JULY 10, 2008
Three Alabama counties are under federal investigation for voter fraud amid reports of citizens openly selling votes, casting multiple ballots and exchanging votes for a load of gravel in the recent primary election.
Last month Alabama’s secretary of state launched a probe into one county (Lowndes) after reports surfaced that absentee voters traded votes for a load of gravel for their driveways and other absentee ballots cast from former residents living as far away as Chicago.
The probe quickly grew to include two other predominantly Democrat counties—Perry and Bullock—where the fraud seems to be rampant and nothing new. Residents interviewed by a national newspaper proudly admitted that they have been paid for their vote for years and that they have seen votes openly bought and sold by local officials.
One 23-year-old man admitted has been paid by local officials to use an absentee ballot ever since he became eligible to vote. The last time he voted, he got paid $30, saying its “pretty common” and “nothing new.” Another man said he’s sold his vote for $100 and $50 a pop.
Besides the popular vote-for-sale ring, federal and state authorities are also investigating the abuse of absentee ballots and voters fraudulently casting multiple ballots. This only proves the need for voter identification laws, which have been vehemently challenged by Democrats who claim showing an official ID disenfranchises the poor and minorities who often don’t possess them.
In fact, Alabama passed a voter ID law in 2003 in an effort to curb fraud at the polls. The state has been plagued by voter fraud cases for decades with several trials that have seen county and city officials indicted, in 1985, 1997 and just last year.
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