Tatler has learned that Democrat notaries who engaged in illegal conduct in previous elections in Mississippi (according to a federal court ruling) are now harvesting absentee ballots for the Republican runoff from African-Americans who have always voted in Democratic Party primaries.
Back in 2007, the United States Justice Department sued the chairman of the Noxubee Democratic Executive Committee, Ike Brown. I served on the team that prosecuted that case. Brown was found liable for discriminating against white voters from his perch as the head of the Democrat party.
The federal court discussed the behavior of one particular notary – Carrie Kate Windham. Windham was found to have harvested votes as a notary, sometimes voting the actual ballots of the voters. You can read the whole opinion here (believe me, the conduct is so outrageous it is worth the read). The federal court:
The Government also presented direct evidence of fraud in the collection of absentee ballots by one notary in particular, Carrie Kate Windham, who became a member of the NDEC during Brown’s chairmanship and whose notary application fee and surety bond were paid by Ike Brown. . . .According to Wood, Windham actually marks Wood’s ballot for her and selects candidates when Wood does not know whom she wants to vote for because, as Wood put it, Windham “knows folks” better than Wood does. Wood testified that her daughter lives with her, and although her daughter is not disabled or illiterate and was not going to be out of the county on election day, she was
recruited to vote absentee by Windham. The same was true of Otis Shanklin, who also lives in Wood’s home. Shanklin is not disabled, can read, and is able to go to the poll on election day, yet he casts his vote by absentee ballot in every election and is assisted in every election by Windham; and if he does not know whom to vote for, he has Windham vote for him.
This is the sort of voter fraud that academics and political hacks (but I repeat myself) say is rare and doesn’t really amount to much.
Tatler can report that the notaries who have been engaged in voter fraud going back at least a decade are now in the field once again harvesting absentee ballots from African-Americans in the Republican primary who normally never vote in the Republican primary in Mississippi.
Under Mississippi law, this is illegal. MS Code Ann. 23-15-575 says that one cannot vote in a primary if one does not intend to support the nominee in November. Because nobody reads minds about the intent of the voter, we are left to use common sense about the behavior going on now in some corners of the state.
The bottom line is this: a team of notorious vote fraudsters and absentee ballot con artists are collecting absentee ballots from longtime Democrat voters in Mississippi and delivering these absentee ballots to be counted in the GOP primary. More from the federal court:
Furthermore, while Brown may not have specifically directed Windham’s activities, the court is convinced the two were working together and that he encouraged her actions, or at the very least was aware of and condoned Windham’s tactics, which furthered his agenda.
Tatler of course cannot know for whom these absentee ballots are being collected. Perhaps these long time Democrats are voting for Chris McDaniel. Perhaps they are voting for Thad Cochran. One thing we do know for sure, this is the sort of person now collecting absentee ballots from Democrats to be cast in the GOP runoff. Again, from the court about what happened when one witness testified against the fraud scheme:
After testifying on January 22, Halbert was again called to the stand by the Government on January 29, regarding avisit to her home by Windham and Johnson after she had testified. Halbert testified that as she left the courthouse, she overheardBrown tell Dorothy Clanton, Windham’s sister and also a member of the NDEC, to “Call Carrie Kate.” Twenty minutes after Halbert arrived at home, Windham and Johnson came to her home. According to Halbert, whose testimony the court credits on this subject as well, Windham confronted her about her testimony, told her, “We black people need to stick together,” and suggested that she needed “to tell them that you probably didn’t understand what you was being asked.”
UPDATED: Rick Hasen Wrongly Suggests Mississippi Law isn’t the Law