Voter Fraud & The Inherent Corruption in Populism

There’s nothing so democratic as a lynch mob, as concerned citizens of Ohio and Pennsylvania have recently shown.

In Pennsylvania this week, a judge upheld Act 18-2012, the now-famous piece of anti-voter-fraud legislation. Voter fraud has been a huge topic of concern in the past several years, and not entirely without reason.  Since the year 2000 there have been 2,068 documented cases of reported voter fraud throughout the United States.  In Pennsylvania in 2008, in fact, a temporary employee at ACORN named Luis R. Torres-Serrano was accused of submitting over 100 false voter-registration cards to election officials.*  Act 18-2012 can be viewed, therefore, as a shining example of populist outrage forcing the state to right a wrong.

Except that it isn’t.

Voter Fraud & The Inherent Corruption in PopulismAlthough there have been 2,068 reported cases of voter fraud over the past eleven years, Act 12-2012 only targets one specific kind of fraud: in-person voter impersonation.  The number of those cases is significantly less.  Since 2000 there have been only 10 cases of voter-impersonation charges made – that’s nationally, for all elections.  The lawyers for the state, in fact, admitted that not only were they “not aware of any incidents of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania,” they agreed that even without the law such fraud wasn’t really “likely to occur in November of 2012.” Initially GOP officials estimated that they thought the law would adversely affect about 90,000 voters that did not have the type of ID now required.  They have now revised that number to over 758,000 voters, about 9% of the state’s overall adult population.

So if you’re not taking notes at home, that’s 9% of the population no longer able to vote in order to stop a type of fraud that has occurred 10 times throughout the entire country in over a decade, and that its advocates admit probably isn’t happening anyway.  If that seems crazy to you, it’s because you’re not thinking like a populist politician.

The law was passed by a GOP legislature because the 9% of voters that the measures potentially stop from being let into the polls are generally either poor, black, hispanic, or elderly – and collectively are overwhelmingly Democratic.  And unlike most of these cases where charges of rampant partisanship like this are denied, Pennsylvania House Leader Mike Turzai has admitted that this was why Act 12-2012 was passed.  (Mind you, he admitted it giving a speech at a GOP fundraiser when he wasn’t aware he was being recorded, but hey, no one ever said you had to be smart to be honest.)

As bad as these Pennsylvania lawmakers look in this light, however, their Ohio brethren might actually look worse.

Voter Fraud & The Inherent Corruption in PopulismHeading into the weekend news dump last week, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted quietly announced that he would be expanding early voting hours to include evenings and weekends so those that worked regular hours would still be able to vote – but he did so for only those counties that are heavily Republican.  For Democratic counties, hours were restricted to between 8:00 and 5:00 only.  Outcry over this move forced Husted to backpedal this week.

I mention both of these stories because, I believe, they are both the inevitable consequences of populist movements.

Populist movements are fueled by anger, and because of this I remember that the tragic shootings in Arizona were held up by some as the natural consequence of a right wing media machine that looked to delegitimize every branch of government its party did not control.  This was unfair of course, and silly as well.  The Arizona shootings were the result of a nutter several cards short of a deck – period.  That horror had nothing to do with the graphic Sarah Palin’s PAC used on internet ads.  But there are consequences to such populist vitriol, and eventually more often than not those consequences are this:

When the good people of a Republic come to believe they are on the precipice of doom facing an enemy most evil, they willingly and enthusiastically resort to shredding the Constitution in the name of preserving it. 

Those same populists that are so frightened of the Otherness of the president that they are unabashedly trying to screw their neighbors out of voting are the same people that last December cheered New Gingrich when he promised that, were he elected president, he would arrest judges that did not rule the way he told them to rule.

This is the real danger of a world where journalism is just infotainment propaganda designed to make you believe the other guy and the government/corporation is a boogeyman out to destroy you and your family.  This is what FOX and MSNBC and talk radio and panicked email chains beget. This cottage-industry populism allows us to give ourselves permission to do things that we should by all rights be ashamed of doing.

Whenever we’re in a populist snit we always tell ourselves that we’re going to rise up and elect the world’s next Madison, or Jefferson, or Linclon.  But we never do.  We always elect the next Mike Turzai and Jon Husted.

 

*Ironically, Torres-Serrano was not charged with voter fraud because he was not really a political operative.  He was using false voter registration cards for the more pedestrian crime of credit fraud; he was charged with 9 counts of identity theft.

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111 thoughts on “Voter Fraud & The Inherent Corruption in Populism

  1. “Since the year 2,000 there have been 2,068 documented cases of reported voter fraud throughout the United States.”

    Clarify that straight off. 2,000 cases of individual voter abuse? Because that clearly does not matter…

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  2. Not to put too fine a point on it, of course…but it’s always possible to over lionize the past…Madison and Jefferson had no problem with voter restrictions,they just wanted to make sure they got extra credit for the people they owned.

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  3. The real problem is that Republicans are just a bunch of chickenshits. They want to steal the election? Then steal the god-damn election fair and square. Just pass a law stating that the State’s electors shall be determined by a vote of the State Assembly and be done with it. Perfectly Constitutional.

    Of course they would never survive the next election cycle, but that’s what makes them a bunch of howling pussies.

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    • What about Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment? Seems to me like that might require popular election of the presidential electors. Or maybe not. I guess it depends on whether cancelling the election altogether counts as denying the male inhabitants of the state the right to vote.

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      • We only think we’re voting for President. We actually vote for a slate of Electors to the Electoral College. Originally, this meant that the State Legislatures would choose a number of people, in whatever manner they preferred, to be Electors who would ride down to Washington, where they would deliberate, debate, speechify, and eventually vote for a President. The runner-up would be Vice.

        Technically, that’s still true (except for the last bit about the Vice; changed by Amendment). It’s just become the norm that the State Legislatures defer to the people and allow us to vote for a slate of electors pledged to vote for our choice of Pres and Vice. They don’t have to do it that way. The 2000 debacle in Florida could have, in theory at least, been decided by the Florida Legislature, and there was some talk of them doing exactly that. They were politically unwilling to do so, preferring to hide behind the robes of the Supreme Court.

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        • They didn’t hide behind the robes of the Supreme Court, they just didn’t need to act after Bush v Gore. If BvG went the other way, or any other way that would have left the election results an open question, the Republican state legislature would have stepped in and awarded Bush the votes. And if *that* was contested and we had then reached the electoral college deadline, the Florida electoral votes would have been null, throwing the election to the House, where the composition of state delegations (iirc) were majority Republican. One state one vote, and the election *still* goes to Bush.

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    • Funny, Dems never seemed to have a problem stealing elections in the past. When did they get a conscience? Let’s review a few examples: LBJ’s Senate race in 1948, Kennedy in 1960 and quite a few Chicago elections.

      Not to mention that at least one union requires picture ID’s to vote. If it is such a bad idea then why do they require it?

      http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2011/12/12/union-election-requires-photo-id-politico-fails-note-irony

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              • That requires you to provide documents which only people with homes or jobs would have. It’s vitally important to the health of our democracy that people who can’t manage their own affairs be given input into managing the country.

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                • The rule of law requires that if you’re going to say “everyone can vote except X”, you don’t actively try to prevent people not meeting condition X from voting. This quite clearly and obviously does that, in the name of trying to prevent something that does not in fact happen. Its voter suppression. If you’re okay with that, I’m disapppointed.

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                  • The rule of law requires that if you’re going to say “everyone can vote except X”, you don’t actively try to prevent people not meeting condition X from voting.

                    They’re changing the value of X by passing a law that is not, as far as I can tell, unconstitutional.

                    Moreover, the “rule of law” ship set sail a long time ago. The left can’t piss all over the Constitution for eighty years because they don’t like its restrictions on federal power and then play the “rule of law” card when someone proposes a law that isn’t even unconstitutional.

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              • To be precise, what the link says is:

                You can apply for a PennDOT Photo Identification Card by submitting form DL?54A and signing an Oath/Affirmation that you don’t have an acceptable form of ID in order to vote. Click here for more info: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/voter/voteridlaw.shtml. When completing the application, you will need to provide:

                Your social security card, AND
                Your official birth certificate (with a raised seal), certificate of U.S. citizenship, certificate of naturalization or a valid U.S. passport, AND
                Two proofs of residency, e.g., lease agreement, mortgage documents, W?2 form, tax records or current utility bill

                Given that we are talking about older, less educated and therefore probably generally less able folk here, what exactly are the changes of their being able to do that?

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                • You forgot the FREE part.

                  How much will it cost me to get a Photo Identification Card in order to vote?

                  Nothing. It’s free. (But getting a certified copy of your birth certificate will cost you $10 if you were born in Pennsylvania or more if you were born elsewhere.)

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                • Your official birth certificate (with a raised seal)…

                  Not sure if the state where I was born does raised seals or not. Back when I first needed one for a passport, the state said they didn’t do raised seals, put a little yellow “sticker of authenticity” on it, and the feds accepted that. I’ve kept the passport current ever since simply because no one challenges it. I advise my 85-year-old mother to do the same.

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                  • Hello from a guy who just moved to PA from another state. Yes an ID might be free, but Mr. Cain is right. My original birth certificate from 1965 does not have raised letters or seal. I have sent for a NEW official birth certificate but my home state cannot answer my queries about the raised letter issue. We’ll see. I also sent in for a Passport even though I have no plans for international travel and haven’t since 2o02. Whichever gets here first will be the one I take in to get a DL. Neither will likely be here in time for me to get local ID so I can register and vote.

                    The fact is they have made it very difficult to get an ID, not matter what it says on the website. (PennDot locations are not convenient and there aren’t many) Between the tightening of regulations since 9/11, the cutting of budgets and closing of government offices, and this latest partisan nonsense even a relatively plugged in middle-class, middle-aged person with an internet connection and a wallet full of credentials has a hard time jumping through all the hoops. I can only imagine how hard this would be with no history of international travel and no access to the internet to order the right kind of birth certificate.

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                    • PA Voter here. Just got purged from the rolls without notice, because our asshole governor is an ass.

                      I would NEVER have known that I was no longer a registered voter, before I got to the fucking poll.

                      IT IS TOO LATE THEN, to vote AT ALL.

                      Registered for the new precinct with motervoter and everything.

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  4. Allow me to repeat myself:

    There are companies that spend tens of thousands of dollars and waste thousands of dollars’ worth of manhours to prevent hundreds of dollars’ worth of misappropriation of office supplies.

    This reminds me of that.

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    • This? Goodness no. This reminds me of a case wherein a company spends tens of thousands of dollars on consultants to prevent a few hundred dollars worth of misuse of office supplies.

      Except the consultants are the CEO’s buddies, and nobody actually cared about the office supplies.

      I’ll have to look into the ACORN employee — the most popular examples of “voter fraud” by ACORN employees were cards turned in — helpfully bundled as “probably fradulent” — by ACORN in accordance with state law. States often have laws requiring voter registration organizations to turn in EVERY card, since it seems some groups would occasionally register a bunch of people, but only turn in the cards for those likely to “vote the right way” if you know what I mean. Since she was charged, probably not the case here. :)

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    • Oddly, the only people pursued for stealing office supplies are the ones trying to start a union, while no auditing is done of the executives’ expense reports.

      Now we’ve got the analogy more or less analogous.

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  5. The larger problem of a national ID system hides in this debate. The REAL ID debate has been ongoing for quite a while. It’s supported and opposed by an interesting variety of groups.

    Other countries issue IDs of this sort routinely. Sweden issues everyone a number. If you check out this link, you’ll see how they deal with privacy considerations.

    I believe we probably need such a system but I’d handle it differently. I’d use a much stronger issuance mechanism via a web-of-trust mechanism, which is not without its problems, but governments wouldn’t much like it, what with the ability to utilise extremely strong encryption methods based upon that web-of-trust. Privacy advocates such as myself believe it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: a workable identity system acting as a fulcrum for much stronger levels of trust, not as an Auschwitz Tattoo.

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    • I find it endlessly fascinating how different countries approach privacy issues.

      In New Zealand it’s actually illegal for multiple government agencies to use the same unique identifier for a person or household, so every government agency has to give you a different number. In most of the Scandinavian countries they hold enough administrative data on people that instead of doing a Census, they just join up their government databases every few years and that gives them everything they want to know. The interesting part is that the residents of those countries find that approach less invasive than a conventional Census.

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      • For years, Sweden used the national church’s birth and marriage registry mechanism but that’s not done any more.

        A friend of mine is doing health statistical work in Sweden. Fascinating how simple it all is, compared to the messes I face doing many of the same tasks within an insurance firm.

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          • Heh. There’s a hellish project, every gummint contractor in the country knows about it. It’s been through at least seven failed iterations. It’s called HRIS and the FBI simply can’t get it to work. Accenture’s just picked it up again.

            You know that old truism about Afghanistan, “it’s where empires go to die”. HRIS is where consultants go to die.

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            • What’s the “why” behind the failures? Granted that dossiers on 310 million people is a sizable undertaking, and extracting data from a thousand and one existing databases into some consistent form is tedious, but it doesn’t seem that impossible. Or perhaps it is. A few years back I had the opportunity to see the post-mortem analyses for some failed software projects in my state’s government. My initial reaction was that the state seemed unable to write requirements worth a damn, even to no more sophisticated level than what I learned 25 years earlier. What data goes in the system and how are the data conceptually related? What external systems/users does it have to communicate with? Using what protocols? Later I was even more dismayed to find that no one in the government actually knew the answers to those questions — they depended on consultants to know. And they had a run of projects where the low-bid consultant didn’t know, and it was only when it came time to hook the system up and try it out that the state discovered it didn’t do certain critical things.

              Government doesn’t have a monopoly on major software project screw-ups, of course. I watched a Fortune 100 company pour something over $100M into a billing system project that produced exactly zero lines of usable code. Of course, their screw-up wasn’t subject to open records requests :^)

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              • Not having any knowledge on the subject, just my own personal experience in IT…

                The data is in a variety of format, with a variety of different bits of data considered ‘key’. Nobody wants to EVER give up their database or allow a full, constantly updated copy to be created. Nobody even wants to give up the details of their database.

                Which means that verifying the data and making sure you’d actually matching Joe Smith from database 1 to the proper Joe Smith in database 3, 6, 15 is very difficult even if everyone was cooperating.

                Which, as noted, they are not.

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              • A working system emulates the real world. We don’t have a national ID system. We have some working datasets for drivers’ licenses, passports and other such identification systems. There’s the SSN but that’s always been a troublesome approach. We’ve got some aspects of the federal and state prison systems online but really, without a proper key to identify everyone, the system is doomed to failure.

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                • It’s not doomed if you were willing to create a giant honking database and accept there’d be tons of mismatches. And then iron it out, bit by painful bit.

                  But that’d require dozens — if not hundreds — of various groups give up control over the databases they paid for and use. And control. Crossing not just bureacratic lines, but between states and the Fed as well.

                  Even then, you’d have to get 95% of the managers past the “Just because the computer says so, doesn’t make it right. GIGO, right?” stage.

                  We had enough problems ironing out three databases holding very similiar data utilizing almost, but not quite, identical keys. We controlled two of the three, and still ended up having to settle for a web service on the third that we set up automated queries on to refresh on our own (local) copy that we merged together.

                  Took forever and a day, and we considered the third party ‘nice’ in that they gave us SOME sort of access (and the schemas) without a nasty slapfight. (Admittedly, we’d have preffered practically anything other than an automated request for a giant chunk of XML data, but we took what we could get).

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                    • Ugh….the mathematics behind databases is why I barely passed the required classes. I realize it’s possible to prove, oh, a given change to a schema is lossless, or that one query is more efficient than another…

                      I just can’t do it without three books in front of me, and a lot of booze for after. And even then I probably got it wrong.

                      Thankfully my true love — evolutionary programming — requires minimal database use (the way I do it), so it doesn’t matter how efficient my schema or queries are, unless I’m hitting it during a critical part of the process. Which I generally don’t.

                      RAM is cheap. :) I query the relevant data in large chunks and let it evolve, and only write results to the database at the end of a given cycle.

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  6. You didnn’t mention what this guy said:
    Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) said that the voter ID law passed by the legislature would help deliver the state for Mitt Romney in November.

    “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” Turzai said at this weekend’s Republican State Committee meeting.
    That a high figure in the Penn gov saying this will win the state for R’s.

    Oh and at a the recent trial over this law in Penn, the Penn gov pushing this law stipulated there has been no evidence of actual vote fraud in Penn.

    I don’t disagree with your take on populism necessarily, but i think you are just overlooking straight out corruption and belief it is okay to win at all costs. This is more then just populism its a lack of belief in how democracy is supposed to work.

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    • It does seem a cart before the horse argument, doesn’t it?

      Let’s face it — the GOP set out to disenfranchise people who voted ‘for the wrong sort’. This has a pretty long history in the US and isn’t exactly anything new. To give themselves cover for it, they’ve spent the last decade screaming “VOTER FRAUD” about, well, everything.

      This isn’t populism. This is politicians creating a populist wave from nothing to cover their agenda. It’s an excellent example of what lefties call the “Right Wing Noise Machine” — insofar as voter fraud went from basically an afterthought in 2000 (it wasn’t a national GOP issue, it was scattered politicians pushing back and forth for local reasons) to basically a driving drumbeat for the whole party.

      And it didn’t start at the grassroots — it started at the top and was pushed downwards.

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    • “You didnn’t mention what this guy said:”

      I did, and I linked to a story about it. I said what his party did and that he admitted to them doing it; I just didn’t quote him directly.

      I agree about corruption in general, but I think that populism is what allows corruption to be allowed to operate outside of the shadows. Ironically I think that both what happened in Penn and Ohio are, by just about any definition, actual voter fraud. I mean, what’s the moral difference between your party purposefully “losing” stacks of votes from a district that votes overwhelmingly for their opponent and what these guys did?

      I’d argue that ten years ago most GOP voters in those states would have had serious second thoughts about allowing such a thing, and so if it was ever done it was done in the shadows. But with the flames of populism being fanned, it’s different now. It’s not just our side cheating, it’s our side doing what it has to to defeat this usurper that has stolen our very country from us! If you just lose an election, you gear up for the next round. But if an election is stolen by a guy that’s going to become a dictator if we don’t defeat him right now, well, what’s a little ethics bending here and there? After all, it’s the future of the human race that’s at stake, yes?

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      • I still have a problem with referring to Republican attempts at voter suppression as populism. These are calculated efforts, orchestrated from the top down, then justified by faux outrage generated by the likes of Faux News and media elites. It’s not any kind of bottom-up movement, which is what has generally characterized populist movements, for better or worse, in this country.

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          • Is it populism when it takes a 10-year PR effort to create it? And in general the public still doesn’t care?

            Offhand, is there any state in the US where voters put “voter fraud” in their top 5 or top 10 list of “things for government to address”?

            I think you’re mistaken about it being ‘populism’. Just because the GOP has gotten behind it and shouted their talking points in lock-step, doesn’t actually mean there’s angry citizens storming the statehouse demanding ID requirements.

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              • In which case it’s not populism. Fooling the masses isn’t populism. Especially when, even now, the masses aren’t demanding wide-scale voter ID laws. It’s not even on their top ten lists.

                The “populism” is entirely artifical. It’s astroturf.

                There’s lots and lots and LOTS of things to be worried about populism and the tyranny of the masses and groupthink.

                But a 10-year PR program by the elites of a single party is pretty much the opposite of populism.

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      • <i.I’d argue that ten years ago most GOP voters in those states would have had serious second thoughts about allowing such a thing,

        And I’d say you’re wrong. Florida was as close as it was in 2000 because of voter suppression, and no one did a goddamned thing about it. This isn’t about racism. The is about the self-righteous, power-crazed, unadulterated evil that is today’s Republican Parry.

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  7. My friend worked for the Republicans in Washington State reviewing the results of one of the nail-biter gubernatorial races between Rossi and Gregoire. They were scraping for every vote they could find or disqualify to help the cause. He reached a conclusion that I have not heard discussed elsewhere: Election fraud is really about committing fraud, not influencing elections. For example, when dead people vote, it is because someone is collecting their social security checks and wants to put up a good front.

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  8. Voter fraud has been a huge topic of concern in the past several years, and not entirely without reason. Since the year 2000 there have been 2,068 documented cases of reported voter fraud throughout the United States.

    But even if all of those cases of fraud happened in the same election for the same candidate it’s still very unlikely that it actually changed the election result. Even if these laws could eliminate all voter fraud, it still too small a problem to be worth worrying about, especially if the proposed solutions have unfortunate side effects.

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  9. If the USDA only found 2000 cases of bad meat, you wouldn’t abolish it. The judge in the case properly pointed out that the state has a compelling interest in reassuring the populace the elections are honest.

    But even if all of those cases of fraud happened in the same election for the same candidate it’s still very unlikely that it actually changed the election result.

    Florida 2000? Dino Rossi in 2 different elections in Oregon. Senator Al Franken? I’m like WTF over here, sorry.

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    • Rossi was Washington and he was never able to win a statewide election. What’s interesting about Washington is that all voting is done by mail–no polls. If a system was ripe for fraud, it would be Washington’s. Likewise, it seems voting by absentee ballot would pose similar problems.

      Mostly though, I think this is an imaginary problem.

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      • University of Oregon Political Science Professor Priscilla Southwell (full disclosure, one of my former profs) did some research after Oregon went to vote-by-mail (before Washington, of course, since Oregon’s in all ways superior to the Husky state), and found no evidence of fraud from vote-by-mail. There were fears of people being pressured by spouses, friends, churches, etc. to vote particular ways, since there is potential for someone else to verify your actual vote, but none of that seems to have really occurred.

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    • If that were the real concern, I think the issue would have been approached in a different way altogether. A bill to create a universal “citizens” ID could have been promulgated, with autmatic opt-out issuance to each citizen, followed four or five years later by increased identification requirements at the polling place.

      What we see instead are these periodically sloppy attempts to purge Democratic constituencies from the voter rolls, on election years, and–most particularly–in areas that are closely split between Democrat and Republican. The analyses that I’ve seen suggest that 50,000 legitimate voters will be disenfranchised for every actual potential case of voter mis- self-identification that could occur. But the fight for justice often requires injustice…

      Interestingly, the greatest opportunity for voting fraud is in absentee ballots: they can be diverted easily, and we have no proof who filled them out. However, since absentee ballots are more inclined than the general electorate to vote Republican, I don’t expect to see the fight against voter fraud extend into that arena.

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      • Easiest vector is electronic voting.

        Real election fraud — the sort that MATTERS (the kind that can actually change results, rather than maybe swing a ridiculously close one-in-a thousand election)– requires access to the machinery or the tabulators.

        Any “voter fraud” that requires actual warm bodies to show up at a polling place? It’s BS stupidity, and anyone pushing it as a problem is flatly a moron or a con-man trying to sell you something.

        To swing elections, you’ve got to rig machines or input false votes wholesale. The “Dead voting” methods don’t involve legions of people committing felonies at a polling place. It involves the dead voting when the votes are counted.

        Voter ID laws are absolutely pointless. The only type of “voter fraud” they can stop is the sort that wouldn’t matter even if it DID happen. All it does is discourage people from voting who lack the requisite IDs.

        Stuffing the boxes, rigging the machines, and altering the counts — that’s how you steal an election for any office bigger than local dogcatcher. Nothing else can actually work in the real world.

        Which is why there’s basically a dozen examples in the last decade of people casting false ballots in person. Not only is it a felony, it’s a STUPID and POINTLESS felony.

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        • > Any “voter fraud” that requires actual warm bodies
          > to show up at a polling place? It’s BS stupidity, and
          > anyone pushing it as a problem is flatly a moron
          > or a con-man trying to sell you something.

          Well, uncharitably put, but on essence I agree with the underlying principle. Voter fraud typically occurs at a stage other than someone walking in and putting a vote in a box. Even historically, all the big cases are cases of switching boxes, or “losing” them when they come from a primarily-not-our-team district, or whatever.

          Voter ID laws are putting barriers up where there are no cows straying, and the real problem (if there is one, which I personally doubt… really a whole bunches) occurs between the polling place and the Secretary of State’s office.

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  10. The real question is the statistics about who does not have it. Reportedly one poll was sponsored by the folks that are suing to have the laws overturned. Reportedly no one has yet been able to testify in court that they are denied to vote because of ID. Note of course these folks are also unbanked since you can’t get a bank account without ID after 9/11. Of course you do real stories of folks getting tripped up by lost birth certificates on the real id issue. Many states put an exemption on those over 70 from the law to solve the problem of seniors.

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  11. The poor seem to do quite well conjuring up the photo ID required to collect food stamps or even visit a soup kitchen, so it is questionable whether coming up with same to vote will be the hardship the Democrats claim it is.
    The 2068 number is wrong, because it isn’t counting false votes so much as false vote episodes. Also I went to their site and actually looked at the massive volume of no-responses from states’ agencies. The information isn’t indexed, isn’t properly databased and the records are poorly maintained. Bottom line, it is like looking for accidental shootings by police on a national level, these are numbers no one likes to keep track of.

    Gregoire would NEVER have been governor of Washington State if it weren’t for the thousands of invalid (fraudulent) votes cast in that election. The (democrat appointed) judges admitted as much, they just set the burden of proof bar on the Republicans at infinity plus one to make sure Rossi couldn’t prevail. Essentially they said, “Yes there are thousands of fraudulent votes including more votes in some counties than voters, but you Republicans must prove that EACH AND EVERY VOTE went to Gregoire”. Since the votes are of course anonymous that is of course impossible. Franken wouldn’t be Senator today without fraudulent votes, one hell of a lot more than the specious 2068, but admittedly when you’re stuffing ballot boxes, you want to do what the (democrats) did in King County and have drawers full of them. Ostensibly they were there for the “homeless”, what they were really there for was to keep democratic party-appointed operatives employed in their cushy bureaucratic positions. When we see the /exact/ same thing in the former Soviet Union, the current Russia, China and North Korea, we say, “Tsk tsk, those shameless communists”.

    I’m on record as being more than a little suspicious of BOTH parties, they don’t exist to serve us the people but themselves – the professional politicians and their entrenched bureaucrats. It is a fact that the only time voter ID laws come to the forefront is when states have Republican majorities and the obvious answer is fraudulent votes invariably swing in the Democrats’ favor, statistically. Spin it however you want but that’s the crux of the issue. Only Delaware bucked the party loyalty trend with the Democrats making it into law against the DNC’s express wishes.

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    • > It is a fact that the only time voter ID laws come to
      > the forefront is when states have Republican
      > majorities and the obvious answer is fraudulent
      > votes invariably swing in the Democrats’ favor,
      > statistically.

      By my read, Ward has something of a point here.

      There is a cart-and-horse problem, of course of course. However…

      State-by-state requirements as of March 2012

      The statuses as of March 2012 of the 50 states regarding the required showing of ID at the polling place are as follows:[21]

      Strict photo ID (voter must show photo ID at polling place): Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee. In addition, South Carolina and Texas have strict photo ID laws that must receive, but have not received, approval from the federal Justice Department; pending such approval, they require non-photo ID.

      Photo ID or alternative (voters at polling place must either show photo ID or meet another state-specific requirement, such as answering personal questions correctly or being vouched for by another voter who has voter ID): Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan and South Dakota.

      Non-photo ID (state-specific list of acceptable forms of polling place ID, including a non-photo form): Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington.

      No ID required at polling place: all other (20) states.

      End quote.

      Now, I see:

      Georgia (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
      Indiana (strict voter ID, fairly in the bag for the GOP)
      Kansas (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
      Mississippi (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
      Pennsylvania (strict voter ID, fairly in the bag for the Dems)
      Tennessee (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
      South Carolina (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
      Texas (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
      Alabama (photo ID or alternate, completely in the bag for the GOP)
      Florida (photo ID or alternate, mostly in the bag for the GOP)
      Hawaii (photo ID or alternate, completely in the bag for the Dems)
      Idaho (photo ID or alternate, completely in the bag for the GOP)
      Louisiana (photo ID or alternate, mostly in the bag for the GOP)
      Michigan (photo ID or alternate, actual toss-up)
      South Dakota (photo ID or alternate, completely in the bag for the GOP)

      Personally, I think the voter ID debate is overblown.

      That doesn’t change the fact that voter ID laws are completely stupid and ineffectual, but hey.

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      • I think you’re just looking at presidential.
        PA is a naked power grab, to keep the republican swing going, at state level.
        FL is pretty mixed, from what I understand (Nate has pres leaning Dem)
        Mich is marked deep blue(by nate) but is actually getting advertizing.

        Agree with you on:
        South Dakota
        Louisiana (depopulation)
        Idaho
        Alabama
        South Carolina
        and Mississippi

        Most of the other states have either “turning blue” or “have elected democrats that this is likely to affect” (yes, we know SC elects the Dem Whip — I don’t expect his district to be affected).

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        • Granted, you live in PA and I don’t, so.

          That said, the specific dynamics of the local elections in PA is not necessarily generalizeable outside of PA. Whatever actual reasons (or not) for the voter ID laws there, there are voter ID laws in a lot of states where… to be honest… disenfranchising a percentage of the poor may not have any effect whatsoever (given may or may not actually skew more Dem… in those particular states, which is something that I can’t assert, although it’s true nationally).

          In any event, “Raghr! PA GOP members are specifically doing this so that they can control the state legislature” is a different problem than, “The GOP is pursuing voter ID laws in a systemic nationwide attempt to break democracy because they’re racists!”

          Not that you’ve made the second claim, but it’s all over my Facebook feed.

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      • The SCOTUS decision wasn’t wrapped around obvious voter fraud. In point of fact the DNC wanted to cherry-pick only strong Democratic strongholds for the recount, something SCOTUS didn’t allow. They were right not to do that. Now if it had been Washington or Minnesota, new votes would have “miraculously” appeared in the ballot boxes. Now I ask you, do ‘new’ votes suddenly appearing that weren’t there before constitute fraud and ballot stuffing?

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    • It is a fact that the only time voter ID laws come to the forefront is when states have Republican majorities and the obvious answer is fraudulent votes invariably swing in the Democrats’ favor, statistically.

      There’s nothing obvious about that answer at all. From a formal logic perspective, it’s not a necessary conclusion. From a less formal perspective, it’s not even the most plausible conclusion.

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      • How long have

        Georgia (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
        Indiana (strict voter ID, fairly in the bag for the GOP)
        Kansas (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
        Mississippi (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
        Pennsylvania (strict voter ID, fairly in the bag for the Dems)
        Tennessee (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
        South Carolina (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
        Texas (strict voter ID, completely in the bag for the GOP)
        Alabama (photo ID or alternate, completely in the bag for the GOP)
        Florida (photo ID or alternate, mostly in the bag for the GOP)
        Hawaii (photo ID or alternate, completely in the bag for the Dems)
        Idaho (photo ID or alternate, completely in the bag for the GOP)
        Louisiana (photo ID or alternate, mostly in the bag for the GOP)
        Michigan (photo ID or alternate, actual toss-up)
        South Dakota (photo ID or alternate, completely in the bag for the GOP)

        Had their photo ID laws, and has their been any significant correlation with margins of victory for either party?

        I’m going to guess the answer to the second question is “no”. That *is* just a guess, though.

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