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Tennessee may have its own version of ACORN

October 30, 2008 | Filed Under 00Publius Contributor, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, News, Society/Culture, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

Radio host Phil Valentine finds voter fraud in Nashville, TN and officials couldn’t care less!

Tennessee may have its own version of ACORN

While everyone focuses on voter registration fraud in places like Ohio by the group ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, we could have a well-organized voter fraud ring operating in Nashville, right under the nose of the state election commission.

Friday, a week ago, I got a tip on my radio show that vanloads of non-citizens were showing up at an early voting poll and voting. Lynn Greer, a Davidson County Election Commission member confirmed the report. “What I’ve heard is they’re bringing in a group of Spanish-speaking people, many of whom do not have a voter registration card and cannot speak English,” Greer told me. Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m stereotyping, it’s important to point out that these particular people didn’t just speak broken English, they reportedly spoke no English, whatsoever. Why is that such an important distinction? Because federal law requires one to write, speak and understand English in order to become a citizen. Naturally, you’re supposed to be a citizen to vote. Supposed to be.
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Greer contacted Ray Barrett, the Davidson County administrator of elections. Barrett said if a voter cannot ask for assistance on their own, they cannot get assistance. That’s the law according to Greer. This is to ensure that what is alleged to have happened during early voting doesn’t. People were showing up with an interpreter and the interpreter was instructing poll officials that they would be escorting these non-English-speaking people into the voting booth. That’s clearly contrary to state law. The law was designed to help those who are illiterate, not illegal. Ray Barrett understood that. However, when Barrett checked with Brook Thompson, the state election coordinator, Thompson told him to let these people vote.

I spoke with Brook Thompson about the matter, and he seemed either oblivious to the federal law that requires citizens to speak, write and understand English to become citizens, or didn’t see its relevance in this case. Furthermore, he seemed equally oblivious to the Tennessee law that requires someone voting to request an interpreter. The interpreter cannot make the request. That request must come from the voter. It would seem that the state election coordinator should know this.

Instead, it was a case of the blind leading the sighted. Those who knew the law and were attempting to have it enforced were overruled by someone with no knowledge of the law. This is exactly how voter fraud is allowed to transpire, right under the nose of the chief election official.

When I asked Thompson if he was going to investigate these allegations of voter fraud, he threw that responsibility back on the shoulders of the Davidson County election officials. If the responsibility to ensure fair voting is the authority of the Davidson County election officials, why did Thompson feel it necessary to overrule them in the first place?

Whether or not this situation is rectified before Election Day doesn’t change the fact that non-citizens may have already voted in this election. It gives one a sense that we’re no better than some of the banana republics we so deride. Furthermore, I received numerous e-mails and phone calls from citizens who insisted on showing their identification at the polls, but poll officials refused to check them, another violation of election law. Citizens of this state should expect, in this election or any other, that people are being required to prove they are who they say they are before they’re allowed to vote. Without that safeguard, voter fraud is ridiculously easy to commit.

Here just over a week before the election, emotions are running high and suspicion is running deep — on both sides. It looks like the least we can expect is that our state election officials would be bending over backward to ensure this is a fair election. Apparently, that’s not the case.
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Phil Valentine is an author and syndicated radio talk-show host heard locally on SuperTalk 99.7 WTN weekdays 4-8 p.m. His column appears in The Tennessean on Sundays. Web: www.philvalentine.com.

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