The Coastal Post - July, 1998

Voting Cheats Voters; Not In America?

By Richard Moss, [email protected]

With its long history of machine politics and vote fraud, Louisiana is the only state that has never elected a second party candidate to the United States Senate. But Louisiana voters appeared ready to change that in 1996. A brilliant orator and conservative leader for 25 years in the Louisiana Legislature, Woody Jenkins emerged from a field of six strong Republicans as the GOP nominee. It was a classic conservative vs. liberal race against far-left Democratic Mary Landrieu. On election day, Jenkins was leading in the TV networks exit polls 51 to 49. As the returns came in, Jenkins led until late in the evening when a sudden surge of votes from New Orleans put Landrieu narrowly ahead. Final returns showed Landrieu leading by 5,788 out of 1.7 million votes cast - the closest Senate race in America and one of the closest statewide races in Louisiana history. Woody won the state 53% to 47% outside New Orleans, but Orleans gave Landrieu an incredible 100,000-vote margin, just enough to edge a victory.

Throughout election day, there were countless reports of vote fraud and irregularities. Woody said he would not concede until those were investigated. Since then, some Louisiana election officials have stone-walled all attempts, including a federal court order, to allow access to voter registration applications and other vital documents. Nevertheless, on Dec. 5, Woody filed with the United States Senate a formal petition challenging the results of the Senate election in Louisiana. On Dec. 19, he filed with the Senate Rules Committee, 17 volumes (over 4,000 pages) documenting massive misconduct, vote fraud and other irregularities which characterized the election in Louisiana, especially in New Orleans, where political machine corruption tainted the election. The evidence includes the following:


On election day, hundreds of vans and buses cruised the public housing projects in New Orleans, soliciting persons to "make some money" by going to the polls and voting multiple times. Democrats were paid $10 to $120 for their votes. Transcripts of conversations with persons in New Orleans who sold their votes and drivers who paid them reveal a complex network of leaders, supervisors, and drivers with a knowledge of the community, commissioners and access to large amounts of cash.


On election day, the gambling industry spent over $10,000,000 an local option elections for casino gambling and video poker. At the same time, they hired workers with corporate funds to pass old sample ballots promoting a vote for Mary Landrieu and for gambling. In New Orleans alone, Harrahs hired 2,500 election day workers to campaign for Landrieu, also using corporate funds. This pattern was true in many parts of the state. Balleys hired over 200 workers and Players Casino hired over 200 using corporate funds, and all promoting Landrieu! At the same time, the Louisiana Democratic Party hired over 3,000 election day workers in New Orleans to campaign for Landrieu, also using corporate funds. The massive number of workers, over 5,000--paid for with illegal corporate funds, easily added more than 5,788 votes to Landrau.


New Orleans mayor Marc Morial's massive political machine called LIFE, which his supporters claim is more efficient then the Chicago political machine, had over 1,000 workers on the streets, raised huge sums, operated headquarters and printed ballots and endorsed federal and state candidates. LIFE apparently receives corporate funds without limit, intermingles funds for both federal and state candidates in clear violation of federal law. But it does not file reports with the FEC or the State of Louisiana


The results in Orleans Parish were further tainted when over 200 city employees were told they must campaign for Mayor Marc Morial's hand-picked candidates or lose their jobs. A list of city employees was posted in City Hall, directing them to Clinton and Landrieu headquarters. The Assistant City Attorney resigned his job over these practices which violated federal law. On election day, Woody faced an army of city employees forced to campaign for Mary Landrieu.


There were a significant number of votes in the election which where not legally cast by any voter. These "phantom" votes included the number of votes on the public counter on the voting machine exceeding the number of names on the commissioners poll list, which was exceeding the number of voter signatures on the precinct register. Also specific names appearing on the poll lists where not on the list of registered voters. Precinct audits of selected precincts indicate the number of phantom votes may exceed 17,000 statewide.


Since Jan. 1, 1995 , more than 355,000 persons have registered under Louisiana's Motor Voter Act, mostly by mail without showing a birth certificate or proof of citizenship. Louisiana law requires that poll commissioners check the identification of each voter. This is especially important due to the Motor Voter Law. However, many commissioners systematically ignored the law and hundreds of thousands of persons voted without showing any ID In a test conducted by Lake Charles American Press, 20 fictitious persons they were able to register to vote using the Motor Voter Act out of 25 attempts. Investigation by Jenkins workers indicate the addresses shown for many Motor Voter registrants are abandoned public housing units!


Once voting machines are unlocked, they can be tampered with. In Louisiana, the law requires that voting machines be opened in the presence of the candidates, who then read the totals. Then the next machine is opened. The results in Orleans Parish were tainted by the fact that the Clerk of Court, a Landrieu supporter, opened all 677 voting machines outside the presence of the candidates. Then he refused to allow Jenkins to view the Jenkins-Landrieu totals on 797 voting machines.


The Orleans Registrar of Voters has refused, despite Louisiana's public records law and a federal court order, to provide records for the investigation of voter fraud. Copies of only 10% of voter registration applications from Orleans Parish have been provided to the Jenkins campaign, making it Impossible to evaluate the fraud perpetuated there.

PLEASE WRITE OR CALL YOUR SENATORS AT 1 (202) 224-3121 and ask them to thoroughly investigate this matter and, if the Investigation shows the irregularities listed above, to seat Woody Jenkins or call for a new election.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE WOODY JENKINS RECOUNT FUND. "Free and fair elections" aren't free. So far, the State of Louisiana is trying to charge Woody over $75,000 just for the copies of public records needed to investigate the fraud. With attorney fees and all, the bills are now over $100,000. He needs your financial support to continue this fight. Please send your contribution of $10 to $10,000 or more. If Woody Jenkins is successful, it will be a major blow in favor of fair elections in America. And our country will gain a great United States Senator.

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