BY LINDA BENTLEY | jUNE 15, 2011
Pearce recall petitions indicate massive voter registration fraud
‘None of these purposes is served when individuals who are not citizens register to vote’
PHOENIX – It was just announced earlier today that the recall drive against Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Dist. 18, president of the Senate, has enough signatures to force a recall election.
The Political Action Committee Citizens for a Better Arizona needed 7,756 signatures and turned in close to 17,000.
According to county election officials on Wednesday morning, 8,239 signatures were verified, although the results were still unofficial.
Recall elections require the election department to verify every signature.
Anyone who wants to see just how rampant voter registration fraud is in Arizona might want to consider checking the validity of signatures on those recall petitions.
Besides the normal findings of people signing who are not registered or registered in another district, there were some who signed who could not correctly spell their own name. That’s generally a red flag that something is amiss.
One man signed and printed his last name “Peterson” quite legibly. Due to Peterson being somewhat of a common name, it made more sense to look him up by address.
However, the address revealed the registration of a man whose last name was spelled “Pederson.”
Then there was the signature of a woman whose first name is Benita, living at 956 S. MacDonald.
Searching by address revealed three active voter registrations, one of which is on the permanent early voting list, for a woman with the first name Benita and a birth date in March 1968, under three different last names at the same single family residence.
Benita Valenzuela registered in May 1996, stating her birth country as Mexico and her occupation as clerical.
In February 2008, she registered again, as if for the first time, under the name Benita Dorador, again stating her birth country as Mexico but her occupation as “Prof. Finance.”
In January 2011, she registered, once again, as Benita Lantigua.
This time she didn’t state her birth place as Mexico.
The voter information screen, under the field titled “Birth State” states, “Not provided.” The field designated “Birth Country” was blank and, under the field “Occupation” it states “Occupation not designated.”
So, it appears Benita, when she registered under the last name Lantigua, didn’t fill out the registration form completely.
Yet, her registration was entered and shown as active with Benita Lantigua on the Permanent Early Voter list.
Benita Dorador filed for divorce against Carlos Enriquez Arellano Lopez in 2000.
However, she registered to vote under the name Valenzuela in 1996.
Because she filed for divorce against Manuel Humberto Valenzuela in 2005, it would indicate she married Valenzuela after she divorced Arellano Lopez and couldn’t be Benita Valenzuela in 1996, unless she was married to both men at the same time.
There were plenty of other examples of people signing the petition with Latin names who could barely print, let alone sign, claiming a birthplace of Mexico, Guatemala or “Not Provided.”
Many stated their occupations as “laborer” or, in some instances, as “laborers.”
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration filed a motion last week to participate in the en banc oral arguments, scheduled for June 21 before the Ninth Circuit, as amicus curiae in support of the appellants in Gonzalez v. State of Arizona.
The Ninth Circuit granted an en banc review after a three-judge panel, which included retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, ruled Arizona could not require persons registering to vote to provide proof of citizenship.
The Oct. 26, 2010 opinion was issued for the majority by Judge Sandra Ikuta, while Chief Judge Alex Kozinski issued a scathing dissenting opinion.
Kozinski wrote, “As the majority belatedly acknowledges 47 pages into its opinion, we don’t come to this case with a blank slate. A prior panel has already held in a published opinion that Proposition 200 isn’t preempted because the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) ‘plainly allow[s] states, at least to some extent, to require their citizens to present evidence of citizenship when registering to vote’ … That is the law of the circuit and therefore binding on us … Even if it weren’t, it’s the law of the case and can’t be lightly disregarded for that reason.”
Kozinski accused the majority of refusing to accept the consequences of that reality, stating, “First, it evades the law of the circuit by creating an exception that is squarely foreclosed by a recent unanimous en banc opinion. The majority then weakens our rules governing law of the case by declaring that Gonzalez I’s interpretation of the NVRA is ‘clearly erroneous’ when it’s clearly not. Because I believe that we must take precedent seriously and that Gonzalez I was correctly decided, I dissent from the majority’s conclusion that the NVRA preempts Arizona’s voter registration requirement.”
Noting the purpose of the NVRA was to “establish procedures that will increase the number of eligible citizens who register to vote in elections for federal office,” Kosinski reiterated Congress’ intent was to maximize the registration of “eligible” voters, in addition to “protect[ing] the integrity of the electoral process” and “ensur[ing] that accurate and current voter registration rolls are maintained.”
Kozinksi stated, “None of these purposes is served when individuals who are not citizens register to vote.”
He concluded his opinion by stating, “The majority never explains why a statute enacted to ‘protect the integrity of the electoral process’ and ‘ensure’ that voter rolls are ‘accurate’ must preclude states from confirming that those who wish to register are, in fact, eligible to vote.”
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who will be personally arguing the case before the 11-judge panel on June 21, made some scathing remarks himself following the Obama Administration’s filing of an amicus brief favoring voting rights for non-citizens and illegal aliens.
Horne stated, “First, the Obama Administration fails to do its job on the border. Then it sues Arizona to prevent us from helping to fight illegal immigration. Then it tries to create a false sense of complacency by arguing that the border is safe, when it isn’t. Now it argues that persons should be able to register to vote without providing adequate information enabling verification of citizenship, thus enabling illegal aliens to register to vote. This is contrary to the interests of the people of the United States of America.”
Pearce has said from the beginning Proposition 200 was about fraud and Arizonans have been forced to endure decades of voter fraud.
In 2004, in a debate against Pearce on Fox 10 News Maker Sunday about Proposition 200, former Citizens Clean Elections chairman and longtime adviser to Sen. John McCain, Wes Gullett, who is currently running for mayor of Phoenix, said, “Undocumented immigrants don’t come here to vote, they come here to work.”
However, in 1998, as Sonoran News exposed back in 2004, while Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Dist. 16, was a deputy public defender for Maricopa County, he represented Maria Maciel Castellanos, who was charged with one count of illegally registering to vote and three counts of illegal voting, Class 6 and Class 5 felonies, respectively.
Castellanos registered to vote on Nov. 9, 1993. She indicated Mexico was her birth place, “hoose-wife” as her occupation and, under penalty of perjury, certified she was a citizen of the United States.
She voted in the Sept. 13, 1994 Primary, the Nov. 8, 1994 General and the Sept. 10, 1996 Primary elections.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by Patrick Walsh in May 1996, asking for the naturalization certificate number and date Castellanos became a United States citizen, INS District Director Roseanne Sonchik wrote, “A thorough search of our records did not reveal a record of citizenship or naturalization for Maria Maciel Castellanos.”
Castellanos pled guilty to reduced charges, was fined $250, placed on probation for one year and ordered to perform community service work.
While Castellanos was committing these felony acts, she was also a notary public. Neither felons nor illegal aliens are permitted to be notaries.
Curiously, Castellanos’ conviction was dismissed in March 1999.
Hugo and Mauricio Castellanos both pled guilty in January 2000 to reduced charges of one count each of illegally registering to vote.