GOP chairman Charlie Webster to investigate ‘black people’ voting as potential fraud

AUGUSTA, Maine — Outgoing Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster plans to investigate claims that “dozens of black people” who were unfamiliar to municipal officials voted Nov. 6 in rural Maine towns.

Bangor Daily News (file)

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster, photographed Sunday, May 6, 2012 at the Maine Republican Convention in Augusta, Maine.

Webster, who will step down Dec. 1 after four years as Maine GOP chairman, first mentioned the questionable voter activity 16 minutes into a 21-minute interview Tuesday with Don Carrigan of WCSH-TV in Portland.

“In some parts of the state, there were dozens of black people who came in to vote,” Webster said. “Nobody in town knew them.”

When Carrigan pressed Webster to identify the towns, the Maine Republican Party chairman only specified that they were small rural towns.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Webster told the BDN that he plans to send “several thousand” postcards with a photo of the State House to the addresses of voters who registered on Election Day as a way to investigate potential voter fraud.

“They’ll go out in first-class mail,” he said. “I don’t expect people to respond to the question. The concept behind this is to see if they are returned. This is a reasonably inexpensive effort by me to settle the question” of whether people travel to Maine communities to vote fraudulently.

If cards come back as undeliverable, Webster believes it will prove his theory that people travel to Maine to vote fraudulently.

The Maine Republican Party paid for the postcards and postage, Webster said.

“One of the reasons people think there’s a problem is that they don’t know these people when they come in to vote,” he said. “Several pockets in the state had unusually high numbers of new voters, and the selectmen and town clerks did not know who they are.”

Webster bristled at the notion that his probe is racially motivated.

“It’s not about being black or Spanish or Chinese,” he said. “Every election I hear that hundreds of unfamiliar people come in to vote. It’s unfortunate that people will use the issue of being black. If you lived in a small town, you would know that if [an unfamiliar] black person or Chinese person comes to vote, it would seem odd.”

Maine People’s Alliance communications director Mike Tipping issued a statement Wednesday condemning Webster’s actions. “First it was union members, then it was college students, now it’s African Americans,” Tipping wrote. “Every one of the outlandish and offensive claims Chairman Webster has made in an attempt to restrict voting rights has proven to be completely untrue. I look forward to the day, coming very soon, when he is no longer given a public platform to launch his conspiracy theories.”

Webster has crusaded against alleged voter fraud throughout his tenure at the helm of the Maine Republican Party. In July 2011, he produced a list of 206 college students from out of state as grounds for a voter fraud investigation by the Maine secretary of state’s office. In September 2011, Secretary of State Charlie Summers reported that investigators turned up no fraudresulting from Webster’s list.

In June 2011, Webster also accused Democrats of stealing elections and busing people to the polls to sway outcomes. No charges resulted from that allegation.

Webster said he planned to send postcards to voters who registered on Election Day two years ago, but that the plan fizzled amid the euphoria over Republican victories in legislative and gubernatorial elections.

In the interview with Carrigan, Webster also labeled presumptive Maine Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, a socialist and said that Maine will have the “most liberal legislature in the country” when Democrats return to majority status in January.

He told Carrigan he believes Democrats “represent Portland” and that “Republicans will start winning elections when people who drive trucks start voting Republican.”

State Rep. Richard Cebra, a Republican from Naples who could not seek re-election because of term limits, has emailed Maine Republican Party state committee members to express his interest in succeeding Webster. State Rep. Beth O’Connor, R-Berwick, who lost her re-election bid this year, also has been mentioned as being interested in the position.

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Comments

 's picture

Voter Fraud

Way to go Mr. Webster and great response Daryl. There is alot of fraud going on in all the states and if each state don't clean their own messes it will never be done as it would be to big a task and letting Washington do it would be putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. It is the people that defend these actions that are as guilty as the ones committing the fraud. If the Democrats win something the other side will say its fraud and vice versa when fraud is committed it hurts everyone. I am so fed-up with everyone putting a racial tag on everything bad that happens to them its cause they are black, Hispanic, Somalian or whatever. Maybe some of the good things are happening to them because of that very fact but then its not racial. I have to prove who I am to vote and if my name wouldn't be there as a registered voter then I don't vote. It seems as if you are anything but white you can vote and if you are asked for proof then the ACLU and all their( I can't think of a good word to put here) will jump in an pitch a fit and they are told to just go in and vote. If your serving this state or this country no matter which party you are from you are where you are to represent all the people and not just your own party, When that is stopped maybe we can get some normalcy in this country. First off no matter where you come from this country does not owe you a living. Unfortunately we as a country have created this problem. Very strange after this recent election Washington is gonna look into illegal immigration or so they say. Maybe cause their votes aren't needed anymore? I want to think its they are getting the message. We can't afford anymore. I am no more responsible for the years of slavery hundreds of yrs. ago then the present German people are responsible for what the Nazis did and none of us can be expected to go on paying for those tragedies. Anyone that can't see all the ways that this country has slid down either are very very young or as long as they are doing well it don't matter to them. If you are not a legal citizen you shouldn't be allowed to vote no matter what color you are and I don't think if you need an interpreter to help you vote then that shouldn't be allowed either(my opinion) as I question how well you know what you are voting for. If anyone is able to just go pick up a bunch of absentee ballots how does anyone know if they are legal citizens? The rules should apply to everyone no matter what. You ain't special no matter what color you are. The laws of this country should be the same for everyone. It seems racial or discrimatory accusations are only being used as a defense if things don't go their way. Those are not called "Rights" they are called "Special Rights" and your no more entitled to them then I am.

 's picture

Small point about the postal service

Unfortunately, if you send out postcards by first class mail, and some of them are returned, it does not prove that the addressees do not live at the addresses you addressed the postcards to. It just means that the post office doesn't deliver there. I have had this experience every time I make a large mailing, and I have expostulated with our local postmaster about it, to no avail. The postal service just isn't what it used to be. The addressees may have post office boxes, but if they gave their street addresses when they registered to vote, you have no way of getting their p.o. box addresses, and the USPS would never think of doing anything so helpful as just putting their mail in their boxes. They would rather return it to you.

 's picture

Mr. Webster

Hear we go once again.. A republication has put his foot in his mouth. Will they ever learn? I think its a good idea CHARLIE wEBSTER is stepping down. I have not ever been happy with him. He is a very sore loser. As to people going to the polls in mumbers this past election, meybe they are fed up with the way the House and the Senate has operated for the last four years and deceided to vote to change to Democrats. They was probably sick of the lies and cheating, starting with Paul Lepage's election and the underhanded things he has and will continue to do. I say, get him out of office. NOW.

 's picture

Mr. Webster

Hear we go once again.. A republication has put his foot in his mouth. Will they ever learn? I think its a good idea CHARLIE wEBSTER is stepping down. I have not ever been happy with him. He is a very sore loser. As to people going to the polls in mumbers this past election, meybe they are fed up with the way the House and the Senate has operated for the last four years and deceided to vote to change to Democrats. They was probably sick of the lies and cheating, starting with Paul Lepage's election and the underhanded things he has and will continue to do. I say, get him out of office. NOW.

Joe Flanders's picture

Further proof that you cannot

Further proof that you cannot fix stupid.

John Goddard's picture

What a joker

The voter fraud, and or voter registrations fraud, has been proven to be true. The same group claiming it to be true have been the perpetrators of the crime. The GOP !!!!!!!! They think since their nationwide voter suppression laws did not work %100, there must be something wrong, since they did not win like they had planned too on paper.
They lost because of their message, and their principals. Plain and simple. No one to blame but themselves. If they change their foundation of being, and ideas, maybe they can win a major election based on beliefs. i doubt it, they have to break away from the Limbaugh, Trump, and glen beck style of vision / philosophy.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

OMG...republicans lost get

OMG...republicans lost get over it already.....stop wasting time and money on stupid stuff and start working for the people of Maine

Daryl Leger's picture

What Charlie is doing should have been done a long time ago.

Voter fraud in Maine or anywhere else is not something new.
Having grown up in rural Maine, I knew everyone in my town. Who wouldn't notice if some stranger showed up to vote? It is a perfectly reasonable expectation that there would be questions. I also like how the liberals, who push tolerance of others, are very intolerant to people who do not share their beliefs. Remember, if you disagree, you are a racist. Some people are not as bright as they think they are.

 's picture

Reality TV

He should have a reality TV show on the same night as the shows that investigate Bigfoot and paranormal activity.

Daryl Leger's picture

Reality TV

Why? Because he thinks some fraud may have been committed?
Take political parties out of the picture. And look on it as the crime it is.
Questioning is not wrong.

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