On Election Day in 2000, Republican Bill Federer was challenging then-House minority leader and former presidential candidate Dick Gephardt for his seat in a district encompassing the south side of St. Louis, the city’s southern suburbs and a rural county on the Mississippi River.
Meanwhile, the presidential race between Al Gore and George W. Bush was coming down to the wire with Missouri’s 11 electoral votes up for grabs.
The night before the election, Democratic Rep. William Clay told a Gore-Lieberman rally that a lawsuit would be filed to force the polls in St. Louis to stay open to ensure minorities could vote. Sure enough, on Election Day, Democrats in St. Louis sued to keep the polls open another three hours in a heavily Democratic-voting area.
The lawsuit was filed in the name of a “Robert D. Odom,” who, according to the complaint, “has not been able to vote and fears he will not be able to vote because of crowding at his polling place.”
Chaos ensued at the polling sites, Federer recalled, with thousands lining up around blocks as Gore and Jesse Jackson urged residents of St. Louis to go out and vote because the polls would remain open.
Republican attorneys later discovered Odom had died a year earlier.
Democrats insisted the plaintiff was meant to be Robert M. Odom, an aide to a Democratic candidate for Congress. But that Odom had voted, without any problem, before the lawsuit was filed.
Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt found more than 1,000 illegally cast ballots, but Federer told WND that with overwhelmed and understaffed poll sites handling a massive influx of voters, there’s no telling how many illegal ballots were cast after the normal polling hours.
Democrats vowed to look into the allegations of massive voter fraud, Federer noted, but the issue gradually faded from the news and eventually was forgotten.
“Anything that can cause confusion is a smokescreen for voter fraud,” he told WND ahead of this Tuesday’s Election Day. “Once they throw out the structure of when the polling ends, then they can do the voter fraud and then claim that it was in the confusion.”
In his previous race against Gephardt, in 1998, it was discovered that the St. Louis Board of Elections had left Federer’s name off the ballot in five St. Louis wards. In that election, too, the Democrats’ sued to keep the polls open beyond the legal closing time, inviting more opportunity for fraud, Federer said.
While Gephardt had securely held his seat since 1985, in 2000 he had been forced to spend the most money ever on his re-election, $6 million, twice as much as he spent against Federer in the 1998 election and the most ever spent in a congressional race in the state of Missouri. It was the third most expensive race in the nation that year.
A week before the 2000 election, Federer ended up on the front page of the St. Louis Dispatch after a man who put a video camera in Federer’s face at a parade filed assault charges against Federer. Federer says the man manipulated the camera to make it appear as if there was a struggle.
At the trial after the election, the cameraman, James Larrew, took the stand and admitted, however, that he received a paycheck from the U.S. Treasury and was on Gephardt’s staff.
Larrew confessed that he was following Federer around with the camera at the campaign event at the instruction of Joyce Aboussie, Gephardt’s top aide, who served as his national political director, among other roles.
The very week that the truth was revealed, Federer recalled, Gephardt announced he would not seek re-election.
“It took the jury 20 minutes to find out I was innocent, and he knew that would be our main campaign issue: ‘Using federal funds for campaign purposes. Gephardt needs to be in jail.’”
Federer noted other incidents he describes as examples of intimidation and smears against him in the campaigns he ran against Gephardt.
Gephardt’s opposition research discovered that Federer’s book “America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations” was listed for sale, among hundreds of books, on the website of a Montana militia group.
Federer said he had no knowledge of the group, but a campaign television ad came out declaring, “Federer supplies books to Montana militia.”
The ad concluded ominously, “Bill Federer, too extreme for Missouri.”
Federer told WND an inner-city organizer came to his campaign headquarters and informed the candidate he could get “a whole lot of votes” from the city of St. Louis for you, noting that the Democrats will pay $20 per vote.
“I had to break it to him that we don’t pay for votes,” Federer said.
With dismay on his face, the man replied, “Really? Because I want to help you. I really like you.”
After the 2000 election, Federer worked with the late Phyllis Schlafly to compile other cases of vote and campaign fraud submitted by members of her Eagle Forum.
- A St. Louis woman visited her Alzheimers-stricken mother at a care facility and discovered that he mother had voted. When she asked staff at the facility how her mother knew who to vote for, the woman was told that election workers “helped” her. The woman pointed out that her mother barely recognized her anymore.
- The NAACP offered $5 and a pack of cigarettes to minorities if they would vote Democrat.
- A blind lady named Ethel said she had received a call on election evening from someone asking if she would vote Democrat. She responded that she had already voted and had chosen a Republican slate. The person asked if she would like to vote again, and this time vote for the “right” candidates. She was told someone could pick her up and take her downtown to the Board of Election office and she could simply say her name wasn’t on the list at her precinct. Ethel refused, insisting that would be wrong.
- Individuals claiming to be from the NAACP were knocking on doors with lists of every registered voter at the residence, urging people to vote Democrat, because Bush “murdered one of our brothers in Texas” and offering rides to vote downtown after hours.
- At one polling place in a minority populated area of the city, the election official who was handing people their ballots told voters that if they punched the Republican hole it would void the ballot.
- In Jefferson County, Missouri, a lady voted and went to put her card into the sealed ballot box, but before she could drop it in, the election official took it from her, saying that there were too many ballots in the box. The lady left but felt concerned, so she went back inside. She said she saw the election official putting the ballots in a stack next to the box.
- The electricity went off in the Jefferson County Clerk’s office three times while ballots were being counted. When the electricity came back on and the computers were booted back up, the vote count was in favor of Democrats.
‘Designed for honest people’
“Our government was designed for honest people, that both sides would protect the sacredness of a vote,” Federer told WND.
“But once you get rid of morals, you have this Machiavellian attitude of ‘I’m convinced that my agenda is so good, that any means necessary to accomplish it is justified,” he said.
“And once you get enough people with that frame of mind, the system itself is vulnerable to falling apart.”
Republicans are not immune to fraud, Federer said, referring to allegations that the party delayed polling results in the Iowa Caucuses in 2012 to prevent Rick Santorum from getting a boost against Mitt Romney, the eventual presidential nominee.
Democrats have dismissed charges of systematic voter fraud as myth, insisting it’s not feasible to engineer fraud in a way that would decide an election.
But Federer noted that at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July he ran into former Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod, who had concluded that a mere 600,000 swing voters in a handful of places across the nation could decide a presidential election.
Hans Von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow and manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation, has maintained that there’s enough voter fraud to make a difference in a close election. His think tank has compiled 430 cases of voter fraud that resulted in a conviction or a judge ordering a new election.
Several cases have arisen in just the past week, along with the revelations by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, which captured on hidden camera a top Democratic operative engineering wide-scale vote fraud.
Last Thursday in Pennsylvania, a state the Donald Trump campaign believes it can win, state police raided two offices of a voter registration group in Philadelphia after raiding another office in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, just days earlier.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported police used a warrant seeking forms that could be used to “construct fraudulent voter registration forms” and “completed voter registration forms containing same or similar identifying information of individuals on multiple forms.”
In Chicago, where the Democratic “machine” is believed to have come up with 8,858 votes from Chicago graveyards and elsewhere to steal the 1960 presidential election from Richard Nixon, CBS Local Chicago reported 119 dead people have voted 229 times in the last decade, with one dead man voting 11 times.
State officials in Texas are investigating reports of a “vote harvesting” scheme in which as many as 20,000 ballots has been filled in and delivered for people in Tarrant County.
In San Pedro, California, on Saturday, FoxNews.com reported, Jerry Mosna found 83 unused election ballots – all addressed to different people – stacked on the mailbox of an elderly neighbor who lives in a two-bedroom apartment.
“I think this is spooky,” said. “All the different names, none we recognize, all at one address.”
A watchdog group, the Virginia Voters Alliance,” Lifezette reported, charges Virginia’s printing of an unprecedented 1 million provisional ballots for Tuesday’s election could allow a large number of previously disqualified felons to cast ballots for president in the potentially crucial swing state.
Reagan George, the group’s president, said the claim that the massive number of provisional ballots is for contingency planning is “bogus,” noting that in Fairfax County, for example, while only 2,500 provisional ballots were used in 2012, the county received more than 265,000.”
“This is ridiculous,” George said.