Without question, the United States remains a shining example of freedom and democracy for the rest of the world. Across the globe, developing and newly-formed nations look to the United States as a model for free and fair elections.
Unfortunately, recent efforts by far right activists and a lack of action by state election authorities threatens the integrity of our electoral process.
On October 18, an employee of a company called Pinpoint was arrested in Harrisonburg, Virginia on 13 counts of voter registration fraud for illegally throwing voter registration forms in a dumpster.
Pinpoint continues to operate throughout Virginia including Rockingham County, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake City, and here in Northern Virginia, in Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun Counties. The Commonwealth’s voting process is under national scrutiny given our important role in this year’s election. And yet, this incident is being ignored by state officials.
The State Board of Elections, despite being petitioned by lawmakers to act, has not requested Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli conduct an investigation into Pinpoint’s involvement in alleged voter registration fraud. While state legislatures here in Virginia, and across the nation have passed laws making it harder to vote in a misplaced attempt to stop voter fraud for which they have little to no proof, it is hard to understand that when an actual case of voter registration fraud comes up, it would be ignored. This situation demands a thorough and transparent investigation. I am disappointed that the State Board of Elections has so far been unwilling to act.
Pinpoint is owned by Strategic Allied Consulting, a company currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement facing more than 200 allegations of voter registration fraud, including the registration of dead people. While the Republican National Committee and five state committees have severed their relationship with Strategic Allied Consulting, the repeated allegations in numerous locations raise concerns that the alleged illegal practices may not be isolated acts of “a few bad apples,” but instead are widespread, intentional, and continuing in Virginia under its subsidiary Pinpoint.
This week, I led an effort, joined by Virginia Congressmen Bobby Scott and Gerry Connolly, to send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation, not only into Pinpoint’s operation in Virginia, but also into voter registration fraud connected to Strategic Allied Consulting.
Our nation struggled for years to make voting a right accessible to all of its citizens. Efforts to make voting more difficult, or in the Harrisonburg case, flat out prevent the ability of Americans to cast their ballot is dangerous and wrong. Voting is at the core of our democratic principles. When that right is violated, our democracy is violated.
Rep. James Moran (D) is Virginia’s 8th Congressional District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.