Vote Fraud in Washington State

John Fund, in today's Political Diary, explains that at least someone is trying to clean up vote fraud issues in Washington State:

"Washington State became a poster child for the most mishandled election in the country in 2004, when its photo-finish governor's race required three recounts before Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared the winner over Republican Dino Rossi by 139 votes. The election was rife with irregularities, including felons illegally voting, absentee ballots mishandled and new ballots constantly being "discovered" during the process.

Since then, the Democratic legislature and Ms. Gregoire have only made matters worse by expanding the vote-by-mail balloting that was at the heart of many of the 2004 election problems. But yesterday voters in Washington State were reminded why it might be a better idea to tighten up their election laws. King County (Seattle) election officials were forced to remove 1,762 voter registrations from the rolls, finding they had been fraudulently submitted by employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN employees, it turned out, had gone to a local library and filled out bogus registration forms with names from the phonebook.

At the same, the King County prosecutor announced criminal charges against seven ACORN employees for vote fraud. He also announced that ACORN had signed a settlement agreeing to establish certain internal controls in exchange for the organization not being prosecuted. The move highlights the need for ACORN's dubious registration activities in other states to be scrutinized.

In a separate move, Washington State's Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 that a suit brought by several felons who were seeking to have their voting rights restored on equal protection grounds was invalid and that Washington's felon disenfranchisement laws were constitutional."

The Seattle Times has more details on Labor Unions (ACORN) finally get into trouble in Washington State for vote fraud:
Workers accused of concocting the biggest voter-registration-fraud scheme in state history said they were under pressure from the community-organizing group that hired them to sign up more voters, according to charging papers filed Thursday.

To boost their output, the defendants allegedly went to the downtown Seattle Public Library, where they filled out voter-registration forms using names they made up or found in phone books, newspapers and baby-naming books.

One defendant "said it was hard work making up all those cards," and another "said he would often sit at home, smoke marijuana and fill out cards," according to a probable-cause statement written by King County sheriff's Detective Christopher Johnson.

Prosecutors in King and Pierce counties filed felony charges Thursday against seven employees of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, claiming they turned in more than 1,800 phony voter-registration forms, including an estimated 55 in Pierce County. . . . .

At least for now, not all felons can vote in Washington State.

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that felons who haven't paid their fines and court costs aren't entitled to vote. But for 16 months they could, and now the state has no way of knowing how many might be on the rolls or how to keep them from casting ballots.

As of now, the only felons the state can accurately track — and keep off the voter rolls — are those still in custody of the Department of Corrections, according to Assistant Secretary of State Steve Excell.

"That's the only rock-solid list that we know we can implement now in the short term," he said. "We have no way of finding the felons that are voting today." . . . .



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