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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

GOP Voter Fraud Finally Comes to Gainesville

Across the nation we've seen ample examples of Republicans trying to suppress voter turnout, from throwing out Democrats voter registration forms to purging minority voters from the rolls in heavily Democratic precincts.

Now Gainesville's GOP can be added to that list. According to this AP article, which did not run in The Gainesville Sun Wednesday, Alachua County's election supervisor turned over 500-plus voter registration forms to the State Attorney's Office because many of those voters claimed their party affiliation had been changed to Republican by the GOP-funded group collecting the registrations.

This was a scam we could see coming. The Independent Florida Alligator reported a month ago that UF students approached by the on-campus voter drive had been deceitful in how it had voters decide their party ID. Even a Republican student complained:

Matt Carrillo, a political science sophomore and registered Republican, said he registered to vote with the group outside of the Reitz Union.

“I filled the form out and left the party affiliation blank, then [the YPM employee] asked me to initial next to my party affiliation,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo said he didn’t understand why his initials were needed next to his party affiliation, especially since he left it blank, which made him wonder if YPM officials later planned to fill in a party affiliation for him.
After Mark Jacoby, the GOP student in charge of the scam, turned in the forms last week, Supervisor of Elections Beverly Hill office began reviewing them in earnest, knowing full well of the problems ID'd in September.

According to today's edition of The Alligator: "I decided it was fraud," Hill said Tuesday, a day after she gave the forms to the State Attorney's Office in Gainesville. She said her staff checked 30 of them, "And they were across the board (saying), 'No, I never intended to do that.'"

Jacoby turned in 1,218 forms, and 510 of those were for people already registered. Hill turned those over to local prosecutors and completed the registration process for the rest so they could vote on Nov. 2.

The GOP is obviously willing to do whatever it takes to win, ethics and the law be damned. It got Bush elected in 2000 when brother Jeb kicked tens of thousands of mostly Democratic voters off the rolls wrongly and when GOP election officials refused to count ballots from precincts that were heavily Democratic.

Local GOP Chair Travis Horn has been making a stink about voter fraud recently with a spurious allegation against a Democratic county commission that has already been dismissed as without merit. I doubt you'll hear Horn making any noise about this, but let's hope our GOP State Attorney Bill Cervone prosecutes this case to the max. It is the only way that the GOP will ever begin to consider changing its ways.

UPDATE: Yet another example of GOP voter fraud, this time in Pennsylvania.

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