Best-selling author and WND columnist Ann Coulter has been cleared of violating election laws by the Florida Elections Commission following an investigation of a complaint she registered at an address other than hers and voted in the wrong precinct in a February 2006 Palm Beach election.
As WND previously reported, Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson, a Democrat, referred the matter in November 2006 to State Attorney Barry Krischer, the same Democrat who also handled the probes of radio giant Rush Limbaugh for alleged “doctor shopping” and for carrying Viagra.
Authorities in Palm Beach County – including the Palm Beach police, the Palm Beach County sheriff and county election officials – decided against any charges for Coulter in April 2007.
But the case refused to die when West Palm Beach political consultant Richard Giorgio filed a complaint with the FEC in July 2007.
“I actually saw her vote at St. Edward’s (Church), and she looked in a hurry,” Giorgio, whose candidates are predominantly Democrats, told the Palm Beach Post.
The church is supposed to be for voters who dwell on the north side of the island town, while Coulter lives on the south side.
“I didn’t realize that she had tried to vote somewhere else and was turned back,” Giorgio said. “This was willful. Anyone else would have been prosecuted.”
Giorgio accused Coulter of false swearing and fraud in his complaint.
Following its investigation, the FEC ruled Coulter did not willfully break election laws, the Post reported today.
Further, the FEC rejected Giorgio’s complaint because the two-year statute of limitations had passed. The commission considered Coulter’s date of registration in June 2005, shortly after she moved into her home, to be the starting date for any violation and not when she voted in February 2006. Giorgio’s complaint was a month too late for consideration.
Coulter was reprimanded by the commission for not following instructions from a poll worker trying to direct her to the correct voting location, but no probable cause of willfully violating the law was found.
Giorgio called the opinion “arbitrary.”
“We have an election commission that’s hesitant to enforce the law,” he told the Post.
In July 2006, Coulter’s lawyer told the Post the commentator had applied to strike her physical address from official records. Florida statutes allow narrow reasons to have an address erased, including exceptions for people in law enforcement, corrections, the judiciary, revenue collections and code enforcement. The law also provides hard-to-get exemptions for the victims of domestic violence or aggravated stalking.
Last month, following several incidents, including a hand-delivered obscene greeting card placed in her home mailbox, Coulter’s identifying information was removed from Palm Beach County voter and appraiser records under a state law that exempts harassment or stalking victims from public records law.