In 2009, I covered some voting shenanigans by Obama supporters in Ohio.
Three individuals were eventually convicted for voting illegally in Ohio (click this link for the posts).
In essence, out of state Obama volunteers came to Ohio to get out the vote and vote illegally in the state because Ohio was considered a swing state. The volunteers were from New York which was considered safe for Obama. There was no finding that the Obama campaign directed the activities but it hasn’t ever been proven that the campaign did not know.
Democrats have been downplaying Republican concerns about voter fraud but it appears that there are at least some reasons for their worries. Yesterday, Vote from Home folded operations in Ohio because it was learned that some of their members had indeed voter incorrectly. Their votes were disallowed. Some Obama workers have withdrawn their votes as well.
Another effort to organize voters is Vote Today Ohio. Co-founded by Tate Hausman, a political organizer and member of the Working Families Party in New York, Vote Today Ohio says that the group exists to bring unlikely voters into the polls and boasts that they are responsible for at least 3300 votes.
In addition to bringing people to the polls legally, Vote Today Ohio members voted illegally and eventually were indicted for their actions.
As reported here last week, Tate Hausman co-leader of Ohio Obama get out the vote organization, Vote Today Ohio, was convicted of voter fraud. Mr. Hausman violated Ohio laws requiring new residents in the state to intend to remain in Ohio past the election. He had no intention of staying in Ohio.
Mr. Hausman, a Brooklyn, New York resident, spoke to the Brooklyn Paper about the conviction in an interview published today. He says he did not understand the law.
Hausman was hit with a $1,000 fine from a court in the Buckeye State, where he had relocated in order to get out the vote from students, homeless people and other under-represented voters.
Of course, he voted there, too.
That’s where the trouble began.
Hausman cast an early ballot for Obama on Oct. 4, believing he was allowed to do so because he had been living in Columbus for more than the 30-days requirement for voter eligibility.
But Franklin County Ohio Prosecutor Ron O’Brien argued successfully that the rules stipulate that any Ohio voter must intend to remain an Ohio resident — something any self-respecting Brooklynite would never agree to.
Hausman claims he didn’t realize he had broken one of Ohio’s most-sacred tenets until he received a letter outlining the law — but he received it three days after the deadline had passed for withdrawing an illegal vote without punishment.
“When I saw that letter, my stomach fell to my knees,” Hausman said.
Watching this Palestra.net report, a skeptical person might question Mr. Hausman’s account.
As Tiffany Wilson’s report indicates, other VTO workers registered in Ohio. According to Franklin County Prosecutor, Ron O’Brien, other prosecutions are on the way.
Vote Today Ohio out-of-state leaders register in Ohio
The New Paltz, NY Times Herald-Record has a story this morning on the conviction of Amy Little, Tate Hausman and Yolanda Hippensteele.
Political organizer from New Paltz guilty of illegal voting
By Alexa James
Posted: April 30, 2009 – 2:00 AM
NEW PALTZ — Conspicuous political mobilizer Amy Little of New Paltz pleaded guilty Tuesday to voting illegally in Ohio during the presidential election campaign.
During the race, Little worked for an independent get-out-the-vote group called Vote Today Ohio. While touting Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the battleground state, she also registered to vote there.
Little, 50, claimed she’d moved from her home in New Paltz to a place in Columbus, near Ohio State University. Her new address doubled as headquarters for Vote Today Ohio. Other transplants in the group also used that location to register to vote in Ohio.
According to Ohio election laws, voters must reside in the state at least 30 days prior to the election and must intend to stay there after November.
“From my perspective, I was within the law,” Little said Wednesday, suggesting she was “targeted by Republicans.”
Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Charles Schneider saw things differently. In court, he said Little and her compatriots chose to vote in Ohio, instead of their home states, in an attempt to sway its electoral college toward Obama.
He sentenced Little, along with Daniel “Tate” Hausman, 32, of New York, and Yolanda Hippensteele, 30, of California, either to spend 60 days in jail or pay a $1,000 fine. Little said she’ll pay the fine.
The controversy also cost Little her role as a paid adviser for Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains. He cut ties with her when the investigation surfaced.
Little plans to continue her political work in New Paltz. The misdemeanor conviction “is such a footnote,” she said. “Obama won by a landslide (in Ohio) and that’s what I was working for.”
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said his office is investigating dozens of voter fraud cases.
Little is probably correct that the numbers of voter fraud cases would not have tipped the election. However, her public quotes portray her as taking it all very lightly. The Ohio law is pretty clear that residency was required to vote in the state. These three people never planned to stay there. It is an open question how prevalent this practice was. I think the conduct of the leaders raises questions about the integrity of the entire Vote Today Ohio operation. Many people came from out of state to work for VTO and get out the Obama vote during Ohio’s “golden week” of early voting. Organizers were asking for places to stay for these out-of-state organizers all over the state. How many of them followed the lead of the VTO leaders?
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien told me yesterday that more indictments are on the way. Court documents relating to the case are here and here.
I investigated and followed this story along with Palestra through the Fall. You can get caught up quickly at this post. Months later, the three leaders of Vote Today Ohio were found guilty of voter fraud.
Here is the story from the Columbus Dispatch:
3 voting advocates guilty of fraud
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:33 PM
By Barbara Carmen
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Three staff members for Vote Today Ohio, an independent get-out-the-vote organization supporting Barack Obama, pleaded guilty in Franklin County this afternoon to voter fraud.
The three came to Ohio from states where Obama was likely to win in an effort to swing Ohio’s electoral college vote toward their candidate, Judge Charles A. Schneider said.
Given a year’s probation and a $1,000 fine were Daniel Hausman, 32, and Amy Little, 50, both of New York, and Yolanda Hippensteele, 30, of California. They told the court they had good intentions when they registered to vote and cast ballots the same day in early voting at Veterans Memorial.
“I was paying rent and living full-time in Ohio,” Hippensteele told the judge, “I didn’t attempt to vote in another state. … I think it’s all a misunderstanding. I have a profound respect for the voting process.”
Assistant Prosecutor Brian Simms said the three later tried to rescind their registration and cancel their votes; two were successful. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien had warned visiting campaign staff members that they shouldn’t vote here if they didn’t plan to stay after the election.
Schneider told the three that “rescinding your request is like giving back the money once you’ve been caught.”
Amy Little was fired as a campaign adviser to Rep. John Hall (D-NY) after it was revealed that she had voted in Ohio, despite a residence in NY and intentions to return to NY.
Michael Stinziano, Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, said he expects there may be more such outcomes since his office referred more allegations to the prosecutor.
Lots more on this story here.
As in year’s past, I have enjoyed reviewing the posts from the year and coming up with the top ten stories.
1. Cancelation of the American Psychiatric Association symposium – Amidst threat of protests, the APA pressed to halt a scheduled symposium dedicated to sexual identity therapy and religious affiliation. Whipped up by a factually inaccurate article in the Gay City News, gay activists persuaded the APA leadership to pressure symposium organizers to pull the program. Gay City News later ran a correction.
2. The other APA, the American Psychological Association, released a task force report on abortion and mental health consequences. Basing their conclusions on only one study, the APA surprised no one by claiming abortion had no more adverse impact on mental health than carrying a child to delivery. I revealed here that the APA had secretly formed this task force after a series of research reports in late 2005 found links between abortion and adverse mental health consequences for some women. New research confirms that concern is warranted.
3. Golden Rule Pledge – In the wake of Sally Kern saying homosexuality was a greater threat to the nation than terrorism, I initiated the Golden Rule Pledge which took place surrounding the Day of Silence and the Day of Truth. Many conservative groups were calling for Christian students to stay home. This did not strike me as an effective faith-centered response. The Golden Rule Pledge generated some controversy as well as approval by a small group of evangelicals (e.g., Bob Stith) and gay leaders (e.g., Eliza Byard). Some students taking part in the various events were positively impacted by their experience.
4. Exodus considers new direction for ministry – At a leadership training workshop early in 2008, Wendy Gritter proposed a new paradigm for sexual identity ministry. Her presentation was provocative in the sense that it generated much discussion and consideration, especially among readers here. It remains to be seen if Exodus will continue to move away from a change/reparative therapy focus to a fidelity/congruence ministry focus.
5. New research clarifies sexual orienatation causal factors – A twin study and a study of brain symmetry, both from Sweden and a large U.S. study shed some light on causal factors in sexual orientation.
6. Letter to the American Counseling Association requesting clarification of its policies concerning counseling same-sex attracted evangelicals. Co-signed by over 600 counselors (many of whom were referred by the American Association of Christian Counselors), I wrote a letter to the ACA requesting clarification regarding how counselors should work with evangelicals who do not wish to affirm homosexual behavior. The current policy is confusing and gives no guidance in such cases. Then President Brian Canfield replied affirming the clients self-determination in such cases. He referred the matter back to the ACA ethics committee. To date, that committee has not responded.
7. Paul Cameron’s work resurfaces and then is refuted – Insure.com resurrected Paul Cameron’s work in an article on their website about gay lifespans. The article was later altered to reflect more on HIV/AIDS than on homosexual orientation. Later this year, Morten Frisch produced a study which directly addressed Cameron’s methods.
8. Mankind Project unravels – This year I posted often regarding the Mankind Project and New Warriors Training Adventure. Recently, I reported that MKP is in some financial and organizational disarray.
9. Debunking of false claims about Sarah Palin’s record on support for social programs – I had lots of fun tracking down several false claims made about Sarah Palin during the election. Her opponents willfully distorted her real record to paint her as a hypocrite. I learned much more about Alaska’s state budget than I ever wanted to know but found that most claims of program cuts were actually raises in funding which not quite as much as the agencies requested. However, overall funding for such programs increased.
10. During the stretch run of the election, I became quite interested in various aspects of the race. As noted above, I spent some time examining claims surround Sarah Palin’s record. I also did a series on President-elect Obama’s record on housing, including an interview with one of Barack Obama’s former constituents.
I know, I know, number 10 is an understatement. (Exhibit A)
Happy New Year!
John Fund, who has been bird-dogging ACORN, reports on more instances of fraud and provides an interview with Anita MonCrief, former ACORN worker.
Anita MonCrief, an ACORN whistle-blower who worked for both it and its Project Vote registration affiliate from 2005 until early this year, agrees. “It’s ludicrous to say that fake registrations can’t become fraudulent votes,” she told me. “I assure you that if you can get them on the rolls you can get them to vote, especially using absentee ballots.” MonCrief, a 29-year old University of Alabama graduate who wanted to become part of the civil rights movement, worked as a strategic consultant for ACORN as well as a development associate with Project Vote and sat in on meetings with the national staffs of both groups. She has given me documents that back up many of her statements, including one that indicates that the goal of ACORN’s New Mexico affiliate was that only 40 percent of its submitted registrations had to be valid.
Fund reports on one of the Ohio scandals
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien also cracked down in the case of 13 out-of-state registrants who came to Ohio to register voters in Columbus for the group Vote From Home. The group all lived out of the same rented 1,175-square-foot house in Ohio, registered to vote and then most of them either cast early voting ballots or submitted applications for absentee ballots before leaving the state. They have agreed to have all of their ballots canceled in exchange for the prosecutor’s decision not to file charges.
The Columbus Dispatch reported last month that “none of them seems to have ties to Ohio” — and apparently had no intention of staying there. One has even moved back to England, where he is a student. It is illegal in almost all states to vote somewhere that is not your permanent residence.
The owner of the house the fraudulent voters stayed at is also under investigation. He has voted in Ohio even though he has lived and worked in New York for the past four years.
Here is a factoid I did not know but provides an “aha” moment.
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner admits that some 200,000 newly registered Ohio voters have been flagged by her office because their names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and/or Social Security numbers don’t match other state or federal records. She is refusing to release the information on those registrants to county election boards that have requested them for the purpose of running further checks. Ms. Brunner was elected in 2006 with the support of ACORN, and indeed her campaign consultant that year was Karyn Gillette, who happened to be MonCrief’s immediate superior at ACORN’s Project Vote.
“I’d be very suspicious of what is going on in Ohio,” MonCrief told me.
Speaking of Ohio, here is one more example of someone out of state voting in Ohio, this time in Cincinnati.
(h/t Charles Martin on the Cinci voter)
UPDATE at the end of the post…
There are many stories of voter fraud this election and I have reported at least one major one in Ohio. The situation here may violate the spirit of those laws. I do not know how Florida officials will view this but I hope to find out tomorrow. This is from Obamatravel.org. I wonder how long this page will stay up.
And here is Ms. Appleton holding her ballot:
To summarize, Ms. Appleton has been FL for 6 weeks, says she voted in FL, but plans to return “home” to NY a day or so after the election. According to this link and this one, Ms. Appleton’s residency is open to question. If I am missing something and this is legal, I do not think it should be. At least as long as we have an electoral system of electing a president, it seems fundamentally contrary to that system for people to leave “safe states” for a candidate (in this New York) and go to a battleground state to cast a ballot. It seems as though campaigns would spend their resources moving people from safe states to contested states. Maybe that is the point of this Obamatravel.org thing…
UPDATE: Earlier today, I spoke with Owen Torres, spokesperson for Miami-Dade County, and he clarified that one must register 29 days before an election which Ms. Appleton did in Miami-Dade County. He stressed that she would be allowed to vote in FL if she is registered which one may do whenever one moves to the state of FL. However, he said, she should not be registered in more than one state (which she is according to the Westchester County, NY BOE), but this is not illegal in itself. It would be illegal to vote in two places. What is problematic is Ms. Appleton’s expressed intention to leave FL to return “home” to NY as soon as the election is over. According to Mr. Torres, FL anticipates that the person who registers is doing so because they have become a resident of the state and intends to remain in the state. With the election happening tomorrow, I am not sure if I will hear the outcome of this particular situation soon. However, Mr. Torres indicated that he would pursue the matter.
UPDATE #2 – Commenter Tom pointed out that Ms. Appleton’s profile on Obamatravel.org has been removed.
UPDATE #3 – Palestra.net’s Tiffany Wilson made contact with Ms. Appleton but she declined to speak to Ms. Wilson. And Ms. Wilson notes this about FL election law:
101.045 Electors must be registered in precinct; provisions for change of residence or name. —
Chapter 101 VOTING METHODS AND PROCEDURE
Title IX ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS
SUCH PERSONS WHO ARE REGISTERED in the precinct in which the main office of the supervisor, as designated by the supervisor, is located and who are residing outside the county WITH NO PERMANENT ADDRESS IN THE COUNTY SHALL NOT BE REGISTERED ELECTORS OF A MUNICIPALITY AND THEREFORE SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED TO VOTE IN ANY MUNICIPAL ELECTION.
UPDATE: #4 – Ms. Appleton returned home to NY after the election.
Ohio is the heart of it all, after all.
There was the nursing home case and then another nursing home case, voting twice, and more.
And then of course the Vote Today Ohio business.
(h/t: Charles Martin)
UPDATE: Via Palestra.net, here are some Cuyahoga County ACORN mysteries. Roll the tape, Tiffany:
Some of these folks may be back to Ohio for court. Palestra.net is nailing this story. I am wondering about the other counties in Ohio.
I wonder what Mr. Dearing meant when he said Obama found him a house…
UPDATE: Tiffany Wilson has more…