Monday, July 29, 2013

Yet Another Example of Why We Don’t Hear More About Vote Fraud

A few weeks back a county commission met and agreed to settle a vote fraud suit in an effort to make it go away in West Virginia.

The Lincoln County Commission last week unanimously (3-0) approved the payment of $6,000 in settlement of a civil action brought against multiple defendants by Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Charles Brumfield in the aftermath of the tainted 2010 Democratic primary election. The payment was approved during the July 11, 2013, regular session in Hamlin. The $6,000 is payable to Peyton Law Firm for the county commission’s portion of the settlement. The Lincoln Journal understands that a further $2,500 of the settlement is to be paid by the commission’s insurance carrier. A lawyer for Brumfield, who also represented former Lincoln County Board of Education Vice President Phoebe Harless in a similar action, told The Lincoln Journal last week that the settlement meant "the end of the line” for both cases.

With what happened in this case there is little doubt this election was stolen.  (Emphasis added):

Absentee ballots were a major source of scrutiny at the May 2010 Democratic primary election in Lincoln County. Just prior to the election, The Lincoln Journal revealed that there had been over 800 requests for absentee ballots, a massive increase on previous years. When votes were counted on election night, the absentee ballots fell by a factor of around nine to one in favor of a number of candidates. Bowman admitted to falsifying more than 100 absentee ballot applications for voters who did not have any legal basis to vote absentee. After the applications were processed, Bowman is said to have returned to many of those voters’ homes and was in the room with them while they voted, telling them which candidates he backed. Furthermore, in at least six cases, Bowman is said to have marked the ballots himself. Whitten admitted to initially obstructing the investigation by lying about his role in the scheme. Ramey entered a plea agreement subsequently in connection with the matter. Bowman, Whitten and Ramey were sentenced to federal prison terms of 366 days, 18 months and 21 months respectively.
 . . .

On election night that year, the counting of votes dragged on beyond midnight, when it became clear that hundreds of absentee ballots were being processed by county clerk staff behind closed doors. When the results were revealed, the votes cast on election day gave the victories to Harless and Brumfield. However, when the absentee ballots were added to the totals, Ramey won the commission race and Bowman won the circuit clerk race. The absentee ballots fell by a ratio of around nine to one in favor of a group of candidates, Bowman, Ramey and Whitten among them.

It is written here often how vote fraud is difficult to prosecute and how the victims receive little justice.  (Keep in mind the victims are not just the losing candidates, but the disenfranchised voters.)  This is an example of how difficult it is for county officials to even talk about vote fraud as they just want to end the matter. 

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