Republican congressional candidate Ed Martin, who ran in Missouri’s 3rd District against incumbent Democrat Russ Carnahan, is calling for an investigation into possible voter fraud in St. Louis during Tuesday’s midterm election.
Martin is alleging that, because of a seven-hour failure of the voter verification system that checks whether people who show up at the polls are in fact eligible to vote, there is a possibility that ineligible voters were able to cast ballots in favor of his opponent.
To be granted a recount request, though, Martin would have had to come within 1 percent of Carnahan in final vote counts. Martin’s 94,594 votes, however, are 2.2 percent away from Carnahan’s 99,016.
“We’re trying to find enough stuff we can use to make it plausible,” Martin told The Daily Caller in a phone interview. “I don’t know that any of this is going to rise to enough. We’re getting a lot of feedback from people.”
Jen Ennenbach of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition said her group is backing Martin up in his push for an investigation into the election process.
“We are also calling for an investigation into the Secretary of State’s office because we had an election judge come into the St. Louis Tea Party headquarters just to vent his frustration and let us know what was going on,” Ennenbach told TheDC.
Ennenbach said the election judge, who she wouldn’t name, came to her after having witnessed busloads of mentally handicapped service workers, who are ineligible to vote per their medical condition, cast ballots during the timeframe when the verification system was down.
“The judges could not strike the vote because the verification system was down,” she said.
Martin said he couldn’t verify that claim but he is asking anyone who has evidence of such occurrences to send them to him or publish them online.
The process Martin and his attorneys are going through now, so they can prompt an investigation, is gathering evidence of potential fraud to appeal the election process and results in court. The problem he’s facing is that once a voter casts a ballot, the voter becomes anonymous and there is no way to verify that voter’s eligibility anymore.
“Once you voted, you can’t go back and try to figure it out,” Martin said. “I don’t want to overstate it – it’s not what we feared of a dump of Democratic votes at the last minute. With voting, especially with the history of St. Louis, the appearance of propriety is just as bad as propriety.”
On Wednesday, Martin’s team originally said a last-minute surge of Democratic votes from seven precincts looked suspicious, especially after he was leading most of the night. Now, though, after further investigation, his team discovered that the Democratic surge was from more than just the seven precincts – and he said that surge looks reasonable.
Another contention Martin is making about the voter verification system is that the secretary of state, Robin Carnahan, is his opponent’s sister and the security company election officials hired to verify voters at the polls was on Russ Carnahan’s campaign payroll.
Russ Carnahan’s campaign FEC reports show he paid the company, Special Services, $1,400 as recently as Aug. 26.
Martin said he has not received any legitimate acknowledgment to his requests for investigation from Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s offices, something he’s not too surprised about, especially since she was herself running for the Senate seat Republican Roy Blunt won.
“At the very least, she has failed in her primary duty, which is to run an election,” Martin said.
Martin said that, in Jefferson County, which, in addition to parts of St. Louis, is also in Missouri’s 3rd District, election officials backed up the voter registration system, something election officials in St. Louis failed to do.
“To me, that’s what you’re supposed to,” Martin said. “Check voters’ eligibility when they’re voting.”
Missouri’s Secretary of State’s office told TheDC the allegations need to be sorted out at the local level.
Russ Carnahan’s campaign did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment nor did the City of St. Louis Election Board’s office.