Election 2020

2000 Bush v. Gore Lawyer Exposes the 'Underworld' That 'Trades on Ballots and Forgeries'

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

In light of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, Democrats have gone all-in on vote-by-mail schemes, ostensibly to protect people from the virus. Yet this shift empowers nefarious criminals who subvert elections by buying and selling ballots and engaging in other forms of voter fraud. Thomas Spencer, a lawyer in the Bush v. Gore (2000) case and vice president of the Lawyers Democracy Fund, warned about the existence of a criminal “underworld” that perpetrates voter fraud.

“There’s an underworld out there that trades on ballots and forgeries,” Spencer told PJ Media in an interview Monday. “They prey on old folks or people in very poor communities. It’s a huge problem and it’s one of those subterranean problems where it’s very difficult to find who these people are.”

Spencer cited a New York Post article in which a Democratic political operative confessed to engaging in voter fraud for decades. “An election that is swayed by 500 votes, 1,000 votes — it can make a difference,” the tipster, who remained anonymous for fear of prosecution, told The Post. “It could be enough to flip states.” He described situations where operatives — or even nurses — would go from room to room in nursing homes and fill out the ballots for residents.

Spencer also recalled the 1997 mayor’s race in Miami, when authorities charged 36 people with crimes involving absentee ballot fraud. “They were part of a well-orchestrated conspiracy to steal the election,” Assistant State Attorney Joe Centorino said at the time. The election results were later reversed, allowing the incumbent to remain return to office after it appeared he had lost the election.

“In Miami, we had — and maybe we still have — lots of vote brokers who would go around paying people for ballots,” Spencer told PJ Media.

He also recalled a case in Hialeah litigating fraudulent signatures. “We proved that there were hundreds of ballots which were forged,” he said.

“We’ve had lots of anecdotal statements made to us that people are buying ballots, absentee ballots, they were paying $50-100 a ballot,” Spencer recalled.

He also referenced the bombshell Project Veritas report exposing Liban Mohamed, who boasted about his carload of absentee ballots for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

“It’s very difficult to do what Project Veritas did,” Spencer told PJ Media. “It’s very expensive to catch these people. Police agencies and state attorneys, et cetera, really need to have an airtight case before they’re willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars.”

“There is an underworld that’s operating, we really don’t have our hands on it,” the lawyer warned.

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The Democrats’ strategy

“In the states that are controlled by Democrats, they use the firehose of ballots to spread those ballots into as many places as possible without care as to where those ballots are ending up,” Spencer told PJ Media. Democrats are “taking all the guardrails down,” opening up the system to fraud.

“I see a real chance that we will have one or two cases going to the Supreme Court because of the way it’s being set up,” he added. “We have to recognize that the Democratic Party strategy has been to create chaos from a legal point of view. In my experience over the last 30-40 years, I’ve seen that the Democrats normally file lawsuits, 30, 60, 90 days out from any election.”

“Their philosophy is, ‘Every vote that’s submitted should count even if it’s not a legal vote.’ Whereas our position has always been that every ballot should count if it’s submitted and executed in accordance with the law,” Spencer explained.

He zeroed in on Perkins Coie lawyer Marc Elias, who has spearheaded a “four pillars” approach to further mail voting.

Elias is fighting to make sure that: the government pays postage for mail-in ballots; ballots postmarked on or before Election Day count, which includes some ballots that arrive a few days after Election Day because not every post office postmarks ballots; every ballot is accepted even if the signature does not match the one on file; and “community organizations” should be allowed to “help collect and deliver voted, sealed ballots,” also known as “ballot harvesting.”

Elias’ activism has succeeded in loosening restrictions on signature-matching in Florida, Georgia, and Iowa. It has also furthered ballot harvesting in Arizona. Many states have pushed back the deadline on absentee and mail-in ballots to many days after the election, as many as 9-12 days after November 3.

Mail-in voting opens the system to fraud because it disrupts the chain of custody, Tom Spencer argued.

“Once the ballot is out of the hands of the voter, the chain of custody is broken,” he explained. While advocates for voting by mail argue that “the Post Office becomes the custodian of that ballot and it goes right to the Elections Department,” Spencer countered that “in Florida, we had ballots which never made it to the Elections Department.”

He recalled that “25,000 ballots came in after Election Day” in 2018. “They had been sitting somewhere in somebody’s truck.”

Spencer again turned to the Project Veritas video. “When the guy was explaining how they did it, took me right back to cases I’ve litigated in Miami, where they were walking around with wads of cash. Some of these old people in these nursing homes. You give the nursing attendant $50 and you’re in the room with the ballot.”

“I wish that the Department of Justice would put up an award for information leading to the arrest of anyone committing vote fraud and I wish they’d advertise that, because I bet they’d get a lot of hits,” he insisted.

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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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