ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – No one is claiming Penny Hubbard was involved, but new allegations are surfacing about alleged voter fraud in the Aug. 2 state house race in which Hubbard won re-election by 90 votes.
Officially, the civil suit filed by Hubbard’s challenger, Bruce Franks Jr., the suit seeking a special election, has been put on hold.
Circuit Judge Julian Bush decided to stay all further proceedings until the election results are certified by the Missouri Secretary of State.
New details about the method of the alleged voter fraud are coming out from an attorney representing Franks.
Attorney Dave Roland says he hopes to present evidence in court to show that workers wearing Penny Hubbard shirts went door-to-door in Hubbard’s 78th state house district, urging people to register to vote absentee, and asking people to vote for Hubbard.
“That’s illegal,” Roland said. “You can’t register people to vote absentee and tell them who to vote for.”
Roland says more than 300 of the 940 voters who applied for absentee ballots in the race were not qualified to do so.
To vote absentee, generally a voter must be unable to vote at the polls on election day, must be out of town, ill, disabled or perhaps have some religious objection to a polling station, Roland said.
“What we have found out is a stunningly large number of young, able-bodied people were submitting applications and filing absentee ballots,” Roland said.
Roland says voters were apparently approached by workers with several names on a list of information already filled in. One person allegedly thought he was filling out a job application, only to receive an absentee ballot in the mail a short time later, Roland claims.
“I don’t want ordinary voters taking the fall for what other people did,” Roland said.
Roland stops short of accusing Penny Hubbard of involvement, but says it’s not clear who was behind the alleged effort.
Meanwhile, an attorney for Hubbard says she takes the case very seriously.
“I can tell you she believes she has done nothing wrong, but make sure the folks in her district have the opportunity to vote according to the law,” said attorney Mike Colona.
Once the election is certified, Colona will ask the judge to dismiss the civil suit for lack of evidence.
“The only evidence that the plaintiffs have put forward is the fact that a lot of people voted absentee,” Colona said.
Colona could not comment on the separate criminal investigation underway by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce told KMOX Friday her review of the allegations found them credible enough to warrant a criminal probe.
Joyce says the St. Louis Election Board showed her complaints from some 30 witnesses claiming voter fraud surrounding the absentee vote in the race.
Joyce declined to give more specifics, but said she is in contact with U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan about whether he wants to conduct a possible joint investigation.
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