There's a story developing in La Porte County, Indiana. It seems a voter purge in 2011 went rogue. The local GOP successfully purged about 20% of our voters—16% of them illegally, it seems. Fortunately, they were caught red handed at the last minute, and County scrambles to get eligible voters back in system.
In today's paper, La Porte County Democratic Chair John Jones has called for Federal Investigation of election fraud here.
Anyway, here's the background:
We brought concerns about the purge to the Election Board in February 2012.
The scale—20%—seemed way too big.
We brought forward specific allegations of a pattern of errors in procedures from a worker in the Voter Reg office.
In February, Donna Harris, Director of Voter Reg., assured the Election Board—under penalty of wrong-doing—that her office was following procedures properly.
Recently, Lynn Spevak (Dem), our current Clerk of the Circuit Court and a member of the Election Board, received a call from a would-be voter who discovered she couldn't vote.
Spevak researched the case and quickly discovered that the would-be voter had been purged incorrectly.
She asked for the spot check downstate.
The spot check confirmed some of the allegations presented in February.
It found an 80% error rate.
Donna Harris was appointed to her position by her husband, Keith Harris, acting as chair of the LP County GOP.
Keith Harris is the GOP candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court—and if elected, would replace Lynn Spevak on our Election Board.
Keith Harris has been on two County-wide ballots while his wife was serving as Voter Reg Director.
If that 80% error rate holds for the entire purge, about 4% were removed correctly.
That's in the normal range.
But, about 16% of our voters were purged incorrectly.
That's about one in every six voters.
Local headlines assure us we'll get back the whole 20%. Our Election Board is REALLY embarrassed that they were alerted to this very problem in February, but failed to correct it.
Now let me put this into national perspective, kossacs.
Redistricting in Indiana
Indiana just suffered redistricting at the hands of a Republican Governor and Legislature. Here in La Porte County, heavily Democratic Michigan City was sliced off IN-02 and given to heavily Democratic IN-01 (Visclosky!).
IN-Sen Joe Donnelly v. Richard Mourdock
This is a tight race, but Mourdock just pooped his pants.
Donnelly barely won re-election to Congress in 2010 against Jackie Walorski. In 2012, we have Brendan Mullen (a Democrat from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, South Bend native, West Point Graduate, Iraq Veteran, successful entrepreneur) in a tight campaign against professional Tea Party extremist Jackie Walorski (AKA Wacky Jackie). Oh, you would never guess! Her favorite issues are outlawing abortion, making birth control inaccessible, and privatizing Medicare and Social Security.
It seems our ground campaign will get lists of the reinstated voters, largely the 16% illegally purged, with enough time to make some calls:
"Hi, my name is __ and I'm calling from La Porte.
The La Porte County Republican Party took away your right to vote, illegally.
Does that make you mad?
Democrats* have restored it, just in time, and you can retaliate…"
*Restoration due largely to work by Lynne Spevak, our Democratic Clerk of the Circuit Court.