So what is the Department of Justice doing?
Two federal courts, including the applicable court of appeals, have stated specifically that the law is being violated by a state official. If the Justice Department believes the courts are wrong and the Secretary of State is correct, then it has an obligation to issue a statement explaining why it believes that is true. If the Justice Department agrees with the courts, then it has an even more compelling obligation to fulfill its enforcement duties and immediately file suit. Not a lot of work would be required other than to ask the federal district court to reissue its TRO ordering the Secretary of State to comply with the law – all of the evidentiary findings have already been made and approved by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
But the Justice Department excuse is that it isn't appropriate to file litigation so close to Election Day.
Now that claim is being disputed. In a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, dated Oct. 31, 2001, former attorneys in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department dispute statements that "the activities of the Department before and after Election Day have essentially been limited to “placing federal observers to monitor elections pursuant to provisions of the Voting Rights Act.""
"This claim is inaccurate both as a matter of fact and established practice, as evidenced by the many lawsuits that have, over time, been filed by the Civil Rights Divisions before federal elections. In fact, just within the last month, the Division has filed two complaints and one amicus brief in three different election-related cases to enforce the Voting Rights Act and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.
More specifically, during both this Administration and prior Administrations, the Civil Rights Division has filed lawsuits close to Election Day to remedy violations of all of the statutes it is responsible for enforcing, including the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, and the Help America Vote Act."
In what can only be perceived as something akin to a 2x4 upside the head, they point out that proof of such cases can be found on the department's own website.
They also state:
"As these cases show, in more than four decades of operation, the Civil Rights Division has never hesitated to fulfill its responsibilities by filing lawsuits to enforce federal voting rights laws that govern access to the polls and the administration of elections even on the very eve of Election Day. Against this backdrop, the Division’s recent failure to act in the case filed by a private party against the Ohio Secretary of State in which two federal courts, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, have specifically found that the Secretary of State is not complying with the verification requirements of Section 303 of HAVA, is difficult to fathom. Its similar lack of action in Wisconsin, where the state election board has also admitted that it is not complying with this provision of HAVA, is equally perplexing. This appears to be a dereliction of the Department’s obligations to enforce federal law."
In response to claims that such enforcement of the laws will somehow have a 'chilling effect' on voters, particularly minority voters, they rightly point out that "the only voters intimidated by strong enforcement of our
election laws are those behaving fraudulently."
So why isn't the Civil Rights Division doing its job? Numerous media reports and the campaign finance data on file with the Federal Elections Commission show that attorneys responsible for enforcing these laws are donors to Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
In a July speech at the “Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Symposium” in Columbia, SC, Muskasy pledged vigilance on the 2008 elections.
“Although instances of such fraud appear to be more the exception than the rule, the consequences of undeterred and undetected violations are potentially enormous. We’ve seen how close elections can be — and the fraudulent votes of even a small number can, in a close election, invalidate the votes of every other citizen who participated in the election. Whatever the exact numbers, even the prospect of vote fraud may undermine the integrity of the voting process. In a democratic society, even the perception of corruption or fraud has a damaging effect because it corrodes people’s faith in the democratic system.
Our task, then, is to support the greatest possible access to voting rights allowable under the law, and simultaneously to uphold the integrity of those rights through strong enforcement. In recent years, some have tried to suggest that these goals — protecting voting rights and protecting the integrity of elections — are somehow at odds. But they are really two sides of the same coin.
So what is he waiting for?
Voter access needs to be protected, but Democrats, like Jennifer Brunner, are using that principle as a political weapon, suggesting that any serious look at fraud is intended to "disenfranchise" voters - or denying that voter fraud even exists. This is a naked attempt to protect their friends at ACORN, who have been registering thousands of phony voters.
Congress put the voter fraud statutes on the books. The Attorney General and the Justice Department are obligated to enforce them.