Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Leo Vasquez and his histrionics re: Houston Votes *update*

Let's put an end to this sideshow right NOW.

The Harris County Voter Registrar says he's found thousands of voter applications filed in the last three months which are fraudulent. He calls this an attack on the voter rolls of Harris County. 

Horseshit, Leo. Your office is doing the same thing it has always done: verifying voter registration cards. If you don't like the work, maybe you shouldn't be tax assessor/collector. Oh, wait ... you won't be.

Harris County Voter Registrar Leo Vasquez's office has pored through thousands of voter registration applications, discovering many questionable filings. Like some which appear to be the same person with the same date of birth filing six times on the same day. And that's not all... 

Horrors. Who would do such a thing and think they could get away with it? Why, it must be the evil ACORN.

Vasquez said, "We have evidence indicating violations of the Texas election code, falsified documents being submitted to this governmental office and possibly violations of federal election laws." 

Then turn it over the the DA or the AG and le them prosecute. Simple as that.

The investigation found 1,597 instances of multiple applications for the same voter, 1,014 applications for folks already registered to vote, 325 for teenagers who are too young to register and even 25 from folks who admitted on the application they are not even US citizens. 

Sweet baby Jesus on a Christmas tree crutch. How could this be allowed to happen in the 21st century? It's a travesty, a miscarriage o' justice ...

"My office has been forced to expend countless hours and thousands of dollars of taxpayer money trying to sift through the garbage being dumped into our voter registration system," Vasquez explained. 

Vasquez shrieked, you mean.

Vasquez says the applications were all gathered by paid deputies with the group Houston Votes. Of the 25,000 applications the group filed in the last three months, only 7,193 were actually for new voters.

Sean Caddle is the director of Houston Votes, which he says is a privately funded organization which signs up voters.

"I didn't do anything wrong. I ran a legitimate program," Caddle said. "What's the motivation behind anyone else? I don't know."

Caddle says he has fired 20 to 30 of his workers as a result of filing these fraudulent applications. 

I bet another million voter registration cards come pouring in next week and poor ol' Leo is going to have to "sift through the garbage" and make sure no Ill Eagles are trying to vote Democratic.

Filling out a voter registration card incorrectly -- irrespective of the intent -- is NOT VOTER FRAUD. Voter fraud is when someone tries to vote, during early voting or on election day, who is using a fraudulent credential (that Vasquez should have snared in his verification process, I might add). Leo Vasquez cannot assume the guilt of any party to the process until an investigation is completed and charges are brought. Anything else is histrionics.

Get a grip, Leo. It's your job to verify voters' registration. Your load isn't any heavier than usual. People re-register at their new address when they move, and  people also forget they have previously registered -- even though it's probably a good idea for them to do so, since your predecessor was busily purging voter rolls as fast as he could, not to mention slow-walking new registrations. You, of course, have been forced to shuffle corrupt underlings around  after their misleading testimony to the Legislature to avoid the appearance of holdover impropriety from the Bettencourt regime.

There are bound to be mistakes when your office does such a lousy job of training deputy voter registrars. (I know this because I am one.) And if some people turned in cards with the same name on them six times, then somebody thought they were going to get paid extra for more regs. Your job -- again -- is to verify and discard if it doesn't pass muster, not cry and wail and call the media and flail your arms and gnash your teeth. (To be even-handed, part of what's wrong with this report is Kevin Quinn at ABC-13 falling hook, line, and sinker for Leo's dog-and-pony show.)

You've only got a few months to go on the job, Leo; shut up and get the work done.

And stop trying to suppress the vote with your hysterical ranting.

KHOU's report -- by veteran reporter Ron Trevino -- was more even-handed; they used "irregularities" in the header, for example:

The Harris County Registrar’s Office is investigating allegations of voter registration fraud by a registration project called Houston Votes.

[... more Vasquez hyperventilating ...]

There was a large crowd at the news conference Vasquez conducted. Among those in attendance were members of a group called True the Vote, who claimed they had brought the issue to light. ...

"I think it’s poor to make a judgment, cast a judgment made up by allegations of few select people and cast doubt on an entire organization," said Sean Caddle.

Good ol' TTV. Douchebags in Action.

Update: Go read Neil and John and Chisme. The Chronicle's Chris Moran revealed the hyperbole of Vasquez also, but as previously mentioned I won't be linking to it.

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