The party of voter ID laws may need to clean up their own house first when it comes to election fraud.
-By Augusta Christensen
September 20, 2012- It turns out that the Republican Party’s obsession with voter fraud may be yet another case of projection. Four former staffers for resigned House Rep. Thaddeus McCotter have been charged with 36 counts of misdemeanor and felony election fraud. Yesterday one of those staffers, Lorianne O’Brady, pled not guilty to five misdemeanor counts of submitting fraudulent signatures on a ballot petition. O’Brady is the last of the four staffers to be arraigned; the other three, Don Yowchuang, Mary Melissa Turnbull, and Paul Seewald, were arraigned on similar charges on August 10th.
So what happened? It all started last May, when the Michigan Congressman announced that he was considering running for the Republican nomination for president. McCotter, who had served in the US House of Representatives for nine years, officially announced his candidacy in July of 2011, but was unsuccessful due to his relatively unknown status. In September of 2011, McCotter officially withdrew from the race and endorsed Mitt Romney.
For the next part of the story, we have to go back to April of 2011. Prior to running for president, McCotter had not confirmed that he would be running for reelection is his district. He was the only one of Michigan’s 15 representatives who still had yet to announce his intentions for his seat. That May, after McCotter began exploring a presidential run, he confirmed that he would not campaign for his seat in the House. Then in September, McCotter reversed that plan after ending his presidential campaign. McCotter was indeed running for reelection in Michigan’s 11th District.
Fast forward to May 2012. the date to collect signatures to appear on the ballot in Michigan has come and gone. 1,000 signatures are necessary for each candidate, and the McCotter campaign turned in over 2,000. There was just one small problem: most of those signatures were forgeries or photocopies. Only 244 of the signatures – just over 10% of the total number – were actually legitimate signatures.