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Dem Precinct Worker Admits Stealing Votes

From Kentucky’s Lexington Herald-Leader:

Clay Co. precinct worker testifies she stole votes

By Bill Estep

Posted on Sat, Feb. 20, 2010   

FRANKFORT — A former Clay County precinct worker testified Friday that top election officers in the county taught her how to change people’s choices on voting machines to steal votes in the May 2006 primary.

Wanda White testified that Clerk Freddy Thompson — the county’s chief election officer — helped show her how to manipulate voting machines along with Charles Wayne Jones, the Democratic election commissioner.

The scheme involved duping people to walk away from the voting computer before they had finished their selections, then changing their choices, said White, the Democratic judge in a precinct in Manchester.

White said she stole more than 100 votes that election.

"It was easy done," she said.

White said she also went into the booth with people who had sold their vote to make sure they cast ballots for the candidates who had paid.

White testified Friday in the continuing trial of eight Clay County residents who allegedly took part in a scheme to rig elections over several years.

Those charged are former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle; former county school Superintendent Douglas Adams; Thompson, who is still clerk; Jones; William Stivers, a former election officer; Magistrate Stanley Bowling; and William "Bart" Morris and his wife, Debra.

The eight have strongly denied the charges and say witnesses against them have lied to help themselves. Most witnesses so far have been convicted felons who would like to get their sentences cut.

White, who is in her early 40s, said she agreed to help the FBI in return for not being charged. That deal requires her to testify truthfully, she said.

Defense attorneys haven’t yet cross-examined White.

White said Maricle, then the circuit judge for Clay, Jackson and Leslie counties, asked her to switch her registration from Republican to Democrat and serve as an officer in a Manchester precinct in the 2006 primary.

Maricle’s son-in-law, Phillip Mobley, planned to run for property valuation administrator that year. Her understanding was that Maricle wanted her to work inside the polling place to help rig the election for Mobley, White said.

The vote-buyers took advantage of some confusion caused by new voting machines the county had that year, White said.

The machines had a "Vote" button that people could push to review their choices, then a second button they had to push to record the choices and finish voting.

At Maricle’s direction, she went to Stivers, who taught her about distracting voters so they would leave the machine after pushing the review button, but before they’d recorded their choices, White said.

Thompson and Jones used a voting machine to show her and Charles "Dobber" Weaver how to change votes, White said.

White said they did that at the clerk’s office after legitimate training for all election workers. She and Weaver stayed late to learn how to manipulate the machines, White said.

Weaver, then the Manchester fire chief, was the Republican judge in the precinct where White was the Democratic judge in May 2006.

White said that even though she and Weaver were of opposite parties, they worked together on Election Day.

She would strike up conversations with people she knew, White said, ushering them away from the voting machine while Weaver slipped in to change votes, or changing votes herself when Weaver got someone to step away too early.

White said the two other officers at the precinct — Manchester lawyer Carl Anthony Short and Lucy Marcum, the sister of then-Jailer Charles Marcum — were aware of the fraud.

The alleged scheme also involved buying votes, White said.

Bowling identified people who would sell their votes that year, while the Morrises and others took part in paying people, White said.

Mobley won the election. At a celebration at his house that night, Maricle told her, "You could’ve done no better," White said.

Several witnesses have testified that it was customary in Clay County for slates of candidates to join together and pool their money in a unified vote-buying effort.

White said the slate Mobley was on in 2006 — the one she was to work for — included judge-executive candidate Carl "Crawdad" Sizemore; Tommy Harmon, who was running for magistrate; Kevin Johnson, who was running for sheriff; and Circuit Clerk James Phillips, who was seeking re-election.

White did not testify that she saw any of those candidates put in cash for vote-buying.

She did say, however, that she was aware of a number of people putting up cash to buy votes in earlier elections, including Jennings B. White, who was clerk two terms; Judge-Executive James Garrison; and Barbara White Colter, who served several terms as state representative.

Colter lost in 2002. When she tried a comeback in 2004, she borrowed $20,000 from Kennon and Wanda White to buy votes, Wanda White said.

Colter repaid the money before the election, which she lost, White said.

Notice how the name of the actual party behind this is played down.

The fact that this was (allegedly) done to benefit the Democrat Party is never even stated outright.

Perhaps the reporter thought it went without mentioning.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, February 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

19 Responses to “Dem Precinct Worker Admits Stealing Votes”

  1. U NO HOO says:

    Just an isolated incident.

    ACORN be not mentioned bro.

  2. Petronius says:

    “White said she stole more than 100 votes that election. ‘It was easy done,’ she said.”

    Yessiree-bob, that’s down-home days in Clay County, Kentucky. Land of beautiful horses and fast women. In the heart of the Dan’l Boone National Forest. A stone’s throw from Bloody Harlan. Where coal is king and vice is queen.

    Just throw me in that briar patch. And park my trailer by the side of the gravel road.

    Clay County is of course Appalachian hill country, the place where they recently found census worker Bill Sparkman hanged from a tree with the word “Fed” scrawled across his chest.

    Clay County is still 95% white, untouched by immigration, and solidly Republican, so the local Democrats have to fudge things a little bit now and then, just to keep the elections interesting. Even poor John McCain received 77.5% of the vote in Clay County, which says a lot for Republican brand loyalty in those parts.

    Wanda White, Freddy Thompson, Judge Cletus Maricle, Charles “Dobber” Weaver, and Carl “Crawdad” Sizemore. Those boys and gals could teach folks in Chicago a thing or two about running elections.

    Andy Jackson said it best:

    “I have never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun, a pack of cards, and a jug of whiskey.”

    And “To the victors belong the spoils.”


  3. proreason says:

    Hope, change, and fraud.

  4. GL0120 says:

    Don’t you see?
    This was necessary on a small scale to ensure that the methods would work against the evil Republicans on state and national levels.
    This type of thing is absolutely essential if Our Dear Leaders wondrous policies of Hope and Change that will bring peace and happiness to all are to be put into place.
    If only this had been done in Massachusetts, the will of Our Dear Leader could have gone on unimpeded.

  5. jobeth says:


    I found your comments really interesting. I happen to know what you say right on target for that area.

    Not many know how politics are run there. How rigged that whole area is, and how long this has been going on.

    I’m curious how YOU know ummm? lol
    You sound like you may have intimate knowlege ;-D

    If you do…you will realize at least half those surnames are from families that have been living in that area since they opened up that area in the 1700s. You would also know that people are so clan oriented there that something like this is rather common place.

    Just curious…and amused. But how Do you know? lol.

    BTW, for the record…the area is beautiful, and the people are mostly the salt of the earth there…but do take their ‘lection days mighty serious…and always have…even if they have to do a little finaglin’. Shame though because most of the people there are honest and hardworking.

  6. Petronius says:


    I have deep roots in Kentucky. My people moved into Kentucky with Squire Boone. Or else came down the Ohio River on flatboats from Pennsylvania. Most settled in what is now Meade and Breckinridge Counties (west of Fort Knox). I am related to about half the people in those counties.

    People in Clay County are those who were heading to places further west, but stopped in the hills when their wagon wheel broke.

    My best friend was from Corbin and his wife was a Maricle. I also lived awhile in southwest Virginia, and people from the dry counties in Kentucky would come over to shop at the ABC store in our town.

    These days I live part time in Boone, North Carolina. Like you, spouse is English, and we have lived there, too, and go back a couple times every year.

    What’s your story?

    • jobeth says:

      I thought so…we might be cousins! lol. Kidding, but it seems we have a lot in common.

      My ancestral family….the Massies came up through Va…then Pikeville and on to Ohio/WV/Ky area and stayed there….grandmothers family.

      Granddad’s family came first to Pa in the1730s then through James Patton and Wm Thompson Jr opened up the the Blacksburg Va area for King George via a land company and then they came up to what is now WV through Wm’s son, Patton Thompson up to the KY/WV line. Hatfield country lol.

      The names of Thompson, Marcum and White are all in my ancestry. It was like looking at my family tree. :-D My family settled in those areas as they were first settled about 1800 give or take a few years depending on the family.

      On to the voting thing, My Aunt was a Precinct capt and she told us of some of the shenanigans that went on there…Also, if you read the local history of the elections past it got pretty fiery sometimes…read the fiery as in guns…ha.

      Although I still go back there from time to time all my family has either died out or left to get an education and never went back. Although there were a few coal miners in our extended family most were not…My grandfather first electrified certain mines for Island Creek Coal. My mom left to go to nursing school in Baltimore..Johns Hopkins…and it was there she met and married my dad and I was raised there. My my heart has always been in those mountains, although I guess I will never live there.

      As soon as I read your comment I knew you had to have some connection to the place to have that understanding . We both know that not everyone there is a “hillbilly”…although they proudly claim that tag.

      Most of the people have left to get an education and never went back due to the lack of work…But I think once you get those wonderful mountains in your blood it’s hard to get them out.

      And for those who think we intermarry within our families..it just isn’t so for most people there…only the most backward. Its just that there are so many families that marry within another family. Sounds like it is incestuous but it isn’t. Two sisters married two brothers…etc.

      Sorry Steve…its just special to meet others from the area.

    • Petronius says:

      jobeth :

      Do you play Rook?

    • jobeth says:

      Only against a kindergartener…and then I only win about .25% of the time

      About the only thing I know is what direction the pieces go. Lordy, I have problems with checkers…let alone chess! LOL


      Unless you are talking about a card game…it no there too. lol I’m not much use am I?

    • Petronius says:

      Sorry jobeth, but you’re not a real mountaineer unless you play Rook, crumble your cornbread into your milk, and have read Tom Wolfe’s “I Am Charlotte Simmons.”

      Time to move higher up the hill. :=)

    • jobeth says:

      Ok, Bubba…them’s fightin’ words…lol

      Well, 1 outta 3 ain’t so bad…I make a jam up mountaineer cornbread…in a black iron skillet of course…and yup all the men in our family eat it with milk.

      And does having one leg a bit longer than the other count?

      Now as to moving up the mountain? I’m down with that. I love a view like that. LOL The further up the holler I can get the better. :-D

      Now we better stop this good stuff before Steve cracks our knuckles. LOL

      It’s nice to know you are one of those from “God’s Country” though. Too bad we don’t live closer. Our spouses would have a thing or two in common as well.

  7. canary says:

    Joebeth, you and Petro would out rule the relative theory. Some of my family joke there’s something in the water. They settled in Kentucky near military base during Desert Storm. I pointed out the fungus in the grass killing thoroughbred horses. My state took some in. They said the base there had a bad mold problem too. Anyways, Anyways, trying to talk my nephew there, from joining military until Obama is out of office.

    And they think it’s something in the water. I pointed out the fungus in the grass that killed so many thoroughbreds and led to moving horses in my state, that they didn’t know happened, though living there, but did say the base they lived on had mold problems.

    Now I’m trying to convince my nephew there, not to go in military until Obama is out of office.

    Now my nephew wants to join the Navy and I’m busy telling him to wait til after Obama

    • jobeth says:

      Thanks Canary,

      I think a majority of people in that area who have had an opportunity for an education have pretty much left the area. That robs the place of its brightest and best . It’s a shame really because most of the people who have their roots there are smart, principled and independent. They tend to think for themselves and resent people telling them what to do. As I said earlier…the salt of the earth. Not so easily led. My heart lives among them…and I share that with them.

      However…there IS that strain there,,,as elsewhere, who think they are too smart for their own britches. It’s not Chicago politics…but they can get really creative in getting their favorite politician in place. That so many people know one another and/or are distantly related, leads to that clannishness and alliance forming I mentioned and that can lead to the shenanigans.

      I think for the most part , they are honest and solidly independent. At least that’s the people I know. That this story made the paper shows that most people there are appalled at that behavior.

      I think this whole area is the most misunderstood area in the country. The “hillbilly” stereotype exists there for sure, but its simply not true for that many people.

      That stereotype was made up by “big city” reporters trying to exploit the Hatfield & McCoy issue for their papers and dime novels in the 19th century press. And it stuck.

      Few people realize that famous picture on the cover of the book I cite below was contrived by the photographer. And fewer still know that Cap Hatfield (one of the sons) was a lawyer. The photorapher insisted they pose with guns etc. to make them appear as the papers said they lived. And we all know how ‘honest’ the press can be. lol

      There are both the educated and uneducated in that family, as there is in every family in Appalachia…and elsewhere in America.

      There is a really great book called” Feud: Hatfields, McCoys,and Social Change in Appalachia, 1860-1900 ” written by Altina L Waller (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press)

      It’s focus is the Feud but in it she does a pretty good job in dealing with the mindset of the people and what makes them tick related to their experiences.

      There are a number of other good books written by people who seem to have a good handle on this group of people. Ms Waller though comes at it from a more academic view without making it sterile and dry. Its a good read if one is interested in the area.

      As to the fungus…ummm don’t know what to say there lol. The Appalachian foot hills are not very near any large military base that I know of…mainly due to the terrain, but I’m sure they have their share of mold. :-D

      And I can’t say I blame you in your advice to your nephew. O’balmy will not support the field soldiers unless he gets something politically from it. Our soldiers are sitting out there without adequate support. Once we get O’balmy out I hope that changes. With his mindset I can envision another ‘Viet Nam’ where Washington calls the shots. If anyone should NOT be calling the military shots, it is THIS administration. They couldn’t care a flip for the lives of our young people if they get in the way of their agenda.

  8. 4USA says:

    How is this NOT treason?? If you steal votes, aren’t you (in effect) trying to overthrow the lawful will of the people? Unless/until people start getting severe punishment, it will not stop. Why do people simply laugh/smile/shake their head at this junk? These people should be thrown in jail and barred from ever voting again. Are there any leaders out there that have any integrity left???

    • jobeth says:

      I can see how you might think we are passing this off with a chuckle but we aren’t. This is serious fraud. While we are finding a bit of local humor in the subject, remember its being exposed by the people who live in the area.

      Read my post to Canary. I think it may help explain a little of what we are talking about.

      But yes…you are right. This type of people should be thrown in jail. I think we all agree with you on that.. :-)

    • Petronius says:

      Misce stultitiam consiliis brevem: Dulce est desipere in loco.

      Horace: Mingle a little folly with your wisdom; a little nonsense now and then is pleasant.


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