Clark County GOP Convention, Part II: Some Questions Answered; More Questions of Fraud, Ballot Control; And Vote Tampering Linger

By Ernie Geigenmiller
Days after last weekend’s confusing and emotional Clark County GOP Convention, new answers shed light on the event while persistent questions linger that could put the county’s state delgation into jeopardy. 
The issues at hand include fraud, disorganization, violation of state and GOP party rules, irregularities, vote tampering, and disenfranchisement.
Numerous questions linger within several precincts in the 18th District, and several are crying fraud. Some of these complaints stem from delegates being denied participation on multiple occasions and through multiple mediums. Charges of vote tampering run rampant. One delegate received notice in the mail that his delegate status was denied. Another, Steve Gillespie, was elected, but never received any type of verification or confirmation from party officials.
An accurate and legal vote count is at the heart of
the Clark County GOP Convention controversy.
“I thought that was strange,” he said. “And when I saw the results from the convention, I thought it was strange given how the county had given Romney bigger numbers from the caucus.”

Another delegate, Mike Convey, was elected a delegate at the March 3 Caucus and participated in a pre-convention organization meeting. A few days prior to the convention, he too received a notice that his services as a delegate were no longer needed.

“The letter stated the local GOP had made a mistake in the number of delegates – that they went from 8 to 3 for our precinct,” said Convey. “It was odd. I had already gone to one meeting and they said I would receive notice about a second meeting, and then I got that letter, so I didn’t attend the convention.”

Romney supporter Susie Huckvale said, however, she saw Convey’s name on the caucus verification ballot/list while trying to register at Saturday’s convention. “Mike Convey’s name was on the list,” she said. “I saw it with my own two eyes. I know he was elected as delegate and now someone has disenfranchised him. He’s a good man and he was denied this opportunity. It’s fraud.”

Delegate Spencer May said on Monday he plans to file a challenge to the state GOP over a motion that was made to extend Saturday’s convention from 6 to 8 p.m. His claim is that because the rule was changed any votes after that hour should be null and void. He said the motion wasn’t properly debated. His motion could put the county’s state convention delegation into jeopardy.

Of the 75 delegates elected, Clark County GOP state committeeman Ryan Hart said Monday that 37 are for Ron Paul, 30 are for Santorum, six are for Romney and two are for Newt Gingrich.
Delegate Rick Russell is also upset that several alternates from his precinct were voting. “Our delegation was there,” he said. “So there was no place for our precinct’s alternates. They shouldn’t have been in the room, and they definitely should not have been voting. They’re all Ron Paul people.”
Disorganization issues included hundreds waiting in line for hours, confusion at registration, lack of proper credentialing, and lack of ID verification, among others.
He’s also “concerned with the Ron Paul cowboy guy who we all saw carrying around four ballots … he said he was voting for others that had already left.”
Delegates, alternates and observers felt organizers were overwhelmed, said Cynthia Haddock. “It was like they didn’t plan but they had to know how many people were coming.
The March 3 Caucus provided clear paperwork on how many delegates and alternates would be coming. That paperwork was in the possession of the Clark County GOP organizers.
They were overwhelmed, said GOP Rules official, Brent Boger, who is asking people to put the event in perspective.
“Were things screwed up?” said Boger. “Yes, absolutely. These are good, hard-working volunteers who simply didn’t prepare for an event of this size.”
Boger said GOP leaders called him a week ahead of the convention to ask for his help with the rules. Boger has been a long-time GOP activist who once served on the party’s state rules committee and understands how rules are supposed to work.
“I saw the train wreck coming,” he said. “There were no checks, no balances, and no ID’s were checked in the 18th Legislative District meeting. Because of that we had to try to verify by precinct and saw slots and openings and realized the credentials list was inaccurate. It was a mess.”
He said the local party was simply “unprepared,” and that he spoke with Brandon Vick, the County GOP Chairman about the consequences before the convention started.
The Romney people also talked with local leaders about having more check-in tables, but were ignored.
The Clark County GOP hasn’t yet issued a statement on the matter, but Lacamas Magazine is expecting a response. Phone calls were returned.
On history, Boger said once the state legislature denied Washington a primary, he recommended that the state GOP set up a caucus system that would mirror a primary as much as possible.
“The state committee disagreed,” he said. “And now we have this mess. They didn’t learn from what the Ron Paul people did in 2008, and I warned them and we all now realize the caucus system is absurd – it’s time to end it.”
As a solution, Boger says any GOP member can submit a rule change with the state committee, who would have to adopt said rule. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is possible.
He recommends the state provide a primary only, and that delegates be apportioned according to the primary results. He says the party should bypass the state committee and simply allow the campaigns to pick the delegates.
“This is one reform,” said Boger, “and it’s not too hard to do. It’s a mail-in ballot. We all like those.”
Another reform is to elect state convention delegates at the caucus level and bypass the county convention. Boger recommends caucus goers vote on a slate, which he believes would save time, money and headaches.
As previously reported the 18th Legislative District had the most problems, the largest of which was ballot discrepancy. At the onset of voting, party officials announced that 213 delegates were certified to vote at the convention. When ballots were cast and tallied, the total was 284, and the worn out, exhausted crowd was aghast. It sent confusion and anger throughout the room.
Boger believes the disorganization and irregularities at check-in were the cause.
“A lot of people simply were not checked in,” he said. “There were alternates that should have not been in there. We all know that. It’s likely that there were people voting that should not have been voting.”
Boger also sheds light on technology and ballots.
“We’re using a machine that works but is very, very old,” he said. “And we simply don’t have enough ballots to fill the machines, so they didn’t have enough placard ballots and the 17th District was using recycled ballots – they were using pre-punched ballots!”
The convention lacked ballot control.
“People were passing out ballots without checking ID or credentials,” said Russell. “Anybody off the street could come in and vote and that’s why we have this disaster. We spent 12 hours trying to do our jobs in a system frought with fraud and lack of ballot controls. It’s ridiculous.”
Liz Pike, who is running for the 18th Legislative seat was witness to the events at the convention and understands why people are discouraged.
“It was my honor to meet many of you for the first time at last Saturday’s GOP convention, and it was a pleasure to see long-time friends again too,” she said. “If you attended the convention, thank you for giving up your day to be part of the solution to get our county, state and nation back on the right track. Please do not be discouraged. Volunteers and party officials worked hard on Saturday. The convention undoubtedly had its challenges but it is time to put that behind us. Although we may not all agree on who should be our Presidential nominee, we are united in our enthusiasm for conservative values and preservation of founding principles that make America great.”
Delegates in the 18th Legislative District Meeting vote at Saturday’s meeting.
Boger understands why Romney supporters are upset. He said many are participating for the first time and they see the caucus straw poll with Romney at 37 percent and then the convention gives him seven percent.
“It’s a mess, for sure, and it’s wrong,” Boger said. “But to the Romney people, realize this is Ron Paul’s high water mark – I don’t think we’re leaving the UN or going onto the gold standard anytime soon.”
As to the Unity Slate and the Open Slate controversy, Boger says the problem is “this is Santorum’s method of operation … he says one thing and then does another … and this is why he shouldn’t be president.”
The Unity Slate was an agreement by the Romney, Santorum and Gingrich people to elect delegates that would vote for the eventual nominee. It was designed to minimize the impact of the Ron Paul delegation. The Santorum people backed out of the agreement and forged a temporary coalition with the Ron Paul delegation, which enabled them to shut out the Romney delegation from the 18th District.
“It turned the will of the people upside down,” said delegate Don Thurston. “It’s just not right. Romney got the most votes on March 3 and now we’re sending no Romney delegates from the 18th District.
And that’s where this story continues, as there is growing evidence that more people voted than were credentialed, which puts the convention results into question.
More to come.

8 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the follow-up! I would just add that there were problems with the March 3rd Precinct caucus in the 18th District also. There was very little organization, no one checked voter registration/photo ID's, and sign-in sheets were left out on tables unsupervised. Anyone could have voted at our precinct table with no way to verify it. I came away from both the Precinct and County meetings feeling violated and very disillusioned.

  2. bk
    bk says:


    It was pretty disorganized and I was quite frustrated with the way it went – and I'm a Ron Paul supporter. I think it's fine for any candidate's supporters to work hard within the rules to obtain their share of delegates. When the rules are not properly spelled out and enforced it turns the whole thing into a circus. The party did a terrible job of preparing for the event. Yes, I know it requires volunteers & they were likely understaffed, but some simple steps to ensure accuracy and accountability wouldn't have taken much effort.

    I believe there is a place for the caucus system- it's a much more 'republic-an' way of vetting and electing candidates. Direct democracy is not what the founders had in mind and that's why they created a republic. It's been said that democracy is two lions and a sheep voting on what's for lunch.


  3. Lacamas Magazine
    Lacamas Magazine says:

    This is what an anonymous source sent in, but didn't properly publish:

    Wow, you people are stupid. Why do you think Ron Paul supporters are being so loud and angry at these events? Its because they're tired of getting pushed around by the GOP / RNC … and they are mad. There is more and more growing evidence about anti-Ron Paul vote tampering and fraud to benefit all the other candidates… so a very FEW Ron Paul supporters are loud, and an individual was seen with 4 ballots… who saw the person and is there any proof other than heresay? I could say I saw a pig moon walking but until there is more than one person saying it-and there is proof, don't believe it and don't get twisted about it. This thing sounds like it was set up to fail on purpose after reading the article. Heard Ron Paul had big numbers in the county voting before all this delegate business happened weeks later… so if the GOP/RNC just happened to be shady like some are feeling they are… why not set this up to fail? on Clark County GOP Convention Rocked by Delays, Chaos, Confusion, and Charges of Fraud; Irregularities

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I was there and saw it, as did over 100 people. It was kind of hard to miss with people yelling at him and him running across the room with 3 or 4 ballots flopping in the air. Then an official had to stand there while he had to give the extra ballots up. You're right, it's all in the above video as well.

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Our Constitutional Republic is dependent upon a moral people capable of self-governing righteously. I believe that the breakdown of the current system can be traced directly to the breakdown of individual morality. We may have reached a point where we can no longer sustain the freedoms we take for granted because we cannot self-govern wisely. Something may be technically legal but morally unethical. Our Founding Fathers were statesmen of high moral integrity, honor, and character, who would never take advantage of a loophole to gain an unrighteous advantage or control over another for the purpose of thwarting their ability to exercise their free agency. Shame on those who abused the caucus system through unfair and unethical tactics. Your methods had absolutely nothing in common with the Founding Fathers or their honor and integrity. You have merely twisted their vision into a perverted imitation that suits your dishonorable goals. Shame, shame, shame.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Both my husband and I were delegates in the 18th LD and witnessed the man in the cowboy hat – later identified as George Hacker – marking 4 ballots right in front of us, on a little platform. The group of us sitting in the front rows started yelling at him, and heard him say that he had made mistakes on his ballot and needed to correct them on a new one, and was also voting for his father. That's what he told us, but apparently he gave a slightly different account to others. We also witnessed precinct officials handing out bundles of ballots several inches thick to be distributed throughout the people seated, with no requirement to check ID's to see if those voting were from our District or even credentialed delegates. There was no way to know how many ballots were voted by any one person, as they were collected the same way they were passed out – people took them from those around them and passed them to the center or up front where the bundles were collected by the precinct workers. When we ended up with 284 votes cast while only 213 delegates were credentialed, the crowd became angry and demanded that the ballot be invalidated. A decision was made to have the crowd stand and count off one by one, and the number of people present in the room was less than 284 but higher than 213. The officials did not check anyone's ID's due to concerns over the time remaining. Anyone could have been in that room voting. An official decision was made to count the votes on the first ballot and proceeed to the second ballot. It was insanity and most definitely unfair. -Rebecca & Josh Bocchino

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I think the delegate process worked just fine, except for the delays. The frustration I see in your post is becasue of a lack of understanding the system and the resulting failure to achieve your desired outcome. It was only "Morally unethical" becasue you didn't win. Perhaps you will educate yourself a little about how this actually works and maybe you will do better next time.


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