This is a pretty sad turn of events. The Virginia State Board of Elections, a group comprised of two Republicans and one Democrat has decided to sweep potential allegations of voter fraud by sweeping the incident under the rug.
On Monday, the SBE held a hearing to determine if the Voter Participation Center had possible violated Virginia Election Laws by sending pre filled Voter Registration Forms to dead people, pets, felons and people who had never lived in Virginia. At the urging of the Romney Campaign, the item was added to the agenda.
This group, the Voter Participation Center used to be known as “Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes” and re-branded themselves after being caught violating election laws in North Carolina in 2008.
From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
In North Carolina, ahead of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, the group was responsible for automated calls to residents — many of whom were already registered — telling them to expect registration packets in the mail. The problem? The registration period for the primary already had closed.
In addition, the group violated state law by failing to identify who was responsible for the calls, leading the state’s attorney general to demand that they stop the calls.
The organization, then known as “Women’s Voices. Women Vote,” ultimately agreed to pay a $100,000 civil penalty to the state and refrain from political activity in North Carolina through the general election.
John Podesta, a board member for the group and a White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, said at the time that the situation was “a mistake of judgment and execution, and not an attempt to disenfranchise voters.”
Their latest fiasco proves that they believe themselves to be above the law, and indeed, the State Board of Elections allowed that to happen.
Before any discussion even took place, each of the three gave their position on the matter. It was clear that the lone Democrat in the group had already made up her mind that the potential for someone not being registered to vote outweighed the potential for voter fraud. And since it takes all three members – a unanimous decision – to refer this to the State’s Attorney General for review, we all knew it was not going to happen.
And, of course, the NAACP, Move-On and ProgressVA made sure to stack the room with “minority” citizens brightly clad in matching yellow T-Shirts provided by the NAACP demending that they not be disenfranchised. Astro-turf meets the Race Card.
Not a single person explained how questioning pre-filled registrations being sent to deceased 8 year old children could possible disenfranchise anyone.
But the race card worked. The two Republican members and the lone Democrat decided to simply ignore the whole matter.
I did get the opportunity to speak at the hearing, for all the good it did.
As noted in the Times Dispatch:
Tom White, a Hanover County resident, urged the board to accede to the Romney campaign’s request, suggesting that the problems raise serious questions.
White likened those opposing a probe into the matter to children urging their parents not to check under their beds after being told to clean their rooms.
“Telling us not to look kind of makes me more skeptical,” he said. “The voters depend on this board to protect the process, and without an inquiry I don’t see how we can make sure there are not questions here.”
But in the end, despite this group’s past history of illegal behavior, the SBE decided to “trust” that the local Registrars get it right despite the case of the Louisa, Va felon who managed to register using one of the pre-filled forms sent to her from the group in question. I waived a copy of the application as I spoke.
Bullied by the far left fringe groups with spurious arguments of disenfranchisement, ultimately the entire Board took the cowardly approach of ignoring the problem and trusting that the Voter Participation Center would stop doing illegal things.
They ignored their promises to North Carolina and continued to skirt the law in numerous states.
If they ignore their promises to the SBE and again use questionable methods, which they are likely to do based on their troubled past, by most counts that will be strike two.
But the members of the Virginia State Board of Elections proved to me that they are either partisan and completely oblivious to the truth, or cowards that will allow bullies on the left to dictate their votes. Or in this case – no vote at all.
And I , for one, question the integrity of the election process in Virginia. I have absolutely no faith or confidence that this board has the ability or the courage to put the process above politics.
And they proved that on Monday.
All the Romney Campaign asked was that this be investigated and that was a completely necessary and warranted action.
Governor, are you paying attention?