Kaine Enters Dispute Over Vote Fraud Allegations
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) slammed Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, this morning for saying on Monday that groups trying to register new voters are engaged in "a coordinated and widespread effort to commit voter fraud."
In an interview on WTOP radio, Kaine called Frederick's (Prince William) assertion "ridiculous."
"I think that is slandering the reputation of hardworking Virginians who care about elections and who want people to care about this process," Kaine said. "You know, I don't like to see folks doing things in the heat of a tough election to suggest they are trying to winnow down turnout and that is what I view (Frederick's) effort as."
Gerry Scimeca, a spokesman for the Virginia Republican Party, responded in an interview by rhetorically asking Kaine if he is "against people breaking the law," referring to the arrests last week of three canvassers in Hampton Roads charged with submitting false names on voter registration forms.
"All we are saying is, with the spotlight on Virginia in this election, we need added scrutiny for some of these voter registration projects that we have," Scimeca said. "With increased activity, comes increased opportunity for fraud and mischief."
Scimeca added, "I would think the Democrats would agree with us that the elections should be free of fraud and criminal activity - by any party."
As the debate continues, Frederick and the Republicans are not only ones raising questions about potential mischief when it comes to registering new voters.
Last week, J. Kirk Showalter, the general registrar in Richmond, sent a letter to elections officials saying she was "very concerned about how some of these drives that are paying people to do voter registration are conducting business."
"To date, we have identified 18 applications taken since June 11 where the address given was a fictitious address," Showalter said in the email, which was obtained by the Washington Post.
Showalter also mentioned that her office recently discovered that a 16-year-old high school student almost made it onto the voter rolls because he stated on his registration form that he was 18.
But Rokey Suleman, Fairfax's general registrar of voters, said the irregularities do not appear to be widespread, at least not in his county.
"Whenever you have a large voter registration drive, you are always going to see some voter registration cards that are not authentic," Suleman said. "But for the most part, registrars and the boards of elections catch those before they ever make them onto the books, so the system works."
July 29, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories: Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Tim Craig
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