Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Egregious case of voter fraud: Indiana GOP Secretary of State committed it

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The GOP really does seem to include a high proportion of shameless hypocrites, and certainly Charlie White is a good example. Brad Friedman reports in Salon:

It’s OK if you’re a Republican. Even if you commit voter fraud. Even if you are found guilty of three felony counts of voter fraud by a jury of your peers. Even if you are found guilty of six felony counts overall. Even if you are the secretary of state – the chief election official – of the first state in the union to institute polling place photo ID restrictions  which Republicans claim are meant to prevent voter fraud but actually succeed only in keeping longtime voters (like 80- and 90-year-old nuns) from being able to cast their previously legal votes.

So long as you’re a Republican, you won’t spend any time in jail for voter fraud. And, if you’re Charlie White, Indiana’s lucky, now-former Republican secretary of state who received just one year of home detention for all of those crimes, you’ll likely be “elated,” just as White was after his sentencing hearing last week.

Less happy are those legal voters who have been kept from voting at all under the  laws that White supported — and then violated — during his run to become secretary of state in 2010.

White received one year of home detention — one year for each of his six convictions, to be served concurrently — plus a $1,000 fine and some community service. He was found guilty of, among other things, having lied about his home address, registering to vote from that address, receiving a salary from an elected position as a town council member from that address, and then having voted from it while winning the position of secretary of state. While White, as per Indiana law, is unable to serve in office as a convicted felon, over all he got off easy.

White’s conviction and permissive sentencing illuminate the charade of “voter fraud” as hyped by the Republican Party and Fox News. Compare White’s actions to Kimberly Prude ofWisconsin or Usman Ali of Florida who each committed far less egregious violations of voting laws, yet received far harsher punishment.

Prude and Ali fell victim to the George W. Bush U.S. Dept. of Justice, which was funneling unprecedented resources into ferreting out alleged cases of “voter fraud” – or anything that even looked like it — in order to lay the groundwork for polling place photo ID restriction laws around the country. Their prosecution for crimes that looked like “voter fraud” helped create a record that could be used to justify restrictive identification requirements on voters at the polling place, very much like the one first passed in White’s Indiana in 2008.

What White did was intentional, as two different judges have now found. For Prude and Ali, whose actions accidentally violated the law, enforcement was extraordinarily harsh and backed by the full force of the federal government.

Prude, a 43-year-old African-American woman from Milwaukee, . . .

Continue reading. Keep this example in mind as you see Republicans shedding crocodile tears and wringing their hands over “voter fraud.”

Written by Leisureguy

29 February 2012 at 11:51 am

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