Harvey: Gays Like Halloween Because…Demons! »« Appeals Court Applies Heightened Scrutiny in DOMA Case

Virginia GOP Threw Away Voter Registration Forms

Here’s a story of potential voter registration fraud in Virginia, where a store employee in Harrisonburg saw someone dump a bag of trash that turned out to have completed voter registration forms in it. Elections officials and the police have been notified.

A typical Monday afternoon at Tuesday Morning, a store in Harrisonburg, took a strange turn, when the manager Rob Johnson spotted someone putting a bag of trash in his recycling bin. Johnson went to retrieve the misplaced refuse.

“That’s when I realized, this bag is really light and looked inside,” Johnson said. “There was the manila folder with the eight voter registration applications, and I was like, we’ve got something here.”

The Rockingham County registrar says those forms belonged to would-be voters from three different counties. Their only common thread appears to be a recent registration drive in the Elkton area.

“We don’t know what the motive was to throw these away,” said Rockingham County Voter Registrar Doug Geib. “But I don’t think it was based on that… because there’s no way the people collecting the applications would know what party, what candidate these people are going to vote for.”

But that is not necessarily the case. They could very well have done what that canvasser did in Colorado a couple weeks ago, asked people who they wanted to vote for or which party they belonged to. Then they take the registration regardless of the answer, but throw away the ones who said they were Democratic. And one of the local blogs offers some evidence that this might be the case:

The car that drove up was a black Toyota Camry with Pennsylvania license plates. Who would be in the Valley from Pennsylvania and have a bunch of completed voter registration forms that they wanted to destroy?

Once this story hit Facebook, a number of people pointed out to the person who witnessed this crime that the state GOP “Victory Office” was just a couple blocks away. Yesterday afternoon, guess what car was parked in front of the office?

Yep, a black Toyota Camry from Pennsylvania.

Now that isn’t proof, but it’s certainly suggestive and needs to be investigated. That blogger then offered this update:

Sources close to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office are telling me that Strategic Allied Consulting is involved in this. This is the same group that was in the national news two weeks ago for their “registration” drive in Florida that had forms with made up voters.

And he points out that Strategic Allied Consulting shares an office space with none other than Karl Rove’s American Crossroads groups. I doubt that’s a coincidence. I’m sure more will come out on this over the next few days.

Update: An arrest has been made in the case, and it’s from a supervisor, not merely a canvasser:

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s office has arrested a Pennsylvania man and charged him with attempting to throw away filled out voter registration forms.

Colin Small, 31 year old male from Phoenixville, PA has been charged with 8 felonies and 5 misdemeanors in connection with the controversy. He is employed by Pinpoint, a company that was hired by the Republican Party of Virginia to help with voter registration.

But Small’s LinkedIn profile says he’s a grassroots field director for the Republican National Committee, where his job entails “conducting voter registration drives, staffing political rallies, organizing Get Out the Vote Efforts.” To be fair, though, he doesn’t work for ACORN, so it’s all okay.

Comments

  1. baal says

    Given the rights projection problem and endless insistence that the Democrats are doing voter fraud, I’m very not surprised that the right is in fact doing (registration in this cause) fraud in relation to the election.

  2. says

    I’m enjoying the irony/poetic justice. They complain about voter fraud, and now one of them has been arrested for it.

    (Not an exact match on the type of deception, but I’ll take it.)

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    But Small’s LinkedIn profile says…

    I’m sure such an honest, upstanding man would never commit resume inflation.

  4. Ben P says

    I’m enjoying the irony/poetic justice. They complain about voter fraud, and now one of them has been arrested for it.

    (Not an exact match on the type of deception, but I’ll take it.)

    I say not so poetic, because I think some the complaints are driven by GOP rationalization. “I know we don’t have evidence democrats are committing voter fraud, but we’re doing it so they MUST be doing it.”

    I’m not saying democrats are clean and squeaky, they certainly have their own hardcore partisans who put winning above all else, but over the past 4-8 years the national republican party has been transformed into an entity which seems to have no interest in anything but obtaining power and is solely focused on that goal.

  5. busterggi says

    Amazing how the only voter fraudsters ever actually caught are Republicans. Its as if their constant bitching about voter fraud is a cry for help.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    Ben P @ # 5: … I think some the complaints are driven by GOP rationalization. “… we’re doing it so they MUST be doing it.”

    Sorry, not cynical enough – thanks for playing!

    The Rovepublican strategy has been, for at least 12 years, to accuse the Democrats of what the R’s are doing already, so that if/when the R’s get caught, the Dems’ complaints look like whiny kids trying to shift the blame.

  7. eric says

    What’s going through Small’s mind right now is: “Thank goodness they didn’t find the hundreds of forms I threw in other trash cans.”

  8. Zugswang says

    I don’t know whether I should be surprised that these multiple instances of voter fraud committed by the Republican Party and affiliated organizations are not getting the same kind of media attention as one false accusation of criminal activity at ACORN.

    I guess I’ve just become so cynical that the depths of human indecency and stupidity no longer surprise me. They just make me angry.

  9. says

    This is an old stunt. They got in big trouble for it in 2004, and there’s an in-depth NPR story (“This American Life”) on it if you care to dig it out. I’m pretty sure they get caught doing a variation on it in every election cycle.

    But… ACORN turned in a registration with the name Mickey Mouse on it, so obviously Obama stole the election and we need to make it harder to vote to protect our precious democracy.

  10. says

    Let me add, in the 2004 case at least, the registrations they filled out had a space for party registration, and so they were able to selectively destroy all D registrations. The people collecting the registrations, who as far as I know were normal volunteers and not responsible for the crime, were instructed to avoid the media at all costs, an obvious sign that the ring-leaders were covering something up.

  11. says

    But Small’s LinkedIn profile says he’s a grassroots field director for the Republican National Committee, where his job entails “conducting voter registration drives, staffing political rallies, organizing Get Throw Out the Vote Efforts.”

  12. says

    If Obama loses, we’ll have plenty of evidence that the result was illegitimate. And the Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves for any unrest that results.

    Whoever wins, I hope Senate Democrats hold public hearings on this. And on Republcan gerrymandering of House districts…

  13. eric says

    Whoever wins, I hope Senate Democrats hold public hearings on this. And on Republcan [sic] gerrymandering of House districts…

    The last is never going to happen. Incumbents of both parties love the ability to gerrymander. They work together to trade voters like tokens. Don’t believe for one second that gerrymandering is a partisan issue.

    And the Senate would probably not investigate a House issue anyway, it sets a bad precedent.

  14. donalbain says

    This is the sort of voter fraud that can actually make a difference to an election. If the guy in question had not been so spectacularly stupid as to do the crime in public, he could easily have gotten away with this and disenfranchised as many people as he and his employers wanted to. A single person turning up to vote under a false name will not affect an election, and the effort and money needed to persuade enough people to actually change an election would be astronomical. But just one person here has the potential to get rid of hundreds of voters, which is equivalent to getting hundreds of extra voters for your side.

  15. says

    ” but over the past 4-8 years the national republican party has been transformed into an entity which seems to have no interest in anything but obtaining power and is solely focused on that goal.

    4-5 decades would be more accurate.

  16. zmidponk says

    Maybe the GOP is deliberately doing this so that, in the future, they can definitely say that there have been cases of voter fraud – and thus their drive for laws to prevent it is correct.

    Oh, by the way, anyone know the correct method of constructing a tinfoil hat?

Leave a Reply