As The BRAD BLOG detailed on Monday, however, claims of those 953 "dead voters" voting in SC appear to be greatly exaggerated, at least according to the state's chief election official, who testified in response to the allegations before a state legislative committee last week.
Marci Andino, Executive Director of the SC State Election Commission, pointed out during her testimony that, of the handful of names of alleged "dead voters" so far turned over to her office by the AG, not a single one of them has turned out to be an illegal vote. Most of them amounted to clerical errors by poll workers who checked the wrong name in the polls books or, in one case, "an absentee ballot cast by a voter who then died before election day."
Of the 10 voters claimed by the state DMV to be "dead," but who were found by the SC Election Commission to have applied for absentee ballots prior to the recent January 21 GOP Primary in the state, Andino noted: "In every case, the signatures on these forms were matched, and each of these ten voters was confirmed to be alive."
Of course, polling place Photo ID restrictions do nothing to deter absentee ballot voter fraud -- far and away the most prevalent type of fraud committed by actual voters -- but it hasn't stopped Republicans like Gingrich was using such incidents to push for polling place photo ID restrictions nonetheless.
Andino concluded her testimony by aptly noting: "Just as one instance of voter fraud is one too many, a single voter denied his or her right to vote because of a clerical error or the vagaries of data analysis is one too many as well."
Despite the risks of hundreds of thousands of legal voters being unable to cast their previously-legal ballot under such laws in the upcoming Presidential election, the GOP campaign for them has been relentless, and Gingrich has been all too happy to participate in it. When it comes to his own admitted fraud, however, he's more than happy to look the other way. Most in the media, to date, have unfortunately joined him in that distraction.
Speaking of actual voter fraud, let's not forget Mitt Romney
If pre-election polls hold true, while today's GOP Primary in the state of Florida may effectively knock out Gingrich from contention for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination, the party's likely standard bearer, Mitt Romney, seems to have some actual voter fraud issues of his own.
Charges concerning the former Massachusetts Governor's apparent voter fraud have largely been ignored by the media to date as well, just as the Republican Party would like them to.
As originally highlighted by long-shot Republican Presidential candidate Fred Karger last summer, Romney had been registered to vote in the unfinished basement of his son's manse in Belmont, Massachusetts long after the former Governor and his wife had sold their own home there, and purchased two others -- one in California and another in neighboring New Hampshire.
Despite testimony from local Belmont residents that neither he nor his wife had been seen in the town he was registered to vote in for years, Romney cast a ballot in the January 2010 special election for the U.S. Senate between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley. However, it wasn't until July of 2010 that the Romneys once again purchased a small townhouse in MA in preparation for their Presidential run.
Last week, Romney released his federal income tax forms stating his residence to be "Belmont, MA." However, as we noted at the time, his specific address was redacted, so it's impossible to know, based on that return, if he used the address at his son's house or his newly purchased townhouse in the same small town, as his residence for tax purposes that year.
Notably, Romney failed to release his state income tax returns for 2010, nor any of them for years prior. A 2009 return showing his residence to be income-tax free New Hampshire would be damning evidence of voter fraud in the January 2010 election in Massachusetts.
The Romney campaign has failed to respond to several of our queries on this matter seeking to find out whether or not Romney considered himself a resident of Massachusetts, or not, at the time he cast his vote in the January 2010 special election.
At this time, it appears entirely possible that the likely 2012 Presidential nominee for the Republican Party, Mitt Romney, is, himself, a voter fraud criminal, even as his current alternative-of-the-moment, Newt Gingrich, faces a confirmed criminal felony investigation for some 1,500 acts of ballot petition fraud in his own home state of Virginia.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show on 12/29/11 covers Newt Gingrich's claim that "one guy" turned in 1,500 fraudulent signatures to the Virginia Board of Elections on behalf of his campaign, but that it was little more than "just a mistake"...