Excerpts: Bad Lands Bad Votes
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The following are excerpts of an article "Bad Lands, Bad Votes: Putting Tim Johnson over the top, by any means necessary" that was published by the National Review in its December 23 issue.

On Election Day, Noma Sazama knew something unusual was going on the moment she arrived at her polling place, the St. Thomas Parish Hall in Mission, South Dakota. Sazama, a member of the local election board, noticed several strangers in the room -- an unusual sight in Mission, population 904, where most people know one another. It turned out the strangers were all lawyers, Democrats who had come to town to serve as poll watchers for the race between incumbent Democratic senator Tim Johnson and Republican John Thune. One was from Washington, D.C., another was from New York City, and a third was from California. "There were no locals, and I've never seen that happen before," says Sazama, who has lived in the area for 73 years.

. . .

The big-city attorneys were part of a force of 10,000 lawyers deployed nationwide by the Democratic National Committee, ostensibly to ensure that voters' rights would be protected. But there is compelling evidence to suggest that at least some of the lawyers did just the opposite. According to the testimony of dozens of South Dakotans who worked at the polls, the out-of-state attorneys engaged in illegal electioneering, pressured poll workers to accept questionable ballots, and forced polling places in a heavily Democratic area to stay open for an hour past their previously-announced closing time. In addition, the testimony contains evidence of people being allowed to vote with little or no identification, of incorrectly marked ballots being counted as Democratic votes, of absentee ballots being counted without proper signatures, and, most serious of all, of voters who were paid to cast their ballots for Sen. Johnson.

The stories are told in more than 40 affidavits collected by Republicans in the days after the election and obtained by National Review. That evidence, along with interviews with state and local officials, suggests that Johnson may have benefited from hundreds of votes that were the product of polling-place misconduct. Had those votes not been added to his total, it seems likely that the senator, who won by just 524 votes, would instead have lost, and John Thune would today be South Dakota's senator-elect.

. . .

"I was given a ride to the polls in a van with 'Tim Johnson for Senate' signs in the window," reads one affidavit. "I was promised $ 10 if I would go vote. . . . I voted at a precinct located in Mission, South Dakota. . . . When [the driver] dropped me off, he offered me $ 10 for voting." The other two affidavits tell the same story. None explicitly says the voters accepted the money -- this would be a confession of a crime -- but there is little doubt that they did. And even if they did not, simply offering money for a vote is a crime under South Dakota law, which forbids anyone "to pay, lend, contribute, or offer . . . any money or other valuable consideration" to anyone for a vote.

Today on Indianz.Com:
Indian vote allegations dismissed (12/10)

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