Conservative Operative Worries That Democrats Will Commit "Voter Fraud" by Mailing in Ballots From Chicago

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 14 2013 12:56 PM

Conservative Operative Worries That Democrats Will Commit "Voter Fraud" by Mailing in Ballots From Chicago

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Timothy Johnson listened to NRA News and heard Jennifer Kerns, a spokeswoman for the effort to recall two pro-gun-control Democrats, make a claim that we can probably file under "unusual."

We've been bracing ourselves for massive amounts of voter fraud including ballots possibly even being mailed in from Chicago. As you know, John Morse and his campaign, as they say follow the money in politics, he has hired -- even his own political consulting firms are from Chicago. They represent the Chicago Federation of Labor, the AFL-CIO and AFSCME, some of the hardest players in politics. So we've been bracing ourselves for an all mail-in ballot situation where you could potentially have ballots coming in from people out of the state. 

I emailed Kerns to find out the origins of the "Chicago ballots" rumor. "I went down to Pueblo yesterday (the site of the other recall), and lo and behold there in this small town is an operative from OFA in Chicago," she wrote. "In this town of Pueblo! Parked right out front of the Democrat Party headquarters is his car, with (Chicago) Illinios license plates. There is another gentleman with him, also from OFA, also from Chicago. I took photos and video and talked to them. Now what in the world is someone from OFA in Chicago doing in the small town of Pueblo, Colorado?"

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What indeed! I've asked the OFA operative she fingered, Chris Shallow (who was also in North Carolina, not just Chicago, before now), to weigh in if he wants.* Until he does, we're pretty far from proving that political operatives arriving in a new state are prima facie evidence that forged ballots are being brought in, too.

*Clarification, Aug. 14, 2013: This sentence has been updated to reflect Chis Shallow's employment in both North Carolina and the Chicago area.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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