As The Votes Are Tallied
A dozen years ago, a grand jury convened in Fayette County, after voter fraud raised its ugly head
here. Charged were former U.S. House of Representatives Democrat Austin J. Murphy, his wife
and a Farmington personal care home owner, for their roles in "fixing" absentee ballots for some
of the personal care residents.
Murphy's scandals five years earlier of having a mistress and child of out wedlock, ghost voting and
diverting government funds to his private law practice quickly took back seat to the scandal of
voter fraud that he faced when charged with forgery, tampering with public records and conspiracy.
Back then, the name of one of the personal care home residents caught this eye. Our paths had
crossed. The poor elderly soul thought he was the president of these United States, and had
thought so for some years. Could he make sound voting choices? Not a chance!
As a result of the county's black eye twelve years ago from the voter fraud scandal, a committee
was formed and made their suggestions to county commissioners on ways to ensure that this type
of voter fraud never happened again. Included in the recommendations were two key items: keep
the voter registrations current and insist on two persons to oversee the absentee ballot process.
Another recommendation of equal importance was to ensure that election bureau and precinct
voter representatives undergo regular training.
With the current election results to be tallied today, and the number of votes being so close
between incumbent Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink and opponent Dave Lohr for
the county's third board of commission slot, some people are already whispering that fraud has
occurred. Whispers are coming from all directions that the election was fixed, that there's no way
the incumbent will come out on top, even if she legitimately wins the election. One day, we hear
that all absentee ballots are counted; the next we hear more have been found. Before it is all said
and done, we'll likely learn that either things underhanded were done or incompetent people
mishandled the ballots.
While we each have our personal choices and know who we voted for in the election, we have no
proof as of yet that anything improper happened. If so, we're certain that the incumbent will take
proper action, if needed, to reverse the wrong.
Until we know for certain that anything improper happened, we can only hope and pray that today's
announcement by the county election bureau will be honest. No matter which way the total goes, it
has to be honest.
Quite simply, we do not need another grand jury convening in Fayette County for voter fraud.
What we do need, however, is a fair election tally and to have current voter registrations on file.
Somehow, the new board of commissioners must ensure that the $20K needed is included in the
budget for this key expense.