Friday, October 19, 2012

Dumpster-gate in Virginia?

It started small. Somebody found some discarded voter registration forms in a dumpster. A person had driven up, dropped them in, then had gone and parked in front of the Republican headquarters down the street. He was driving a car from Pennsylvania. The sheriff said he would investigate.

That was yesterday. Today we learn that there has been an arrest.
"A Pennsylvania man employed by a company working for the Republican Party of Virginia was arrested by investigators from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s office on Thursday and charged with destroying voter registration forms.

Colin Small, a 23-year-old resident of Phoenixville, Pa., worked for Pinpoint, a company hired to register voters on behalf of the Republican Party of Virginia. Prosecutors charged him with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications and one count of obstruction of justice."
Colin Small's "Linked-In" profile says he is a "Grassroots Field Director at Republican National Committee" rather than an employee of Pinpoint. He has worked for the Republican National Committee since August, according to his resume. Before that, he worked as an intern for four months in 2011 on the staff of conservative congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Small graduated in 2012 from the Catholic University of America with a BA in politics, minor in philosophy.  College activities included " Homeless Food Runs, Relay for Life, Habitat For Humanity." And he was an Eagle Scout.

He must have thought he was doing good.

How many registrations have been tossed overall is an open questions. Who it was that told him to break the law is an open question. How many other organizers toss registrations is an open question.

Voter registration forms are the kind of form that is carefully audited.This is the kind of crime for which people serve jail time.


Blogger Dan McIntyre said...

Update 10-21-12 -

"The Virginia State Board of Elections announced Friday that it will not ask the state’s attorney general to investigate the Republican operative accused of tossing out eight completed voter registration forms..."

Update 10-25-12 - The Virginia AG is investigating anyway...


RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia's Republican attorney general is expanding a criminal probe of alleged efforts to destroy voter registration applications statewide.

Ken Cuccinelli's office entered the politically charged investigation in the battleground state Wednesday when the Republican-dominated State Board of Elections voted unanimously to authorize the inquiry.

A Pennsylvania man working for a company Republicans hired to conduct voter registration drives faces criminal charges in Rockingham County on allegations that he threw eight completed voter registration forms into the trash. Colin Small of Phoenixville, Pa., faces 13 counts of disclosure of voter registration information, destruction of voter applications, and obstruction of justice."

When the lone Democrat on the Virginia state elections board asked whether it might be part of a larger pattern of disenfranchisement, the Republicans concurred that an inquiry was needed. It would have been impolitic for them to do otherwise.

12:17 PM, October 25, 2012  

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