Vote fraud cases go nowhere with Fairfax prosecutor

Kenric Ward
|
Jul 30, 2014 5:00 AM
Vote fraud cases go nowhere with Fairfax prosecutor

NO JUSTICE: Cases of alleged voter fraud are collecting dust in the office of Fairfax County’s commonwealth attorney.

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

FAIRFAX, Va. — Four years after the Fairfax County election board began uncovering cases of alleged voter fraud, the local prosecutor has not taken action, and has nothing to say.

More than 200 names were turned over to Commonwealth Attorney Raymond Morrogh for investigation. The names appeared on voter rolls, even though the individuals had excused themselves from jury duty because they were not citizens.

“This should be easy to prosecute,” said Reagan George, director of Virginia Voters Alliance, an election watch group.

But the cases have fallen through bureaucratic cracks in Virginia’s most populous county — and most of the identified aliens remain on the voting rolls.

Fairfax Clerk of Court John Frey said he produced the list of names at the request of the Electoral Board. But neither Frey nor the board has prosecutorial powers in the matter.

According to board records, 278 registered voters did not affirm citizenship, as required, between 2010 and the end of 2011.

Of these, 117 had a history of voting within Virginia.

The Electoral Board referred its findings to Morrogh on four occasions: June 25, 2010; Feb. 28, 2011; May 3, 2011; and Aug. 18, 2011.

Names of an additional 36 non-affirming voters were relayed to the commonwealth attorney March 2, 2012.

Receiving no response from Morrogh, the board stopped sending data to his office.

Brian Schoeneman, secretary of the Electoral Board, said, “One of the most frustrating things is to have evidence that, on its face, justifies further investigation … and then to see zero action.”

“People say there’s no voter fraud because there are no convictions,” noted Schoeneman, a Republican and an attorney.

Election-integrity organizations call the “no-fraud” assertion both misleading and self-fulfilling when prosecutors will not prosecute.

Morrogh, a Democrat, did not respond to Watchdog’s inquiries.

FEELING A CHILL: Catherine Engelbrecht says the U.S. Department of Justice works to “suppress state efforts to maintain accurate voter rolls.”

Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the Texas-based group, True the Vote, said the Obama administration has chilled the atmosphere for warranted prosecutions.

“The kind of selective justice being meted out by the Fairfax County prosecutor, though clearly a violation of voters’ rights, is part of the ‘new normal’ standard supported nationwide by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice,” Engelbrecht told Watchdog.

Engelbrecht noted that in 2009, U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandez “set out clear marching orders  to all DOJ attorneys — suppress state efforts to maintain accurate voter rolls.”

“They attacked states like Florida and Colorado for even attempting to remove non-citizens from their registry,” she said.

The DOJ justified its approach by arguing that such maintenance procedures would decrease voter turnout.

“But instead it’s engendered a growing outrage among voters who have gotten fed up with the open borders approach to our election system,” Engelbrecht said.

“As a result, demand for basic election integrity policies like photo voter ID is now reaching record levels of popularity.”

“American voters want free and fair elections. The Holder Justice Department wants control. Decisions like that of Fairfax County suggest that county officials fear the power of the DOJ more than they fear the power of people,” she said.

“History will one day reflect that they had it backwards. American voters have had just about enough.”

Article II Section 1 of the Constitution states: “In elections by the people, the qualifications of voters shall be as follows: Each voter shall be a citizen of the United States, shall be 18 years of age, shall fulfill the residence requirements set forth in this section, and shall be registered to vote pursuant to this article.”

Election fraud in Virginia can be classified as a “false statement,” a Class 5 felony punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Kenric Ward is a national correspondent for Watchdog.org and chief of its Virginia Bureau. Contact him at kenric@watchdogvirginia.org or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward