Republican voter fraud “Green” scheme

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The Republican Party has a long history of voter registration fraud and voter suppression activities, see for example GOP voter registration fraud: Mark Jacoby arrested, Nathan Sproul under investigation (again), but the Arizona GOP's latest endeavor to fix an election constitutes voter fraud.

You can bet you will not see this story on FAUX News 24/7 like the bogus ACORN story.

The Arizona Republic reports today that the Arizona Democratic Party is alleging possible voter fraud in what it called a scheme to undermine its candidates by recruiting "sham" Green Party hopefuls. Arizona Democratic Party alleges voter fraud:

In a complaint filed late Monday, the party seeks an investigation by federal, state and county law-enforcement officials.

The complaint names Rep. Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix; Steve May, a Republican candidate for the Legislature; and a House Republican staffer [John Mills] as complicit in an effort to register at least a half-dozen people as Green Party members so they could run as write-in candidates in last week's primary election.

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Under state election law, it only takes one write-in vote for a person to qualify as a Green candidate on the Nov. 2 general-election ballot.

Stop right there. This statute invites criminal mischief and voter fraud. A candidate need only vote for him or herself to qualify for the general election ballot. This is insane! A precinct committeeman needs more signatures/votes than that. This is an offensive insult to all of the candidates who work their asses off to collect petition signatures and then stand for election by the voters in party primaries to qualify for the general election ballot.

Minor political parties like the Green Party and Libertarian Party already enjoy ridiculously low qualifying requirements to qualify for the ballot. These requirements should be made more stringent to be fair. If there is not sufficient popular support for these political parties then they should not be recognized as political parties in Arizona.

The newly minted Green candidates have been disavowed by the Arizona Green Party and are running in races in which Democrats are believed to be competitive. Those races include secretary of state, treasurer, Arizona Corporation Commission and several legislative contests in swing districts.

There you have it: the Arizona Green Party disavows that these "sham" candidates are members of the party. It is a fraud.

"The evidence is compelling," said Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson. "And it shows an utter disregard for the voters of Arizona."

Those alleged to be part of the scheme denied the charges, saying they are only trying to broaden the political playing field.

Weiers, a former House speaker, called the complaint "cynical" and said people have a right to run under whatever political banner they choose. "If somebody wants to do it," he said of the last-minute registration change, "there's nothing illegal about it. There's nothing immoral."

He acknowledged that he talked to Chris Campbell about his bid to run on the Green Party ticket for state Senate in District 10 but said he did not recruit the recently re-registered Republican. Campbell is the roommate of one of Weiers' daughters.

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Campbell on Monday said he was running at his own initiative and won't wage a campaign.

"I'd just like to get on the ballot," he said.

That contradicts a tape-recorded conversation Democrats turned over to law-enforcement officials, in which Campbell is quoted as saying he was approached by Republicans to run.

In that talk, Campbell tells a male caller – who contacted him to allegedly offer help to his campaign – that "more or less, I'm taking votes away from the Democrats."

The Republic has heard that recording but has been unable to independently verify the participants.

On Monday, Campbell told The Republic that he realized through his own research that it was easier to qualify as a Green than as a Republican, which was why he switched his party registration. That switch happened on the last possible day to qualify for the Aug. 24 ballot as a write-in candidate.

The same is true for Gail Ginger, also a District 10 resident who switched from the GOP to the Green Party on July 15 and filed to run as a state Senate write-in.

On Monday, Ginger said she was dropping out in favor of Campbell, whom she called younger and more enthusiastic.

According to the complaint, Ginger told an unidentified caller to contact Weiers and John Mills, a House GOP staffer, for more information when the caller allegedly said he wanted to see Sen. Gray re-elected.

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In addition to Campbell and Ginger, a trio of Tempe candidates seeking statewide offices registered as Green Party candidates just before the deadline to file as write-in candidates.

They were recruited by May, a former state lawmaker seeking a comeback in the Legislature. He said Monday that the Democrats see a conspiracy where none exists.

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He said he learned through his own research about the minimal requirements to get on the ballot as a Green Party candidate and that the idea caught on with many of the homeless people he knows on Tempe's Mill Avenue.

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The complaint cites numerous potential criminal violations of state and federal election law, such as deceiving voters by presenting candidates who are posing as Green Party adherents when they really aren't and fixing an election for a candidate's "own benefit or that of another person."

Eventually the Court should order these sham candidates disqualified from the general election ballot and law enforcement should prosecute all those involved in this voter fraud "Green" scheme.

And what exactly is Secretary of State Ken Bennett doing to prevent voter fraud? This reflects poorly on the administration of his office as well.

8 responses to “Republican voter fraud “Green” scheme

  1. I am told that the Green Party is supporting the Democratic Party in this complaint. The Green Party does not have the financial resources or lawyers that the Democratic Party has. The Democratic Party essentially is a proxy for the Green Party, even though it is also pursuing its separate concerns in bringing this complaint. This is a defense of the sanctity of the electoral system, not arrogance.

  2. The problem with this whole complaint is that the party harmed is the Green Party, as you point out. How the Democratic Party is involved in this seems somewhat absurd unless the belief is that somehow votes they ‘own’ are somehow going to be fraudulently taken from them. This is one of the several arrogant ways of thinking of both major parties that cause many of us to not want to be associated with them.

  3. Sorry, when you were saying the requirement for a part to get on the ballot I took that as meaning what the requirement was for a party to get on the ballot, not the requirement for a candidate of that party to get on the ballot.

  4. This problem is the same issue as government validation of religious beliefs. How is any particular government official going to be able to determine if Person A holds a belief in a given set of principles?

    I believe it is incumbent upon any given political party, Libertarian, Green, Republican and Democrat to recruit candidates that support their declared principles.

    It is plenty difficult enough to become a candidate in Arizona without creating additional hoops for candidates to jump through. The solution isn’t to make it harder to run but to offer the electorate a candidate who does support Party X.

  5. I’m listed in the complaint, I see, along with the other Republican-turned-Green candidates: http://www.ballot-access.org/2010/Goddard-Romley-Burke-letter.pdf

    Ha ha ha.

  6. I agree with you, AZBlueMeanie. The petition signatures to get on the ballot for candidates of the Green Party are higher than for the Libertarians. For example, I would have had to get 221 signatures to get on the ballot for the Green Party primary in the 6th C.D. I ran as a write-in candidate in the primary assuming that I was making a statement only and had no chance to be on the November ballot because I knew I wouldn’t get the 221 write-in votes that would have been necessary had the Secretary of State’s office continued interpreting ARS 16-645 the way it did in 2008 and earlier. But now, they say the Green Party rules are different because it is not a party of continuous representation on the ballot like the other three parties (automatically placed every election without a new petition process for the party).

    I learned only in the last week of the primary, the day after I’d voted for myself, that I could actually “win” the primary with a single vote: a “plurality,” in the words of that section of the statute. It seems absurd and unfair. I tried to research whether the statute had been changed since 2008 due to Republican legislative mischief, but it’s been the same since the late 1990s: only it’s interpreted differently this year (“correctly,” according to the Secretary of State’s Election Division).

    On the other hand, since this happened in 2008 too, the Green Party probably should have made sure that it at least had a gubernatorial candidate — the one candidate whose vote totals are necessary (50,000 minimum) for them to get continuous ballot status — before it did its petition drive.

    Part of this, of course, is the problem with an ideologically-based political party, but it can be ameliorated with the legal requirement that a party’s candidate be a member of that party for a certain period of time, often a year. (I’ve been a registered Green since 2008.) In New York this year, the chair of the state Republican party – Nixon son-in-law Ed Cox – tried to recruit an immigrant-bashing Democratic officeholder to be the GOP nominee but failed in getting his state convention to do the only thing they could to obviate the one-year rule, which was to give a majority of its votes to a non-party candidate. Similar late party-switching candidates have been blocked in other states. In Arizona, apparently, you can change your party registration almost immediately before becoming a candidate. (Absurdly, I demonstrated this by re-registering briefly as a Republican in 2008 and running as a write-in candidate in the 4th Congressional District GOP primary: http://republican-grayson.blogspot.com/)

    The law needs to be changed, but minor parties also need to be more vigilant and, well, just smart. As it stands, half or more of the candidates in Arizona listed as Greens on the general election ballot may be right-wing conservatives. GINOs, I guess.

  7. You are confused. The 20,000 number is to be recognized as a political party by the state of Arizona. The number I am referring to is the number of signatures required by a candidate to appear on the ballot. In congressional races for example, most Libertarians submitted around 28 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Given this extremely low threshold for minor parties to qualify for the ballot, there is simply no good excuse for the existence of a law that allows a single vote as a write-in candidate to qualify for the ballot. If a candidate is too lazy to get a minimal number of petition signatures, they should not appear on the ballot as a write-in candidate simply by voting for themself. This just makes a mockery of the election process.

    You are correct about the problem of parties certifying that candidates are truly of that party. Both major parties have had problems with candidates in recent years that they would not certify if it was in their power to do so.

  8. “And what exactly is Secretary of State Ken Bennett doing to prevent voter fraud? ”

    According to Republicans only ACORN commits voter fraud (and of course they didn’t…)

    I have to disagree with this statement – “Minor political parties like the Green Party and Libertarian Party already enjoy ridiculously low qualifying requirements to qualify for the ballot.” They do have to get 20,000 signatures which is not easy for small parties. Making these more stringent simply locks out third parties, which I think is a terrible mistake. The issue of write-in candidates seems another issue, but I still have to wonder about this as a tactic since it seems very doubtful this would influence an election. Also, if people do want to write-in a candidate because they are unhappy with the two major parties, what is the problem? Perhaps to run under the banner of a party, the party should certify that the person is in fact truly of that party, but that would open up a whole can of worms that would create a gigantic mess.