U.S. congressional elections in 2006/Election Irregularities

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Numerous reports of election irregularities surrounded the 2006 congressional elections. These included voter fraud, efforts to suppress turnout, problems with electronic voting machines, and reports of illegal robo-calls around the country. This page chronicles the varying reports, organizing them by state.

Contents

State by state election irregularities

Arizona

On Election Day, Nina Perales, a lawyer for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), claimed that three men were consistently approaching Latino voters and intimidating them on their way to vote at a polling place in Yuma, Arizona. Specifically, she claimed the following repeatedly occurred:

  • As Latino voters came out of their cars and walked towards the polls, one person videotaped them.
  • Another person, wearing an American flag bandana and a shirt with the image of a badge embroidered on it, approached the voters with a clipboard. While this person talked to the voters, the cameraperson moved towards the voters and began videotaping their face.
  • As this occurred, a third man, wearing a shirt with an American flag on it and possessing a gun visible in a side-holster, stood next to the voters.

Perales' group contacted the Department of Justice and the FBI, who asked her group to keep an eye on the situation. [1]

California

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in California congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Connecticut

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Connecticut congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Colorado

On Election Day, Democratic Party officials reported that numerous Latino voters in Colorado claimed that in both automated and live calls, they were told that their ethnicity made them ineligible to vote in the elections. The calls also threatened that Latinos would be arrested at polling places if they did attempt to vote, according to Democratic Party sources. Democratic House candidate Angie Paccione, who challenged Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), said that at least two complaints were filed in the district in which she was running. A source in Musgrave’s campaign categorically denied that the GOP was responsible for any such calls and said Musgrave had not received any complaints about voter intimidation. [2] [3]

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Colorado congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Florida

In Florida’s Thirteenth Congressional District, electronic voting machines in Sarasota County reported 18,382 voters (about 13 percent of the voters in the county) did not cast a vote for either Republican Vern Buchanan or Democrat Christine Jennings. The rate was substantially higher than that of any other county in the district. A recount of the ballots began on November 13, and by state law, was required to be completed by November 18. State auditors also scrutinized the Sarasota count, although their investigation was not expected to be completed before state officials declared a winner in the race. [4]

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Florida congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Georgia

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Georgia congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Illinois

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Iowa congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Indiana

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Indiana congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Iowa

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Iowa congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Kansas

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Kansas congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Kentucky

On Election Day, a poll worker in Louisville, Ky. was arrested after he was accused of assaulting a voter. The worker, whose name was not immediately released, was charged with interfering with an election and fourth-degree assault after he choked and pushing the voter out of a door at the polling place. Election officials called the police and when an officer arrived, the voter expressed his wish to file charges. [5]

Maryland

In the days preceding the election, the reelection campaign of Republican Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich and the Senate campaign of Republican Lieutenant Governor Michael S. Steele posted signs in Philadelphia, Pa. offering $100 cash, breakfast, lunch, and dinner in exchange for distributing campaign literature at polling places. On Election Day, at least six busloads of poor and homeless Philadelphians were taken to Maryland, where after a two-hour bus ride, they were greeted early in the morning by Maryland First Lady Kendel Ehrlich, who thanked them as they were outfitted in T-shirts and hats with the logo for Ehrlich’s reelection campaign. The volunteers then handed out voter guides paid for by committees supporting Gov. Ehrlich and Steele. The guides, labeled “Ehrlich-Steele Democrats” and “Official Voter Guide,” did not mention that both candidates were Republicans. It also pictured three prominent black Democratic leaders above the words, “These are OUR Choices” - suggesting that Ehrlich and Steele had the trio’s endorsement. Many of the volunteers expressed outrage at the operation, later claiming they had been duped. [6] [7] [8]

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Maryland congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Missouri

On November 1, 2006, four employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a group aimed at improving minority and low-income communities, were indicted on charges of voter fraud in Kansas City, MO. Investigators said questionable registration forms for new voters were collected and submitted by these individuals. For example, the Kansas City Election Board reported that they found seven applications from one person and an application for a dead man. Some application cards had false addresses, signatures and phone numbers. Ray James, a worker from the board, noted “There is some motive behind it -- this is not accidental.” [9]

ACORN officials immediately announced that those indicted were fired. [10]

Montana

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Montana congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Nebraska

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Nebraska congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

New Hampshire

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in New Hampshire congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

New Mexico

On November 5, 2006, the New Mexico Democratic Party accused the state Republican Party of calling Democratic voters and falsely telling them that their polling place had changed. While the GOP admitted this happened once, it claimed it was a mistake. New Mexico Democratic Party director Matt Farrauto, however, said the GOP had given incorrect information to several Democrats. He stated, “I am standing in front of four people who had it happen to them, and there’s a fifth woman who contacted me this morning.” The Democrats subsequently requested that a judge immediately bar the GOP from calling any registered Democratic voters in the state. The judge agreed to issue the injunction. [11] [12]

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in New Mexico congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

New York

Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former president Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), was turned away at a polling station because her name did not appear in a book of registered voters. Investigators found that her name had been sent to the wrong polling station, and that she would not be allowed to vote. She was offered the alternative of an affidavit vote, similar to a provisional ballot. [13]

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in New York congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

North Carolina

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in North Carolina congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Ohio

In Ohio’s First Congressional District, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) tried to use his Ohio driver’s license as his identification at a polling place. He was told, however, that his license was issued to his business office and not his home, which was his voting address. Chabot returned about 10 minutes later with a bank statement and a Social Security Administration statement in hand, which was accepted. [14] In Ohio’s Second Congressional District, Rep. Jean Schmidt’s (R-Ohio) optical scan ballot did not work properly. (here) [15]

Pennsylvania

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Pennsylvania congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, a squirrel chewed through an electric cable, cutting off power to voting machines in several polling stations. [16]

South Carolina

In South Carolina, Republican Gov. Mark Sanford was turned away from a polling location because he did not have the proper ID. He presented a driver's license, but because he had the address of the Governor’s Mansion on it rather than that of his Sullivan’s Island, S.C. home, there was no match on the poll list and he was refused. Sanford returned ninety-minutes later with another acceptable form of identification. [17] [18]

Tennessee

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Tennessee congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Texas

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Texas congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Virginia

In the days preceding the election, the FBI began investigating possible voter intimidation in Virginia. The probe began after state officials alerted the U.S. Justice Department to several complaints of suspicious phone calls to voters about where they cast ballots and their preferences for the Senate race between Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) and Democratic challenger (and eventual winner) James Webb. [19] [20] Specifically, state officials documented “dozens of phone calls that were made to heavily Democratic precincts in which the people who were receiving the calls were either given incorrect information about polling sites [or] misdirected about election laws.” [21]

Shawn M. Smith, executive director of the Virginia Republican Party, said the state GOP and the Allen campaign were solely focused on mobilizing votes for Allen. In regards to the allegations, he stated, “We are not aware of any such activities taking place and are skeptical of the claims being made. Nonetheless, we condemn such activities if they are being conducted by outside organizations.” [22] [23] (MSNBC report on robo-calls)

One Clarendon, Virginia resident, Tim Daly, found a message on his voice mail threatening him with arrest if he showed up to vote. It stated, “This is the Virginia Elections Commission…We've determined you are registered in New York to vote. Therefore, you will not be allowed to cast your vote... If you do show up, you will be charged criminally.” [24]

Also in Virginia, Democratic supporters reported that they received phone calls claiming their polling stations changed, as well as fliers, paid for by the Republican National Committee, saying: “Skip this election.” [25] Also in Virginia, the Webb campaign was hurt by glitches in electronic voting machines. In some voting stations, only Webb’s first name appeared on the initial screen that guided voters through the ballot process. In addition, on some machines, Sen. Allen’s party affiliation was deleted. [26]

Wisconsin

During the 2006 campaign, there were reports of malicious automated telephone calls (robo-calls) in Wisconsin congressional districts. For a detailed account of these reports, see the Congresspedia article on robo-calls in the 2006 elections.

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch/Congresspedia articles

External articles

August 2006

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