Beltway Confidential

Documents show James O'Keefe was under criminal Investigation for voter ID exposé

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Beltway Confidential,Justice,New Hampshire,Voter Registration,Ashe Schow,Analysis

Conservative activist James O'Keefe was pursued by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office and the US Department of Justice last year over an exposé he conducted that revealed the potential for voter fraud in New Hampshire, according to documents obtained by PJ Media.

O'Keefe's company, Project Veritas, sent undercover videographers into polling stations during the January 2012 New Hampshire primary to see if they could obtain voting ballots of recently deceased residents. The video shows this was entirely possible due to the fact that the state did not at the time require any identification to prove one's identity. After this video was published, the state's legislature passed a Voter ID bill requiring proof of identity when voting.

But as with any fraud exposure, those responsible were not happy with being found out. Election officials in the state started a criminal investigation of O'Keefe — clearly retribution over the exposé. Additionally, the left tried to bolster the investigation by finding election law "experts" who cited the U.S. Criminal Code's election-fraud laws, saying that O'Keefe's employees were guilty of "the procurement" of the ballots even though they did not vote (in the video, it is clear that the activists leave once they prove they could have voted).

No formal charges have been filed against O'Keefe or Project Veritas in relation to this investigation.

Besides showing that voter fraud could easily happen in New Hampshire, O'Keefe's video also should have led to an investigation of state election officials. State election law says that anyone who does not purge the deceased from the voter rolls "shall be guilty of a violation." Moreover, state ward moderator Ryk Bullock told O'Keefe, "when someone passes away, that name is immediately dropped from the statewide database, within a matter of days." Clearly that was not the case.

This pursuit of O'Keefe by law officials does seem questionable, as O'Keefe — a conservative, remember — was investigated for trying to further debate about Voter ID laws. In a similar situation, NBC host David Gregory flagrantly broke the law and received no penalty. Gregory had shown a high-capacity gun magazine on his Sunday show "Meet the Press," a clear violation of D.C. law. However, Gregory was given a pass because, as D.C. attorney general Irvin Nathan said, "our recognition that the intent of the temporary possession and short display of the magazine was to promote the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate about firearms policy in the United States."

Was not O'Keefe promoting the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate? Granted, D.C. and New Hampshire are two different places and allowed their own discretion, but in light of the IRS's targeting of conservatives, one has to question whether O'Keefe would have gotten the same treatment had he been a liberal exposing a policy liberals disagreed with.

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