Allegations of voter fraud have been a central component of the U.S. attorneys scandal, as the Bush administration has consistently “pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.”
In 2005, Bradley Schlozman, then U.S. attorney in Missouri, brought a suit against Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) “charging that her state had failed to eliminate ineligible voters from registration rolls,” an alleged violation of the National Voter Registration Act.
In April, after an 18-month lawsuit, Judge Nanette Laughrey of U.S. District Court in Missouri ruled in favor of Carnahan and sharply criticized the Justice Department’s weak case:
Laughrey said it was difficult to gauge the scope of the problem “because the United States has not presented the actual voter registration lists and shown who should have been included or excluded and why.”
“It is also telling that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States,” Laughrey wrote. “Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred.”
But the DOJ refuses to relent, quietly continuing to push the debunked voter fraud allegations through the federal courts. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that the Department has announced that it will file for an appeal of Laughrey’s decision. In response, the exonerated Carnahan slammed the DOJ’s stubborness in repeatedly chasing after her:
“I’m very disappointed that the U.S. Department of Justice seems determined to continue this unnecessary and costly lawsuit by appealing the recent federal ruling,” Carnahan said. “The judge who heard this case was clear and unequivocal that the Office of Secretary of State had done its job with regard to voter list maintenance, and even went beyond federal requirements to assist the county clerks and election boards with their responsibilities, and that there was no evidence of voter fraud in Missouri.”
The Missouri District court is not the only court that sees through the DOJ’s and Bush administration’s attempts to allege voter fraud on scant evidence. Recently, a federal court ruled that an aide to Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) was wrongly convicted of public corruption. The federal court assailed the government’s case and said that U.S. attorney Steven Biskupic’s evidence was “beyond thin.”