I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the Republican party flipping out about video of a Latino man dropping off a box full of absentee ballots in Arizona. He’s dark-skinned, you see, and thus a Democrat who must be up to no good. But then at the very same time, Mitt Romney came to town to stump on behalf of GOP candidates and the invitation to the rally encouraged people to bring their early voting ballots with them to be turned in exactly the same way.
A couple days ago, we brought you the story of a completely fabricated wingnut outrage over a Latino man supposedly “caught” on video as he “stuffed a ballot box” in Arizona’s August primary. Except he wasn’t frauding anything at all.
The man, Ben Marin (not “Marine” as a couple of other sites have spelled it), was delivering early ballots to the Maricopa County Elections Department on behalf of Citizens for a Better Arizona (CBA). Arizona election law allows people to have anyone they want return their early ballots, and as we noted, Maricopa County Republican Party chair A.J. LaFaro, who pushed this “ballot stuffing” story into public attention, knows damned well this routine practice is perfectly legal. LaFaro was among those pushing a since-repealed law that briefly made it illegal for anyone but the absentee voter to turn in their own early ballot. Since we ran the story Wednesday morning, there have been a few additional developments.Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell has confirmed that there’s nothing illegal or even suspicious about a get-out-the-vote worker dropping off ballots…
Thursday night, Mitt Romney made an appearance in Mesa, Arizona, to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey. A graphic on a couple of conservative blogs, reproduced up top, urged attendees to “Bring your Early Ballots!” so GOP get-out-the-vote volunteers could collect them and get them to the county elections office. Our favorite little irony: On one rightwing blog, “Sonoran Alliance,” the Romney event notice, complete with invitation to bring those early ballots, appeared immediately above a piece complaining that “Ballot Stuffing is Legal in Arizona.”
The Romney event notice was later removed from the site, for obvious reasons. You see, when someone with dark skin does it, it’s obviously those dirty foreigners trying to steal elections. When Republicans do it, it’s just good civic engagement.