Did People Blindly Follow "The Lee Mitchell Letter?"
UltraRob brought up a good point, did people blindly follow "the Lee Mitchell letter" or did John Hughes and company call in some favors? There's a third option and as the Psychic Cyclist (TM) I will predict OJ Simpson style "If John Hughes Did It".
I'm not saying he did stuff the ballot box, because there is absolutely no proof, but it would explain a few things and at this point, he's already shown that he would cross the line to stay in power. So, how do you stuff the ballot box and keep others from doing the same? First of all, you have to make it hard to stuff the box. In John Hughes case, for this election, he required that any member wishing to vote, had to sign a waiver of liability (which is a whole issue in and of itself) or have a signed waiver on file. Requiring a signature to vote discourages others from stuffing the box and let's face it, it would have been really easy to stuff the box the way the election used to be run.
Now, how do you stuff the box yourself? If you have the list, then you know there are a group of members who don't have a signature on file. You have your co-conspirators fill out a signed waiver for the member, so the signature matches or you let your co-conspirators copy the signatures directly from the waivers to the ballot. This is a hell of a lot easier than creating a direct mail piece and certainly cheaper. What do you think, Are John Hughes & Co capable of stuffing the ballot box or did they just call in a hundred favors?