Last week, after Colin Small was arrested in Harrionburg the national media began paying attention to the voter fraud issue and how it might impact this election in Virginia. Here's the dirty secret about Virginia politics. Yes, there are many areas of the state where voter fraud incidents are rare and elections are generally run well. There are also areas of the state, where elections always seem to have problems, suspicious activity and other irregularities. In fact, Harrisonburg where this scandal started is the voter fraud capital of Virginia.
Virginia has registrars set up in each of its 134 counties and independent cities. For more than twenty years there was a war between certain registrars and college students over whether students could register to vote on campus while they were attending school. In large counties like Fairfax this was not a big issue for the registrar who allowed students at George Mason to register without problem. It was not a problem in Charlottesville either at the University of Virginia where the community welcomed the students. But in certain areas- Harrisonburg (JMU) and Williamsburg (William and Mary) the registrars spent years determined to stop students from being able to vote. Speculation on this was they were mostly concerned with local elections and students being able to overrun the local elections.
The end result of this came thanks to a federal lawsuit filed by a William and Mary student who was denied his right to register. He was a member of the Virginia National Guard on weekends, but came from out of state. Since he was a member of the Guard, he had to be a Virginia resident, and since he came from out of state, this was his only Virginia address. Case closed, college addresses can be used as a permanent address and the State Board of Elections instructed all registrars that they must comply and allow students to register.
The registrars like Debbie Logan in Harrisonburg who didn't want college students to register have since made it as difficult as possible. In fact in 2008 there was a massive irregularity in Harrisonburg.
Students supporting Barack Obama dropped off one group of registration forms at the office. Somehow those forms left the office, made their way over 100 miles to Richmond, where someone mailed them back to the office AFTER the registration deadline.
Here's what HBurgNews had to say about it at the time:
"But six of the forms that were delivered in person arrived back at the office in the mail a week later, with a Richmond postmark. Joe Fitzgerald, Vice Chair of the 6th District Democratic Committee, wrote in an email yesterday:
The form went to the Registrar’s Office on Oct. 6. Somehow, it left that office, went to Richmond, got in a mailbox, and came back to Harrisonburg. In a handwritten envelope, with the Obama office written as the return address.
The forms were rejected. The Obama staffer, along with several witnesses, appealed the rejection of his form to a judge in Winchester. The judge said that the case needed more attention, so the case will be heard again, this time in Harrisonburg on Wednesday, October 29.
But it gets weirder. Yesterday (Friday) morning, Fitzgerald received several threatening, obscene messages on his voice mail. The caller claimed to be calling from the Obama Campaign. According to Fitzgerald, HPD traced the threatening calls to Ellis Logan, son of Harrisonburg Registrar Debbie Logan. According to Debbie, Ellis has lived in Richmond since June.
Maybe [Ellis] thinks I’ve been picking on his mother… Maybe that justifies him lying, and saying he was a concerned citizen calling from the Obama campaign when he called from Richmond, where somebody mailed the hijacked registration forms, claiming they were from the Obama campaign.
How and why did those six registration forms end up in the mail, postmarked from Richmond?
Debbie Logan said that Ellis never had access to any of the voter registration forms in Harrisonburg. She said that the only time he was in the office recently was to vote absentee. “He did go to the DMV [in Richmond] and tried to register, but he didn’t get it done in time, so he has one last time he can come back to his old locality and vote absentee, which he did. He came in here and voted,” Logan said.
Logan declined to comment about the postmarked voter registrations or the threatening phone calls, adding, “I have an election to run, and I’ll be more than happy to talk to you at length on anything you want to question me on after November 5th.”
So the forms disappear from the office, reappear in another city, get mailed in after the deadline from a fake address, and the registrar's son- who lives in that city where the forms ended up- starts calling people, lying about who he is, falsely identifies himself the same way the forms were falsely misaddressed and tries to threaten those who were upset about the situation.
Not only did the registrar or her son not get charged with a crime- but Debbie Logan is still the registrar in Harrisonburg today.
Who supervises Debbie Logan? Members of the electoral board- including one of Debbie's good friends- Suzanne Obenshain- wife of the local Republican State Senator (and Attorney General hopeful for 2013), Mark Obenshain. Suzanne served as a member during this whole 2008 debacle with the voter forms, until mid 2011, when the General Assembly passed a new law that said electoral board members could not be related to candidates or officeholders in their area. That bill passed the Senate 39-0 with Sen. Obenshain abstaining. Ms. Obenshain did nothing to remove Logan- her friend- after this 2008 debacle.
It's pretty shocking that this law even needed to be passed, but Obenshain refused to allow the shocking appearance of impropriety here to rethink her role as both the election judge and spouse of the State Senator from the area.
So without her official electoral board role anymore, Ms. Obenshain has had even more time to devote to the GOP. So much in fact that RPV uses her as the lead local activist contact in the Harrisonburg area for their activities. Including their "Victory Office" where this voter fraud took place.
With the national press circulating, Logan is doing all she can to protect the GOP. Her office has not finished processing all the voter registrations that came in before the deadline, and she told Ryan Nobles of NBC12 that she may not finish for two weeks. This was on the 19th, meaning Logan may not be able to tell us who is- or is not- registered to vote until as late as November 2nd- the Friday before election day.
In other words- if your registration was destroyed, Logan won't even be able to tell you until it is too late to challenge it.
After watching her son cause the entire electoral process in 2008 to fall under question, Logan is once again raising big red flags as to why she is in this position. Thanks to Debbie Logan and Suzanne Obenshain- that's why Harrisonburg is known as the voter fraud capital of Virginia.
And if you want the state run like this- Mark Obenshain would like to be your next Attorney General!