'Election Fraud Enforcement a Top Priority', the AG Lied...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2005, 2:20pm PT  

{Blogged by Brad from the road...}

In a speech today to a "Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Symposium", Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, lauded himself, John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice for having made "enforcement of election fraud and corruption offenses a top priority."

Gonzales claimed, without any apparent irony, that "We will not tolerate the infringement of voting rights."

He also seems to have contained the instinct to laugh out loud at his very own words when he said, "The results speak for themselves; you're getting the job done and we are making progress."

Progress, indeed. Here are some of the not-ironic-at-all highlights (or lowlights) from his speech today... (Complete text here)

Your families understand that the work we do at the Department is critical to this great Nation. We have a very important responsibility to the American people. And your role in delivering on our promise to protect the linchpin of our democracy --- the right to vote --- is a large part of that.
I want to use the power of this Department --- and the cause of justice --- to achieve lasting progress in all of our work. That includes, of course, our efforts to protect the vital elements of our free and democratic elections. And that's exactly what we're doing.
In the past, some Americans have struggled to have their voices heard - and their votes counted on Election Day.

We must never forget that for hundreds of years things were very different for people who looked like many of us here in this room. The journey to suffrage has not been an easy one.
We cannot erase a history of poll taxes, literacy tests, violence, and overt discrimination at the voting booth. But we can make a promise to this and future generations: Never again. Not on our watch.

The very fiber of our Nation rests with the zealous protection of certain inalienable rights for every citizen - and we cannot grow complacent in the safeguarding of those rights.

You are making good on that promise every single day by enforcing the laws that prevent election fraud and preserve voting rights.

Those are the two separate but equally important law enforcement responsibilities for the Department in this area. First, we must ensure that all qualified voters have access to the ballot box. Second, we must preserve the integrity of the overall election process. You've probably heard this a hundred times, but it bears repeating: Our goal is to make voting easier and cheating harder.

That sounds simple but I know that it requires a great deal of hard work by you and your colleagues. As prosecutors and investigators, you are on the front lines battling those who would corrupt our election process and corrode our democratic system.

The results speak for themselves; you're getting the job done and we are making progress.
Since Attorney General John Ashcroft created the Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative three years ago, we've made enforcement of election fraud and corruption offenses a top priority
Every prosecution, settlement, or other public resolution puts would-be wrong doers on notice: We will not tolerate the infringement of voting rights.
I share your belief that just one instance of fraud or one citizen who cannot vote, or is deterred from voting...is too many. Our work continues until every qualified citizen in every community in America has an equal chance to vote - and to have that vote count.