Also, new information concerning allegations of voter fraud by MO Rep., U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, as new GOP voter disenfranchisement laws spread...
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2011, 5:35pm PT  

What is it about Mormon Republican Presidential candidates and their proclivity for committing voter fraud?

For that matter, what is it about high-profile Republicans in general and their rapidly growing record of voter fraud, as we have two new reports today of two more very high profile Republicans who appear to have committed voter fraud? One of them is GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the other U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri.

But they are just the two latest in a quickly growing list of Republican vote fraudsters.

In March, as you'll recall, Utah's former Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. --- who is believed likely to jump into the GOP Presidential race soon --- was alleged to have committed voter fraud by casting his vote last year via his registration at the governor's mansion despite having resigned and moved out of the address almost two years prior to become President Obama's Ambassador to China.

Previously, of course, we've reported in great detail on GOP superstar Ann Coulter's repeated and now well-documented voter fraud. More recently (and more ironically), Charlie White, the newly-elected Republican Sec. of State of Indiana --- a state with, until recently, the most draconian, disenfranchising polling-place Photo ID restrictions in the nation --- was indicted on seven felony counts, three of them related to voter fraud, after he continued to vote at a residence where he no longer lived (where he also continued to illegally serve on the town council, despite no longer living there).

And now, according to a complaint filed by another GOP Presidential hopeful, it appears that current front-runner Mitt Romney has been playing similarly fast and loose with his own residency and is alleged to have voted, illegally, in last year's special election for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts despite no longer being a resident of the state...

Mother Jones' Stephanie Mencimer tells the story today of the complaint filed in Massachusetts by Republican Presidential candidate Fred Karger, who claims that the multi-millionaire Romney voted in the special election for Scott Brown last year, as well as other Bay State elections, by claiming that he lived in the basement of his son's home.

That, despite Romney having purchased a $12.5 million home in La Jolla, California, in 2008 and having sold his own Massachusetts home in 2009...

In his complaint, Karger lays out a chronology of Romney's real estate moves since his failed presidential bid in 2008. According to Karger's timetable, Romney and his wife, Ann, bought a $12.5 million home in La Jolla, California, in May 2008. ("I wanted to be where I could hear the waves," Romney told the AP of his move to the West Coast.) Thereafter, Romney became a regular at California political events, even campaigning for Meg Whitman during her gubernatorial bid. A year later, in April 2009, the Romneys sold their home in Belmont, Massachusetts, for $3.5 million, and registered to vote from an address in the basement of an 8,000 square-foot Belmont manse owned by their son Tagg. But where the Romneys really lived these past couple of years seems to be a bit of a mystery. While Romney was appearing at so many California political events people were speculating he was going to run for office there; the National Journal reported in May 2009 that the Romneys had made their primary residence a $10 million estate in New Hampshire.

Unlike the make-it-up-as-you-go rules exploited by Ann Coulter when she was able to trick the Connecticut Election Commission into letting her off the hook for voting multiple times at her parents' address in the Nutmeg State, even while she lived for years in a multi-million dollar Manhattan townhouse she purchased in her mid-forties (separate charges from the no-uncertain-terms case of voter fraud she committed later in Palm Beach County, FL), the definition of "residency" is much clearer in the great state of Massachusetts...

Fraudulent voter registration in Massachusetts carries a penalty of $10,000 and up to five years in jail. And the law in Massachusetts is pretty clear about the residency requirements needed to vote in the state. The state defines residence as "where a person dwells and which is the center of his domestic, social, and civil life."

Using that definition, Karger spent some time interviewing Belmont residents, including members of the Romneys' local Mormon Temple, where they’d been regulars, and asked people when they’d last seen the the former Massachusetts governor or his wife around town. The local fishmonger told Karger, "They flew the coop. They moved to California. I haven’t seen Mrs. Romney in over two years, and she used to come in here all the time." Likewise, churchgoers used to worshiping with the Romneys told Karger that they also hadn't seen the Romneys in a couple years. Yet the Romneys continued to vote in Massachusetts, including in the January 2010 special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Karger says he even received personal confirmation from Ann Romney about the couple's living arrangments. In April, Karger says he ran into her in Las Vegas at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, where Mitt was speaking. According to Karger, Ann told him they are living in California.


Later, in July of 2010, the former Governor purchased an $895,000 "attached townhouse" in Belmont, MA, allowing him to now claim, once again, "a permanent Massachusetts address," though Karger has requested a state investigation into whether Romney has actually been paying any taxes in the state.

As we've been forced to re-report over and again over the past several months, with each and every new instance of apparent Republican voter fraud, these seemingly small issues are no small matter at all. Not when taken into consideration with the years of phony GOP claims about "voter fraud" committed on behalf of Democrats by ACORN. In fact, there was no voter fraud ever committed by ACORN and not a single known fraudulent vote cast in any election via an improper ACORN registration. Nonetheless, Republicans have used their baseless propaganda to bolster the case for new, disenfranchising voter suppression laws being rammed through GOP legislatures and statehouses around the country in advance of the 2012 election cycle.

We most recently reported on new Photo ID restrictions being implemented in state after state, including TX, WI, NC, FL, and more, as the GOP voter suppression tactics began to shift into high gear following their November 2010 victories. As many studies [PDF] have shown, including those cited by the non-partisan League of Women Voters, some 20 million legal US voters, largely urban, elderly, students, and minorities (read: Democratic-leaning) do not own the type of Photo ID now being required by the new laws.

All of that while there is scant-evidence of actual polling place fraud committed by voters, even by the statistics of George W. Bush's own Dept. of Justice, which placed unprecedented resources into ferreting out the imaginary problem (even while jailing and deporting people for having committed anything like it, even if it was done by complete accident).

As Think Progress noted today, in its story on Maine's new law set to be signed by the new GOP governor that would do away with their 38-year old policy of same-day voter registration, "in-person voter fraud is only slightly more common than unicorns."

"A recent Supreme Court decision upholding a voter ID law," in Indiana, they write, "was only able to cite one example of in-person voter fraud in the last 143 years."

Nonetheless, that did not keep Maine's GOP Chairman Charlie Webster from telling the local media last week: "If you want to get really honest, this is about how the Democrats have managed to steal elections from Maine people...Many of us believe that the Democrats intentionally steal elections."

No actual evidence is needed to forward such baseless beliefs, of course, particularly when the result will be disproportionately fewer Democrats allowed to cast their legal votes in an election. In November 2008, according to the Bangor Daily News, "nearly 60,000 Mainers registered at the polls, as did 18,000 during last November’s election."

Elsewhere, the long GOP War on Democracy continues, with Republicans moving to shorten early voting periods, threatening third party registration organizations with exorbitant fines for violation of absurd new registration rules, and otherwise making it more and more difficult for legal (if largely Democratic-leaning) voters to cast their legal votes.

Oh, and late today, what do you know? In addition to Mitt Romney, yet another high-profile Republican is being reported to have committed apparent voter fraud: Missouri's U.S. Congressman Todd Akin, who is set to run for the U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Clare McCaskill next year, abruptly changed his voter registration last month on the very same day the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Akin had been voting for years from a property where he did not live. The property he was voting from had long been set for suburban re-development and has been vacant for some time. Still, the Congressman has continued to use it as his voting address for some seven elections since the time that he and his family moved to their house in a different town some 18 miles away.

All of that while Akin has been an ardent supporter of Photo ID restrictions in the Show-me State, and even as current law already requires voters to swear to the accuracy of their home addresses when voting. It is a class one felony violation of state election laws to do otherwise, as Akin appears to have done --- many times.

As Think Progress reported today:

The fact that Akin potentially committed felony voter fraud is ironic given that he is an outspoken supporter of voter ID and other laws to combat fraud, as Reardon points out. In 2006, Akin voted for a measure to require voters in federal elections to show photo ID, and while backing a similar bill in 2002, he said, “Congress must take a firm stand against voter fraud. ... The right to vote is one of our most sacred rights.”

Incredibly, as Think Progress notes, "When asked about the issue by KMOX’s Mark Reardon earlier this month, Akin said he had done nothing wrong, and compared himself to soldiers who are serving in Iraq but still vote in American elections."

Yeah, that's what he actually said.

No worries, of course, for either Romney or Akin, when it comes to their own voter fraud. They're unlikely to pay any price for it whatsoever, and their Fox "News" fans are never likely to even hear about it. Why? Because, as we're so often forced to note in regard to this issue: IOKIYAR.

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