Monday, September 27, 2010

More about Houston voter fraud

A couple of months ago, I wrote about apparent voter fraud in Houston, TX. Now news has emerged confirming what I feared at the time - only it's a whole lot worse than we thought.

When Catherine Engelbrecht and her friends sat down and started talking politics several years ago, they soon agreed that talking wasn’t enough. They wanted to do more. So when the 2008 election came around, “about 50” of her friends volunteered to work at Houston’s polling places.

“What we saw shocked us,” she said. “There was no one checking IDs, judges would vote for people that asked for help. It was fraud, and we watched like deer in the headlights.”

Their shared experience, she says, created “True the Vote,” a citizen-based grassroots organization that began collecting publicly available voting data to prove that what they saw in their day at the polls was, indeed, happening -- and that it was happening everywhere.

“It was a true Tea Party moment,” she remembers.

Like most voter watchdog groups, she said, her group started small. They decided to investigate voting fraud in general, not just at the polling places, and at first they weren't even sure what to look for -- and where to look for it.

“The first thing we started to do was look at houses with more than six voters in them" Engelbrecht said, because those houses were the most likely to have fraudulent registrations attached to them. "Most voting districts had 1,800 if they were Republican and 2,400 of these houses if they were Democratic . . .

"But we came across one with 24,000, and that was where we started looking."

It was Houston's poorest and predominantly black district, which has led some to accuse the group of targeting poor black areas. But Engelbrecht rejects that, saying, "It had nothing to do with politics. It was just the numbers.”

. . .

“Vacant lots had several voters registered on them. An eight-bed halfway house had more than 40 voters registered at its address,” Engelbrecht said. “We then decided to look at who was registering the voters."

Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state’s office and the Harris County district attorney.

Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who also worked for the Service Employees International Union before coming to Houston. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid.

The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.

. . .

"The integrity of the voting rolls in Harris County, Texas, appears to be under an organized and systematic attack by the group operating under the name Houston Votes," the Harris voter registrar, Leo Vasquez, charged as he passed on the documentation to the district attorney.

There's more at the link.

One thing I've noticed. In every published report about alleged voter fraud of this kind - false registrations, multiple registrations, etc. - the beneficiary of the fraud has been the Democratic Party. Organizations allied with the Democrats - ACORN, the SEIU, etc. - are almost always involved, and the fraudulent registrations have been in overwhelmingly Democratic districts.

I've never seen a single report that a Republican-linked organization has been caught red-handed, or that voter fraud like this has benefited a Republican candidate. Can anyone point me to a report that would counter that perception? Have Republican-linked groups ever been found out in this way? I'd love to hear about them in Comments, please.



Old NFO said...

Peter, I doubt you will find ANY true reports of voter fraud by Republicans... That's why they keep losing...

Anonymous said...

Peter, the only places I can think of where the Republicans might have something similar are Chicago (OK, that was easy) and New Mexico. In NM the traditions of favoritism, graft and other funny goings on dates to the Territorial period (mostly R, now equal opportunity) and just keeps going. I do not have hard data on investigations from either place as I have not really looked into them.

Mikael said...

Florida, 2000?

There's even a BBC documentary about the amount of fraud in that election, a documentary that was banned in the USA.

Including where some (predominantly democrat) towns had more registrered republican voters than citizens. As well as the whole debacle about lots of voters not having their vote counted because their name was on a list of fellons, even if they were on there falsely or just shared the same name. And then there's the whole diebold thing...

No both parties are equally bad in my eyes.