Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Roy Moore’s Next Move: Accuse Voter Fraud To Challenge And Delay Implementing Results

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 17, 2017

According to a news item published by the Associated Press, Friday, December 15, 2017 and subsequently reported by Business Insider on December 16, 2017, 12:43 PM ET, “Alabama Republican Roy Moore on Friday told supporters that the “battle is not over” in Alabama’s Senate race even though President Donald Trump and others have called on him to concede. Moore sent a fundraising email to supporters asking for contributions to his “election integrity fund’ so he could investigate reports of voter fraud. “I also wanted to let you know that this battle is NOT OVER!” he wrote.”
-and-
“Roy Moore still refuses to concede — and he asked supporters to donate to an ‘election integrity fund’ to find voter fraud.”

The outcome of an election does NOT depend upon whether a candidate concedes, or not.

Thus, Roy Moore can “refuse” to concede to his perverted little heart’s delight… and it STILL WILL NOT HAVE ANY BEARING ON THE ELECTION’S OUTCOME.

So now, the great game is to sit back and watch what that damn-fool idiot does. And, if the story (including Moore’s previous actions) is any guide, he will likely rely upon what he describes as “numerous reported cases of voter fraud” which he and his campaign will send to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

The interesting thing about it all, is that alleged “voter fraud” has been cited as a justification for the legislature changing Alabama law to require photo ID at polling locations in order to vote. Fact is, however, that NO CASES of alleged “voter fraud” have ever been documented, and if there ever were any cases, they had no bearing upon the outcome of the election. So in both ways, Roy Moore and his campaign camp is barking up a very wrong tree.

FactCheck.org published a story about alleged voter fraud in the Moore v Jones Senate Special Election which stated in part as follows:

Q: Did voters in Alabama’s special Senate election get “caught voting multiple times with fake IDs”?
A: No. The Alabama Secretary of State’s office has received no such report.

FULL ANSWER
“Alabama elected its first Democratic U.S. senator in 25 years on Dec. 12 in a narrow victory over a Republican candidate who had been beset by allegations of sexual misconduct.

“The next day, a popular story on Facebook claimed that 60,000 votes cast in a heavily Democratic area might be invalid. The story was flagged by Facebook users as potentially false. It is.

“Jefferson County, which includes the city of Birmingham, voted overwhelmingly in favor of Democrat Doug Jones. Of the 219,541 people who voted in the county, 68 percent voted for Jones and 30 percent voted for Republican Roy Moore, according to the unofficial numbers from the secretary of state.

“The made-up story ran under a headline that said, “BREAKING: Black People In Birmingham Caught Voting Multiple Times With Fake IDs,” and suggested that the outcome of the election was in question. It’s not.

“The Alabama Secretary of State’s office hasn’t received reports of voter fraud of any significant scale, said Communications Director John Bennett, and it has heard of nothing that would sway the outcome of the election.”

According to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office:

“U.S. SENATE SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION 2017 Statewide Results
“Total Ballots Cast: 1,346,147
“Total Registered Voters: 3,326,812
“Voter Turnout: 40.46%
“Counties Reported: 67 of 67
“Last Updated: 12/12/2017 10:46:17 PM
“The election results presented on these pages are unofficial and presented as a courtesy of the Alabama Secretary of State and Alabama’s Probate Judges. The accuracy of the election results is the responsibility of the Probate Judge for each county reporting.”

Allegations of “voter fraud” in Alabama are so preposterously and absurdly ludicrous, that anyone making them is bordering on lunacy.

The alt-right Heritage Foundation researched and reported on “voter fraud” throughout the 50 states, and in Alabama, from 2000-2016 found only 14 documented cases wherein the accused was found guilty.

Yes, that’s right… 14 cases in 16 years. That’s “massive voter fraud” alright.

Now, this is NOT to belittle voting irregularities, or instances of blatant and outright fraud such as voter impersonation. It is, however, meant to demonstrate that there are SO FEW instances of “voter fraud” that there is NO POSSIBLE WAY they could affect the outcome of an election.

While the case of 2004 Guntersville, Alabama mayoral election result overturned by Judicial finding (Supreme Court of Alabama, James TOWNSON v. Locresia STONICHER and Joy Cranford, Locresia Stonicher and Joy Cranford v. James Townson. 1041047 and 1041083. Decided: December 09, 2005) (SCAL) is referenced as an example of “voter fraud” on that website, it should be borne in mind that the court ruled on a question of proper identification – NOT on “voter fraud” – and wrote specifically that the “trial court impermissibly included or excluded certain votes,” and that “the trial court should have excluded the votes of those voters for Townson who included an improper form of identification with their absentee ballots.” In that case, the Alabama Supreme Court also specifically cited previous case law (Eubanks v. Hale, 752 So.2d 1113, 1150 (Ala.1999)) that,

“‘It is the established law in this state that:

“‘“a person be not disfranchised as to his right as an elector․ when he has made an honest effort to comply with the law and in that effort has substantially complied with the statutory mandates.”’”

In their concluding remarks, the SCAL wrote:

“In the instant case, the failure of the absentee voters to include proper identification with their absentee ballots was a defect fatal to the votes cast by those absentee voters. The trial court erred in allowing those voters to “cure” that defect by presenting acceptable forms of identification at trial. Therefore, we reverse the trial court’s decision to count those votes, and we subtract them from Townson’s total vote count. Because the subtraction of those 30 votes from Townson’s vote count renders moot the other arguments on appeal, we pretermit discussion of those arguments. We affirm the trial court’s judgment insofar as it declares Hembree the winner of the election, and we vacate the stay of the enforcement of that judgment.” [note to readers: pretermit is to disregard intentionally or allow to pass unnoticed or unmentioned]

Improper ID is hardly “voter fraud.” And at the time of the Guntersville mayoral election, Alabama’s Voter ID law was substantially different than it is now. At that time, the Code of Alabama in Section 17-11A-1, Ala.Code 1975, stated the following acceptable forms of Voter ID:

“(a) As used in this section, the term ‘valid photo identification’ may include in addition to governmentally produced photo identifications, identification cards containing the photo of the elector produced by employers for employees and identification cards containing the photo of the elector produced by a public or private college, university, or postgraduate technical or professional school located within the state.

“(b) Each elector shall provide identification to an appropriate election official prior to voting.   A voter required to show identification when voting in person shall present to the appropriate election official either of the following forms of identification:

“(1) A current valid photo identification.

“(2) A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.   The term ‘other government document’ may include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

“a. A valid identification card issued by a branch, department, agency, or entity of the State of Alabama, any other state, or the United States authorized by law to issue personal identification.
“b. A valid United States passport.
“c. A valid Alabama hunting or fishing license.
“d. A valid Alabama permit to carry a pistol or revolver.
“e. A valid pilot’s license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or other authorized agency of the United States.
“f. A valid United States military identification card.
“g. A certified copy of the elector’s birth certificate.
“h. A valid Social Security card.
“i. Certified naturalization documentation.
“j. A certified copy of court records showing adoption or name change.
“k. A valid Medicaid card, Medicare card, or an Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (formerly referred to as a ‘food stamp card’).

“(c) For voters required to show identification when voting by mail, the voter shall submit with the ballot a copy of one of the forms of identification listed in subsection (b).”

Note that some of the then-valid forms of Voter ID were NOT photographic, such as items enumerated in (2), d, e (at that time, FAA did NOT issue photo pilot licenses), g, h, j, and k. However, since that time, the law in Alabama changed substantially, and now, every form of ID which may be used as Voter ID MUST contain a photograph of the individual to whom such ID is issued.

But Moore to the point (pun intended).

It now seems evident that Roy Moore will claim “voter fraud” as an example to challenge the election results, and will claim that absentee and provisional ballots (notably, he uses the military as his punching bag, thereby portraying him in a favorable light) had been improperly cast, and/or counted. Further, he will likely file suit challenging the election results, which may quite possibly delay a January 3, 2018 date for Doug Jones to take the Oath of Office as U.S. Senator.

Granted, Jones’ winning margin was approximately 1.5%, and ALSOS Merrill said, “I know a lot of people would say it’s never over until it’s over, but the margin of victory for Doug Jones at this particular time looks like a very difficult amount of votes to overcome as the remaining votes that are out there to be counted next week begin to be considered at the local level.” However, a state-wide recount would be impractical, and expensive, the costs of which would be borne by Moore because he would challenge the results, which, according to AL State law, fall outside the one half of one percent margin required by law to “trigger” a recount paid for by the state.

The Code of Alabama, Title 17, Chapter 16, Section 40 states the “Grounds of contest.”
Section 17-16-40
Grounds of contest.
The election of any person declared elected to the office of Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, Public Service Commissioner, senator or representative in the Legislature, justices of the Supreme Court, judges of the courts of appeals, judge of the circuit court or district court, or any office which is filled by the vote of a single county, or to the office of constable may be contested by any person who was at the time of either of the elections a qualified elector for any of the following causes:
(1) Malconduct, fraud, or corruption on the part of any inspector, clerk, returning officer, canvassing board, or other person.
(2) When the person whose election to office is contested was not eligible thereto at the time of such election.
(3) On account of illegal votes.
(4) On account of the rejection of legal votes.
(5) Offers to bribe, bribery, intimidation, or other malconduct calculated to prevent a fair, free, and full exercise of the elective franchise.
(6) The results of a recount conducted under Section 17-16-20 name as a winner a person other than the person initially certified.
(Code 1896, §1667; Code 1907, §455; Code 1923, §545; Code 1940, T. 17, §231; §17-15-1; amended and renumbered by Act 2006-570, p. 1331, §83.)

Here’s where I “break out the crystal ball,” by predicting that Roy Moore will cite that law as grounds for his contest, and will specifically reference sections (1), (3), (4), and the “other malconduct” provision in (5) as basis for his challenge.

It should be noted, however, that in the opening paragraph of 17-16-40, the clause “senator or representative in the Legislature,” does NOT specifically state whether it is State or Federal, it is inferred in context to be State, because of the offices specifically mentioned before, and after that clause. So, it could be argued (albeit, IMO unsuccessfully), that the challenge provision does not apply. And, it very well may be that Moore and his attorneys will do that… or, at least consider it.

The law which cites the standard by which recount is to be done, and states who pays for it, is Code of Alabama Section 17-16-20 Recounts generally, which states in paragraph (a) When, in a general election, the election returns for any public office, including a judicial office, reflect that a candidate is defeated or any ballot statewide measure is defeated by not more than one half of one percent of the votes cast for the office, or the ballot measure, as certified by the appropriate election officer, a recount shall be held unless the defeated candidate submits a written waiver for the recount as provided herein.

The law states in paragraph (d) The expenses of a recount conducted pursuant to subsection (a) shall be a state charge if the recount is held for an election for a federal, state, circuit, or district office, or the state Senate, state House of Representatives, or any other office that is not a county office. The expenses of a recount conducted pursuant to subsection (a) shall be a county charge if the recount is held for an election for county office.

Paragraph (j) also cites another ground for challenge as follows: (j) If the results of a recount conducted under subsection (a) name as a winner a person other than the person initially certified, the outcome shall constitute grounds for an election contest as now prescribed by law.

While Moore has claimed there were “numerous reported cases of voter fraud,” ALSOS Merrill said in response to questions about voting irregularities in that election that, “we have not discovered any that have been proven factual in nature.”

Again, in a recent video, and circular mailed to his supporters, Roy Moore tipped his hand about he intends to do by saying that, “Realize when the vote is this close, it’s not over. And we still got to go by the rules about this recount provision.” His concluding remark in the video was “It’s not over and it’s going to take some time.” That is a very clear indicator of what he intends to do.

 

In his election night results with CNN, ALSOS Merrill said, “The people of Alabama have spoken tonight, they have made their voice heard loud and clear.”

However… later in that same interview, he also said, The important thing we need to remember now is, that the process needs to be followed to ensure that the integrity, the safety, and security of the election is preserved. That means that we need to follow the procedures that are established according to the Code for the rest of the way. Which means that the election will be actually be certified no earlier than the 26th of December, and no later than the 3rd of January. So we’ve got to make sure that that occurs the way the Code prescribes it to occur.”

Now, it would not surprise me to see that ALSOS Merrill, a Republican, would cite the law, yet leave sufficiently ambiguous room for Moore to weasel in, by purposely refusing to mention challenges that might occur, which is “… the way the Code prescribes it to occur.”

Bottom line?

Stay tuned!

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

http://www.factcheck.org/2017/12/fake-report-voter-fraud-alabama/

https://businessinsider.com/roy-moore-asks-for-donations-refuses-to-concede-alabama-senate-race-2017-12

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