This column by ACRU Policy Board member J. Christian Adams was published October 7, 2016 by PJ Media.
Remember the good old days when the Washington Post was oh-so-hot to uncover government officials who gave a pass to criminal behavior, or who covered it up? Not anymore.
Now the Washington Post has stooped to giving cover to voter fraud in American elections. Specifically, the Post has “An Alien Invasion in the Old Dominion?” by Peter Galuszka. They conveniently answer the question for readers just below the headline: “A new report claims boldly — and wrongly — that non-citizens are registered to vote.”
It’s the Post that got it wrong.
The Post refers to this report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation which released government documents showing that election officials in just eight Virginia counties removed in excess of 1,000 from voting rolls for citizenship problems, and that many of them cast ballots. Remember, Virginia is where the current attorney general won power by a couple of hundred votes out of 4,000,000 cast. Virginia election officials have ordered counties not to release any more list maintenance records showing aliens removed from the rolls, and have refused to provide the same.
If you bother to read the actual Post story, you’ll find Galuszka has this startling conclusion, that over 1,000 non-citizens on the voters rolls in just eight counties in Virginia is no big deal.
But even if all 1,046 cases the groups claim are valid, they do not make their point, given that more than 2 million Virginians tend to vote in elections. That’s hardly massive voting fraud.
Really? That’s what the Post has become? Whether there is one, 1,045, or 200 cases of non-citizens on the rolls, each instance is a federal felony punishable by up to five years in a federal penitentiary. One wonders if Galuszka doesn’t care because he suspects they are voting the way he prefers.
The Post story is also full of factual errors, and that should concern editors at the Post, unless factual errors don’t matter as long as they are lathered up with a thick coating of ideological bias.
For example, Galuszka says:
The two voting fraud groups included everyone’s name, address and telephone number.
Wrong. Galuszka may have included this erroneous assertion to stoke up outrage about the tactics of the report, tactics which didn’t exist. The report on alien voting did not include “everyone’s” “telephone number.” In fact it hardly included any telephone numbers much less 1,046 telephone numbers of the aliens who were registered to vote. It’s a nifty way for Galuszka to plant the seeds of a narrative that people will be called and harassed. But it’s false and you can read the report for yourself. Perhaps that error matters to editors like Marty Baron at the Post, perhaps not.
The next error involves the severity of the law involved when foreign nationals register to vote in the United States. The Post says:
The report is the work of the so-called Public Interest Legal Foundation and the Virginia Voters Alliance, which complain that there is no formal program to root out voter registrations of non-U.S. citizens. Such registrants could be charged with forgery.
Wrong again Pete. The registrants could be charged with three separate federal crimes related specifically to registering to vote as a non-citizen. They can be charged with violating 52 U.S.C. 20511, 18 U.S.C. 1015(f), and 18 U.S.C. 911. Together, that’s 15 possible years in federal prison. The registrants can also be charged with perjury. That’s more prison time than even four of the Watergate conspirators faced. Forgery isn’t on the table unless another person registered somebody else. Maybe Pete meant perjury, not forgery, but was in too big of a rush to get it right.
If that wasn’t troubling enough for Washington Post editors, perhaps this is. Galuszka decided to track down one the registrants listed on government documents as having been removed from the rolls as a non-citizen, namely Valeria I. Oropeza of Woodbridge. It seems the first person to take advantage of all the information about voters in the report that Galuszka found so problematic was Galuszka himself. He contacted Oropeza and had this:
I scrolled down to Valeria I. Oropeza of Woodbridge. She had registered to vote on Dec. 4, 2012, and in 2015 signed an affidavit that she was a U.S. citizen. A handwritten note at the bottom of her file reflected that her registration had been canceled on Oct. 29, 2015, because she was a non-citizen. Since her number was listed, I telephoned Oropeza, who said that she was registered to vote and that she had been a U.S. citizen since 2008. She had no explanation why her name was in the report.
Perhaps this happened as Galuszka describes. All we have is his word. But I also spoke with Valeria I. Oropeza at 7:53 ET on October 7, 2016. I used the telephone number on the actual voter registration file, not a “listed” number perhaps obtained in the phone book or white pages. Here’s what was said:
Adams: Is this Valeria Oropeza?
Adams: [Introduction and salutation] I saw the story about voter registration mentioning you and wondered how you thought that might have happened with your vote registration?
Oropeza: What do you mean?
Adams: Didn’t you speak with someone at the Washington Post in the last few days about your voter registration?
Oropeza: No. Washington Post?
Adams: Well did you talk to anyone about your voter registration?
Adams: Didn’t you talk with someone about a story about your voter registration at all?
Adams: Did you talk to anyone about voter issues, election issues at all?
Oropeza: No. Washington Post? What are you talking about??
Adams: This is Valeria Oropeza?
Adams: You live at [address on voter registration records]?
Adams: Your email is [address on voter registration records]??
Adams: And you didn’t talk to anyone about your voter registration or cancellation at all?
Notice I asked her six different times, six different ways if she had any conversations about her voter registration with anyone. I confirmed it was the same Valeria Oropeza on the voter registration records three different times. Still, she expressed absolutely no recollection of speaking with Mr. Galuszka.
Perhaps she was confused now, or then, or both. After all, Virginia begins the process of removing registrants from the rolls who keep changing their answers about their citizenship status. If they say they are a citizen, and then later say they are not, then an inquiry begins by election officials. Perhaps she spoke with Galuszka, then with me and forgot or misunderstood the questions, one way or another. Either way, while her possible confusion or lack of clarity in the conversation with me is transparent for you to read, we don’t enjoy the same in Galuszka’s account that she “said that she was registered to vote and that she had been a U.S. citizen since 2008.” Was he even speaking to the right person? Perhaps he emailed her and could release that email. Perhaps not.
Naturally all you have is my transcript above as evidence that I also contacted her. But the government documents support on their face the position that Oropeza was removed from the rolls for citizenship problems. Galuszka offers no documents at all to support his version of his telephone call, or her status. That’s apparently ok at the Washington Post.
All of this is to demonstrate the lengths that voter fraud deniers will go to deny voter fraud. In the old days, all of the institutions of civil society would rally against criminal behavior in our government and in our elections — including the Washington Post. Not anymore. Instead of reporting on the very real fact that thousands of non-citizens have gotten onto Virginia voter rolls and voted, the Post goes into overdrive to ridicule the story.
As John Fund has written, “those who pretend that fraud doesn’t exist are a threat to the integrity of our elections.”
The Post ignores the rest of the report full of government documents we had to fight to obtain. Once upon a time the Post was also a champion of government transparency. I suspect the paper would be again if election records revealed something favorable to their ideological perspective.
That’s how things roll these days. Truth is judged based on your political views. Credibility follows if you are politically correct. And evidence of crimes doesn’t matter if the criminals might be voting the way you want. It’s a perspective alien to American notions of fair play and justice.
No matter. Most of America gets it. Secretaries of State are taking it seriously. The Virginia legislature is convening a hearing next week about recent reports of failures by state officials to take the threat seriously. And meanwhile the instruments of the old media line up to give cover to criminality in our elections.