WASHINGTON — Todd Graves brought just four misdemeanor voter fraud indictments during his five years as the US attorney for western Missouri — even though some of his fellow Republicans in the closely divided state wanted stricter oversight of Democratic efforts to sign up new voters.
Then, in March 2006, Graves was replaced by a new US attorney — one who had no prosecutorial experience and bypassed Senate confirmation. Bradley Schlozman moved aggressively where Graves had not, announcing felony indictments of four workers for a liberal activist group on voter registration fraud charges less than a week before the 2006 election.
Republicans, who had been pushing for restrictive new voting laws, applauded. But critics said Schlozman violated a department policy to wait until after an election to bring voter fraud indictments if the case could affect the outcome, either by becoming a campaign issue or by scaring legitimate voters into staying home.