What is the quietest spot in Washington, D.C.? The Rose Garden? The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier? Actually, it’s the Justice Department’s Voting Section.
The unit that allegedly fights disenfranchisement lately has been caught dozing while at least nine states deliver absentee ballots too slowly to overseas GIs. Military votes thus may go uncounted in November.
In yet another outrage, the Voting Section is static while the rolls of at least 16 states evidently list ineligible voters, including non-residents, disqualified felons, and — yes — dead people. Justice’s response? “ZZZZZZzzzzzz……”
Even worse, the Big Sleep at Justice seems totally deliberate.
As former Voting Section prosecutor J. Christian Adams testified under oath July 6 before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, he attended a November 2009 meeting at which deputy assistant attorney general Julie Fernandes discussed the federal law that requires local officials to purge illegitimate names from their voter rolls. Adams swore that Fernandes told Voting Section prosecutors, “We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.”
As Adams later wrote in an August 4 pajamasmedia.com article:
Upon hearing this lawless announcement, seasoned Voting Section veterans and managers had a look on their faces as if someone announced without shame they were planning to steal box loads of office supplies. I was there to hear the corrupt announcement firsthand. I saw the reactions.
So far, the Voting Section is living down to Fernandes’s low expectations. If not willful disregard for federal statutes, only powerful sedatives could explain how federal prosecutors could rest comfortably through these simmering examples of voter-roll adulteration.
• The U.S. Election Assistance Commission reports that Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Tennessee expunged precisely zero dead voters from their rolls between 2006 and 2008. The same applies to numerous counties in Alabama, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Either these places are experiencing an explosion in immortality, or they are violating federal law.
• Several Iowa and North Carolina counties have more registered voters than live, voting-age adults. This condition plagues at least a dozen counties each in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Texas. Registered voters equal 104 percent of Baltimore County, Maryland’s voting-adult population; and, according to documents that Adams filed, the figure is 113 percent in Lincoln County, West Virginia. Alaska’s and Michigan’s statewide figures are 102 percent.
• As Adams explains, July alone featured vote-fraud investigations, indictments, and convictions in: Atlantic City, New Jersey; Troy, New York; Canton, Mississippi; Brooks County, Georgia; Independence, Louisiana; Dillon County, South Carolina; Adair County, Oklahoma; Muncie, Indiana; and especially Minnesota, “where there have been dozens of felon voting indictments arising out of the closely contested 2008 elections.”
• Duplicate registration plagues metropolitan areas that straddle state lines. In such spots, people may reside in one state and work or study in another. Greater St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, and Cincinnati occupy this category, as do New York and Florida — to which tax-burdened New Yorkers often escape.
• Tarrell Campbell pleaded guilty in July for his actions in November 2008. He voted in Illinois (where he was in college), drove across the Mississippi River, and then voted again in St. Louis, his hometown. Campbell claimed that when he voted in Missouri, he had forgotten his vote in Illinois.
• Anne Enochs, a 69-year-old Memphis art teacher, was arrested in July for double voting — by accident, she claimed.
Such unacceptable electoral conditions could help candidates win, thanks to graveyard landslides. But even barring that, America should leave disheveled voter rolls to banana republics.
While the Voting Section naps, J. Christian Adams barely has time to blink. He has warned 16 states of potential lawsuits because they are violating the National Voter Registration Act. (These states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.) Section 7 of this 1993 “Motor Voter” law expands suffrage by requiring states to enroll voters at motor-vehicle bureaus, welfare agencies, and other government offices. Simultaneously, Section 8 requires states to update their records so that only eligible voters — not cadavers — can cast ballots.
Motor Voter allows enforcement via private lawsuits against non-compliant states and voter registrars. Adams is highly qualified for this duty, given his five years in the Voting Section. He resigned last May 14 to protest Justice’s politicized mishandling of the New Black Panthers voter-intimidation case.
Other private attorneys should join this cause. Americans for Restoration welcomes the support of those who prefer to cast ballots without seeing ghosts.
Come election night, if the votes of live citizens are not diluted by those of deceased Americans, it will be no thanks to Justice’s Voting Section. They are enjoying an office-wide slumber party while America’s voter rolls literally are haunted.
– Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.