* Update Below *
A disturbing video is making the rounds: a pretty, young, fresh-faced Mormon woman outside a Safeway store in Colorado Springs registering voters. It may sound as innocent as she looks, but what lies beneath the surface seems a little uglier, especially given Adalia Woodbury’s coverage of Romney/GOP voter fraud yesterday.
A patron, using her cell phone to record the exchange, confronts the girl and questions her:
Girl: Will you vote for Romney or Obama?
Patron: I thought you were registering voters a minute ago?
Girl: I am, I am.
Patron: And who are you registering? All voters?
Girl: Well, actually, I’m registering people for a particular party. Because we’re out here in support of Romney, actually.
Patron: And who’s paying you for this?
Girl: Oh, well, um…let me see. We’re working for the County Clerk’s Office.
Ooops. Unsurprisingly, there were questions for County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, who just happens to be a Republican and according to his official bio at the El Paso County, Colorado website, “an active member of the Chapel Hills Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints where he currently serves in the Bishopric.”
And the young woman also just happens to be a Mormon. She is wearing a Mormon CTR ring, a type of ring given to children at baptism (CTR means “choose the right”):
She also, apparently, just happens to live in Williams’ ward.
To add further intrigue to the already shady goings on, his bio tells us that, “Politically, Wayne Williams is a past Chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, where he oversaw the caucus and assembly election process for the County’s largest political party. For more than a decade he has played an active role in crafting bylaws to ensure fair elections.”
Isn’t it the Republicans who are always claiming voter fraud is taking place?
The Colorado Springs Gazette records Williams’ somewhat less than convincing response:
Williams said the woman, though, doesn’t work for his office, which oversees local elections and voter registration. Instead, he said, she’s probably one of the scores of volunteers who are hitting the streets for both political parties to push voter registration ahead of the Nov. 6 election. The last day to register to vote for the presidential election is Oct. 9.
“The voter registration drives that the Romney and the Obama campaigns are both doing are not run by our office,” Williams assured the Gazette.
He assures us it’s all legal and above-board.
Riiiiiighhht. Either Williams is lying or the girl is lying to the people she approaches. Somebody needs to be investigated because you can bet she just didn’t end up out there on her own. She is working with, or for somebody. And it turned out she was. On Monday, the El Paso County GOP admitted to the Boston Globe that she “worked for the Republican National Committee’s local victory office.”
The question now is, if she was working for the RNC’s victory office, why did she say she was working for the county clerk?
Unsurprisingly, according to the Boston Globe, the Republicans are accusing the Democrats of wrongdoing. Eli Bremer, the current chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, says he interviewed the 20-year-old woman whom, he says, was on her first day on the job when she was ambushed in what he calls a “hatchet-job”. He claims the girl was “merely flustered” by the shopper’s questions. Since the woman with the cell phone turns out to have been the Democratic chair of a county precinct, Bremer says, “They knew she didn’t work for the county clerk. They may have commited a crime in the process. I think it’s reprehensible, and I think the Democrats should apologize.”
It’s hardly a surprise a Republican would claim that asking questions is against the law. Be careful out there folks, lest you should also run afoul of the question ban.
The Colorado Springs Gazette first broke the story after a concerned YouTube viewer sent the video to the paper. The video was already getting a lot of social media attention on Freak Out Nation, which brought attention to the issue. The Denver Post and the Boston Globe have picked up the story and it should begin generating some answers beyond the vague assurances of honesty from a Republican.
Update [4:41 PM]
And FOX31 Denver has confirmed that the young woman seen registering voters outside a Colorado Springs grocery store in a YouTube video, in which she admits to trying to only register voters who support Mitt Romney, was indeed a contract employee of Sproul’s company.
Nobody, I think, will be surprised by this news, or by the fact that Republican denials of guilt were about as valueless as usual.