Elected Officials Indicted
Posted: 6:04 PM Mar 19, 2009
A federal grand jury indicts six Clay County officials in an alleged vote buying scheme.
Those charged include: Clay County School Superintendent Doug Adams, County Clerk Freddy Thompson, Former Circuit Judge Cletus Maricle, Clay County Democratic Party Chairman Charles Wayne Jones and election officers William E. Stivers and Paul E. Bishop.
FBI Agents and Kentucky State Police Troopers were seen removing items from Maricle’s home on Thursday afternoon.
The grand jury charges the officials schemed to buy votes in the 2004 May Primary. The Grand Jury further charges the officials participated in bribery, extortion and mail fraud to corrupt and affect the outcome of the elections.
They are charged with racketeering and other crimes. Some of the charges carry up to 20 years in prison.
William B. Morris and Debra L. Morris are also charged in the alleged conspiracy.
This is just the latest development in a continuing Federal Investigation into public corruption in Clay County.
Brad Friedman predictably wrote about this East Coast story over at BradBlog from California. He couldn't contain his glee as noted in his response to Bev Harris.
Brad wrote:Thanks, Bev. Had a feeling you'd be the first one to jump into comments on this one!
BTW, I've now updated the article with details from the indictment itself, explaining how exactly they pulled off this scheme, using unsuspecting voters and the ES&S iVotronic...
He also cross-posted a bit over at Democratic Underground.
Lint Head wrote:You mean, you mean votes can be changed? Who would of known.
In response to that post, someone put a damper on Brad's apparent joy.
Igel wrote:Yeah, but it's none of the ways you probably think.
The indictment makes clear that in some cases they bought votes and filed fraudulent election returns. Hardly the technological machiavellis that black-box voting envisions.
However, the "changing votes at the machine" is only slightly more technologically savvy: the conspirators would offer assistance to voters unfamiliar with the machines and accompany them to the voting booth. There the voters would choose who/what they wanted to vote for and be taken to a preview screen. That's routine--that way you can verify your votes. But instead of then directing the voters to cast their votes by selecting the "cast vote" button, the election officials would tell them their vote had already been cast. Then, when the voter had walked away, the conspirators would alter the votes and cast the altered votes.
Crucial in this was falsifying records: When you assist a voter in that jurisdication you have to complete some paperwork. They destroyed the paperwork.
Bradblog doesn't lie but it also doesn't tell the full truth. In other words, knowing its audience it says precisely enough to have them draw an invalid inference. That's termed "misleading" where I come from. Since Bradblog says "changing the votes at the machine" many of its readers, many of whom are aware that you can alter votes *that have already been cast*, will jump to the conclusion that that's precisely what was done. It's how I interpreted what Bradblog said, except that I found "changing the votes *at* the machine" to have the wrong preposition, or at least one that's more weaselly than I'd have liked.
The only way to disabuse yourself of the invalid inference Bradblog leads you to is to read the indictment until you find the description of the acts on page 16. Most won't read that far.
Brad wrote:NONSENSE, Igel...
The article has now been updated to include stuff from the indictment. The original coverage was based on the local NBC's affiliate.
After having read the indictment (details now included at the end of the originally linked article), this is the end of the e-vote apologists being able to say that "no election has ever been manipulated electronically".
Why you seem interested in suggesting otherwise is beyond me.
The indictment is linked there now in full, along with my coverage of the notable points, and how they used the e-voting systems to accomplish their scheme. I believe that information will speak for itself, despite your suggestion that I was trying to get away with something insidious and/or misleading. That is full and utter nonsense.
Then came the total meltdown.
Brad wrote:And on closer read, Igel...
...Now that I have a bit more time (I had originally come back to update folks with the info from the indictment after having gotten to give it a read), I'm further offended by this reference:Bradblog doesn't lie but it also doesn't tell the full truth. In other words, knowing its audience it says precisely enough to have them draw an invalid inference. That's termed "misleading" where I come from.
Um, pardon me? "Knowing it's audience it says precisely enough...to draw invalid inference?" "Misleading"?
What exactly is either misleading or invalid in the original report? It quotes heavily from the original article where the story broke, is linked to it, is linked to other supporting material.
What the hell are you talking about, and what's behind your inaccurate, unsubstantiated smear? I have no problem with criticism (which is just one of the reasons we have an open comment system), but I do have a problem with unsubstantiated attacks. I'll hope you simply got ahead of yourself in your critique, and I welcome you to go back and draw samples of what you feel is either "invalid" or "misleading". Short of that, I do not appreciate the invalid and misleading inferences you seem to be helping people to draw.
Thanks in advance for correcting or retracting your critique, in lieu of actual evidence to support it.
Methinks Brad doth protest too much. Igel made a valid post considering the Clint Curtis and Spoonamore stories brought to the public via Brett Kimberlin Productions have led to zero convictions for election fraud.
Which reminds me of another hissy fit Brad had starting on November 6th, 2008.