Camron denied the vote

Brent Finnegan -- October 29th, 2008

Yesterday’s Obama rally would probably never have come to Harrisonburg if not for one man’s efforts over the past several months: Camron Gorguinpour. A story in today’s DNR tells the tale of Camron’s six hour battle in court yesterday to be able to vote in Rockingham County next week.

Remember the most recent registrar story? Camron’s registration was among the forms that were somehow postmarked from Richmond, and rejected by the Harrisonburg Registrar’s Office.

Judge James Lane ruled that Camron Gorguinpour failed to meet the deadline for getting his voter registration form into the county registrar.

Gorguinpour claimed the delay was not his fault, but rather malfeasance on the part of the Harrisonburg Registrar’s Office.

There’s still this unsolved mystery of the envelope. How did forms that were hand-delivered in Harrisonburg end up postmarked from Richmond a week later?

Gorguinpour’s attorney, Tom Domonoske, said that a temporary worker in the registrar’s office, who is out of the country and unable to be subpoenaed for the hearing, must of [sic] misplaced the forms, later found them and tried to cover up her mistake.

It’s sadly ironic that the one guy who’s arguably pushing harder than anyone else in this area to get people to the polls on Tuesday won’t himself be able to vote.

30 Responses to “Camron denied the vote”

  1. Emmy says:

    Wow. I’ve received almost daily e-mails from Camron. I can’t believe this. Well, actually I can.

  2. The mystery of the envelope….. Someone had to put the missing forms in an envelope and send them to Richmond. Whether by mistake or on purpose, the who and how need to be found out. Who was the envelope sent too and who sent it back? Was this party questioned and do they have a role in the episode? Anyone have more info on all these questions?

  3. finnegan says:

    Holl,

    The forms (according to several witnesses) were hand-delivered to the registrar’s office. Then, something happened to them, and they arrived back at the registrar’s office a week later, postmarked FROM Richmond in a handwritten envelope, with a return address of the Obama HQ in H’burg.

    Several things don’t add up. First of all, if they were actually sent from the H’burg HQ, it wouldn’t have been postmarked from Richmond. Second, the HQ is a few blocks from the registrar’s office. They’d been hand-delivering the forms. Why would they all of the sudden mail one in on the last day? Camron is a smart guy (an astrophysicist pursuing his PhD) who has been helping hundreds of people fill out their registration forms. He has witnesses that saw his form on Oct. 6, before they were delivered. I find it very hard to believe that he would mail the form in on Oct. 6, the deadline for registering.

  4. Then the question remains… How did the forms get to Richmond? Perhaps mailed and then mailed back? Do we know to whom they were sent and who sent them back? Was this information in the court proceedings?

    I also smell a rat.

  5. finnegan says:

    That’s the most frustrating part. The judge in Winchester couldn’t make a decision, so he sent it to Harrisonburg, where it took six hours before Judge Lane ruled in favor of the registrar. It’s Logan’s word against Camron’s. Witnesses give differing accounts, but there doesn’t appear to be much evidence one way or the other.

    There is, apparently, one person missing. This female temp that Domonoske referred to. She’s out of the country now, but she may have had access to those forms on Oct. 6.

    I’d be interested to know her name and political affiliation.

  6. Renee says:

    Wow, this is REALLY troubling. I have received emails from Camron as well, and seen him on the BarackObama.Com website groups.

    There has to be some way to get the forms in after the deadline for cases like this. I guess it would have to go through the courts, but it’s so close to election day….

    OMG I am feeling horrible right now. Can someone please find a person that is registered and wasn’t planning to vote to go place a vote in Camron’s honor or something??

    The local registration system just seems to be broken this year. Does anyone know what investigations are underway, or if phone calls to certain people would make a difference?

    -Renee

  7. Renee says:

    “Logan told the Daily News-Record that if the forms were lost in the office and later found they would still have counted, so there was no need for a cover-up.” – from DNR story

    So, if it can be proven that someone in the office did misplace them and find them later, shouldn’t all of those people be registered immediately?

  8. Renee says:

    P.S. It’s good to see the DNR is covering this story.

  9. Dave Briggman says:

    Brent (finnegan), why not FOIA the Registrar to get the names of all of her employees and the volunteers used by her office…I would FOIA her, but I’m working on a project I simply can not stop while I’m in the middle of it.

  10. David Miller says:

    Whoa

    It’s sad that Mr. Fitzgerald has ignored the fact that the number of JMU students registered in Harrisonburg has risen from about 400 to more than 4,000 in about 6 months. It’s equally sad that Joe has attempted to frame a city official based on partisan politics. Mr F needs to check his facts and review his tactics before resuming his deceptive initiative. There is a reason he finished last in the city council race a few years ago. Joe….you just are not a trustworthy fellow. From one Obama supporter to another…stay out of this. You are only hurting our cause.

    Posted by: Ellis Logan | October 29, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    is that the same kid with the death threats?

    Mommy needs to reign him in.

    My favorite quote from the DNR article “In addition, Obenshain said, “she is very well connected and understands the dynamics of our community.””

    Well connected indeed.

    Public officials need to better understand how cynical we are. When they are accused of anything the best course of action is full disclosure. We are a fickle public.

  11. Dave Briggman says:

    Yeah, I just read that…pretty amazing…almost as amazing as to the effort the Assistant C.A. handling yesterday’s “appeals” went to conceal young Ellis’ existence and actions.

  12. Renee says:

    I agree with Dave B. – why wasn’t a list of employees involved provided prior to the court hearing? You would think hearing from this mysterious “temp” would be paramount to the decision being made….

  13. Dave Briggman says:

    As the “appeals” also took out at least one Republican voter, I’d say the Court handled yesterday’s matters in a consistent fashion.

    I don’t believe yesterday’s defense by Marsha’s office was partisan either.

    I could see how some could jump to that conclusion, however, an “apolitical” observer, which I am not, would like see no partisan acts by Marsha or her office.

  14. David Miller says:

    ps. Kudos to Camron for his foresight on being last in line. Good move to spotting dirty tricks. Anyone out there able to argue that this isn’t shady. I need a grounding, this seems so obvious but maybe I glossed over something.

  15. finnegan says:

    Well, I guess one alternative explanation would be that the Obama volunteers are all lying under oath about dropping off the forms. I really don’t see very many alternate explanations.

    It’s also conceivable that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the registrar’s office. Domonoske suggested that the temp may have misplaced the forms, then later realized what had happened, and mailed them in.

    Again, the problems are 1) this is all about witnesses’ various accounts of what happened, not hard evidence, and 2) there’s potentially a key witness that’s out of the country right now.

  16. David Miller says:

    11% of new registrations denied, Obama Organizer’s registration denied, perhaps not fraud. Just unhealthy for my faith in the system.

  17. finnegan says:

    This is another case of “whodunnit” with no conclusion, apparently.

    Someone is getting away with crimes against democracy here. We just don’t know who.

  18. David Miller says:

    My wouldn’t the word change be wonderful if it were applied to so many things

  19. Peppa says:

    I belive that Ms. Logan is an independent. However, the elctorial board is Republican, Ms. Garst is Republican, Boshart is Republican, Judge Lane – my guess, Republican.

    I also smell a rat. One big rat is Ellis, who would be more than happy to discredit his mother and ruin her career. Another big rat could be the heavy Republican influence in the registrars office. Ms. Logan is appointed. She can be removed at will by the elctorial board. What better way to remove a non-party member than with a scandal.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Ellis didn’t have a partner in crime (not his mother). As mentioned earlier, Ellis has issues and would like nothing better than to see his mother suffer.
    (my opinion)

    Think about it – Republican heavy hitters, missing Democratic documents = less Democratic votes. Who cares if the lowley workers take the blame – that’s what they are for. Right?

  20. Emmy says:

    Ms. Logan is not independent.

  21. Emmy says:

    TV3 just reported that Camron didn’t register in time. Um…

  22. linz says:

    Excerpt from today’s DNR article on Jennie Amison and her daughter getting to meet Barack Obama at JMU… sound familiar?

    Amison, the director of the Gemeinschaft Home, said the chance to meet Obama probably happened because of an unfortunate incident regarding her daughter’s voter registration form.

    She said on Sept. 26, her daughter went to Obama’s Harrisonburg office on North Main Street to register. On Oct. 8, two days after the registration deadline, she received a letter saying her form was rejected because it had been altered. The number nine had been written over where she had filled in her birth date.

    She appealed, her mother said, but it was denied, which left her crying in a Winchester courtroom in front of several local Democratic leaders.

  23. as linz stated above, sounds like the story of amison’s daughter deserves note our take on the story – which, strangely, combines several of the local stories we have been covering – can also be found here:

    @ the state

  24. Renee says:

    It seems in the article they’re saying Amison does now have the ability to vote? Did she win an appeal?

    @Emmy – Were they reporting on the scandal or what? How did his name come up?

  25. finnegan says:

    Renee, no. The article is confusing because of the outdated AP rule where you can only refer to someone by their last name. That presents a problem when the writer is referring to two people with the same last name.

  26. Renee says:

    Ah, I see. I skimmed the quote from the mom, and when I saw her voting rights have since been restored, I thought they were talking about the daughter since I missed the part about the mom not being able to vote at one point. It is confusing.

    I’m so glad she got to talk to Obama, though!

  27. ctb says:

    camron said in court that he couldn’t say that he was 100% sure his and the other 5 registrations where in the stack of registrations that were turned into the registrars office 10 min before the deadline.

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