Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Support staff accused of filling out ballots for mentally disabled adults in Minnesota county

From Fox News:

Authorities in Crow Wing County, Minn., are investigating possible voter fraud involving people with mental disabilities.

An affidavit, filed Nov. 1 by Brainerd resident Montgomery Jensen, claims a large group of mentally handicapped people were told whom to vote for by mental health staff members and that staff filled out the ballots themselves without the disabled voters close by.

Jensen said he came to the Crow Wing County Auditor's Office in Brainerd at approximately 4:40 p.m. Oct. 29 to fill out an absentee ballot, because he wouldn't have time to vote there on Nov. 2. During that time, Jensen said he and his significant other noticed a "large and disorganized" crowd that "appeared to be mentally incapacitated."

Jensen claimed that "these individuals had no idea that they were at the court house, let alone they were there to vote." He said staff members told the disabled to vote for Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidates.

Jensen said he then noticed "a staff member from a facility trying to coerce a mentally incapacitated individual back to the voting booth without success, so the staff member proceeded to fill out the ballot without the mentally incapacitated voter."

After filling out the ballot, Jensen said the staff member retrieved the handicapped voter and guided him to the county auditors counter to cast the vote.

Jensen further stated while he was in his voting booth, he overheard the same staff member telling another handicapped person which candidate to select as if she was "instructing a young child on how to stay between the lines when coloring."

Jensen said he then looked over and saw the staff member physically filling in the ballot.

Jensen also claimed that when an employee of the county auditor's office went to take the ballot from the handicapped person, he refused and "thought it was his to keep. He had no idea where he was, let alone that he was voting for future elected offices."

According to Crow Wing County Attorney Donald Ryan, the county auditor and sheriff's office have been notified of the claims and Ryan expects an expeditious investigation.