How to Steal Ohio

Imagine: It is the very early morning of November 5, 2008. Despite all the predictions and polls, John McCain and Barack Obama are locked in an extremely close race for President of the United States. McCain made a furious comeback over the previous 3 weeks following the last debate where Obama fumbled several answers while looking tired.

McCain's momentum propelled him back into the race and in a furious last minute charge that involved spending more than $25 million in combined campaign and Republican National Committee ad money that last weekend surged to within just a few points of Obama by Election Day.

Now, at 6:00 AM the following day, the race hangs on the results in just one state; Ohio.
McCain leads by nearly 50,000 votes but suddenly, Ohio's Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announces that several thousand McCain absentee ballots have been disqualified while additional thousands of votes in Cuyahoga County were "discovered" to have not been counted. After several more hours of confusion -- which included the discovery of more uncounted votes in heavily Democratic counties by the Secretary of State -- McCain's lead is gone and Obama is declared the winner of Ohio and the election.

Of course, this scenario is not credible, is it? No Secretary of State would act so brazenly, right?

Meet Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's real life Secretary of State, whose actions in the lead up to this election have been so shamefully partisan -- violating both federal and state law in the process -- that it is doubtful any result on Election Day from Ohio is going to be accepted as credible.

Coupled with the outrageously illegal registration activity of ACORN and the shockingly illegal actions of the Obama campaign itself and what you have is an effort to not only "count every vote" but also steal as many votes as will be necessary for Obama to win the state on Election Day.

Strong stuff. But here's former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski writing in the New York Post:

A perfect example is Ohio. Last Monday the Ohio Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, interpreted Ohio law to allow for people to register to vote and cast an absentee ballot on the same day.

(As the three dissenters noted, this directly contradicts Ohio's Constitution, which requires that a person register to vote 30 days in advance of actually casting that vote. But the Ohio Supreme Court is the last word on Ohio state law.)

So now the Obama campaign is using buses to take tens of thousands of people to go register and cast same-day votes. Some media reports say that the Obama camp hopes to get hundreds of thousands of votes this way.

Secretary Brunner, incredibly, got around the provision that one had to be registered 30 days before being able to vote with the following bit of Orwellian doublespeak.

Soren Dayton:

The first thing she did was issue an advisory opinion allowing people to register and vote on the same day, during the "overlap" between the beginning of early voting (35 days out) and the end of registration (30 days out). This was a reversal of the 2006 precedent. Republicans asked how someone could register and vote on the same day when Ohio statute says that you have to be registered 30 days before voting. She answered that when you vote by no-fault absentee you aren't voting. Your vote occurs on election day when it is counted, not on the day you cast it.

Dayton links to a conservative student organization site -- Palestra -- that has been following this early voting in Ohio. Correspondent Shelby Holiday's revelations are pretty shocking:

One of the biggest issues? These voters didn't need to show ID or proof of residency in order to cast their ballot.

We witnessed dozens of homeless people being driven to the polls, and none of them had to prove that they were Ohio residents. In fact, one man I spoke with was about to hop on a Greyhound bus to go back to Chicago.

We have been trying for a week now to get a comment from the Secretary of State to see how she plans on verifying the residency and identification of all these early voters. Despite numerous phone calls and emails, we have yet to be granted even just a ten minute interview.

Who I did speak with was the Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections. When I asked him what would prevent the homeless man from voting in Illinois just weeks after he cast a ballot in Ohio, he told me that their voter checks are "just county-to-county, we do not do state by state."

One "voter" reportedly said he was voting for Obama because of his "thug thizzle." This was just before he boarded a Greyhound bus back to Chicago.

In addition to this invitation to fraud invented by Brunnner, she also -- once again in violation of state law -- prevented Republicans from monitoring this early voting.

Dayton again:

The second thing she did was to issue an advisory opinion advising county election officials that Ohio law does not require that partisan election observers be allowed to observe registration and voting. This is contrary to the practice on election day and a reversal of the 2006 precedent. Two of the largest counties, Montgomery (containing Dayton) and Franklin (containing Columbus), did not allow Republican election observers to enter the polling place. Media, however, were allowed.

Liberals especially cheered this ruling, believing that GOP election monitors "intimidate" minorities and young people in order to keep them from voting. Given the problems with out of state voters and other irregularities that occurred during this 6 day "Golden" period where people can register and vote on the same day, anyone halfway concerned with free and fair elections just might have welcomed election monitors in order to prevent obvious fraud. But Democrats do not appear to care very much about the "fair" part in elections and instead wish to be "free" to violate the law with impunity.

Another insult to the integrity of our election system was Brunner's attempt to prevent thousands of McCain absentee ballots from being counted.

Dayton again:

Brunner also tried to throw out absentee ballot applications sent out by the McCain campaign because the campaign added an extra check-box to the application. This time, the GOP won in court. Clearly Brunner was not protecting everyone's right to vote. If that was her interest, she would have applied the same lax standards to the McCain campaign's applications that she applies to absentee voting.

The Republicans took that one to court and prevailed. Thank the Lord for small favors. And it appeared very briefly that Republicans had won a stunning court victory on Thursday when a US District Judge ruled that Brunner must verify the registrations by checking them against the motor vehicle and social security databases. She was also ordered to share the information on how to verify registrations with Ohio's 88 county registrars.

But a federal appeals court struck down the district judge's ruling:

Brunner argued that it would take two to three days to create the necessary computer programs, and that nothing in the Help America Vote Act required her to do what the district court ordered. The appeals court agreed in a split decision.

"With less than a month until the election, and less than two weeks until the beginning of counting absentee ballots, the secretary cannot be required to undertake the extensive reprogramming and other changes to the election mechanics without complete disruption of the electoral process in Ohio," the majority said in its opinion. "The irreparable harm to the voting public caused by the district court's order is equally clear."

No word on the "irreparable harm" done to the integrity of the election process by Brunner, Obama, and the rest of the Democrats in Ohio.

Then, of course, there are the vastly more entertaining antics of ACORN in Ohio. One must give credit where credit is due. ACORN should win some kind of award for its spectacular creativity in finding new ways to game the system and flood it with false, forged, and illegal voter registration applications.

First, it is important to recall that the Obama campaign funneled more than $800,000 to ACORN and then tried to hide it by designating it as payment to "Citizens Services, Inc." for work such as $310,000 for "Stage, Sound, and Lighting." Michelle Malkin looked deeper into this fraud and found some startling facts:

For your information: The New Orleans building that houses CSI also houses multiple chapters of ACORN and the SEIU- as well as the 527 group Communities Voting Together.

And for your information: A tipster points to shady business by CSI -detected by Maryland Democrat Al Wynn, of all people. His team, which filed an FEC complaint over the matter, linked several suspicious outfits used by his primary opponent to one address: 1024 Elysian Fields in New Orleans. That's the address of CSI and ACORN.

As we've seen in Ohio, the Obama campaign apparently bussed in people to register and vote illegally during Ohio's early voting period. The close connection between the Obama campaign and ACORN begs the question of whether activities like this coupled with ACORN's registration shenanigans are a coordinated effort to set the stage on election day for the most massive fraud in the history of the United States - fraud that would make any 19th century election where votes were bought and sold look on the up and up.

Some of the outrageous actions of ACORN in Ohio were detailed in this Cleveland Plain Dealer article:

Yesterday two Ohio voters came forth and claimed that although they had made it clear they were already registered to vote, ACORN canvassers encouraged them to sign up several times. One of those was Christopher Barkley of Cleveland, who estimates that he registered to vote "10 to 15" times after ACORN relentlessly pursued him.

"I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register," Barkley said. "They'd ask me if I was registered. I'd say yes, and they'd ask me to do it [register] again. Some of them were getting paid to collect names. That was their sob story, and I bought it," he said.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has thus far subpoenaed at least three people as part of a wider inquiry into potential voter fraud by ACORN. The community organization looks to register low-income voters, that tend to overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

Lateala Goins, who was subpoeaned along with Barkley and others, said, "You can tell them you're registered as many times as you want - they do not care. They will follow you to the buses, they will follow you home, it does not matter."

Also subpoenaed was Freddie Johnson, who filled out voter registration cards a total of 72 times over the course of 18 months.

The ACORN spokesman in Ohio insists "that his group has collected 100,000 voter registration cards, and only about 50 were questionable." How this is possible when one poor guy was harassed to sign up 72 by times by ACORN makes one wonder what other lies and frauds the far left Democratic partisan group is capable of.

There is much more. And the sad fact is nobody -- not ACORN (who wouldn't care anyway), Ohio election officials at every level, Republicans, non-partisan observers -- knows just how many false, forged, or illegal registrations were dumped into Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's lap. No one knows how many early voters voted illegally. No one knows how many Republicans were discouraged from voting by absentee ballot thanks to Brunner's original ruling on the matter. No one knows the extent of cooperation between the Obama campaign and ACORN in Ohio. And no one knows if any of this will affect the outcome of Ohio's presidential election.

There are other states where ACORN and the Democrats have been playing fast and loose with registration and early voting. Over the next weeks and until the election, American Thinker will look at many of these states and detail the attempts to hijack the democratic process in service to Barack Obama's presidential ambitions.

No doubt we will hear much from authorities in the coming weeks who finally appear to be aroused to the threat ACORN poses to the integrity of the election and are carrying out numerous investigations in at least 11 states across the country.

Rick Moran is associate editor of American Thinker.
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