Patterico's Pontifications

5/16/2007

Just Because “Voter Fraud” Convictions Are Rare Doesn’t Mean Election Irregularities Are a Small Problem

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 am

There is a theory going around that there isn’t significant evidence of voter fraud in elections — and that the issue has therefore been manufactured by BushRoveCo.

In the eyes of some, the theory got some punch from this New York Times article last month, which I thought was rather flippant about some serious issues — like the reference to “the hard-to-extinguish tradition of vote buying, where local politicians offered $5 to $100 for individualsÂ’ support.”

But even if voter fraud convictions are rare — because it’s difficult to prove intent to defraud — there is still a serious problem with voter registration. Many more people vote than are legally entitled to.

This story says that in the 2004 election, at least 4,609 ballots were cast by people not eligible to vote — in Milwaukee alone. Efforts to mount prosecutions were hampered by sloppy recordkeeping by elections officials. Still, many convictions were obtained. That’s in Wisconsin, a battleground state.

And I have yet to see any serious government investigation of the evidence of shenanigans in Washington State, as compiled by Stefan Sharkansky. That evidence included not only proof of improperly counted ballots, but also evidence of false statements and alteration of records by elections officials. All this happened in the context of an extremely close election.

Meanwhile, we live in a world where some DoJ officials consider voter fraud investigations to be efforts to suppress minority turnout, and some U.S. Attorneys consider it “voter suppression” to tell voters that vote-buying is illegal.

If it’s wrong to be concerned about the integrity of our elections, then baby, I don’t want to be right!

Today’s Must Read

Filed under: Court Decisions,Judiciary,Law — Patterico @ 12:00 am

Today’s “Must Read” is this post from Jan Crawford Greenburg. Even if I weren’t pressed for time (and I am), I wouldn’t excerpt it. I want you to read the whole thing.

Greenburg uses the upcoming school desegregation decision as a jumping-off point for an insightful essay about the Roberts Court — and how Roberts’s desire to issue narrow decisions may well be an attempt to rein in one Anthony Kennedy. Greenburg bucks a lot of conventional wisdom in this post — including that about Kennedy. Go forth and read.


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