The dead voters may be forced back into their graves. The biggest scandal emerging from the infamous New Black Panther voter- intimidation case didn’t even involve the Black Panthers. Instead, it came when whistleblowing attorney J. Christian Adams told the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that top Justice Department official Julie Fernandes had openly refused to enforce laws that require states to remove ineligible names - dead people, felons, people who have moved - from voter rolls.
“We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law,” Ms. Fernandes reportedly told a roomful of employees of the department’s Voting Section in November. “It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.”
Now comes Mr. Adams to show this wasn’t idle talk. As early as today, 16 states will start receiving official “notice letters” from him warning of coming private-action lawsuits to compel them to enforce these particular provisions of the law. This appears to mean that the Justice Department is refusing to make states comply with federal voter-verification laws - which is why the task will fall to Mr. Adams, helping represent private citizens whose legal votes otherwise would be diluted in value by fraudulent votes.
The evidence adduced by Mr. Adams, who resigned in protest from the Obama Justice Department, is so stark as to beg the question of how the department could miss it other than by deliberately, lawlessly ignoring it. It is unclear why Ms. Fernandes felt compelled to make her turnout statement at all, unless it was to push back against staff attorneys who wanted to do their jobs according to the laws of the land.
Mr. Adams’ notice letters report that South Dakota, for example, has 17 counties with more registered voters than there are citizens of voting age living there. Mississippi has 17 such counties. Alabama has seven, and Indiana, Kentucky and Texas have 12 each. Most of the states threatened with suits have reported no cleaning of their voter lists for years. Multiple press accounts in Tennessee show a serious problem with convicted felons and illegal immigrants being registered and sometimes voting.
Along those lines, Mr. Adams’ missives also include Freedom of Information Act requests for the lists of federal felony convictions that the federal “motor voter” law requires the Justice Department to provide to election officials in each state. The direct intent of the requirement is to enable states that ban felon voting to scrub those names from their registration lists. The implication from Mr. Adams is that the Justice Department is ignoring that part of the law, too.
This developing scandal of mystery voters and dead voters resurrects the story about the Justice Department’s own website showing more substantial efforts to help felons reacquire voting privileges - even though the department has no statutory authority to do so - than to help ensure the opportunity for military personnel overseas to have their votes cast and counted on time.
From top to bottom, the Justice Department appears to be rigging voting-law enforcement in favor of interest groups usually seen to favor Democratic candidates. If so, the department is aiding and abetting vote fraud. Either way, this a major scandal that shouldn’t be buried.