Incumbent Amos Newsome won the Dothan City Commission District 2 seat in Alabama by only 14 votes. In the wake of the August 6th, 2013 Election, something did not seem right to Newsome’s challenger, Lamesa Danzey, who challenged the election.
It turns out that Danzey’s suspicions had merit, as three women who worked on the 2013 campaign for District 2 City Commissioner Amos Newsome, one of whom was identified as “Newsome’s longtime girlfriend,” were arrested and “charged with a combined 56 counts of voter fraud,” according to a local source last month, the Dothan Eagle.
Newsome “received 119 of the 124 absentee votes” cast in the election. Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes said,
“During our investigation, we conducted a total of 96 interviews of people who had submitted or supposedly submitted absentee ballot applications,” Hughes said. “We did find evidence and probable cause to support the allegations of wrong-doing and falsifying ballots.”
An editorial discussing the matter observes,
“If these defendants are found guilty of voter fraud, then the candidate for whom they worked is holding office fraudulently. In this case, he’s also collecting a salary for a job he wasn’t properly elected to hold. Newsome has not been charged in this matter, but a finding of guilt for his campaign workers certainly changes the legitimacy of his seat.”
Despite the editorial writer’s common sense observation, Sheriff Hughes was quoted as saying,
“These women, their arrest or their conviction or their acquittal will have no outcome on the election itself,” he said. “The election will not be overturned based upon this criminal investigation.”
So even if Newsome is found to have fraudulently won the election, no further action will be taken. It would be interesting to know if Newsome knew about the likely fraud.
Newsome did not have much to say on the matter, but he was, at least, “consistent:”
Other questions about possible voter fraud, or at the very least, voter fraud opportunities, were revealed in April.
“As of March, Greene, Wilcox, Lowndes and Macon counties had more active, registered voters than what the census estimated as their 18-and-older population in 2012.”
The active voters are quite busy, with some adults counting as more than one person, as evidenced by this chart:
Yet, despite the clear problems in Alabama, a new law requiring photo identification has been deemed as “racist” by some groups.
In fact, in February, Vice President Joe Biden referenced “hatred” behind voter ID laws in Alabama, North Carolina and Texas.
As reported at Breitbart, Biden said:
“These guys [supporters of voter integrity] never go away. Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”
Willie Mims and “Empower Alabama”
Fast forward to Willie Mims, the latest “victim” of the new Alabama voter ID requirement. According to Zachary Roth of MSNBC, Jenny McCharen of Empower Alabama, a “progressive group that gave Mims a ride to the polls, recounted the story…”
Although Empower Alabama surely knew the law, they did not check with Mims to ensure that he had his photo ID before driving him to the polling booth, evidently. Also, if they knew Willie Mims needed a ride, is it a stretch to believe that they knew Mims before voting day? Why didn’t the group assist him with getting his free photo ID?
According to the new Alabama law, one must bring a photo ID. If one does not have an ID, “…then he or she may receive a free Alabama photo voter ID…” If someone turns up without an ID, free or otherwise, he or she “will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot as provided for by law.”
Mims was not offered the provisional ballot, according to Empower Alabama. And the group that drove him to the polls clearly didn’t say a peep about it, either. But they did offer to drive him to the registrar’s office or something. He “didn’t want to go.”
@TLockette_Star Volunteers tried but he didn’t want to go. He was pretty tired. Plus he didn’t know if he had other ID handy. 🙁
— Empower Alabama (@empoweralabama) June 3, 2014
Even without a provisional ballot,
“…a voter who does not have a valid photo ID in his or her possession at the polls shall be permitted to vote if the individual is positively identified by two election officials as a voter on the poll list who is eligible to vote and the election officials sign a sworn affidavit so stating.” [emphasis added]
It is unclear why Mr. Mims did not take this opportunity, especially since he was being assisted by Empower Alabama.
So, if Empower Alabama wants to help people, perhaps they should verify that voters have photo ID before making the trek to the polling location. Once Mims was turned away by the evil racists, Empower Alabama videotaped the elderly gentleman’s tale, which was shared by classy lefties far and wide as evidence of disenfranchisement:
— Zachary Roth (@zackroth) June 4, 2014
JIM CROW RETURNS… AMERICA WILL PAY DEARLY! Meet the newest face of voter suppression, 93yr old Willie Mims: http://t.co/bqPivpG1Cu
— #ABWisdom (@adbridgeforth) June 9, 2014
When I watch the video of 93 year old Willie Mims saying he couldn’t vote after voting his whole life infuriates me! — Gloria Marion (@Gloretired) June 5, 2014
Empower Alabama is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit (funded by….?), that declares on their website:
“We help elect forward-thinking candidates: We register voters, have one-on-one conversations with thousands of voters at their own doors, and encourage participation in elections.”
On their Facebook page, Empower Alabama asks,
“Did you experience or witness anyone being turned away from the polls Tuesday for lack of a photo ID? We are collecting stories from the field and we need your help to document why this law doesn’t work for Alabama.”
There is nothing wrong with collecting such stories. However, any effort to combat voter fraud is met with resistance. While speaking of Willie Mims, Ari Melber, who was filling in for Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC, said in part:
“…GOP politicians in Alabama say the ID law wasn’t designed to make it harder to vote. It was designed to combat voter fraud. You heard about that before. And that kind of fraud ranges from rare to nonexistent, a fact that was actually evident in an unusual new offer from the Alabama GOP.” He laments, “Look at this. The state’s Republican Party announced it’s offering a $1,000 reward for information that directly leads to a conviction of a felony for voter fraud.” [emphasis added]
How is such an offer offensive if there is a conviction for felony voter fraud? One would think that rooting out fraud would be embraced. But no. Instead, the offer raises “troubling questions.”
“But this new bounty raises more troubling questions about what Alabama Republicans are up to. When did this political party decide its job to police elections instead of trying to win elections?”
Melber did not mention Amos Newsome.