Vote Watch 2004
Vote/Election fraud, vote suppression, voting irregularities, voter intimidation in Election 2004

 

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SOUTH CAROLINA

11/16/04 [Permalink]
South Carolina's Horry County orders election to be held AGAIN to decide County Council seat based on incumbent Democrat's complaint that voters who were eligible to vote were not allowed to vote and those ineligible to vote in the District were allowed to vote

Via reader VL, a report in the Sun News:

Horry County's Election Commission decided voters will return to the polls to determine the race for County Council's District 3 seat, but one candidate wasn't pleased with the ruling and plans to appeal to the state election board.

In a hotly contested race, 37 votes separated Democratic incumbent Marion Foxworth and his Republican challenger, Joe DeFeo, with DeFeo being declared winner of the seat.

A recount was held the week after the election, and then Foxworth petitioned for a hearing.

He said the election was tainted because some residents were not allowed to vote in the race and others not living in the district were allowed to cast a ballot.

After hearing testimony Monday in a courtroom at the Horry County Government and Judicial Complex, the election commission agreed with Foxworth's assessment and unanimously voted to hold another election in the district.

Foxworth will remain on the council until the matter is resolved through another election or state appeal.

DeFeo said he likely will appeal the decision to hold another election to the state Election Commission for a ruling. He has until noon Nov. 22 to file his appeal with the state, which could either agree with the county's decision or overturn it.

The state commission could hold a similar hearing to determine the outcome of the race. It is unclear if another election is held how much it could cost taxpayers or when it would be scheduled.

Foxworth said some residents did not vote in the proper district races - that some from District 2 voted in District 3, and some voted in District 1 when they should have voted in District 3.

He said those mix-ups included residents in Emerald Forest, Myrtlewood and Sea Oats.

Similar errors occurred in the May primary with an unknown number of voters from Horry County's District 1 cast votes in the District 9 County Council primary races, but it did not affect the outcome of the race.

"I'm encouraged the election commission understood our protest," Foxworth said. "I'm thankful for another opportunity to let voters decide ... once the rolls are correct."

 

10/30/04_2 [Permalink]
Employee of left-leaning but nonpartisan voter registration group South Carolina Progressive Network (SCPN) involved in submitting numerous fraudulent registrations. Fraud was however discovered by SCPN and reported to state authorities for prosecution of the employee.

Via Votersunite, I came across this story:

A Florence man was arrested Wednesday amid allegations he used people’s names and personal information, including that of the mayor of Florence, on more than 1,000 voter registration forms and turned them in to the Florence County Voter Registration Office.

Terence Hines, 44, of 603 National Cemetery Road was taken into custody about 5 p.m. on charges of forgery and multiple counts of fraudulent registration or voting, 12th Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements III said.

Hines’ arrest was the culmination of a State Law Enforcement Division investigation that began soon after Hines turned in two large boxes containing more than 1,500 completed voter registration forms to the Florence County Voter Registration Office last Thursday.

“There were a lot of forms there and from the beginning, something just didn’t seem right about them,” Clements said. “Florence County election officials began checking some of the names and quickly found out that a lot of the people were already registered and the information on the forms didn’t match what was on the records, and several other people whose names were on these forms were deceased. None of the information added up.”

The name and address on one of the forms happened to belong to Florence Mayor Frank Willis, which gave officials even more cause for suspicion.

“Yeah, a registration form for Frank Willis immediately sent up a red flag,” Florence County Voter Registration and Elections Director Russell Barrett said, chuckling. “We were pretty sure that the mayor was already a registered voter and had been for some time.”

A check of voter registration records confirmed officials’ suspicions and revealed that although Willis’ name and address matched records, nothing else on the recently submitted form was correct.

Just to make sure there was no mistake, officials contacted Willis.

“I was just dumfounded when the lady from voter registration called, especially when she told me that what really alerted them to the whole thing was the fact this guy used my name,” Willis said.

“She started reading the information on the form to me, and the name and address were right, but that was it,” Willis said. “Everything else - the Social Security number, the phone number, the birth date - all of it was complete fiction. The guy had me born in 1982 - knocked 30 years off my age for me. The more I thought about it, the more I just couldn’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to use my name of all names on a fictitious voter registration form.”

After talking with Willis and confirming that information on almost all of the forms in the two boxes was either fake or wrong, election officials contacted SLED, which in turn contacted Clements.

According to the arrest affidavit provided by SLED, Hines was employed by the South Carolina Progressive Network, an affiliate partner organization for America’s Families United, based in Washington, D.C.

The S.C. Progressive Network’s Web site describes the organization as a broad-based coalition of advocacy groups and individual activists from across the state who have joined forces to promote social and economic change in South Carolina. Created in 1995 as a tool to engage ordinary citizens in their communities and in their government, the network at its core has been about connecting people to each other and to resources designed to leverage the work of grassroots activists and organizations, according to the site.

The Web site also promotes the Network’s Missing Voter Project, proclaiming, “The Network’s Missing Voter Project has been funded to do nonpartisan voter registration across the state. We can pay your organization $3 for every registration gathered at a residence, or $2 for nonresidential cards.”

A message left by the Morning News at the S.C. Progressive Network headquarters in Columbia was not returned Wednesday.

However, Angela Manso, deputy director and chief of staff of America’s Families United, said regardless of what authorities were led to believe, her organization is in no way affiliated with Hines or the S.C. Progressive Network.

SCPN posted this notice on the website in connection with the above report:

The Director of the S.C. Progressive Network alerted the Florence County Voter Registration Office and the State Law Enforcement Division on Oct. 4 that fraudulent voter registration forms had been turned in to the Florence office by Terence Hines, who was gathering the forms as part of a nationwide voter registration drive. Hines was referred to the Network by the national Civic Engagement Project.

Hines was arrested Oct. 6 for multiple counts of fraudulent registration.

The Progressive Network is a 10-year-old statewide coalition of more than 60 organizations working together to promote democracy and sound public policy in South Carolina.

"Our Missing Voter Project was a successful state-wide, nonpartisan voter registration drive to register some of the nearly one million eligible citizens in this state who do not vote," said Brett Bursey, director of the Network.

The Network received a grant to reimburse organizations for the expenses of their voter registration drives that had strict rules governing the nonpartisan nature of registration, and had a system of quality control to insure that registrations were valid.

"Mr. Hines represented himself as a civic-minded individual who had organized a team of canvassers in Florence to gather registration forms," Bursey said. "He was the only one of dozens of people, organizations, fraternities, sororities and churches who failed to faithfully follow the rules."

"We successfully registered more than 3,500 voters in 24 other counties without any problems," Bursey said.

Hines had turned in several-hundred legitimate forms early in the process, but waited until the day before registration ended to submit over 1,000 bogus registrations.

"When our internal review over the weekend revealed that some of Mr. Hines' forms were fraudulent, we called the appropriate authorities," Bursey said. "We expressed our concern to Russell Barrett at the Florence Voter Registration Office on Oct. 4 that legitimate forms might get lost amidst the fraudulent ones."

"We take voting very seriously," said Donna Dewitt, Co-chair of the Network. "We regret that Mr. Hines misrepresented himself to our organization, and we believe that our effort to include more South Carolinians in the voting process helps make our system more democratic and equitable."

 

10/30/04 [Permalink] UPDATED 10/31/04
Jim Crow Dirty Tricks in South Carolina: Bogus letter claiming to be from NAACP threatens arrest of voters who have failed to pay parking tickets or child support, among other things

Via reader PJK, here's an AP report:

A bogus letter circulating in South Carolina, purporting to be from the NAACP, threatens the arrest of voters who have outstanding parking tickets or failed to pay child support. The NAACP said Friday the letter is a scare tactic and called for an investigation.

"I'm outraged," said Jill Miller, director of the Charleston County Board of Election and Voter Registration. "This is so bogus."

The Rev. Joe Darby, vice president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he received the one-page letter -- which had a Columbia postmark with no return address -- at his Charleston home.

He said it was an attempt to frighten minorities from voting Tuesday because the letter-writer assumes black people are in trouble with the law.

"This is old South Carolina politics," said Darby. "I don't think anybody will fall for this."

Darby said he wants the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate.

The letter also says voters must have a credit check, provide two forms of photo identification, a Social Security card, a voter registration card and a handwriting sample.

"None of that is true," said Miller. "I certainly hope no voter would be taken in by this."

Miller said voters need to show just one piece of identification -- a voter registration card, a South Carolina driver's license or a motor vehicles department-issued photo ID card.

UPDATE 10/31/04

More here from SCDP including a copy of the flyer. 

Josh Marshall notes that this is an old trick practiced in the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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