Friday, August 8, 2014

The Myth of Voter Fraud

UPDATE XII:  Another example where Republi-cons never let reality spoil a good delusion.

Read the Washington Post, A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast, which includes a list of the 31 incidents.

The article also notes that "ID laws are not aimed at the fraud you’ll actually hear about. Most current ID laws . . . aren’t designed to stop fraud with absentee ballots (indeed, laws requiring ID at the polls push more people into the absentee system, where there are plenty of real dangers). Or vote buying. Or coercion. Or fake registration forms. Or voting from the wrong address. Or ballot box stuffing by officials in on the scam. In the 243-page document that Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel filed on Monday with evidence of allegedly illegal votes in the Mississippi Republican primary, there were no allegations of the kind of fraud that ID can stop."

UPDATE XI:  "[V]oter-impersonation is a fake problem that doesn’t need a solution.

Judge Adelman agrees, and supports his stance with a treasure trove of evidence. Citing research on the incidence of in-person voter fraud in American elections, Adelman notes that, in eight years of Wisconsin elections—2004, 2008, 2010, and 2012—researchers could identify only 'one case of voter-impersonation fraud.' And in that case, it was a man who 'applied for and cast his recently deceased wife’s absentee ballot.' Likewise, after 'comparing a database of deceased registered voters to a database of persons who had cast ballots in a recent election,' in Georgia, another researcher found 'no evidence of ballots being illegally cast in the name of deceased voters.'

Adelman even notes the sheer difficulty of committing in-person voter fraud, throwing water on the claim that this could ever be common. 'To commit voter-impersonation fraud,' he says, 'a person would need to know the name of another person who is registered at a particular polling place, know the address of that person, know that the person has not yet voted, and also know that no one at the polls will realize that the impersonator is not the individual being impersonated.' He ends with a note that sounds like sarcasm, 'Given that a person would have to be insane to commit voter-impersonation fraud, [the law] cannot be deemed a reasonable response to a potential problem.'

He also makes a key point about public perception: Insofar that anyone believes that in-person voter fraud is a problem, it’s because elected officials—almost all of them Republican—treat it as such, as they push for these laws. Put simply, voter impersonation is a fake problem that doesn’t need a solution."

Read Slate, Why Wisconsin’s Voter ID Decision Is a Very Big Deal.

As the Judge notes, Republi-cons continue to promote the voter fraud fraud.

UPDATE X:  In Ohio, "17 non-citizens illegally cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election"

That was "0.0003 percent of the total of ballots cast for either Obama or Romney in" Ohio .

Read Slate, Did 17 Illegal Voters in Ohio Steal the 2012 Election?

What a problem NOT!

UPDATE IX:  An "extensive probe" was conducted by South Carolina of "207 votes that allegedly were made by dead people in the Nov. 2, 2010 election — when a total of 1,365,480 votes were cast . . . (Note that the number of alleged dead votes was less than 2/10,000th of all of the votes cast in that election.) . . .

In the end, just five votes remained unresolved after extensive investigation."

The rest were "clerical errors."

Read another Four Pinocchios Republi-con claim about voter fraud at the Washington Post, The case of ‘zombie’ voters in South Carolina.  

Once again proving that you should always assume that a Republi-con is lying if his/her lips are moving.

UPDATE VIII:  How frequent is in-person voter impersonation?  "[A]bout one for every 15 million prospective voters."  Read the Washington Post, Election Day impersonation, an impetus for voter ID laws, a rarity, data show.  

UPDATE VII: "A court filing by the state of Pennsylvania, ahead of a trial starting later this week on a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups against the state’s new voter fraud law, contains an astounding admission:

The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there 'have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.'

In other words, the state knows that voter fraud is a nonexistent problem, but will nonetheless defend a law that could potentially disenfranchise a huge number of the state’s voters. Of course, it’s not hard to see why the state — and particularly its Republican governor — would continue to support the measure."

Read the Washington Post, Pennsylvania admits it: no voter fraud problem

UPDATE VI: It is amazing, "the lengths to which Republican lawmakers will go to cut down the number of people who get to vote (preferably, of course, people who might vote Democratic)." Read The New York Times, Voter Suppression, Again, in Minnesota This Time.

UPDATE V: "The ACLU is offering a $1000 reward for anyone who can find a recent example of voter impersonation in Minnesota. My guess is they won't have to pay up." Read The New York Times, All Quiet on the Voter Fraud Front.

UPDATE IV: Efforts to restrict voter eligibility are nothing new.

"Many of the late 19th- and early 20th-century laws operated not by excluding specific classes of citizens but by erecting procedural obstacles that were justified as measures to prevent fraud or corruption. It was to “preserve the purity of the ballot box” that legislatures passed laws requiring voters to bring their sealed naturalization papers to the polls or to present written evidence that they had canceled their registration at any previous address or to register annually, in person, on one of only two Tuesdays. . .

The new procedures were widely recognized, by both their advocates and their targets, as having a far greater impact on some groups of voters — immigrants, blue-collar workers, the poor — than on others, and they often succeeded. In Pittsburgh in 1906, a personal registration law, sponsored by Republicans to check the influence of a crusading reformer, cut the number of registered voters in half.

In the 1930s, “pauper exclusion” laws were invoked to disenfranchise jobless men and women who were receiving relief. In 2000, Massachusetts disenfranchised prisoners after they formed an organization to promote inmate rights.

The targets of exclusionary laws have tended to be similar for more than two centuries: the poor, immigrants, African-Americans, people perceived to be something other than “mainstream” Americans. No state has ever attempted to disenfranchise upper-middle-class or wealthy white male citizens."

Read The New York Times, The Strange Career of Voter Suppression.

UPDATE III: Doonesbury takes on the voter fraud myth:

UPDATE II: Read the Washington Post, Five myths about voter fraud and The New York Times, The Myth of Voter Fraud.

Let's admit the obvious, the Republi-con myth of voter fraud is just an effort to suppress votes that favor other parties.

UPDATE: "The foundation of Florida’s election-law changes, the bedrock belief that spurred major reforms this spring, was the notion that voter fraud is rampant. So the Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that limits early voting, makes it harder for some groups to register voters, and will cause headaches for voters who’ve recently moved. Their ballots might not even be counted.

And guess what? We’ve known for months the “voter fraud” excuse was phony.

Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux and Susan Blackwell, president of the Okaloosa chapter of the League of Women Voters, told us in May that instances of fraud are rare. It just isn’t a big problem."

Read the Northwest Florida Daily News, The myth of Florida voter fraud.

From Colbert Nation:

And when people [Republi-CONs] don't like get elected, there's only one explanation.

SEAN HANNITY (10/29/2010): Allegations of voter fraud continue to pop up all across the country.

BILL O'REILLY (10/28/2010): ... voter fraud ...

FOX NEWS MALE (10/31/2010): ... voter fraud ...

RUSSELL PEARCE (6/9/2010): ... voter fraud ...

MATTHEW VADUM (6/2/2010): ... voter fraud ...

Yes, voter fraud! Take Ohio, a crucial swing state in the last few elections. There, a statewide survey of votes cast in 2002 and 2004 found that out of 9,078,000 votes, there were four instances of fraud. That is a jaw-dropping 44 one-millionths of one percent! Folks, our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small, it could be hiding anywhere!


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