Sneak Preview: The Hijacking of the 2010 Election

Through a combination of massive, Somali-driven voter fraud, stunning Election Board incompetence, and the willful blindness of the Kansas City Star, machine Democrat J.J. Rizzo managed to beat conservative Democrat Will Royster by one vote in a Missouri State House primary on August 3.

There is no Republican running in this heavily Democratic, multi-ethnic Kansas City district. The Democratic nominee will face only a seriously outgunned Libertarian in the November election, and truth be told, Royster may be to the right of the Libertarian.

What the Democratic machine and the Star, which endorsed Rizzo, did not count on was for the intrepid Royster to challenge the election in court. In so doing, he has provided a sneak preview on how a desperate Democratic Party will attempt to neutralize the will of the people this November, and not just in Kansas City.

Royster, a retired Navy fighter pilot and all-around good citizen, asks a fundamental question: "If we won't let Somalis hijack our ships, why do we let them hijack our elections?" As many as a hundred Somalis voted, nearly all of them illegally, likely all of them for Royster's opponent, in a House district in which only 1,300 people showed up to vote.

The trial on September 7 in Jackson County, Missouri Circuit Court revealed several disturbing trends, some of which can be corrected by election day, some of which cannot.

First to testify was Lindy Hobkins, a Republican supervisory election judge. As she related, a group of Somalis came into her Kansas City election site led by one Somali man.

"They were unable to communicate on the most basic levels," said Hobkins of the Somalis. To help his voters along, the leader "left the premises, went outside to where the electioneers are out at the appropriate space allotted for them, and he brought in a sign for Mr. Rizzo." Hobkins continued: he "held it up and pointed at it and said this one, this one, this one."

In a disturbing little twist, David Raymond, the attorney for the Kansas City Election Board, grilled Hobkins as though she were a hostile witness. After she acknowledged that the Somalis were all somehow registered to vote, Raymond asked snidely, "Do you believe these voters should be disenfranchised?"

Hobkins was more than a match for Raymond. She and her husband had been helping refugees resettle. "The biggest deterrent to them becoming citizens, because they all want to be American citizens when they come here," she noted, "is that they do not have a handle on the language to be able to pass the test."

I checked the rules for citizenship. According to the official site for French-speakers (sorry, I don't speak Somali), an individual has to "connaître l'anglais et être au courant de l'histoire et du gouvernement des États-Unis." This translates to "know the English language and be current in the history and government of the United States." I cannot imagine that the requirements for Somalis are any different.

Hobkins knew the law. "How could they be registered to vote," she asked Raymond, "if they did not know how to speak English on any level?" Other than Hobkins, Royster, and Royster's attorney, no one else involved -- the Democratic Party, the Star, the Election Board, the trial judge -- expressed the slightest interest in the answer to this question.

Wendy Jones, an election judge at a separate polling place, provided even more damning testimony. "Did you notice groups of Somali voters entering the premises?" Royster's attorney asked. "Oh my gosh, all day long," she answered. When asked how many voters she saw, Jones answered, "To be honest, more than 50. That's the truth, your honor, more than 50."

According to the law, as the Republican co-director of the Election Board would testify, a person "with a disability or who cannot read or write" must state his disability under oath, sign and date a voter assistance card, and then have two judges sign and date the card. This voter can be assisted only by a judge or by a person the voter has sworn to be a family member. This procedure is usually reserved for the blind or seriously disabled.

Of the fifty-plus Somalis at Jones' polling place, not a single one was asked to sign a voter assistance card despite the fact that they all needed assistance from their "interpreters." Said Jones, "I witnessed myself seeing [the interpreters] fill out the ballots, actually fill out the ballots and actually tell the people ... where to fill it out at, what to sign."

When the interpreters, four of them, were asked why the Somali voters needed help, according to Jones, "Someone said they were blind, some of them said they couldn't read, some of them said they couldn't write. These are the excuses all day long that we had for these four individuals to vote with them and for them." 

When Jones appealed to the Democratic supervisory judge for help, he reportedly told her, "You know, we all just want to make a little money here and just get out, just make the best of it and just -- let's go home."

Several other election judges testified, and none of them disputed what Jones and Hobkins said. A little unnerving was that other than Hobkins and Jones, the election judges had a hard time getting their nouns and verbs to agree. The collective ignorance of election law from top to bottom in the Kansas City Election Board stuns the observer.

One Somali did testify. An employee of the Somali Foundation, Abdul Kadir Sheikh told the court, under oath, of course, that he had taken Election Day off work because his wife was expecting a baby that day. Sheikh, allegedly a citizen, said that he had gone to Jones' polling site to vote but could not find his name on the voter rolls and so did not vote.

It just so happened, though, that while at the polling place, another Somali man approached Sheikh and asked for help voting. Sheikh obliged. That was it. As it happened, his baby was not born that day after all. "We didn't have any experience," Shiekh told the court. It was his first child.

One doubts that Sheikh will ever be challenged on his word, but Royster had already collected affidavits from two other poll watchers at that same site. Said one, "I personally witnessed Abdul Kadir Sheikh escort approximately (30) Somali voters into the polling place." A second person saw Sheik "sign their names in the registration book." This person claimed to have seen "more than 30" such people.

At the end of the day, Judge Stephen Nixon, a product of the same machinery that produced the Election Board, ruled against Royster. No new election, no serious recount. 

Nixon took the same position that Rizzo's attorney had taken in his question to the Republican co-director. "Should a qualified voter, an American citizen, if you will, should they be disenfranchised, that is, should their vote not count because a judge forgot to initial the ballot[?]" As Nixon saw it, these good Somali citizens should not be "disenfranchised" -- the Democrat word du jour--because of multiple judges' errors. Royster is appealing.

The Kansas City Star has given this challenge only the slightest coverage. And in no article in a print edition has the word "Somali" appeared in relationship to the controversy.

In November, rest assured, the Somali vote and that of others of dubious citizenship will be turned against Republicans. There is a way for readers to fight this. Call your local Election Board today. Sign up to be a judge or a poll watcher. Ask for an inner-city precinct. And make sure you know the law better than your Democratic counterpart does. It won't be hard.