TO: Paige Mudd, Senior Editor Richmond Times Dispatch
Robert Zullo, Reporter
FROM: L. Shirley Harvey, Candidate, Mayor of Richmond 2013
Subject: Qualification for local office in Richmond, VA
DATE: September 20, 2012
Finally, perhaps someone is checking on this situation. chris dorsey and I as well as others have attempted to bring attention to the total disregard of the election laws by the registrar, Jane Kirk Showalter, her superiors which includes the Richmond Board of Electors, the State Board of Elections and the Attorney General’s Office. None of these agencies and offices seem to think that anything should be done when certain candidates are treated differently than others. This lack of initiative on the part of the overseers of the office of registrar allows that bribes, favoritism and partiality can and will exist. The registrar can do whatever she pleases, no matter what the voting public desires. We pay her approximately $99,000 per year to perform her duties and her efforts clearly lack compliance. Her office staff is poorly trained so much so that each person has a different answer and often has to go directly to Jane Kirk Showalter to get an answer. Ms. Showalter has been the registrar since the late 1990’s and by now should have written office procedures that could be used in training the staff. Ms. Showalter should be immediately replaced by a competent, willing customer service representative who cares about people and performing for the public with diligence and competence.
The attorney for the State Board of Elections has stated that there are so many localities that the State Board cannot possibly oversee the work of all the registrars. This statement means that they know there are glitches and are not willing to repair the problems. The State Board should have a method to perform audits and a computer system that would allow for dated documentation of information for every transaction. The Veris system that the State Board currently uses has no capability to determine what the registrar does with petitions. The Veris system cannot verify anything except who is registered at a specific time. The system cannot tell if or when the registrar checked any particular page of signatures on any given day. As a former accountant for IBM, I can tell you that computers had that capability in 1969 and in 2012 the capabilities of computers these days are almost immeasurable. There is no excuse for not being able to perform oversight and not to have the computer processes to assure that compliance to the laws are routinely manifested. What does the State Board of Elections do everyday? Martha Brisette related to me that the State Board could hire a contractor who would be able to pull some information together for me at the rate of $85 per hour. The budget for the SBE is approximately $14 million per year.
The State Board could never catch anyone from the registrar’s office taking a bribe or cheating by adding names or subtracting them from a list or completely throwing away lists. There are no safeguards that could keep fraud and corruption from determining whose name would be placed on the ballot. We have written the State Board and complained about Jane Kirk Showalter without response.
The Richmond Board of Electors has not responded to us at all even though we have written to them and complained about Jane Kirk Showalter. They appear to have no authority to dictate to Jane Kirk Showalter although the state law stipulate that they have the power to hire and fire registrars. This board is derelict in its duty to supervise, control the registrar and to assure that the work of the registrar is accurate and complete. This board provides no safeguards to prevent fraud and corruption. They do not require that records are forwarded to them as stated in the law and the GREBook that relate to candidate documentation. This board should be abolished because it does nothing to promote accuracy and fairness for Richmond voters.
We are providing just some points of interest that will help you to understand our concern regarding candidate documentation.
Doug Conner – Two different addresses were provided on the petition pages. Both addresses were in the 9th
District, but some concern should have been registered about where Mr. Conner truly lives and if having two
different addresses would nullify his candidacy. He would not have qualified for total number of registered
petition signatures without both addresses. Also, the registrar would not allow the public to view page 5 of Mr.
Jonathan Baliles – The registrar would not allow pages 1-12 of these petition signatures to be seen by the public. The registrar’s office personnel said that these pages had not been checked. There were only 28 signatures marked as registered when 125 are required and should have been shown in the Veris system. Pages 16 thru 21 had no notations whatsoever.
Shonda Muhommad –The registrar’s office noted 118 registered voters by counting the R’s on the petition pages, The total number should have been 125. What was entered in the Veris system?
Ellen Robertson – signature of registered voters counted from her petition signatures was 118. Some of her signatures were not counted. What information went into the Veris system to complete the process?
Parker Agelasto-registered signtures were found to be incorrect. The proper count should have been 122. When Jane Kirk Showalter was confronted with this matter, she went back in violation of procedure to find three more signatures that would replace the three that were incorrect. Is this any way to provide assurance to a community of voters?
Chris Hilbert’s signatures consisted of two sets of petition signatures. There were 124 registered and 122 that were not counted. How do we know when those other signatures were turned in? There is no date stamp as to when the signatures are submitted. There is something very unusual about these petitions and should be investigated with testimony from Chris Hilbert.
Erin Delp submitted pages and had 123 registered petition signatures and some not counted at all. What figures have been entered into Veris and why was the registrar not required to mark all of the signatures with a notation. If the system stops at 125 then there should be 125 entries in the Veris system.
Johnny Walker’s pages only showed 114 registered.
Dwight Jones petition pages showed many notations erased. An employee in registrations said that the notations were erased, but would give no explanation.
What looks like forgeries for Dwight Jones
Page 54, items 4, 5,6,7,9,10; Page 53, items 17, 18, 19, 20; Page 47, items 11-19; Page 42, items 1-9; Page 40,
front and back; Page 38, front and back; Page 35, no signatures on front; Page 34, no signatures on front; Page 33,
no signatures on front; Page 31, front and back; Page 29, front and back; Page 25; Page 22; Page 19; Page 6.
There are many others in addition to these that look like forgeries. Dwight Jones stated on May 31 when he announced his candidacy that he had qualified. Reporters talked to the registrar and she told them that Jones had been qualified. All these petitions were turned in on May 31 and shown in the receipt book as turned in on that day. If Jones was qualified on that very day, then why did his people bring in another 15 sheets of signatures on June 12, 2012. I have the sheets. Page 86 is not included and Showalter has told me that there is no Page 86. She also states that only 85 pages were turned in when I have copies of Jones pages numbered as 99.
L. Shirley Harvey- Sixty signatures were noted as “can’t identify,”but were clearly identifiable from the registered list. It appears from dates on the petition pages that some of these sheets were held and not counted until a later date when it was necessary to know the number of signatures in each district in order to know where to go for more qualifying signatures.
We have asked for many authoritative offices to look at this matter and provide investigation. To this date, nobody seems to want to touch it. The Richmond Auditor was told by the City Attorney that they did not have jurisdiction, the state auditor has not responded, the attorney general (who has power to investigate) is now the attorney of record for the SBE, the ACLU responded by asking for more information, the American Center for Law and Justice did not want to take it on, the U. S. Department of Justicee has not responded, The Ruthherford Institute may be interested. Hardly anybody seems to care if our First Amendment Rights or our Voting Rights are being violated unless you have a noted law firm as your attorney. Our laws may be broken or ignored by the very persons put in place to protect us. We need servant leaders, not master manipulators. As long as we do nothing as citizens, representation against us will continue.