While NAACP President Benjamin Jealous lashed out at new state laws requiring photo ID for voting, an NAACP executive sits in prison, sentenced for carrying out a massive voter fraud scheme. In a story ignored by the national media, in April a Tunica County, Miss., jury convicted NAACP official Lessadolla Sowers on 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots. Sowers is identified on an NAACP website as a member of the Tunica County NAACP Executive Committee. Sowers received a five-year prison term for each of the 10 counts, but Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster permitted Sowers to serve those terms concurrently, according to the Tunica Times, the only media outlet to cover the sentencing. “This crime cuts against the fabric of our free society,” Judge Webster said. Sowers was found guilty of voting in the names of Carrie Collins, Walter Howard, Sheena Shelton, Alberta Pickett, Draper Cotton and Eddie Davis. She was also convicted of voting in the names of four dead persons: James L. Young, Dora Price, Dorothy Harris, and David Ross.
In the trial, forensic scientist Bo Scales testified that Sowers’s DNA was found on the inner seals of five envelopes containing absentee ballots. This wasn’t Sowers’s first run-in with the law. Sowers previously had her probation revoked for disturbing the peace at a junior high school library, the Commercial Appeal of Memphis reported in 1990. During a hearing at that time, Sowers played the race card. She claimed to be the victim of “an attempt by powerful whites to silence” her, the newspaper reported. It didn’t work. She was ordered back to prison to complete the remaining two years of a three-year sentence she received for check forgery. The NAACP has had other problems with voter fraud. The NAACP National Voter Fund registered a dead man to vote in Lake County, Ohio, in 2004. That same year, out of 325 voter registration cards filed by the NAACP in Cleveland, 48 were flagged as fraudulent. - Matthew Vadum