By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2012, 12:35pm PT  

Longtime readers of The BRAD BLOG know, by now, that disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions have nothing to do with stopping voter fraud, and everything to do with stopping legal, Democratic-leaning voters from casting their legal vote.

They also know that while Republicans have long pretended there is massive Democratic voter fraud occurring, what they don't want you to know is how many Republicans --- very high-level Republicans, in fact --- are actually committing real fraud (both election fraud and voter fraud), as we summarized once again last week after four GOP U.S. House staffers of Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI) were charged with 36 criminal felony and misdemeanor election fraud-related charges for allegedly turning in fake signatures and petitions in a failed scheme to get McCotter on the ballot this year.

And what do we learn just days later? Another Republican appears to be involved in another massive election scheme --- this time, to fraudulently defeat a fellow Republican. And, as is almost always the case, no polling place Photo ID restrictions in the world would have deterred the allegedly fraudulent absentee ballot scheme (which is said to have included illegally changing Democratic registrations into Republican ones, among other appalling crimes)...

Courtesy of Ray Medeiros at the USA Progressive:

The Boston Globe is reporting, that a Republican candidate [Jack Villamaino] decided to try and win a primary by sending in hundreds of absentee ballots on behalf of hundreds of voters.

State election officials were tipped off to the potential voter fraud when a suspiciously large number of residents of the Springfield suburb of East Longmeadow suddenly changed party registration from Democrat to independent, making them eligible to vote in the upcoming Republican primary.

Before Scott Brown or any other Republican operative claim this as another "Democratic machine" hit job. Marie Angelides, the other Republican candidate tipped off the officials when she was getting information at the town clerk's office pertaining to registered Republican voters who were requesting absentee ballots.

As they gathered the list and started following up on the requests and contacting these voters, they found that they didn't request any such ballot. In fact some of them were not even registered Republicans, they were registered Democrats.

Spencer H. Kimball, ­Angelides’s attorney said,

“We recognized there may be a problem,” since some of those listed as requesting Republican absentee ballots were “hard-core Democrats, includ­ing members of the Town Democratic Committee and a retired judge.” At that point, Kimball contacted Secretary of State ­Galvin’s office. “Something was really wrong,”

Medeiros goes on to correctly note: "So, Massachusetts Republicans, its not the voters you have to worry about, its your own candidates. Now can we stop complaining about poor people voting and clean up your own party."

The Reminder has more details and has posted a letter from the office of MA Secretary of the Commonwealth William Frances Gavin explaining the investigation of the "almost 450 people listed as having asked for an absentee ballot" for the Republican Primary, many of whom had been registered Democrats until their records were recently changed just prior to the absentee ballot requests.

This scheme, of course, is election fraud, not voter fraud. As usual, the voters did nothing wrong. Leave them alone. Again, it was election insiders and campaign officials gaming the system, as is almost always the case.

If you're looking for actual voter fraud in Massachusetts, however, might we recommend you look no further than the GOP's presumptive 2012 nominee for President of the United States.

You're welcome.

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