‘Ecuador has more voting integrity than we have here in East Cleveland today.”
That is the considered opinion of a Republican attorney who is helping to monitor elections in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He requested anonymity to avoid drawing attention to his employer. I have known him for years as an honest and very serious patriot and consider his comments reliable. He rang me to discuss the shenanigans that he and other Republican poll watchers have witnessed today in greater Cleveland.
“GOP observers are calling in reports of multiple voting. People brazenly are coming in two or three times to vote,” he said, the exhaustion clear in his voice. “We may have an observer in one of every five or six precinct buildings, and they can see only so much. People are coming in where there are multiple registrations for the same address. Someone might say, ‘I’m Troy Jones at 123 Main Street,’ and then he’ll vote. Next, he will come back and say, ‘I’m Troy Jones, Jr. at 123 Main Street,’ then cast another ballot. Later on, a Troy Jones, Sr. registered at the same address gets to vote. This is why ACORN’s multiple registrations are such a problem.”
In another worrisome practice, the attorney noted, “People without proper ID are being allowed to vote. They are supposed to provide something like a utility bill. People who are not even properly registered to vote are being told, ‘Yeah. Go ahead. That’s close enough.’”
These voters, he added, then cast provisional ballots. These only are supposed to be counted if these voters later are deemed eligible to vote and correctly identified. Instead, the attorney says, “These provisional ballots are being scanned in even before these people are judged as qualified or not.”
“We have had such reports at at least a half-dozen locations,” he continues. “We only know about this because there are Republican observers on hand. If they are doing this so brazenly where there are GOP observers in place, imagine what they are doing where there are no Republican observers.”
In another irregularity, “The Obama operation and the Democratic National Committee have tons of lawyers and tons of activists telling people how to vote,” the attorney said. “The generic instructions on ‘using a paper ballot,’ say: ‘When you are voting for Barack Obama, fill in the bubble beside his name only.’”
“Campaign workers are distributing these inside the polling stations,” he added. “Precinct officials are allowing them to hand these out inside, rather than making them go beyond the 100-foot perimeter, past which they may conduct campaign activity.”
This Republican lawyer described a practice he called “group voting,” which obviates the idea of secret ballots.
“For a while,” he said, “the poll workers were giving out clipboards with ballots on them. People were sitting together at tables, talking to each other, and looking at each other’s ballots as they filled them out. At first, the County Board of Elections said this was OK. After receiving protests, they reversed their opinion and put a stop to this.”
This attorney further complained, “Republican lawyers are being surrounded, hounded, and harassed at some polling sites.”
“Observers with proper credentials are told their credentials are invalid because they lack an official seal,” he said. “No official seal is required. We have filed protests and are documenting these abuses.”
This lawyer cited one colleague who is working with him on this effort.
“One female lawyer told a local school board official who she knew that he had to step away from the polls because he was conducting electioneering right at the precinct door,” he explained. “Within the hour, she received a call at her office, which was put through to her desktop voice mail. Someone who identified himself as a DNC lawyer said she would be investigated and prosecuted.”
These are just a few weird scenes inside the gold mine that is vote-rich Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Let’s hope the rest of today’s nation-wide balloting is worthy of Earth’s sole surviving superpower.
– Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution.
© 2008 Scripps Howard News Service.