Election fraud? Former candidate Feda Morton arrested

Feda Kidd Morton, who ran two years ago for the Republican nomination for the 5th District Congressional seat that was ultimately won by Robert Hurt, has been arrested, accused of election fraud. Morton, a former chair of the Republican party in Fluvanna County, is charged with the felony of falsely certifying a petition in a 2011 race.

These aren't Morton's first election-era problems. Running as a family-values candidate in 2010, Morton had to deal with the fact that, as the Hook reported, she had earlier lost custody of her children during a bitter divorce because, according to court transcripts, the judge feared her anger issues were harmful to the children. During that same race, the Daily Progress reported allegations that Morton had committed plagiarism in an editorial she submitted to a newspaper called the Rural Virginian. Morton downplayed the custody loss and denied the plagiarism allegation.

Morton's March 22 arrest, first reported by the Fluvanna Review, came at the request of a special prosecutor, Greene Commonwealth's Attorney Ron Morris, who declined to comment on the case other than saying, "An officer investigated and found probable cause for a warrant."

Morton, 59 and released on her own recognizance, has been involved with Republican party in Fluvanna for more than 20 years. But in seeking comment from local officials and ordinary citizens, a reporter hears a similar refrain from people unwilling to comment on the record.

People are fearful because Morton is "mean and vindictive," says one person who spoke only on the condition of anonymity.

A source indicates that Morton's alleged crime came from her certification that she had witnessed people signing a petition in a constitutional officer race last year in Fluvanna. Falsely certifying a petition is a Class 5 felony, which carries up to 10 years in jail. The rules for gathering signatures are pretty clear, says the person familiar with the race.

"For someone with 25 years of experience, this wasn't a mistake," opines the source. "And how many other petitions has she filed on behalf of other candidates that she's signed? If she did it on a local level, I wonder if she did on a state or national level."

Morton did not return a call for comment from a reporter, nor did her attorney, Rob Hagy.

A biology teacher at Fluvanna High School, Morton remains employed at the school.

"We have a policy in place," says Fluvanna Schools superintendent Gena Keller, noting that the school system may choose to place someone arrested for a felony on suspension or administrative leave, a policy that mandates such removal only for crimes against a child.

"And this," says Keller, "clearly is not."

As superintendent, Keller would be the one who makes any recommendation of teacher suspension to the School Board, but she declines to divulge her thinking on Morton's continued employment.

"I'm not going to comment on that," says Keller. "That would be a personnel issue."

What the unnamed source is most fearful of is that Morton– who is scheduled for a preliminary court hearing May 15– will get a deal, plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and continue in politics. In Virginia, felons are not allowed to vote or run for office unless their rights get restored by the governor.

"If it's a felony, she's out of politics forever," says the Fluvannan. "The relief felt among people who want to run for office would be huge."

37 comments

sounds like a CA has a conviction quota to fill. This happend 2 years ago...if it happend...and comes to light now. Kidd is politically crazy and may have deliberately not checked signatures. But this doesn't come near the corruption in this area. I am surprised they went after a republican.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

Let's review Feda Morton's recent record:

A judge said, "[I]t makes it clear to the Court that Mrs. Kidd has allowed her anger to be the most controlling factor in her life and to overshadow her concerns for the well-being of her children, which is damaging...In this controlled environment in a courtroom where her rage is barely controlled, one would imagine what it would be like outside the courtroom."

So she has a serious anger management problem.

People who know her don't want to say anything negative about her on the record because she is "mean and vindictive."

She plagiarized material from a right-winger's essay and passed it off as her own, and refused to own up to it. (And she's a teacher...)

It would seem that Feda Morton is a perfect fit for the Virginia Republican party.

I think it's safe to say by this point that anybody spouting off about "family values" or claiming to run some sort of campaign based on "family values" is usually overcompensating for the fact they have none. It always seems to be the Republicans doing this (and no, I'm not a Dem, I'm closer to a Liberertarian) they always seem to be the ones who need to rant loudly about what god fearing patriotic family values oriented Christians they are, and then they usually turn out to be involved in domestic violence, drug and sex/homosexual scandals. Or revealed to be bad moms, bad dads, fathering illigitimate children with mistresses, plagiarizing stuff, and so on. So when you hear the next buttoned up straight laced thin lipped crazy eyed (usually republican) psychopath standing on a podium somewhere spouting off about "Family values! Family values!" wrapped in a flag and waving a cross just know...........they're actually revealing all the shenanigans they're up to in their personal lives. Because people who are truly living a decent life revolving around family values don't need to announce it loudly to the world. People who announce things loudly are the ones overcompensating for bad behavior.

I think she is way hotter in the first photo. You know she's a vixen! YEA!

This is so hard to believe. She is my teacher and she is great with all the kids. Unlike what the court has said, "In this controlled environment in a courtroom where her rage is barely controlled, one would imagine what it would be like outside the courtroom." I have never seen her uncontrollable. I am pretty sure if you were going through a divorce and your children were being taken from you, you would be "barely controlled," I couldn't imagine if my mother was taken away from me. I know what ever she did do that she will be honest and its heartbreaking to see so many people wanting her to leave. She is the best Biology teacher in the school. Please don't forget, "innocent, until proven guilty."

I keep hearing the GOP and the Tea Party worrying about "election fraud" at the pools, which seems largely undocumented and unproven... and which has caused a flurry of proposed legislation to put an end to all this cheating by the old, the disabled, the students, the poor, etc...but now I see where the election fraud REALLY is!

I am amazed (not really, this is typical liberal reaction) at the above posters who can take a bad apple and apply it to half the country. Republicans did not elect this fraud..did they?
I could list all the democrats who have fallen from grace. I could list all the waste and failed progressive policies that have beaten our economy to a pulp. But why bother when you are talking to such ignorance here.

WhoaNelly... Ouch! We didn't even check to see if James Halfaday was a resident of Charlottesville before we let him run. We should have gotten his ID. Live and Learn.

Simply because some forms of fraud are possible, it doesn't mean they are widespread. There is a difference between potential and practice.

The story cites an actual case of fraud, not a staged demonstration of it's possibility, and yes, I know Democrats do this sort of thing as well - its a matter of degree. I am trying to look at the overall issue, not some partisan talking point.

I agree that voter issues are possible both sides of the aisle, but I don't think disenfranchising large groups of voters is the answer, unless your interest is in swaying the outcome of an election. I am far more concerned about voter suppression, which prevents the exercise of the constitutional right to vote for a Democrat or a Republican, it doesn't matter which... it is, in my view, a far greater problem than isolated incidents of alleged, and largely unproven, fraud.

For a fairly evenhanded discussion, see the link below:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2010/10/right-warns-of-voter-fra...

@WhoaNelly - you seem puzzled or confused by the idea of hipocracy. Here's how it works: you get judged by your consistent adherence to the values and principles you espouse.

So, yes, Democrats who say that homosexuality is just fine, give a free pass to Barney Frank - because we think homosexuality is fine. Democrats and Lefties villify people like Ted Haggard and Larry Craig because they claim to abhor homosexuality, and yet we discover they're homosexuals! It's not the homosexuality, it's the conflict between their professed values and principles and their behavior.

The Democrats aren't the ones making tons of claims of widespread voter fraud. Democrats aren't the ones claiming that all kinds of people are engaging in electoral cheating and antics. The GOP is. Feda Morton ran as a "family values" candidate and yet we find she's a vituperative hate-filled whacko - the antithesis of a "family values" character. She is also an incredible hypocrite. If conservatives actually behaved according to their professed values (most of which are cynical double-speak) then I think you'd enjoy a much broader base of support. Let's talk about "keeping the government out of my medicare", shall we?

Oh, and yes, you know what? Liberals and Democrats DO eat their own when they find out they are hypocrites.

@non-resident taxpayer...that's nonsense.

@ PJ, everybody of voting age has an ID, we all know that. This smoke about voter suppression is BS. You need an ID to cash a check, get on a plane, drive a car, and apply for all welfare, food stamps ECT. In the last election there were indictments all over the country over voter fraud by ACORN and the like. The video I posted shows really how ridicules the democratic stand is about voter registration. He should have gone ahead and voted as Eric Holder, it would have been priceless to see the look on Holders face when he showed up to vote and was told that he already had. I don't see any other reason for all the democratic smoke and mirrors on this one other than getting the 20 million illegal immigrants into the booths for their vote. That's what this is all about. The cost for a picture ID at the DMV is $10.00. You really think that anyone who wants to vote will be suppressed over $10.00? Even if there was never an instance of voter fraud, does it really make sense to set the system up for it? How would you feel when casting your vote if you thought that it would be cancelled out by a fraudulent vote?

@ Student: The judge who said that Feda Morton "has allowed her anger to be the most controlling factor in her life and to overshadow her concerns for the well-being of her children" is a real conservative. So, he didn't utter those words lightly in court.

You say that "what ever she did do that she will be honest." But she has still failed to be honest about her plagiarism. She did, in fact, plagiarize. What's even worse, she plagiarized historically inaccurate information. But Feda Morton is a person who thinks the ideas of far-right-wing nut W. Cleon Skousen –– who favored theocracy, was kicked out of the ultra-conservative American Security Council in the early '60s, and who called President Dwight Eisenhower a communist agent –– are worthy of implementation.

@ WhoaNelly: You must be getting your "news" from Fox and right-wing websites. It is absolutely untrue that "were indictments all over the country over voter fraud by ACORN." In fact, the Congressional Research Service was requested by the House Judiciary Committee to investigate incidents of voter fraud by ACORN and "did not identify any reported instances of individuals who were improperly registered by ACORN attempting to vote at the polls." And an in-depth investigation by the Government Accountability Office found no evidence that ACORN had mishandled federal grant funds.

There is little if any question that Republicans are, indeed, trying to suppress voting in the United States. The Brennan Center at New York University's law school noted that conservatives have " enacted an array of new laws making it harder to register or to vote." The Center points out that "these new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." There's a reason that Republicans want to suppress voting from these groups, and it isn't fraud.

In a democratic republic, we should be encouraging MORE people to vote and participate in democratic governance, but this is exactly what Republicans do NOT want. The truth is that conservatives fear –– loathe –– a government "of the people, by the people, for the people." And they do whatever they can to keep it from coming to fruition.

The Democrat Voter Fraud Playbook is as follows:

1.ACORN registers the names, legitimate or not.
2.Black Panther, SEIU and other “community organizer” groups intimidate people, especially minorities, from voting Republican.
3.Voter lists remain unscrubbed of felons, dead people, and illegal immigrants.
4.On Election Day, precinct workers submit any unused ballots for Democrat candidates.
5.Democrat officials and politicians pretend like nothing happened.
It’s as easy as that to steal an election.
The voter fraud stories so far are just the tip of a very large iceberg. No one really knows the full extent of the problem and the Democratic Party is counting on Americans to shrug it off as just another conservative conspiracy theory.

The dropping of voter intimidation charges by Department of Justice political appointees against billy club wielding Black Panthers sends the message to the Democrat community that mass voter fraud can continue without fear of legal reprisal.

Justice officials know full well that if they were to start digging around this Pandora’s Box of fraud, many influential Democratic organizations (especially ACORN) and politicians will be implicated. So they go straight to Step #5 from above and pretend like there’s nothing to see.

While the problem may be substantial, there is one way Republicans can fight back: Keep a close eye on voting locations. Election fraud only works if citizens remain ignorant to the problem and unwilling to become involved in the voting process.

Considering the importance of the upcoming November elections, an army of Republican poll watchers, especially in minority neighborhoods which are often treated like never ending vote generating machines by unscrupulous Democrat politicians, will be needed to prevent liberals from once again stuffing ballot boxes and gaming the system.

@WhoaNelly: You are correct about the shenanigans Dems pull when it comes to voting. In close elections involving recounts, it is always interesting to see how many new Democratic votes are able to be manufactured. Al Franken stole the election in Minnesota and Al Gore almost did in 2000 when his people even managed to get absentee military votes (usually Republican) thrown out. The only thing that saved Bush was the group of poor people in Jacksonville who were bussed to the polls and instructed to vote on every page. The idiots did so and thus voted for more than one candidate for the same office, resulting in their votes (thankfully) being thrown out. Re requiring ID, a conservative organization had one of their people voting in DC, claiming to be Eric Holder (and using his address) and the poll workers were accepting that at face value, with no proof of ID even being asked for.

As they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often.

You know... if the Democrats were so good at cheating at the polls, you'd think there would be a lot more of them in office ;)

@PJ, in a nation founded on personal freedoms and responsibilities...I'm surprised there are any at all...

@ realist, click on the link I posted above, it is the video of that sting.

Poor WhoaNelly is a typical conservative. Confronted with factual information, he just dismisses it, and continues to make up stories. Now, he's added in that Black Panthers are behind massive voter fraud, a concoction that is making the right-wing websites but has no discernible truth.

In fact, the most egregious and consequential voter fraud in recent history was the stealing of the 2000 presidential election in Florida. But, of course, conservative Republicans rarely condemn their own large-scale efforts to undermine democratic governance. Worse, the theft of the presidency had dire results: the incoming Bush administration ignored repeated warnings about terrorist threats to focus on tax cuts, after 9/11 the Bushies launched a war in Iraq over make-believe weapons of mass destruction, they botched the management of war in Afghanistan and Iraq (costly both in dollars and in casualties) and they refused to pay for either one, and they presided over a financial crisis that threatened the global economy (and bailed out with taxpayer dollars those who caused it).

The PDB of August 6, 2001, titled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US," went unheeded by the Bushies. That PDB specifically warned that Bin Ladin "has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US," that he "prepares operations years in advance and Is not deterred by setbacks," that Al-Qaeda maintains a "support structure" in the US that "could aid attacks," and that "FBI information...indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks..." See:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB116/pdb8-6-2001.pdf

And the legacy of 8 years of George W. Bush? See:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/the-chart-that-shoul...

The Bush administration looked hard to find evidence of voter fraud (what an irony), but couldn't find it. Even Fox reported that" the Bush administration's Justice Department came up with little widespread fraud, finding mostly cases of people mistakenly filling out voter registration forms or voting when they didn't know they were ineligible."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/24/voter-id-laws-target-rarely-o...

The only systemic efforts to suppress and to commit large-scale fraud in voting come from conservative Republicans, who dreadfully fear a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."

By the way, the video link posted by WhoaNelly only shows a Republican operative of huckster James O'Keefe –– of the infamous, dishonest, inaccurate ACORN video –– trying to commit voter fraud.

Wow, between the article and some of the comments here, I am glad I am no way affiliated with either political party....my "independence" helps me vote for the person running, not the party.

The commenter Onwidit says that "my 'independence' helps me vote for the person running, not the party."

That's good advice...voters should evaluate the individual proposals and merits of candidates. In addition, they should also consider what each candidate's party platform is. And voters ought to compare both party platform and individual ideas to the core values on which our country is based (popular sovereignty, freedoms for all citizens, equality, justice, tolerance, promoting the general welfare of society).

And that begs the question, which persons has Onwidit supported in the recent political past?

@democracy...
Since we have apparently turned this case of election fraud into a discussion of voter fraud, you better re-check your history. Go to Philly, Chicago and many other large cities and speak with people there. Voter fraud is common and is laughed away by many in these cities.
As for Virginia--and the largely Democrat response that a Voter ID bill is unnecessary because "voter fraud is not an issue in Virginia"...better check recent news reports. VSP might disagree with that assessment.

R.I.P.: Richard Daley

@democracy...The "infamous, dishonest, inaccurate ACORN video" was neither dishonest nor inaccurate. I'll give you infamous as it resulted in congress pulling the funding for ACORN. The video I posted a link to shows how easy it is to cast a fraudulent vote, pretty hard to argue that with that.

In the election of 2008 the latest report is about 400 fraudulent votes in VA, if I read today's news correctly - that's out of about 2.75 MILLION votes cast in the presidential election - hardly "massive fraud" from a statistical point of view!

Popular vote Obama: 1,959,532 McCain: 1,725,005

Even if all those 400 votes went to Obama, and you subtracted them out by preventing them from voting, the results would be no different.

I also note that most of the "fraud" was that convicted felons voted, it wasn't because anyone tried to fake their id....

Sorry democracy, I won't bite...you'll have the others to argue politics over with.

@ WhoaNelly...you just keep citing myth as "fact." Do even a cursory bit of research and you'll find that the James O'Keefe ACORN vide, was indeed, fraudulent. Even Andrew Breitbart admitted so. And, as I noted, the Congressional Research Service report "did not identify any reported instances of individuals who were
improperly registered by ACORN attempting to vote at the polls." I provide links (including one to the CRS report), you cite unfounded, inaccurate opinion. Such is the nature of conservatives.

And by the way, a federal judge ruled that the Congressional defunding of ACORN was likely an unconstitutional bill of attainder (see Article I, Section 9) since ACORN was "singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt." That is clearly an abuse of the Constitution and of government power. I thought conservatives"revered" the Constitution (wink). I thought they were opposed to the abusive federal power (BIG wink).

Finally, the link you provided does NOT show any voting fraud...there was no voting, only a conservative flack trying to impersonate someone else. IF that huckster had taken a ballot and voted, he'd have been prosecuted.

Please provide readers here with specific links to buttress your contention that there is massive voter fraud (and that the ACORN video was truthful). You can't, and you won't. There's a reason for that.

@ Onwidit. You contend that you are "independent" and vote for "the person running, not the party." So, which candidates has your "independence" guided you to in the recent past?? And how congruent were your candidates with core democratic values and principles? You say you won't "bite" on that question. I'd guess there's a reason for that too.

@ Liberalace: are you still claiming that the New Deal "didn't work?" Still maintaining that burglars should be "put away for 10 years no parole at minimum" (how do we pay for the incarcerations?)? Still think that poor welfare recipients should get drug tested, while big bankers and hedge-funders (who got $700 billion in no-strings-attached cash and trillions more in no- and low-interest loans) and those who reap millions and millions in taxpayer-subsidized tax credits are not tested?

NO, WhoaNelly, not everyone of voting age has a picture ID. We don't drive, or fly, registered to vote and opened bank accounts years ago, before all this " security " nonsense set in. Checks- never use then except for things mailed through the post office- ATM cards suffice. And a state issued voter registration card. And would slit my throat before applying for welfare or food stamps.

@Hollowboy...so, you don't vote I take it. If you don't have any skin in the game...whats your point?

I am in shock and repulsed by the way that Mrs. Feda Morton is being presented by the press. I knew this woman when she was formally married, and as a teenager babysat her children regularly while she was very much so married to to her former husband (who I knew well as well). She was always into politics, however, I would absolutely stand up and attest that she was a wonderful, caring mother who worked hard and stood for what she believed was right. Her divorce has been YEARS ago, they are both remarried. (my parent's divorced after 26 years of marriage and all the jazz had even died down by the length of time that Feda and her ex have been divorced) This is strictly a way to keep press interesting! In the end, who suffers? Ridiculous! Now tell me who has been or ever known someone who has went through a pleasant divorce? Now who has or knows someone who has been through a bitter divorce? Did it involve lying, infidelity, a combination of more similar or horrific events?! Do children often feel like they must choose a side during their parent's divorce, and are the issues often not exposed or fabricated on one or the other parent's part in order to gain favor of the children? Whoever wrote this, including a judge who would conclude, on the short lived, bias observation of a lawyer out to make a dollar, does not know Feda Morton. If I were standing there having all these personal accusations regarding MY integrity thrown at me when I knew very well they were lies, I would be SOOO... angry I could hardly contain myself either! So, here is my testament that Feda Morton is a woman wronged who somebody has it out for on a personal level. I'd stand in her corner any day! (and yes, I am a real person who owes Feda nothing.) I simply believe in her and DO very well remember that her children loved her very much. AND... as far as "mean and vindictive" goes, Bull!!!! I will never look at an article in a paper and take it at face value ever again!!!

Yes, I do vote. I registered in 1968, and use my voter registration card.
BTW, the City Registrar's office said that the law to require a picture ID at the polls did NOT pass, so a lot of this debate seems to be for naught.

voter fraud and voter suppression aren't much of an issue in Fluvanna anyway (I think both are more likely common is a large urban area). The rising property tax is the issue. The talking points of both sides are taken right off the internet. Halfaday's wasn't a resident of C-ville but ran for City Council without proof of residence. If you say a voter shouldn't have to show an ID then a candidate shouldn't either, I suppose was the thinking. I can see voter suppression in the old and poor but suppressing the UVa student vote by not having an ID I don't see.

More than one way to suppress a vote, I guess. Many of us older folks who live in the older section of Lake Monticello used to be able to vote at the Lake Monticello fire hall. Now we are "redistricted" to vote out near Scottsville at Antioch Church. Many of the older folks here were unwilling to make the drive.

You would think that since the Lake is a population center in Fluvanna County, they would have the polls remain there instead of moving them to some sparsely populated rural area!

I hope she gets convicted and sent to JAIL!!! Shame on you.

Never Fear
we have an ACORN lawyer in the White House