- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
KNIGHT: An electoral-reform tsunami
Pending lawsuits could force a cleanup of voter fraud
Jefferson Davis County in southwest Mississippi has the distinction of being named after Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis. That’s good or bad, depending on whether you regard what occurred between 1861 and 1865 as the Civil War or as the War Between the States.
Jefferson Davis County may soon have another distinction as the place where a serious national legal effort to push back against vote fraud was launched.
On Friday, three former U.S. Justice Department attorneys filed lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi seeking an order to compel election officials in Jefferson Davis County, as well as in nearby Walthall County, to clean up their voter rolls.
Like hundreds of counties around the nation, these two have more active registered voters than there are age-eligible residents, a perfect recipe for making sure the dead or otherwise departed get a chance to vote again and again.
Citing 2010 U.S. census data and voter-registration records, the lawsuit states that Jefferson Davis County has 10,078 active voters, but only 9,536 age-eligible citizens. “More than 105 percent of living citizens old enough to vote were registered to vote in Jefferson Davis County in 2013,” the lawsuit says.
Walthall County has 14,108 registered voters, but only 11,368 age-eligible citizens, which means that 124 percent of Walthall’s eligible voters are registered. Not a good set of numbers if you’re concerned about vote fraud.
On behalf of the American Civil Rights Union and its supporters in Mississippi, the lawsuits filed by attorneys J. Christian Adams, Christopher Coates and Henry Ross also ask the court to order election officials to provide records and data for public inspection as required by Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, better known as the Motor Voter Law.
The lawsuits are part of the American Civil Rights Union’s Election Integrity Defense Project, among whose architects are Edwin Meese III, a former U.S. attorney general under President Reagan, and J. Kenneth Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state.
Mr. Adams and Mr. Coates resigned their posts in the Voting Section of the Justice Department in 2010. They testified to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that the Obama administration was blatantly biased, as exemplified by dismissing voter-intimidation charges against New Black Panther Party members at a Philadelphia polling station in 2008. On April 16, Mr. Adams testified before the House Judiciary Committee as to how the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez has overlooked criminal behavior within its ranks while refusing to enforce Section 8. The Mississippi lawsuits are a way of doing the job that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s staff won’t do.
Looking over the electoral landscape, it’s clear that a more robust effort to force officials to ensure electoral integrity is long overdue. Every fraudulent vote cancels out a legitimately cast ballot and undermines confidence in our electoral system.
In 2007, citing clear evidence of vote fraud, a court in southwest Mississippi overturned a Democratic primary election for circuit clerk — in Jefferson Davis County. Circuit Judge Forrest Johnson found at least 26 instances of voting irregularities.
“In that election, dead people voted, as did a person who was in a hospital the entire day two counties over from Jefferson Davis County,” wrote state Sen. Joey Fillingane, a chief sponsor of the state’s photo-ID law, which has been halted by the U.S. Justice Department for nearly a year. “The problem is real, and a strong voter-ID law is part of the solution.”
The other part of the solution is compelling election officials to follow the law, clean up voter rolls and make the process transparent.
No stranger to Mississippi, where he investigated voting practices while working for the Justice Department, Mr. Adams, under the auspices of the American Civil Rights Union, sent letters in January to election officials seeking data that must be made available under Section 8. He never got an answer.
The two counties are demographically and politically the flip-side of each other. Walthall County has a majority-white population of 15,400 and voted 54 percent for Mitt Romney to 45 percent for Barack Obama in 2012. Jefferson Davis County, with a majority-black population of 12,500, voted 62 percent for Mr. Obama and 37 percent for Mr. Romney.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
Get Breaking Alerts
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- 'Blarney Blowout' near UMass results in 73 arrests; 4 officers injured
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
Recent Letters to the Editor
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time for feckless president to show resolve
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama reserves 'Chicago way' for GOP
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Public education would wither in free market
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Turkey not committed to Cyprus peace
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Spoiled-kid culture creates greedy adults