114 votes

Vote Fraud, Power, and Privilege in Small Town Iowa

I know this is a long post. But if you enjoy small town soap operas and tales of political corruption, please read on.
******

OK, so it was only three votes.

In a statewide election that was settled by a margin of eight votes, three votes could be important. But I will be honest with you, I'm almost sure none of those votes were cast for the top three contenders.

So why should I care?

Because the people who cheated, did it in MY precinct.

They did it by lying to MY face.

They knew EXACTLY what they were doing and why it was wrong.

Because these people are rich, well-connected, and already enjoy a disproportionate influence over the political process in the United States.

Because their act of petty vote fraud was so gratuitous, so pointless, and yet so symbolic of the contempt that the political insiders have for the "peasants" that comprise We the People.

Let me explain.

As I have described elsewhere, my wife Nancy and I bit off more than we could chew on caucus night. As county chair I was ultimately responsible for seeing that the caucuses for the four precincts in our town were run fairly.

Nancy and I arrived early at the high school where I had reserved four rooms, one for each precinct in our town. A few more Paul supporters showed up and a short time later a lady (I will call her "Roberta"), a middle-aged man ("Gary") and a young man in a blue blazer arrived together carrying campaign material for Bachmann and Gingrich. I recognized "Roberta" as the local socialite who had hosted Bachmann in her home last week, Gingrich at a local restaurant, and a teleconference with Joe Biden and Herman Cain. Her fancy house on a hill is in our precinct so I wasn't surprised that she was at our caucus.

She asked if she had arrived in the "Ron Paul room" by mistake ("Ha Ha"). She started telling anyone who would listen that she thought that "we" should only support the candidates who had come to our town and that she had asked "all of them" to show up.

I asked her if she had invited Ron Paul and she said that she had. "We know him VERY well but he said he was going to Council Bluffs instead".

We had a record turn out in all of our precincts. In Precinct 3 (mine) we were trying to squeeze 80 people into a classroom seating 35. As the secretary, Nancy was being run ragged checking everyone against a registration list, and filling out voter registration forms for the unusually large percentage of new Republicans voting for Ron Paul.

I started the caucus and was elected as the permanent chairman. I invited a representative from each candidate (alphabetically) to speak for a maximum of five minutes, reminding everyone that the secretary (my wife) would be timing everyone and made a joke about how strict she was. Then we began.

"Roberta" spoke for Bachmann gushing about how wonderful it was that a WOMAN was running for president. "Gary" had an official letter from Gingrich and so I let him rant for five minutes about what a great thing the "Contract With America" was and how Newt had single-handedly balanced the budget during the 1990's. After five minutes my wife called "time", and he kept talking. I stepped to the podium and said "Excuse me, but your time is up". He kept talking. "I'm sorry," I said, placing my hand gently on his shoulder, "But we really need to move on." He finally shut up and angrily stepped aside.

"Anyone for Jon Huntsman?" I asked. Gary immediately said, "I'll speak for him!" As chairman I ruled that he could not.

Finally it came time to vote. My wife and I were scrambling to hand out the pre-printed ballots I had prepared. I came to "Blue Blazer" who looked unfamiliar and (thinking he might be a college student registered to vote somewhere else) I asked him if he had checked in and if he was a registered voter in our precinct. He hesitated. "Yes, he's registered," Roberta said almost immediately as she and Gary smiled and accepted their ballots. To save time Nancy and I started handing out the rest of the ballots to be passed down the rows since the standing room only crowd was difficult to navigate.

Noticing this Gary smirked and shouted out, "As they say in Chicago, 'Vote early and often'."

We collected the ballots and my wife (who was the official GOP reporter for all four precincts) left to count and call in the votes with Gary as an observer for Gingrich.

My wife was so busy and flustered, she had forgotten to vote. "Its too late!" Gary insisted, but Dave (our Ron Paul observer) went and fetched her a blank ballot so she could vote.

Ron Paul won easily followed by Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich a distant fourth. Gary seemed surprised.

******

The following night my wife was going through the stacks of caucus forms and noticed that there were three more votes than the number of caucus attendees.

Then she remembered that "Roberta", "Gary", and "Blue Blazer" had never checked in. On caucus night they had just walked past her registration table without stopping and sat down. She had recognized Roberta and Gary, checked to see if they were in the voter registration list and when they weren't, assumed that they were there as "non-participating observers" (as allowed by the rules).

But she didn't tell ME.

You see, the chairman is responsible for segregating any unregistered attendees (like underage children or news reporters). Only registered caucus members are allowed to speak for candidates or vote in the straw poll.

When Nancy told me about it, everything suddenly fell into place. I know that Roberta has another home in Washington DC and spends most of her time there. It never occurred to me that she would be registered to vote THERE. "Blue Blazer" was probably just a flunky; maybe her son, an intern or employee of her company. Gary? Who knows. All I know is that he is an obnoxious jerk who took advantage of our small town honor system and made a fool of me in the process.

I know what you're thinking. Nancy and I are amateurs, in over our heads, and we blew it.
And you're right.

But I am angry, and not just at myself.

I am angry because what they did was so unnecessary; like a millionaire stealing a penny out of the tin cup of a beggar.

Angry because these are the same people who assume that they should run our country.

Angry because they have the ears of the movers and shakers, that get the hugs from the presidential candidates, who get respect from my friends and neighbors who think I'm a kook.

Angry because they are helping to send our children to be killed and maimed in wars created by their buddies.

Angry because their price for selling out our country, our freedom, is so cheap; their ticket to the next inaugural ball.

Angry because I am the one who is angry; because THEY can sleep at night and I can't.

*************UPDATE**************

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement, your understanding of my human fraility, and your dedication to our common cause; individual liberty.

Please understand that I did choose to release my story in its current form for a number of reasons.

While I appreciate your interest in seeing "justice" prevail, and while I sympathize with the feelings expressed in the comments about my story I also want YOU to understand and sympathize with MY position.

When "names are changed to protect the innocent", you need to stop and consider that some of the "innocents" might be my wife and children.

Believe me when I say that I have weighed my options, that I desperately want Ron Paul to prevail, that I want my Republic and liberty restored.

None of you (including any of you who may be from my area) can possibly know the details of my particular situation. Appearances can be deceiving. The bad economy has spilled over into almost every industry and certainly health care and the medical profession are no exceptions.

Politics in a small town can be very complicated, and I am not just speaking of presidential politics.
Physicians are just as vulnerable to economic catastrophe as anyone else. Our careers are just as vulnerable (and maybe even more so) to social pressures, networking, belonging to the right church, country club, or benevolent organization.

I don't belong to the right clubs. I don't belong to the right church. I don't schmooze or party with the right crowd.
And I certainly don't support the "right" presidential candidate.

When I was younger and single I could afford to take risks that I can no longer afford to take.

We all have to make our own decisions about when and where to make a stand.
We all have decide how much we can contribute and what we can risk in the cause of liberty and to support one another and Ron Paul.
We all have to pick our battles.
Trust me when I say that I have already stuck my neck out and risked the financial well-being of my family quite enough.
Thank you for your support and understanding.



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Thank you.

To me the most important lesson of this story was not how to prevent vote fraud, it was to recognize the ethical problems we have in dealing with the political establishment.

All tyrannical governments breed corruption.
They reward those that lie, to themselves and others.

******************************
The Virtual Conspiracy

I was a newbi 4 years ago.

We CAUGHT the 'old guard' illegally adding 137 members to the County Convention. Took the case to the state supreme court but were never able to present the evidence.

Though it didn't come out in court, the news did spread and the 'old guard' knows they can't run rough shod anymore.

It's all a process. Educating ourselves is the biggest task.

Thank you for your efforts. ^5

You did great

We all learn from our mistakes. Don't beat yourself up about this. I'm glad you let us know.

But I would like to give you something to think about. You said you didn't want to pursue any action on this possible fraud, it was only 3 votes.

Well, 3 votes here and 3 votes there, spread out over 1,700 precincts... adds up to? 5,100 possible fraudulent votes. Ron Paul came in 3rd by just under 4,000 right?

Also, think about this. We have losing our Constitution or the ability to restrict our Government by incrementalism. They have been chipping away at it for decades, if not for over 100 years.

No one would notice 3 here or 3 there, right. But 3 in almost every precinct adds up to a huge number.

I wish every single Ron Paul supporter that was involved in the process would report any discrepencies to the Campaign. Or get together and write down all the discrepancies, no matter how small.

Did you know that CNN waited forever to get the last precinct numbers? They called the head lady for the numbers, wondering why there was a discrepancy. She had to go to the other lady's house that called in the numbers to the state or whereever, and wake her up to get the numbers. Edith and Carolyn I think were their names.

John King tallied the numbers the ladies gave him and Romney won by 14 according to his numbers. However, when the head guy of the GOP finally got out of bed, got dressed, drove to the place to announce the numbers that were apparently missing. He said Romney won by 8.

CNN didn't push it from there. They just accepted it. Soooo, I think there was something odd going on. Several posts on DP verifies it.

I had the same comments

If just 3 votes were incorrectly tabulated in each of the 1700 precincts, well there you go. 5,100 fraudulent votes. Ron Paul did actually win the popular vote and the delegate votes. He was deprived of his first place win.

I would love to see WatchTheVote2012.com post their results after their investigation is completed, sooner than later.

You did great

I agree completely. Anyway, Ron Paul got 7 delegates just like Santorum and Romney, so all is good...After all, it's the delegates that count. Keep up the good work and we are all proud of folks like you and your wife who put in such time unselfishly, God Bless you and your wife and all the others folks like you.

Pathetic!

Don't blame yourselves! You are on the right side. The power structure that owns both parties - they are desparate to get Obama back in. They apparently know all the tricks.
Filthy, pathetic excuses for human beings. They deserve the fruit of their labor. Life is a test, they are not doing too well. We're doing all we can do on the side of good.

Cspan had people registering that offered ID, but the precinct persons who were signing them in said " Nope, no need, you're right here on the list". We got screwed, but hey, the republican party is getting what is deserves.
They'll cheat at every level. Don't know, but if God is willing Ron Paul will be our next president!

There is no honor system with people like that.

Hopefully your topic will stay up front for a while. We can all learn from this.
These three people probably voted for Obama last time around. They are caught in a spiral of deception that they just don't know how to escape from.
Remember, when we don't know any better, we do the best we can. When we know better, we do better.
You did fine.

Ron Paul 2012

donate huge in the brochure

donate huge in the brochure bombs

1700 + precincts

Well even 1 vote at 1700+ precincts adds up!!!!

Silence Dogood IX

Keep your head up..

..true grassroots is all we got :)

"Whoever wishes peace among peoples must fight statism" - Ludwig von Mises

You have nothing to be ashamed of

Just like the saying goes... fool me once blah blah. You did the best you could under a system that (dare I say) was less than optimal.

And yes, I get very upset myself when I see those who scheme or use their power and influence to elevate themselves on the backs of others. They view everyone as objects for their own personal gain; a) those who can elevate them to the next level or b) those who can be taken advantage of to maintain their current status. It's especially annoying when they never seemingly get their comeuppances, remaining aloof to their actions. In summary, mean people suck!

If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one.

Thank you

You and your wife Mrs. Spacehabitats are truly awesome! Thank you so much for all the effort you put into getting RP the win. If all RP supporters were putting forth that much effort, we'd get RP elected in a landslide. Makes me want to try even harder. Thanks again bud and take care :)

Silk30

Lesson learned from our precinct

The precinct chair had the 6 candidate rep hand out the "ballots". These ballots were the square paper left from the stickers one gets after registering--sticker saying something like "my vote counted".

When I passed out these blank (no-sticker) "tabs", for the sake of efficiency, I just trusted that people seated were eligible to vote. When someone called out for more tabs, I obliged, trustingly.

Caucus chair did specify that we should check for eligibility by checking if a person had a "my vote counted" sticker. Oddly, some people did not stick their stickers on their chest and still had them on their "tabs"

People voted by writing on the back of the tabs the candidate they are voting for.

The tabs were again collected by the 6 reps. Then we counted them in front on a table double checking the names written on those tabs. I noticed that some of the tab(s) still had stickers on them! (anomalous) Could these be extra tabs from those people who had not thrown away their sticker tabs in addition to the blank tabs we handed out. There was no vetting total registered versus total voted.

One tab I know came in with no name, which was fine, since the person found no one desirable. However, at the end of the count, we cannot find that empty tab!

The way we counted was we vetted the names and sorted them in piles and double counted each pile.

In summary these are the things I think we could improve:
1. hand out ballots/tabs one at a time and don't try to save time. Check each person's sticker and demand that they give u their tabs, if that was the system in your precinct before you give them a blank one.

2. Disqualify any tab with a sticker still on them.

3. clearly sort people out that were non-voting vs the voters. In our case, there were 6 of us handing it out so things were not strictly under control. The chairman delegated tasks to us and I don't doubt his integrity but the execution of it can be analyzed and hopefully improved.

4. One or more of the representative should just standby and strictly observe. We were all eager beaver wanting to help and get involved. Is that why there is a role for observers?

5. Do not rush, even if you know people may be annoyed just a little bit. Integrity is more important than efficiency to avoid anomalies.

6. Then again there are those 2 delegate forms ("county" and "district and state") that no had a lot of empty rows that if crooked, some one in the echelon can start populating with names of partisans.

Don't feel badly about it,

Don't feel badly about it, you guys did very well-I remember feeling the terrible helpless frustration at our state convention, seeing so much wrong, yet having our hands tied to do much about it-I came away feeling like crying and as though even going to vote was a total waste of time, due to what I saw there, but then I thought of Ron Paul, and all the years he's stood there strong and determined, & I reminded myself that quitters never win. Its people like you and your wife who are making a huge difference this time around-thanks again, God bless you both for all you've done.

Thanks to everyone...

For your kind words of encouragement.

Mrs. spacehabitats and I appreciate this very much.

I needed to get this story off my chest and I thought it would be instructive.

I did not want to pursue any type of formal complaint since it did not effect the results significantly.

If Ron Paul had lost the state election by six votes, I would have had to come forward officially to protest.

******************************
The Virtual Conspiracy

Cyril's picture

You did great : in my book, that definitely should be your pride

Dear Spacehabitats,

Oh yes, it's great service you're doing to your country and your people by sharing this story.

You see, I'm not even a US citizen (yet) and sadly can't vote for a gentilhomme like Ron Paul who *does* love and *really* care for his country by never surrendering and shouting the truth to his people as long as he can. Also, as an ever busy software engineer, permanent resident "alien" supporting (humbly but proud of it) the country thru his taxes, true, I'm one of those who can't really complain usually because so busy working to sustain his own american family : dear wife, my 2yr old son here, my step kids, alone thanks to his loved work. I don't even mind about paying income taxes I besides know Ron rightfully claims are way too much, unnecessary, and actually harmful for the country in the long run.

Trust me, it's actually a joke compared to the tax burden of a welfare craziness going on in my country of origin (France) which can't escape having its "best healthcare" (complete myth) going bankrupt as well for the very same reasons that threatens to last and continue to harm here in the US if someone like Ron isn't elected ... soon enough.

Never surrender, People. Here are the two types of foes in America I can see, as it doesn't take a genius for me, after 40 years of similar "misfortune" I saw happening in France : (i) the clueless, irresponsible ones who think always more welfare, more government might work for America or is "a cool new thing to try maybe", or, on the other side, (b) the warfare / military / greedy corporate capitalism all for a status quo of an ever increasing coziness between giant corp and gov lobbyists.

Actually, both are for the long and very long term irresponsible, dangerous and utterly irrespectful to the Letter AND Spirit of your founders' Constitution for the USA, just via different paths, but leading to the same disaster : destroyed currency, everybody (but a handful of sickening wealthiest) going poorer and poorer, a honest hard working people struggling more and more on a market less and less free.

I saw the socialist govs DESTTROY my dear France economy for 21 years (1981-2002). Then I saw a Romney-like right wing take over fixing practically nothing, just pretending to put people back to work but instead just making sure their biggest corporate buddies can have their big money safe once placed OUT OF our economy. Yeah, you know the offshore/outsourcing thing whenever that works for the corp, but "who cares for the country jobs?"

Yes : I'm striving to live my american dream here, because I *know* most of America I see everyday in the street, if one asks me, is pretty compassionate, civilized, and doesn't need the gov laws to give to charity. Redistributing health by enforcing it done via federal power .... is the best way to bring everybody lower and encourage the cheaters milking an unfair system. No one don't you dare telling me I don't know it (see above for the 1981-2002 years I lived in my country) The USA MUST remain the land of opportunity where the success from HARD work, ideas, volunteering and initiative/entrepreneurship is enabled thanks to the greatest, simple, most common-sense oriented constitution ever imagined. That one which makes Liberty and freedoms of life, speech, and property, INALIENABLE rights FROM the start, INDEPENDENTLY of the agenda of the government.

America : you are the tangible nation our most compassionate Liberty lovers in France dreamed to have contributed to enable somewhere, 200 years ago, and as opposed to the societies thought of or ruled by retarded kings of tyrans or crazy minds like Marx who thought mankind could be put in the dry maths equations of overpowered government DENYING, at the end of the day, the very RELEVANCE of such inalienable rights, by very construction of their schemes.

Ron Paul's current shouting and spirit is ALREADY part of your history and legacy : always remember he had stood almost alone for so long before you, among the Great American People, finally noticed him because you can READ and LISTEN (unlike others) and DESPITE the disgustingly unfair game of the rest of MSM, status quo/ego lovers, etc, such as that "Mrs R."

I wish all my heart the rest of America you're whistling to won't miss this opportunity to have Ron Paul or his ideal enable the restoration of America NOW or ... well, ASAP.

Keep the faith! Warmly, and Sincerly,

Cyril

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

You are a blessing to this country.

What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing your insights. This is why I love to read the Daily Paul. You made my day.

LivingTheDream

it's public

That was a public event, so please out the three non-voting observers who voted. In particular, who is the DC voter? Future caucus attendees deserve to know their names to watch out for them.

.

I totally see where you are coming from. I wanted to stand up during our conservative meeting tonight and yell that Santorum is not a conservative but since the R leadership was there I stayed quiet. I don't want to ruin my chances at being a delegate but I better make sure that RP has the most votes in my precinct and that I won't be challenged for delegate status.

Brother,

You two have done well, and you posting this story for us to know and use further down the road --pure excellence!!! Stop blaming yourself, honestly, it is hard for an honest person to stand against professional "swindlers and thieves" (reference not only us, but Russia now, my former home country), and you have managed to catch them red-handed!

Thanks for your service to our rEVOLution!

In Liberty,

Paul B.

It would be a shame if her

It would be a shame if her house burned to the ground.

lol

I thought it was funny.

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    Voter Fraud in Iowa Precient

    I posted it to my facebook page I have over 1800 friends that can read it. less than here but maybe they will copy and paste it as well. Thanks

    Don't beat yourself up for

    Don't beat yourself up for what didn't go right...focus on all you did do well. It sounds like you got a lot of new Ron Paul supporters to come out in your precinct, which is pretty awesome!

    Keep your head held high...you and your wife should sleep well knowing that your consciences are clean. As for the other 3...a pox on them!

    ytc's picture

    Thanks for showing us what *could* happen at caucuses.

    Nancy and you accomplished a wonderful job! If you weren't there, crooks could cook up any schemes to stuff the ballots for all four precincts without any trace or record.

    Both of your sharp eyes and dedication kept the system working orderly (with *only* three wrongful ballots).

    God bless you both for all you are doing for the Liberty cause. We'll try to keep up the clean & honest Ron Paul tradition in our states as well.

    You're a rockstar in my book

    Keep your head up my friend!

    I thank you for...

    Your efforts. You will do much better in 2016 when Ron runs for re-election.

    Mirand Sharma

    i feel

    i feel for you brother, probably thats how politicians roll !
    dont be in much guilt though, you did a great job.
    this is a lesson learned and u will do better next time.
    its just a game for TPTB, not for us.

    Anybody know what happened in Story county ? how RP was the winner and then Romney became the winner ?

    saw this article too - where it seems a typo of 2 went to 22 for Romney and probably made him the winner !!
    http://www.kcci.com/r/30144582/detail.html

    ----------------------------
    Dr.Ron Paul's 2002 Predictions
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM

    the Story County story

    I was the Chairman of my Caucus. In Story County, the party printed actual ballots with candidate names on them. We held them closely at the registration table, and as each person registered, we handed them a ballot, rather than pass a bunch of ballots around the room. If a person registered, they had a ballot. When I began the meeting, I even asked if everyone had a ballot. Who's the person that misplaced theirs? Me.

    Due to the "super-secret" tabulating process this year, 4 people were designated as a point-of-contact for approximately 10 precincts to call in their official results. These 4 designates (including myself) were to gather after the close of our Caucus meeting, and enter our compiled results into the State GOP's reporting website--they were worried about Anonymous taking an interest in hacking the results, so they used a website, instead of phoning in the results as in years past. Makes no sense to me (an IT-guy) but I digress.

    Due to the need for security, we weren't allowed to record the results and enter them via a WiFi connection, so we gathered together at a single location with a wired connection. I was late because in addition to being a Point-of-Contact, I'm chairing the meeting, and constantly being interrupted everytime someone calls me with precinct results. We debated a number of Platform Planks (around 20), and didn't conclude until about 10pm. (When Fox News reported a "white truck" driving around Story County with the results, they were likely talking about me, but I don't drive a truck. In fact, I was sitting in front of the TV when we heard the story, while we were entering my results.)

    The person who then entered the results for my 10 precincts accidentally skipped a line, and reported the same precinct twice. At that point, Ron Paul appeared to be the winner in Story County.

    I/We took the additional step of creating a separate spreadsheet to record and calculate our hand-written tally sheets to compare to our online results. We found discrepancies--due to illegible handwriting, figures scribbled out, etc. Once those errors were accounted for and corrected, we reviewed the counts for each precinct, when we discovered one precinct was double-reported. We then had to contact "Tech Support" in order to get them to correct the results.

    While the numbers were in fact corrected prior to the official announcement of results, they still were not reflected on the website--very slow, very poor performance, and if you've looked through the results, it's difficult to follow as you can't freeze your row/column headers to know what the rows/columns represent when you scroll to the side, bottom, etc.

    In spite of checking our work, I still showed a discrepancy of a single vote--1 more vote for Santorum than is represented on the website. Every precinct filled out a form that gets filed with the Republican Party of Iowa, and is used to certify the vote. I have no concerns regarding any vote fraud, as we have 1774 precincts reporting--each with a Chairman and Secretary who signed off on the results, plus each of the 99 counties get copies of the same form, plus the campaign observers who watched the vote in various precincts. I have no doubt that the final tallies will change (follow the results from Appanoose County) and that Santorum may well be the winner--but the Iowa Caucus is not a winner-take-all event, nor are the delegates bound, as the Caucus took place prior to Feb. 1.

    thanks

    thanks for the info !

    ----------------------------
    Dr.Ron Paul's 2002 Predictions
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM