Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote Fraud in Oakdale: What We're Fighting Against

I found this story by way of Michelle Malkin, who plucked it from the pages of The Modesto Bee.  I wish I could even claim to be shocked.  It would make the predictability of this kind of nonsense less chilling.

Two pre-marked ballots discovered at precinct

By J.N. Sbranti

last updated: November 04, 2008 12:09:24 PM

OAKDALE — At least two Spanish-language ballots were pre-marked for Barack Obama at a rural Oakdale precinct Tuesday morning, causing election officials to confiscate and inspect all the blank ballots.

"I consider this extremely serious," said Lee Lundrigan, Stanislaus County clerk and registrar of voters. "We've sent an additional person to the precinct, and everyone is now watching each other."

The incident happened about 9:20 a.m. at the River Oak Grace Community Church polling place on Rodden Road just north of Oakdale.

Hector Parra, who doesn't speak English, was handed a Spanish-language ballot, which he took to the voting station. A moment later, he went to the precinct workers seeking help. Since there was no designated translator working at the time, the precinct's staff asked if anyone in the crowded room could speak Spanish.

Sylvia Moreno volunteered to translate, and she said Parra didn't understand why the ballot he was given had been marked.

"He was going to vote for Obama, but it was already filled in for Obama," Moreno said. "He just wondered why."

Moreno explained the problem to precinct workers, who then took Parra's ballot and put it among the "spoiled" ballots. Parra then was handed a second Spanish-language ballot.

"It was marked for Obama, too. It truly was," said Moreno, who witnessed the fresh ballot being handed from the precinct worker to Parra in the middle of the room.

Parra and Moreno immediately reported the problem with the second ballot, and they never moved from the time Parra was handed that ballot to when he handed it back to precinct workers.

"I was shocked," said Lynda Sesser, the precinct's election inspector. "At first I assumed he had (filled in the first ballot) himself, which is why I marked it as spoiled."

Sesser said she was stunned to discover the otherwise-blank second ballot had been filled in for Obama the same way.

"It was an ink pen," Sesser said of the mark. "It was a little shocking. You don't expect ballots to come from the elections office like that."

Sesser said Parra was the first voter to ask for a Spanish-language ballot Tuesday. After the two suspect ballots were found, Sesser said precinct workers started inspecting the blank forms before handing them to voters.

The irregularity was quickly reported to election officials, and by 10 a.m. Lundrigan's office was taking action.

"All of the precincts are being called," said Lundrigan, assuring that election workers were told to look for pre-marked ballots. "Our inspectors have confiscated (the two suspect ballots) and bringing them to me."

Lundrigan said she didn't believe the ballots could have been tampered with at the county's election office.

"They're sealed when they leave us," said Lundrigan, noting how the ballots are printed and processed en masse. "We don't allow black pens anywhere near us. We only have red pens."

What does this say about how minorities are viewed in our country?  It says that the kind of person (or people) who would attempt to perpetrate this kind of fraud see minorities as useful tools, not as free-thinking citizens.


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