After months of unproven allegations that widespread fraud is endangering our electoral system, Republicans can finally cite a clear and true case of voter fraud (although it is wholly irrelevant to their campaign for strict voter ID laws).
Unfortunately for the GOP, this outrageous incident directly implicates a Republican candidate for office — and it has now forced him out of the race.
John Enright, a Republican running for Supervisor of Pinal County, Arizona, ended his campaign on Thursday morning after allegations that his former companion — who has been deceased for five years — has been voting by absentee ballot since her death.
The Pinal Country Recorder’s Office received an anonymous letter several weeks ago claiming that someone had been filling out and mailing absentee ballots addressed to Sheila Nassar, who lived with Enright until she passed away in 2007.
Enright describes Nassar as his high school sweetheart, and “former life companion.”
Pinal County Recorder Laura Dean Lytle told The Arizona Republic that the curious case “is an absolute act of fraudulent voting.”
The allegations were enough to force Enright from the race. Although he did not mention voter fraud in a statement issued by his attorneys, Enright did tackle the allegations head on in a video message.
“I do not know who is responsible for this, and at this time, it is difficult to respond to what are now assumptions, assertions and innuendos,” Enright said in the video. “But what I can say is I look forward to learning more about these allegations. If they are indeed formal allegations, I will defend myself. I very much look forward to clearing my name.”
While a Republican candidate withdrawing from his campaign over voter fraud allegations is certainly ironic, it is hardly justification for harsh voter ID laws such as Arizona’s. After all, as the Brennan Center for Justice points out, one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.
Copyright 2012 The National Memo