By Brad Friedman, 1/5/2010
The BRAD BLOG has long endeavored to fight back against the disinformation being put forward by the GOP "voter fraud" charlatans and fraudsters contending that massive fraud is being carried out by voters at the polls, requiring the institution of disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at the polling place which would result in some 21 million Americans being unable to cast their legal votes, according to the League of Women Voters and most other serious experts on these matters.
Once again, a story out of Kentucky helps us highlight that it's election insiders, not voters themselves, who are, by far, the greatest threat to the integrity of elections.
We reported early last year on the passel of election officials in Clay County, KY, arrested for buying and selling votes, manipulating ES&S electronic voting machines without the knowledge of voters, and otherwise fixing elections from 2002 to 2006.
As their January 19 trial date nears, more motions are being filed by federal prosecutors. The latest, filed last week, alleges that two of the top officials charged --- one, a circuit court judge and the other, the county school Superintendent --- had been fixing elections for decades before their recent indictments...
Bill Estep (the reporter who has owned this story locally since it broke last year) at Lexington's Herald-Leader reported on New Years Day:
R. Cletus Maricle, a longtime judge, and former school Superintendent Douglas C. Adams began working with drug dealers more than 20 years ago to buy votes and control local politics, according to a court motion filed this week.
In a 1983 race for circuit judge, for instance, Adams gave drug dealer Kenneth Day $30,000 to buy votes for one candidate, while Maricle bought votes for the opposing candidate, the motion claims.
"During Election Day, Maricle asked Day how much money it would take to get him to go home," the motion says.
Two years later, Maricle and Adams bought votes for the same candidate for magistrate, and Day helped, according to the court document.
Estep offers more details on the long-running scam, and the federal prosecutors' plans for holding these democracy-hating jerks accountable.
Attorneys for both of them, of course, deny all of the charges, claim that witnesses have lied, etc. But one of those charged, the county election directory, has already pleaded guilty and detailed how the long-running vote buying/selling scheme had been run with meetings in his garage and pools of hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash collected to affect (largely) Republican primary elections in Clay County.
Clay is one of the poorest --- and most Republican --- counties in the state, and has been the scene of numerous federal crackdowns over the past several years in which high-ranking local officials, including the mayor, have been busted for all manner of criminality including narcotics trafficking and more.
As we noted in our coverage of the Clay County arrests last year, one of the most notable aspects of the allegations --- at least to readers of The BRAD BLOG, if not the denialists in the e-voting industry --- was the description of how electronic touch-screen voting systems made by ES&S were directly manipulated by election officials who would mis-instruct voters on how to use them in such a way that they'd be able to later change the intended votes before they were officially "cast" on the unverifiable electronic systems.
ES&S is the nation's (and the world's) largest voting machine manufacturer, and the type of systems manipulated in Clay County are used widely across the nation, despite numerous system failures in election after election, such as votes flipping and/or disappearing. We can now add the concern that they may be easily manipulated by election officials, directly from the voting booth, with few or no safeguards to keep that from happening.
ES&S recently purchased its next largest competitor, Premier Election Solutions, the new name given to the tarnished election division of Diebold, Inc., in 2007. That merger, resulting in ES&S taking control of some 70 to 80% of Americans' votes, is being investigated by the U.S. Dept. of Justice on anti-trust grounds, as well as in 14 states, and challenged in court by its smaller competitor Hart InterCivic. The U.S. Senate is set to hold hearings on the merger early this year as well.
That hasn't stopped ES&S from moving forward, full speed ahead with the takeover.
A recent visit by The BRAD BLOG to the former head quarters of Diebold/Premier in Allen, TX, reveals that nearly all signs of the former company have been removed, in favor of the new boss...same as the old boss...