- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Arkansas Democrats are trying to steal the Senate election by registering dead people and businesses to vote, illegally allowing early voting on weekends and not requiring identification to vote, Republicans said yesterday.
At least six dead people tried to register to vote, including one helped by a person also listed on campaign-spending reports as having received $100 by the state Democratic party, said Marty Ryall, Republican Party chairman.
"I can understand why they needed assistance," Mr. Ryall said.
People who aid others registering to vote are required to sign the paperwork as well.
Another person, who helped 300 people in one county to vote, also received two checks of $50 from the Democratic party, Mr. Ryall said.
Michael Cook, executive director of the Arkansas Democratic Party, said a former staffer had hired two teenagers to register voters and that they took names directly from the phone book. He said the incident happened seven months ago and that party officials are cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"They are trying to disenfranchise voters by bringing up a dead issue, no pun intended," Mr. Cook said.
Republican Party officials continue to sift through hundreds of registration forms. One official said they had created one large stack of registrations done in the same ink and handwriting. At least two businesses were registered to vote, "Reed's Wrecker" and "Reed's Crusher."
Republicans also say that early voters now casting ballots in county clerk offices are not showing photo identification as required by state law.
On Monday, Republican poll-watchers attempted to challenge voters who did not have identification, and when one voter produced a Michigan driver's license, they challenged that person's residency.
"When the worker challenged that voter, about 30 people came over yelling that she was obstructing voting," Mr. Ryall said.
Mr. Cook said Republicans were harassing black voters. Jefferson County Clerk Helen Bradley did not return a call for comment.
"They were caught red-handed trying to intimidate voters," Mr. Cook said. "Legally, poll-watchers cannot say anything. The only thing they have a right to do under Arkansas law is to watch."
Republicans say they are also concerned that county clerk offices plan to be open Saturdays and possibly Sundays for early voting. Arkansas law says clerks can only be open during "regular office hours" for early voting.
During the 2000 presidential election, many clerks opened their offices on Sunday, but Jackson County Clerk Paulette Dunn refused to do so, angering Democrats, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported then.
"I had 17 Afro-American churches lined up to be bused to the courthouse to vote on Sunday," said Kathy Robinson, a Democratic activist, told the newspaper. "Now I'm going to have to retract that. We were trying to get Gore elected."
Republicans plan on watching county clerk offices throughout the state until Election Day.
Mr. Cook called Republican concerns "hypocritical."
The Republican Party says one thing, but one of the biggest Republican counties has asked for an opinion to be open on Saturday, he said. "They are trying to have it both ways," Mr. Cook said.
In South Dakota, state and federal investigators are looking into possible registration fraud on Indian reservations by Democrats.
"It makes me wonder, that if you have the Democratic Party behind voter fraud in South Dakota, and Arkansas is a key race, is this a national effort by the Democratic Party to steal elections and steal the Senate?" Mr. Ryall said.
Mr. Cook called the charge "baloney."
In Arkansas, incumbent Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson is in a tight race to keep his seat against Attorney General Mark Pryor. In South Dakota, Democrat incumbent Sen. Tim Johnson is being challenged by Republican Rep. John R. Thune.

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