Some Will Rob You With a Fountain Pen

Okay, ya wanna see voter fraud? Let’s go back to Florida, 2000, when the presidential election was decided by 537 votes and a Supreme Court 5-4 ruling…

TAMPA — Kelvin King was turned away from the polls here in November when records showed that he was ineligible to vote as a convicted felon. County election officials learned days later that King’s civil rights had been restored eight months earlier.
Sandylynn Williams had voted in every election since she was 18. But this time, election officials confused her with her sister — a felon who had once used Williams’s name — and refused to let her vote.
Jeffrey Key, 37, who served time on a 1989 armed robbery charge, said he resumed voting in 1992 without applying to have his voting rights restored. He said he also voted in 1996, but in 2000, he was turned away from the polls.
“They sent me a letter of apology, and I just laughed,” recalled Williams, 34, who said she had planned to vote for Democratic nominee Al Gore. “I was cheated out of voting.”
The Tampa residents were among hundreds, perhaps thousands, of non-felons in Florida who civil rights lawyers contend were wrongly prevented from voting in the Nov. 7 election after state election officials and a private contractor bungled an attempt to cleanse felons from voter rolls.

Read the rest at the Washington Post.

More from the US Commission on Civil Rights…

The magnitude of the disenfranchisement, including the disparity between black and nonblack voters, is supported by the testimony of witnesses at the Commission’s hearings. These witnesses include local election officials, poll workers, ordinary voters, and activists. Among the sworn testimony:


One potential voter waited hours at the polls because of a registration mix-up as poll workers attempted to call the office of the supervisor of elections. The call never got through and the individual was not allowed to vote. A former poll worker herself, she testified that she never saw anything like it during her 18 years as a poll worker.

A poll worker in Miami-Dade County with 15 years of experience testified, “By far this was the worst election I have ever experienced. After that election, I decided I didn’t want to work as a clerk anymore.”

A poll worker in Palm Beach County testified that she had to use her personal cell phone to attempt to contact the election supervisor’s office. Despite trying all day, she only got through two or three times over the course of 12 hours.

A Broward County poll worker testified that in past elections it took about 10 minutes to get through to the elections supervisor. During the course of the November 2000 election, she turned away approximately 40–50 potential voters because she could not access the supervisor of elections.

A Boynton Beach poll worker explained how his precinct workers turned away about 30–50 potential voters because they could not get through to the supervisor of elections. He was successful only once during an eight-hour period.

Other persons testified about waiting in long lines only to be ultimately denied their right to vote.

The secretary of state, Katherine Harris, made no secret of her support for George Bush. She was the person trusted to ensure a fair election. She got to decide how to interpret the rules. From CBS News…

(CBS) Government computers in the office of Florida’s top elections official contained documents endorsing George W. Bush’s candidacy for president, an initial review of computer files showed.
Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who also served as co-chair of Bush’s Florida campaign, had said repeatedly that she had erected “a firewall” during the election between her state office and the Republican Party.
The documents found on her state computers endorsing Mr. Bush were among tens of thousands of computer files released by Harris last week after reporters questioned whether she had erased records about the 2000 election that a newspaper had asked to examine.
One of the documents was titled “George W. Bush Talking Points.” It was dated March 14, 2000, and endorsed Mr. Bush’s nomination for president, saying he had “proven in Texas that he can manage like an executive, govern across party lines and lead with inclusiveness.”
Another document, written for Harris, urged Republicans to support Mr. Bush and “send the loudest possible message that we are ready to lead!” The speech was written following the New Hampshire primary, which Mr. Bush lost to Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The steamroller Florida used to sweep away thousands of votes was a list of felons– not qualified to vote under Florida law. Harris’ office decided to take a liberal interpretation of the felon list. According to the federal civil rights investigation…

Florida’s overzealous efforts to purge voters from the rolls, conducted under the guise of an anti-fraud campaign, resulted in the inexcusable and patently unjust removal of disproportionate numbers of African American voters from Florida’s voter registration rolls for the November 2000 election.

The purge system in Florida proceeded on the premise of guilty until proven innocent.


Exactly. How do you prove you’re not a felon? This is totally Un-American. And it invites corruption. Just apply the felon-screen to the districts you want to disqualify, and watch the numbers drop.

Woody Guthrie said, ‘Some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen.’ The fountain pen is the more effective weapon. You might hypothetically get a few hundred illegitimate votes by pounding the pavements and bribing street people, but you will have to put out massive money and energy, and probably get caught. How much better to sit in a state office and make the calls that will bar some from the polls and invalidate the votes of others– all in the name of preventing fraud. Good Americans bear the penalty of being denied their vote without a trial–GUILTY UNTIL PROVED INNOCENT. This in the first election of the new century, the closest in history.

This still outrages me. I can’t believe this happened in America in the 21st Century.

4 thoughts on “Some Will Rob You With a Fountain Pen

  1. It was ten years ago and the statute of limitations has run on any potential crime there.
    Being outraged is all you can do,but considering you frequently refer back to the Salem witch trials,I guess you don’t let anything go.
    The Florida situation will probably never be known in its entirety.It’s too emotional and too many allegations have been made.It turned into a circus with hanging chads and old Jews horrified that they might have voted for Buchanan.
    I was out of the country during that period and I was watching tv overseas and saying to myself “WTF”?
    Are you the LEAST bit concerned about the handling of the thuggery displayed by the New Black Panther party in Philly?Or more disgusting,Holder’s DOJ sweeping it under the rug?
    I hope the Republicans take the House and shine some light on that racist abomination.
    And don’t waste my time or your keyboard time by trying to tell me only White people can be racist.
    Now that two DOJ people have testified openly about this issue,it seems to have some legs,as media types say.

  2. Its indicative of the different approaches to politics, after the Democrats took Congress, they did nothing to investigate the 2000 election violations, but the Republicans are itching to use any power they get to destroy efforts to register poor and minority voters who usually get in the way of their agenda of enriching the fat cats. (as they did with Acorn)

    As for 2000, as a statistics teacher, I can say the stat community was overwhelmingly convinced of widespread fraud in Florida as the official results were so out of line with scientific samples that had led to the call that the state was going D, the discrepancy was extremely unlikely to be due to chance. Of course that is only “statistical” proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, not 100%

  3. Oh, right, the Black Panther incident.

    What about Chicago in the 60s, under the Daley Machine?

    Did you read the post, Observer? The point is that, for all the protestations from the Wrong Wing about how the Dems have stolen elections, they have NEVER been able to produce proof of any crime.

    Got that? NO PROOF. All the Wrong Wing can do is shout about ACORN and the Black Panthers and remind people about something that happened 30 or 40 years ago.

    OTOH, when supporters of the GOP go about election fraud, they systematically eliminate thousands of voters at a time. And Florida was a classic example. Prior to the election, the Sec of State’s office deliberately removed the names of thousands of voters whose names were similar to the names of convicted felons.

    This was a deliberate–and successful–attempt to disenfranchise thousands of voters. And, funny thing, most of the people affected were African-American, who tend to vote Dem.

    Funny how that worked, isn’t it?

    Deliberate. Proven.

    Against that all the Wrong Wing has is some fairy tales about ACORN and the possibility that the Black Panthers may have possibly intimidated a few voters. Maybe.

    BTW–at about 9:30, one of the networks called Florida for Gore. An hour later, it was removed, and it went back and forth until 3:00 or 4:00 am. At which point, a commentator working for FOX–who happened to be related to GW Bush–called Florida for Bush. This provided the sense that Bush had won, which is why he was so keen on not counting the votes. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, so the perception that Bush “won” the state became the ruling on the field. By effectively suppressing the review in the booth, the call on the field was allowed to stand, if only by default.

    And so Bush was given the White House, even though he probably didn’t win enough electoral votes.

    Sounds a lot more like voter fraud than anything ACORN or a couple of Black Panthers could possibly dream of.

    BTW–Gore didn’t want to create the impression that he was a sore loser, so the Dems let it go. Unlike Dick Nixon in 1960, who threw every legal appeal and trick he could to have the results in Illinois reviewed.

    1. You should really be talking to yourself,since I didn’t even vote in 2000 and never would vote for Bush for reasons of my own.
      Whatever happened in Florida doesn’t negate the incident in Philly,but the incident itself is secondary to the coverup.
      I find the people who revealed it believeable-they aren’t some Breitbart operatives,but professionals.Big difference.
      I am concerned about an Attorney General who violated Federal law by acting as a go between for United Fruit(Chiquita Banana)and the FARC terrorists in Colombia.
      I am also disgusted by his plan to try enemy combatants as civilian criminls in NYC.The idea of holding that city hostage to multi-year ordeal of trials,hearings,motions,etc is really hateful and insane.
      These individuals should be tried at Gitmo before a military tribunal and without the protections afforded those who commit crimes in the US.
      Did you ever see the Dailey machine at work?Probably not,unless you lived in Chicago like I did.Crooked and rotten to the core,boy.
      You have a habit of trying to lecture me like I would actually give a damn what you have to say.You and I both know that you can say anything you want here,and why that is,don’t we?
      In any event,we have an Attorney General as bad as Mitchell or Kleindienst and you are real satisfied with it.Just so long as he doesn’t move in next door.
      Hopefully in two years this bunch of Alinskyites in DC will be shooed out the door into obscurity.

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