Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Voter Registration Fraud Alleged in Nevada

(Note: The following is the transcript of a report yesterday by George Knapp, of CBS affiliate KLAS-TV in Las Vegas.)

Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.

Anyone who has recently registered or re-registered to vote outside a mall or grocery store or even government building may be affected.

The I-Team has obtained information about an alleged widespread pattern of potential registration fraud aimed at Democrats. The focus of the story is a private registration company called Voters Outreach of America, AKA America Votes.

The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.

Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.

"We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.

Russell managed to retrieve a pile of shredded paperwork including signed voter registration forms, all from Democrats. We took them to the Clark County Election Department and confirmed that they had not, in fact, been filed with the county as required by law.

So the people on those forms who think they will be able to vote on Election Day are sadly mistaken. We attempted to speak to Voters Outreach but found that its office has been rented out to someone else.

The landlord says Voters Outreach was evicted for non-payment of rent. Another source said the company has now moved on to Oregon where it is once again registering voters. It's unknown how many registrations may have been tossed out, but another ex-employee told Eyewitness News she had the same suspicions when she worked there.

It's going to take a while to sort all of this out, but the immediate concern for voters is to make sure you really are registered.

***

Josh Marshall, of talkingpointsmemo.com, points out that the same group has advertised on careerbuilder.com looking for door-to-door canvassers. The ad is paid for by the GOP. Marshall also reports the same group did work for Nader in Arizona.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This kind of thing really makes my skin boil.
The public must accept nothing less than a full scale investigation in Nevada and any other states this Voters Outreach for America has operated.
The investigation must be completed yesterday with the same sense of urgency that was displayed in the 2000 Florida recount, so there is ample time to correct any damage before election day.
And I hope the Nevada Attorney General better is not a Republican!
What is really disturbing is that when Jimmy Carter wrote an editorial a few weeks ago about evidences of voter fraud practices now occuring in Florida, he was viciously attacked by the Right Wing in newspapers across the country as crazy, paranoid, a misguided liberal, etc. Similiar rebukes met anyone calling for a non-partisan election watchdog effort in Florida and other states.
Meanwhile, the public needs reassurances the Nevada situation is dealt with harshly and not the tip of the iceberg.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. This needs to be resolved in short order. The last thing we need this go round is another election conspiracy. I hope the margins are wide enough in the (electoral) election, no matter who wins, so that the only people screaming about fraud afterwards are the nutjobs on the fringe of both the left and right. Anything short of that will be a disaster for the country.

Another important question: debate or Yanks-Sox? Tough decision as I am not sure which is more important. I mean that seriously.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be fun if there was a Boston-Houston World Series? Could you imagine game 7, at Fenway, days before the election, and there's John Kerry in the stands, whooping it up as Schilling tops Clemens?

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI ...

10:05 AM PDT on Wednesday, October 13, 2004

By kgw.com and AP Staff

Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and Attorney General Hardy Myers plan to investigate allegations that a paid canvasser might have destroyed voter registration forms.

"There have been allegations made that someone threw out some voter registration forms that had been submitted to them," Bradbury told The Associated Press late Tuesday. "This is a violation of the law and I will meet with the attorney general in the morning to talk about what we can do to pursue this, and to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Bradbury learned of the conduct from KGW, which interviewed Mike Johnson, 20, a canvasser who said he was instructed to only accept Republican registration forms. He told the TV reporter that he "might" destroy forms turned in by Democrats.

"I have never in my five years as secretary of state ever seen an allegation like the one that came up tonight -- ever," Bradbury said. "I mean, frankly, it just totally offends me that someone would take someone else's registration and throw it out."

Bradbury said the law requires that groups registering voters submit forms no later than five days after they were filled out. He added that canvassers can't turn away a voter because of his or her party affiliation.

Rory Smith, a spokeswoman for the Republican Party in Oregon, said the young man interviewed by KGW was not in their rolls. "We do not condone this type of behavior," Smith told the station.

Similar voter registration fraud was reported in Las Vegas. Johnson told KGW the group he works for was recently in Las Vegas. In Nevada earlier Tuesday, KLAS-TV, a CBS affiliate, interviewed an employee of a private voter registration organization who said hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of Democratic registration forms had been destroyed.

Eric Russell, a former Voters Outreach of America employee, told the TV station he had personally witnessed his supervisor take out Democratic registration forms from the pile and shred them.

The company has been largely funded by the Republican National Committee, the station reported.

A spokesman for the Las Vegas bureau of the FBI said he did not know if an investigation had been initiated.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice that your post selectively ignores the voter fraud charges against the Democrats levelled in the states of Colorado and Wisconsin, along with the multiple instances where the Democrats have their marching orders from the DNC to pre-emptively strike in regards to voter intimidation and suppression even where no evidence exists. Not to mention the countless lawsuits already filed by the Dems, and more are anticipated, questioning voting practices, trying to create unrealistic voting scenarios, etc ... It is clear to me that this should just be submitted to the Courts, because the Dems are going to take it there again.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is precisely the type of column that makes people tired of politics. It is clear that your main concern is not voter fraud, as a whole, regardless of who is doing it. It is abundantly clear that your only concern is allegations of voter fraud against Republicans. Were you to have a sincere desire to address the topic of voter fraud, you would have noted the numerous allegations of voter fraud being investigated stemming from a Democratic group, Acorn, in multiple states. If you were really concerned about voter fraud, you would have noted that in Milwaukee, WI, twice as many ballots were requested, in comparison to not just registered voters, but people of voting age.

Your pontificating from your high horse, and the insinuations about this being a Republican issue are disingenuous and pathetic. But, that is probably what people should expect from a so called journalist. This ranks up there with Kerry saying that Bush will bring back the draft.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The site clearly says it's partisan, that it's rooting against conservative bias and spin.

If you are a conservative comign to the site, why act so surprised?

And given all the GOP sites out there citing liberal bias, what's wrong with a blog pointing out conservative bias?

It's interesting to read some of the posts from obvious conservatives. When they can't spin the posts from David, they either call them insignificant, or they offer some sarcastic (or mean-spirited, or foul-mouthed) response. How sad.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will note that I did not defend the actions of people associated with the Republican party. If they are guilty of what they are accused of, and it appears at first glance that they are, it is a vile and despicable action that has no place in our democracy. I was simply pointing out that regardless of affiliation, it is wrong when either party does it, though the left is loathe to admit that. Hypocrisy.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose you are fine with the "Crack for Votes" effort in Ohio, or the thousands of Democrats registered in Ohio that cannot receive mail at their alleged addresses. I suppose you are fine with voters being allowed to vote in any precinct that they like, rather than taking their responsibilities as a citizen seriously. Now, the Dems are planning on litigating the election, declaring victory despite what the votes say, and overall just attempting to tear down the legitimacy of the system.

3:17 PM  

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