We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, September 24. 2012
It is no surprise that investigations into voting fraud yield no meaningful results. Why should they? Whoever is looking into it is ignoring the fraud their own party perpetrates, while seeking only the least likely forms employed by their opponent. The idea is to give the perception of doing 'something' about a problem so you look responsive. The hint of a problem is all you need to focus voter attention.
Eric Holder (of all people) once said "You constantly hear about voter fraud...but you don't see huge amounts of voter fraud out there." Maybe. It's unusual a comment of this sort would emanate from Holder. After all, Democrats often claim the Republicans are seeking to disenfranchise voters, and that's just fraud in another format.
Maybe politicians are just looking in the wrong place? Fraud is best performed out in the open, where it won't be questioned. Like a magic show. Misdirection and illusion. Paying people to vote, providing transportation to the polls in exchange for votes, blocking access, even having the dead vote are all versions of fraud which are time-honored.
It seems unlikely fraud is happening on a wide scale. But at a local level it could happen fairly frequently, and in ways which are pretty visible. We tend not to question what we see everyday, or that with which we've become comfortable.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
He that protests usually knows in detail how to doit™. Keep talkin' Eric...
They keep saying there's no evidence -- even in the face of cases like the one here in New Mexico in which the US Attorney refused to prosecute a case in which he had both proof and a confession. Vote fraud is going on, and there are some powerful folks (unfortunately, mostly in my own Democratic Party) who are trying to make sure we lack the tools to detect and/or prevent it.
It is in the politicians' best interest to NOT find fraud, and to deny it exists. If they actually find it, then when they finally lose the office to the opposition, their fraud will be exposed.
It's all a shell game. But I don't see this happening in broad strokes. Remember, in 2004 when Ohio was somehow 'delivered' to the Republicans via voter fraud with the new voting machines? Yeah, I doubt that very much. This kind of fraud is far too visible and easy to root out.
On the other hand, blocking access to a voting station is easy and can be done locally without much media coverage or outrage. Having the dead vote is still something which happens in certain districts. And so on.
Locally, it's possible to engage fraud which benefits whichever party has more pull. I can honestly say that I've never seen any kind of fraud in my district. We're small enough and the people are engaged enough to know what's going on and if something fishy happened, there'd be a hue and cry.
However, 5 miles east is a district which is poorer, less well managed, and undoubtedly likely to play some kind of shenanigans. At the end of the day, my county definitely sees something going on, because we've had one party running the county for years and the nepotism and double-dipping is out of control. But I do live in New Jersey, and if we didn't have some level of corruption, perhaps people would shake their heads and wonder what's going on.
Still, the idea that one party or the other is utilizing massive fraud, or seeking a large scale advantage over the other, is absurd. It's like a team that lost a big game complaining about the refs. Calls go both ways over the course of a game, and you can't put the blame on one call versus another.
Unless you're Green Bay last night on MNF. Then maybe you could. Though I think the real refs could've blown that call, too.
Sure, and let me tell you about the Easter Bunny, too. No vote fraud, my a$$. OK, how about George Soros' company owning the firm that counts the votes? Are you a little suspicious, yet?
Lets not be naive. The Democrats are using voter fraud in every election and they have stolen every close election for the past 50-100 years. They have 2-3 million people every national election actively stuffing the ballot box. The unions, the NAACP, La RAZA, ACORN and dozens of other smaller groups. Don't think I ONLY blame the Democrats. Sometimes the Republicans dabble in voter fraud as well but they are unorganized and really suck at it so their efforts amount to nothing meaningful. What the republicans are best at is conceding after the Democrats win by stuffing the ballot box. Today and for the past year the Democrats have been hard at work registering fake voters changing addresses for absentee ballots and training a cadre of union members to vote in every precinct. Every swing state and every significant county in every swing state is being actively defrauded as we speak. Meanwhile they are busy denying the military their voting rights. We live in a fools paradise and if the Dems steal this election and give Obama 4 more years we will all get to see history made. A great depression for sure, Revolt and civil war maybe. And I would not rule out impeachment. May you live in interesting times...
I didn't say it's not happening.
I said it's doubtful that it's as widespread and pervasive as some claim.
If the Democrats have used fraud in every close election, why did the Republicans win the last 2 close ones?
I believe there are regions where fraud is taking place. But there is only so much ballot stuffing you can do. A district that has 200,000 registered voters can't report 350,000 votes - this would be far too obvious and would result in a major investigation.
Assuming 200,000 in a district is an urban area, it's fair to believe it's going to usually swing heavily democratic. So let's say it reports 120,000 votes and the split is 100 Dem to 20 Rep. That 80,000 differential may be fraudulent...but how much? And let's be honest, most of the states won by Democrats usually have them winning so big those 80,000 votes - even if they were ALL fraudulent - don't make a hill of beans difference. And it's the states we need to be concerned with here, not the overall popular vote.
In some close swing states, this will be meaningful. I think Ohio and Florida could prove important - states where 800,000 fraudulent votes may prove to be the differential. Perhaps even Wisconsin. But maybe not.
The Republicans do their fair share, less organized as you say though it's possible the current drive to make voting difficult for naturalized citizens is about as organized as you can get (completely legitimate in my mind - I have no problem with providing ID when I vote, in fact I'd say it's a necessity....right now all I do is sign. And I deliberately change my signature to see what happens. Nothing.).
So, my point is that while the Democrats might 'steal' the election, the Republicans might, too. Rove was a master at managing state agendas to put items on the ballot which drive hardcore voters that tend to swing Republican.
I disagree that it's a widespread machine engaging in massive fraud, though. I believe each region has versions of fraud taking place which have simply become accepted as 'the way things are done'.
"Hey, toss in 50 more votes because my family members can't make it and they all support Obama."
"OK, that makes sense just because it's raining doesn't mean we disenfranchise them."
Technically, there are people who would read that conversation and say "that's not fraud". It's pure rationalization, but there are people who truly believe it's justifiable to do something like this.
There's a Chicago joke that needs telling here.
"My grandmother voted Republican for 30 years. Then she voted Democratic for 40 years."
"What happened after the first 30 years?"
Sad to say, tis true. When I took poli sic courses at Northwestern, we were assigned to various campaigns during elections and asked to summarize the experience. I was handed the Chicago Democrats and it was an eye-opener. Buses to nursing homes, homeless shelters, ghetto communities (Robert Taylor Homes built by Valerie Jarrett's grandfather was a favorite), community colleges and churches were staffed by workers showing people how to register and, later, vote, for the Democratic candidates. Half the people were oblivious to what they were doing; the other half looking for the "goodies" handed out as they obviously had been through the routine before. It continues today thanks to the ACORN affiliates trained by Obama.
Bulldog, let me note that, with the simple removal of one sentence and one word, you have answered your own question:
"If the Democrats have used fraud in every close election, why did the Republicans win the last 2 close ones?"
"... there is only so much ballot stuffing you can do."
One might consider the possibility that the issue is not that there was no vote fraud because Republicans won the last two close ones, but that the last two elections were close instead of being won handily by the Republicans because of vote fraud.
I agree. But again, I didn't say there was NO vote fraud. My point is relatively simple. There probably isn't widespread voter fraud of a particular nature which can be easily rooted out. Let's analyze this simply:
To start, the politicians don't want whatever is happening rooted out. Let's just get that out of the way. Having some degree of fraud leads them to believe they have 'an advantage'. It's like trying to rig the market. You gain an advantage for a short period of time until the market adjusts, then you lose that advantage. It's no surprise politicians aren't interested in rooting it out - they haven't rooted out the economic fraud!
Secondly, I point out that fraud probably is taking place in a regional or local fashion. But having the dead vote in Chicago isn't the same as disenfranchising voters in Florida. It's not like there's this huge machine saying "hey, let's go fix the vote". I believe this is a purely regional initiative, and how it occurs differs in both format and scale. It also differs by party, too.
Finally, I believe that both parties do it. Therefore, there's a point at which their fraud offsets each other. I suppose the Democrats engage some unique methods which can, occasionally, lead to victories in close elections. But that would make Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 seem like they are outliers (if you suppose Dems are 'better at it').
Bulldog said, "So, my point is that while the Democrats might 'steal' the election, the Republicans might, too. Rove was a master at managing state agendas to put items on the ballot which drive hardcore voters that tend to swing Republican."
How is that remotely considered fraud?
The Rove tactic isn't 'fraud' at all (though I think Democrats would take issue with it).
My point has been that the nature of fraud isn't always what you think it is. Long ago, I was taught that to control an outcome, then you have to control the agenda. Rove always went out of his way to control the agenda.
Technically, this isn't fraud - you're right.
My point in mentioning it is there are many ways to 'steal' an election.
I see what you're trying to do but I think those things are apples vs oranges. Using a legit tactic is not the moral/ethical equivalent of dishonest vote acquisition.
If there's something put on the balot that energizes the base to turn out that is good strategy. No way the equivalence of fraud.
I jus think you've casted the net a bit too wide on this one.
I'm not trying to 'do' anything.
I'm merely saying there's more than one way to achieve the result you desire.
Democrats and Republicans alike utilize certain types of fraud - real fraud. As GWTW suggests, the Dems may be more organized with theirs.
However, the Republicans utilize tactics which are legal but not entirely tasteful to provide offsetting factors. Control the agenda, require proof of status, etc.
Just because something's legal doesn't mean it is 'right'. Democracy isn't (or shouldn't be) about winning at any cost. That's the mindset of a lawyer. Of course, most politicians are lawyers.
For voter fraud stories you have to troll local and regional news sourced - it doesn't get covered by the national media outfits very often. Here's a recent instance in Georgia:
I've seen other stories relating to this one, but I couldn't find them on a quick search. I think there was another somewhat similar case in Georgia but in a different county.
With regards to the civil rights objection to voter ID laws, the Brooks County example had a racial angle that doesn't fit that narrative. IIRC (as covered in the other news stories I couldn't locate) the county is majority black and the fraud was perpetrated by one set of Black Democrats opposed to another set of Black Democrats.
What such fraud always comes down to, though, is dilution and diminution of every honest vote, no matter the race, creed or party of the voter.
Is Al Franken a legitimate Senator? Is Christine Gregoire?
NO. Vote fraud put them in office. And there are plenty of others.
I have a folder labeled "Voter Fraud" on my computer. It has way too many links to post. But here's one:
Finally, stolen elections don't have to take place everywhere. Just one or two counties in a couple of swing states is enough to swing a Presidential election. So maybe you don't see voter fraud where you live because you don't live in a targeted county.
Thanks for supporting my point.
I think if you reread what I wrote in the post, and the follow up comments, you'll see it coincides with what you wrote.
Fraud isn't institutionalized on a widespread basis, it's localized.
Finding fraud means looking in different places than are typically reviewed - and politicians won't do it because it impacts their ability to use it later.
We all saw the Democrats try to steal the election in 2000 in Florida. Two Dedmocrats and one Republican on the panel to determine if votes were valid and we saw on TV the lengths they would go to get a vote. Hanging chads and interpreting what a voter meant if they punched two holes, etc. If that had been done in secret, which is pretty much how all counts and recounts are done, Gore would have taken Florida.
The Dems don't have to do this nation wide. The presidential election will be decided by four or five states and within those states two or three counties will decide for the entire state. So at most they only need to stuff the ballot box in 15 counties to steal the election.
And yes it is not uncommon to have more people vote then are registered. When it happens what can you do about it??? The election is over. A judge cannot make everyone vote again and there is no way to tell which ballots are legit.
Loretta Sanchez got elected by outright voter fraud and it was proven in court but she still took her seat in congress. The only difference between her voter fraud and the more common voter fraud is that it came to light. It still did not affect the outcome.
Voter fraud is rampant and the Republicans are too wishy/washy and unorganized to stop it. Obama will steal this election, the press will know it and actively cover it up and Romney will play the part of the true gentleman and concide even though he will know as well that once again the unions and NAACP stole the presidency.