ESL Makes Voter Fraud a Business


The Federal Court Trial started today on 5 East St. Louis Democrats accused of voter fraud. The East St. Louis Democratic Party was given $67,000 before the November 2nd election to “Get Out the Vote!”

Kelvin Ellis (left) and Charles Powell Jr., Democratic Committeemen from East St. Louis.


Some East St. Louis Democratic Party workers told Mark Kern days before he was elected St. Clair County Board chairman that voters would have to be paid to support him, the first witness in a federal vote fraud trial testified today.

Dannita Youngblood, who worked at city hall and for the city party, told a jury that her boss, Kelvin Ellis, informed Kern of the political realities in a conference telephone call, heard by others as well, within a week before the Nov. 2, 2004, election.

She said Ellis, a party stalwart and then director of regulatory affairs, told Kern he was perceived in the predominantly-black community as a “racist’ and might need to spend $10 per vote to get support. She said Ellis described a need “to pay the voters to come out.”

Ellis, party chairman Charles Powell Jr. and three others are on trial in federal court at East St. Louis. Neither Youngblood nor Kern, the former mayor of Belleville, was charged. Youngblood turned out to be an FBI informer. Kern did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment about her testimony…

…On Oct. 30, the St. Clair County Democratic Party provided $67,000 to Ellis and other East St. Louis Democrats to get out the vote. No county party officials are charged in the case.

St. Clair County is split into two separate election authorities. Kern trailed about 4,000 votes behind Republican Steve Reeb in votes tallied by the county clerk, but won by about 4,000 when the East St. Louis totals came in.

Kelvin Ellis is also charged with attempted murder for plotting to kill a witness to the fraud. Ellis is also accused of running a prostitution business from East St. Louis City Hall.

This is the biggest metro-east corruption trial in years. The trial started with the prosecutor telling jurors that undercover FBI audio and videotapes will prove vote buying and defense lawyers countering that’s not what they show at all.

The prosecution’s star witness, former deputy police chief Rudy McIntosh, who made several undercover recordings, may testify today.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Carr said McIntosh came forward because he was tired of seeing corruption in the city.

During his opening statement, Carr painted the November Election Day in East St. Louis as a widespread opportunity for Democratic precinct committeemen to buy an election.

He said the defendants, led by Powell, carried out a citywide scheme to pay voters to vote Democratic, including, “Finding alcoholics to take a 10- or 15-minute break and pay them to vote, so they can go back to drinking.”

At one point, Carr said that defendant Thomas will be heard on a tape stating that, “She had to pay everybody in her district because the people in her district were not for Mr. Kern because Mr. Kern was a racist.”

Update: Lorie Byrd at Polipundit is following this story. Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, has linked here and is surprised this story is not getting more attention. Powerline has been following the voter fraud story from East St. Louis and has linked to this post. Don’t miss Thursday’s proceedings, there is nothing like it!

Update 2: Thursday’s East St. Louis Democratic Voter Fraud Court Proceedings are on a new post HERE.

You Might Like