Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rokita Charges Vote Fraud In Clark County

In an effort to get Clark Co. Prosecutor Steve Stewart (D) to move on an investigation of evidence Secretary of State Todd Rokita's office turned over to him last November of voter fraud in the 2003 municipal election, Rokita urged the prosecutor to investigate the charges during a press conference on the steps of the city-county building in Jeffersonville on Thursday. David Mann of the News & Tribune reports that numerous requests in the past by Rokita's office have been ignored by Stewart. "Rokita said attorneys in his office have contacted Stewart seven times and he personally has contacted Stewart three times urging that charges be filed," Mann writes. "None of the correspondences have been answered, Rokita said." “I’m calling on the prosecutor to prosecute this case or come up with a reason that it shouldn’t move forward,” Rokita said.

Rokita's public pressure on Stewart to do his job is important because the statute of limitations is about to run on the case. "It would be his office’s decision to file and pursue formal charges," Mann observes. "Stewart hasn’t taken any action on the matter." "On Thursday, Rokita called on Stewart to file charges before a five-year statute of limitations passes in the spring 2008." "Once that passes, charges cannot be filed, Rokita said." So what is alleged to have been done that is fraudulent? In an e-mail to Mann, Rokita's office outlined the evidence:

[Deputy Secretary of State Paul] Okeson noted that the secretary’s office had received documented complaints of dozens of instances of illegal acts during that primary election that year. A few individuals were involved, but not identified by name at the press conference or in the e-mail.

The secretary’s office investigated the case and found what it called “substantial, verified evidence” that a Clark County resident engaged in illegal handling and marking of absentee ballots and illegal electioneering, such as telling someone how to vote, watching them mark his or her ballot and handling the ballot after it had been filled out.

The individual in question also allegedly conspired to commit voting fraud by facilitating voting from individuals no longer living within the precincts that they were registered in, Okeson’s e-mail noted.

Rokita said he believes any of the crimes committed during the 2003 elections are Class D felonies, each punishable by three years in prison and $10,000 in fines. He said further election fraud may have taken place in the 2007 primary election, but a formal investigation has not been filed for that primary . . .

[T]he secretary’s office said it had handed over numerous documents — including the name of a primary suspect, a list of witnesses and sworn statements taken by a court reporter — to county Prosecutor Steve Stewart in November.
Mann's story notes that the reported allegations of vote fraud are not new. "The Evening News investigated such allegations involving elections in Clarksville in June, and found that the use of absentee ballots had dropped by about 60 percent between the 2003 primary election to the 2007 primary election — both of which were municipal election cycles," Mann writes.

This case is a perfect example of why we need more state oversight in these cases. Time and time again, prosecutors throughout the state fail to take charges of vote fraud seriously, particularly when it may involve members of their own party.


Anonymous said...


These incidents occur more than you think and are ususally not prosecuted after the election. Marion County has had its share of the same incidents on election day. Complaints filed,records forged, witnesses who were willing to testify, and nothing was done. Why? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Is Jimmy Carter going to monitor our next election? After all, nothing was done about the primary election and those who could not vote etc.Why was that okay?

Sir Hailstone said...

12:53 - the botched primary was NOT okay. Beth White should have resigned. All the times Ed Treacy came on camera to rip Doris Anne Sadler should been reversed and aimed right back at Beth White tenfold.

"Make every vote count" - my ass.

Unfortunately certain folks are among the order of invertebrates and don't possess the cojones to force the issue.

Anonymous said...

The candidates both poliitcal parties wanted won in the Primary, reason why no election contests were filed. The people lost.

Personally,Damocraps and Republicans, both major Parties should pay for the election.