peak as even Republican nominee Sen. John McCain advanced charges that ACORN —- long a focus of the GOP’s evidence-free cries of “voter fraud,” due largely to the organization’s legal, successful, and massive voter registration efforts among low- and middle-income minority voters —- was “destroying the fabric of democracy.”
“We need to know the full extent of Senator Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy,” said the once-honorable Republican Senator during an October Presidential debate with Obama.
Nonetheless, despite the persistent Republican “voter fraud” hoax, there remains no known evidence of even a single vote ever having been cast due to a voter having been improperly registered by an ACORN worker.
Moreover, at the same time that Republicans were imagineering claims of “Democratic voter fraud” or voter registration fraud carried out by the ACORN organization, Mark Anthony Jacoby, the head of the CA GOP’s own voter registration firm, Young Political Majors, was himself arrested for falsifying his own registration, while illegally directing his employees to change thousands of voter registrations from Democratic to Republican.
Jacoby’s arrest would likely have gone unreported entirely on Fox “News” —- which had been reporting unsubstantiated allegations of “ACORN voter fraud” nearly around the clock in the lead-up to the 2008 election —- had it not been for our own appearance on Fox at the time, where we were able to give our own “Fox ‘News’ Alert” on air concerning Jacoby’s arrest. (See video at right.)
Jacoby ended up pleading guilty in June of 2009.
White, in a statement given shortly after his booking yesterday at the Hamilton County Jail, he maintains his innocence and is refusing to step aside. “I believe the evidence will prove that I did not intentionally break any laws,” he said. “But more importantly I will continue to do the job I was elected to do.”
His attorney, Republican National Committee member Jim Bopp, chalked the alleged felonies up to a “chaotic personal living situation at the time.”
But Dan Sigler, a Democrat, one of two special prosecutors assigned to the case due to White’s political affiliation (the other, John Dowd, is a Republican), countered that “The grand jury indicted him not because of an honest mistake, but for a willful violation of the law.” He charges that White “did it to hold on to his [town] council seat,” during his run for Secretary of State last year.
During the Bush Administration’s unprecedented attempt to crack down on “voter fraud,” little sympathy was given to those charged with the crime, as minor and accidental offenses drew strict punishment such as jail time and even deportation.
In one instance, as documented by the NYTimes, a Pakistani man who had lived in the U.S. for more than a decade with his American wife and child was deported after mistakenly filling out a voter registration form handed to him with several others by an employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee, FL. Though he never cast a vote, he was forced to leave the country for crime.
In another instance, Kimberly Prude, an African-American Milwaukee, WI, grandmother, was sentenced to jail for voter fraud after she’d registered to vote during a Democratic rally at City Hall and then cast an absentee ballot for the 2004 election. Four years earlier, Prude had been convicted of cashing a counterfeit check, though she had never served time in jail and was placed on six years’ probation. When she learned from her probation officer that she was not allowed to vote, she called the county to inform them in hopes of withdrawing her ballot. Instead, she would be charged by Bush’s U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic, and sent to jail for the first time. She was forced to serve more than more than a year before finally being released.
A polling place photo ID bill, SB6, currently pending in the Wisconsin state legislature, would turn the state from the most inclusive voting state —- registration is currently allowed there even on Election Day —- to the most restrictive in the nation. The bill is estimated to cost the state, supposedly facing a serious budget shortfall according to its newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the majority GOP legislature, at least $2.5 million to implement, despite little or no evidence of serious problems of polling place “voter fraud” in the state. If the bill becomes law it would have done nothing to stop Prude from casting her absentee ballot.
Apparently the similarly restrictive law in Indiana did not keep Republican Sec. of State Charlie White from casting his illegal vote either.