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 individuals’ 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!

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

  1. Philadelphia often has more votes cast than registered voters. Not even Saddam was able to get more than 100% of the vote.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  2. “In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud”
    That’s the title of one of your own links.
    What’s worse, what you discuss above, or what you ignore: the politicization of the DOJ, and indeed of every aspect of governance by this administration.
    Respond to Comey’s testimony yesterday.

    And remember Loyal Bushies in Iraq.
    I just did a search for Rajiv Chandrasekaran on your site and found one post, but no reference, not one! to his book:
    Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone, let alone to any of the others that describe the “Mayberry Machiavellis’ that you spend your free time defending.
    In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.
    Just keep telling your fans that two eyed men are a myth invented by the “democrat party” and you might make this work a while longer.

    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    AF (683024)

  3. “In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud” That’s the title of one of your own links.
    What’s worse, what you discuss above, or what you ignore: the politicization of the DOJ, and indeed of every aspect of governance by this administration. Respond to Comey’s testimony yesterday.
    And remember Loyal Bushies in Iraq.
    I just did a search for Rajiv Chandrasekaran on your site and found one post, but no reference, not one! to his book:
    Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone, let alone to any of the others that describe the “Mayberry Machiavellis’ that you spend your free time defending.
    In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.
    Just keep telling your fans that two eyed men are a myth invented by the “democrat party” and you might make this work a while longer.

    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    AF (683024)

  4. [...] Just Because “Voter Fraud” Convictions Are Rare Doesn’t Mean Election Irregularities Are a Sma… 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. [...]

    How many is many? at politburo diktat 2.0 (4aa448)

  5. If voter fraud were really that rampant then Bush’s 5 year jihad against it would have produced a lot more convictions.

    All of the instances of voter fraud you cite have been easily explained away. link (warning pdf document)

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  6. “I have yet to see any serious government investigation…”

    Try “McKay’s people didn’t even call back the source of several allegations (Stephan Sharkansky) to see if they were clear on what, precisely, he was alleging.”

    Stephan’s allegations include information found under FOIA that he personally filed. Additionally, these items were not part of the Election Challenge, which had a very narrow time window in which to make the initial allegations.

    Al (b624ac)

  7. The main thrust of the article (which doesn’t mention any convictions–were you relying on another source for that?) is the really bad performance of the elections staff. A few hundred people at most were identified as illegally voting–and not all of them could be prosecuted.
    And Wisconsin has a unique invitation to fraud, in the form of same day registration.
    I have to give two forms of ID–my voter’s registration card (no photo) and my DL–whenever I vote. But having photo ID in place doesn’t stop any problems from occurring.

    Of course, you should be more concerned with all the people who could vote but don’t. If most of the people voted who coud vote, then the fraudulent voter problem would shrink into triviality.

    kishnevi (7a9e8b)

  8. “If voter fraud were really that rampant then Bush’s 5 year jihad against it would have produced a lot more convictions.”

    If voter fraud is not rampant, why are democrats so opposed to methods to make voting more secure, such as picture ID, etc.? Oh, I know, it is “suppression” to require an ID, even though almost every other aspect of life requires one (check cashing, video rental, beer buying, etc.).

    This is an area where it is hard to see the reason for the obstruction of trying to secure election procedures by democrats UNLESS they are getting something out of those procedures being fairly loose and easy to manipulate.

    Great Banana (aa0c92)

  9. Great Banana, I’m not, in fact, opposed to picture ID for voting. (Although you may remember it took quite a lot of effort to pass laws requiring picture ID for buying a gun, now didn’t it?) I opposed the implementation of Georgia’s picture ID law because the difficulty and expense of obtaining said ID were onerous, probably on purpose.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  10. If voter fraud is not rampant, why are democrats so opposed to methods to make voting more secure, such as picture ID, etc.?

    Democrats don’t want to “fix” something that ain’t broken. In person voter id fraud is nonexistant. As a result, there is no need to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters in order to fix it.

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  11. Mexico requires an ID card, thumb print and you have to pick up the card in person. Their poor are forced to go though all of this just to vote; the poor souls. But, hey, we are so honest in America we don’t need that kind of voting protection, right. Wrong! Since many states allow illegals to get drivers licenses, why not register to vote too. In 1964 I was 19 years old and witnessed non-registered and under age college students being paid $5 to vote for the Democrats. What was interesting, these were my friends and the Democrats trusted their bribery so well that they allowed the students to vote in private. They all voted for Goldwater, but it didn’t help much.

    amr (273e95)

  12. Voter ID reform would disenfranchise:

    Illegal Aliens

    Convicted Felons

    People claiming multiple residences

    The Dead

    All key Democratic constituancies. It’ll never happen.

    Teche (c003f1)

  13. Patterico, I think your first link isn’t what you intended (it points to a Kerr post on sex offenders and MySpace).

    Crust (399898)

  14. It’s pointing to the top of the page, the post number got stripped from the url.

    Taltos (c99804)

  15. My sister in law is a resident alien. She inadvertently filled out a voter registration card, thinking it was a change of address or some such.

    Upon receiving her voter ID card and realizing the mistake, she contacted the Board of Canvassers and had them unregister her. But nothing, absolutely nothing, would have prevented her from voting if she chose to do so.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  16. You realize that some of the Great Voter Fraud Convictions are for exactly what your sister-in-law did? Filling out that reg card was a crime. If your local USA needed to make his bones with Rove, she’d be imprisoned and deported.

    In Pakistan, Usman Ali is trying to rebuild his life after being deported from Florida, his legal home of more than a decade, for improperly filling out a voter-registration card while renewing his driver’s license.

    I assume you’ll be turning her in, right?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  17. Actually, no Andrew, it wasn’t a crime.

    See, she did not do it with a guilty mind, and the MOMENT she realized her error, she corrected it.

    She’s not the typical alien that registers, though. Most do it knowing they shouldn’t, and then they go vote.

    I applaud Pablo’s sister, I decry you and your lunacy…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  18. Voter fraud isn’t important because it primarily favors Democratic candidates. If it were to favor Republican candidates — and tilted purple states into the red column — then the MSM would be all over it.

    I seem to recall that 40,000 people were registered to vote in both New York and Florida for the 2000 election. Wonder whether those dual voters tipped the election.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  19. Scott Jacobs, here’s Marshall‘s summary of the Usman Ali case:

    He’d been in the US for ten years and owned a jewelry store. He was in line one day at the DMV when a clerk put a registration form in front of him along with other forms. Ali hastily filled it out. He never made any attempt to vote. But the mistake got him deported back to Pakistan where he’s now trying to rebuild his life with his US citizen wife and daughter.

    It doesn’t sound like he did it with a guilty mind. Another example:

    Ms. Prude said she believed that she was permitted to vote because she was not in jail or on parole, she testified in court. Told by her probation officer that she could not vote, she said she immediately called City Hall to rescind her vote, a step she was told was not necessary.

    Again, assuming this account is accurate, it doesn’t sound like in this case their was deliberate fraud either. (This is not to say that some cases didn’t involve a guilty mind. It’s just that it seems that some of them did not.)

    Crust (399898)

  20. “some” meaning “damned few”. Illegals SHOULDN’T be voting, but we all know they do.

    And if you are here illegally, if you think you’re entitled to vote, you’re a moron and we REALLY don’t want you here.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  21. Gee, Scott, I produced a link for you, and Crust has even more, showing that even many of the Great Voter Fraud Convictions don’t involve mens rea. Just like Pablo’s sister-in-law. But no, you just follow up with an unsupported assertion that most aliens aren’t registering and/or voting by mistake, a claim for which you supply no backing whatsoever, even if it’s true. (That’s why Crust and I are supplying links, and you aren’t.)

    Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, a review of court records and interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers show. [emphasis added]

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  22. Oddly enough, although the Milwaukee story did mention that John François Kerry beat George Bush by just 11,000 votes, a margin he achieved by a heavy run-up in Madison and Milwaukee, the story never quite got around to saying who benefitted from the fraud.

    Imagine that!

    Dana (3e4784)

  23. I think it’s not clear how serious an infraction we’re talking about, even in the case of the Milwaukee voters.

    Felons voting illegally, and people voting twice or using fake names or voting in the names of dead people, that’s a problem.

    But many of the people who vote using “false addresses” are, I think, in a gray area:

    * people who moved recently and didn’t reregister
    * people who haven’t voted in years and don’t remember where they were last registered but really care about this election
    * people who for some reason register where they work and not where they live

    as long as these people refrain from voting on local matters, I don’t see any reason *in principle* why they should be disenfranchised.

    —–

    Great Banana: i’m opposed to requiring picture ID, unless that ID is provided for free, because it requires that someone must pay the state money in order to be able to vote. I find that to be both philosophically objectionable *and* illegal.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  24. Andrew,

    Your link says this:

    Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.

    Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year.

    Most of those charged have been Democrats, voting records show. Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, a review of court records and interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers show.

    Please note the 86 convictions in a country of 300 million. If you are trying to claim widespread in-person voter fraud by illegals or anyone else, for that matter, then you are still lacking evidence of it.

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  25. Blue N: I think we’re on the same side here.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  26. Sorry Andrew. I confused your post with the Great Banana.

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  27. Hmmm.

    1. Noting 86 convictions for voter fraud when thousands of dead people have voted rather proves Patterico’s point.

    2. Providing only quotes from people convicted of voter fraud doesn’t make any sort of substantial argument since they’re going to try and present their case in the best possible light.

    3. IMHO continued voter fraud is actually damaging to the Democrats because it makes them believe they have a larger constituency than they actually do. When voter fraud is dealt with, and it will, the Democrats are in for a surprise.

    4. I notice none of the Democrats here quoted the federal voter fraud convictions from E. St. Louis in 2005.

    m (0b5c51)

  28. You know, generally I give people the benefit of the doubt. So let me quietly bring to everyone’s attention the discrepancy between the charges in Milwaukee and the actual outcome. Patterico wrote:

    Efforts to mount prosecutions were hampered by sloppy recordkeeping by elections officials. Still, many convictions were obtained.

    but the story he links too doesn’t mention any convictions. So, how’d it go at trial? Not too hot for Team MustBeFraud.

    Of the hundreds of people initially suspected of violations in Milwaukee, 14 — most black, poor, Democratic and first-time voters — ever faced federal charges.… Even the 14 proved frustrating for the Justice Department. It won five cases in court.

    Maybe there’s some other reason Democrats are winning?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  29. I can think of some other possibilities, m.
    1. The death records are wrong.
    2. If you read the link, you’ll see quotes from prosecutors and judges. There doesn’t seem to be any disagreement about the facts behind the various miscarriages of justice; it’s sheer good luck Pablo’s sister-in-law wasn’t another victim.
    3. Dream on. Operation Voter Purge is over.
    4. I don’t believe any of us have ever claimed that there is no vote fraud; indeed I supplied an example myself. The idea that there is widespread organized Democratic voter fraud is up there with the Negro Conspiracy to Debauch White Women and the Jewish Conspiracy to Enslave Europe as dangerous nonsense peddled with nefarious intent.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  30. “Maybe there’s some other reason Democrats are winning?”

    Could be proof we are really losing the war on drugs.

    Jenn (5cc6bb)

  31. “… says that in the 2004 election, at least 4,609 ballots were cast by people not eligible to vote …”

    Actually the story doesn’t say that. It says 4609 ballots were cast for which no documentation of eligibility can be found. They may in fact have been cast by eligible voters. Or on the other hand they may not have been “cast” at all but fraudulently manufactured.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  32. Great Banana: i’m opposed to requiring picture ID, unless that ID is provided for free, because it requires that someone must pay the state money in order to be able to vote. I find that to be both philosophically objectionable *and* illegal.

    Try again. You’re not being charged money in order to vote, you’re buying proof of your identity which just happens to be required for many things other than voting. The whole “poll tax” argument is patently ridiculous.

    Taltos (c99804)

  33. Taltos: the point remains that it is impossible to vote under such a system unless you have paid money to the state.

    Right now, if you don’t drive, it is entirely possible to live your life without a picture ID. You don’t need one for employment (social security card + birth certificate are sufficient), you don’t need one for renting property. It’s harder than it used to be, because you do need one for long-distance public transit and for banking purposes (which you didn’t twenty years ago), but it’s still possible, and a surprising number of people do it.

    So, here comes the state, and says, if you want to vote, you must pay the state money for a document saying you are who you say you are, which you could live your life just fine without, if you didn’t want to vote.

    How is that *not* a poll tax?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  34. Taltos, every court to look at mandatory fees for voting has said they are a poll tax, no matter how well disguised or cleverly labeled they are.

    Your argument is a lot like trying to evade liquor laws by saying the liquor is free but the glass is $10. Incidentally, that’s been tried in court and found wanting, too.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0a9729)

  35. Are you guys talking through your hats? Or didn’t the U.S. Supreme Court already rule on the issue?

    nk (f28d83)

  36. Don’t birth certificates and social security cards cost money? And don’t you need to produce ID in order to get a social security card? Don’t you need to produce ID in order to get welfare? Why should voting be any easier.

    In any case, in principle people who live off the taxpayers’ largesse shouldn’t be allowed to vote. When you have congressmen a majority of whose voters live off the taxpayer, what reason would they have to be careful with the public purse? On the contrary, it’s in their interest to vote for more and more money to be taken away from the producers and given to their constituents. That is simply wrong.

    Milhouse (ab3566)

  37. When my kids were born, I received one birth certificate for free and an SSN application (also free) in the maternity ward.

    If you don’t mind my saying so, it’s not so easy to tell who is living off the taxpayers’ largesse. Firemen? Soldiers? Would Halliburton survive without taxpayers? More weird fantasy…

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0a9729)

  38. The Wisconsin case, a state where blacks account for 6% of the population, Rove’s boy charged 14 people with voter fraud…13 of them black…and only convicts 5 of them.

    No racism there.

    No sir.

    alphie (015011)

  39. Oh, and, nk, you might review the difference between an application for a stay and a trial on the merits… and the AZ law contains some wild cards, e.g., early voting without ID (as the signatures are compared).

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0a9729)

  40. NK, no it did not.
    “We underscore that we express no opinion here on the correct disposition, after full briefing and argument, of the appeals from the District Court’s September 11 order or on the ultimate resolution of these cases.”

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  41. How is needing to pay money to get a social security card an issue? You don’t need to have a social security card to vote, so it seems at best tangential to my argument that needing to pay money in order to vote is wrong.

    I don’t know what the answer is, as I got my social security card decades ago; but I don’t understand how it is relevant.

    As far as the voting rights of those who live off the taxpayer: would you extend that to state employees and active-duty military? Why or why not?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  42. Re 36 & 37:

    Well … I thought you guys were arguing that photo ID requirements were per se unconstitutional as a poll tax. You’re not? You’re willing to balance the burden on the voter against the interest of the government in the integrity of its elections?

    nk (f28d83)

  43. NK: i’m saying that I think that photo ID requirements in which the photo ID is not free are per se unconstitutional as a poll tax. The Supreme Court has not ruled on that issue.

    I’m *also* saying that I think that photo ID requirements in which the photo ID is not free are fundamentally illiberal, and are the wrong way for the government of a free people to operate; and the Supreme Court has no writ to rule on that issue.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  44. Gee, Scott, I produced a link for you,

    How about the source docs, Andrew, and not Talking Points Memo?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  45. “the Supreme Court has no writ to rule on that issue.”

    The Supreme Court seems to have a writ to rule on ANY issue. Hence we have federal protection for abortion when it should be a state-wide voter issue. (amongst other Supreme Court laws)

    Most (not all) states will issue any resident an ID card for little to no cost. These cards are used for many things and could be used to vote.

    Requiring a photo ID to vote is simply a way of requiring people to be WHO they say they are. Hard to believe that a no to one-time small cost are actually disenfranchising alot of people.

    Lord Nazh (e5f706)

  46. Oh, and BTW, in my SIL’s case, her act, inadvertent as it may be, has caused her naturalization application to be denied. ICE knows about it, and there has been no hint of prosecution despite that this happened in early 2005.

    If they’re prosecuting stupid errors, why not hers?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  47. Lord Nazh: the Supreme Court has no writ to determine what is or is not liberal, or what is or is not moral. :)

    Most (not all) states will issue any resident an ID card for little to no cost

    If the state will issue an ID card for no cost, then I have no objection to requiring ID to vote. Why is making them free a problem for proponents of ID-card voting rules?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  48. Why is making them free a problem for proponents of ID-card voting rules?

    Is it? It shouldn’t be.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  49. Since it is required to present ID to open a bank account, buy/drive a car, buy alchohol/tobacco, write a check, or even get a library card, I fail to see how also adding “voting” to the list of things you need photo ID for is any sort of undue hardship. You have to have a photo ID for 99% of everything you do in this country.

    How much did you pay for your Driver’s liscence, Aph?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  50. “How much did you pay for your Driver’s liscence, Aph?”

    “According to disability advocates nearly 10 percent of the 40 million Americans living with disabilities do not have a driver’s license or other form of state-issued photo ID. Furthermore, many disabled Americans cannot obtain government issued identification because of transportation limitations.”

    Pablo here[PDF] is something to read if you want.
    And more if you’re interested: SWING STATES! And… even more!
    The last one’s brand new.

    AF (683024)

  51. Scott: I don’t know how much I paid for my drivers’ license. But, at the same time, (a) I was *30* when I got my drivers’ license, and (b) I was a highly paid software engineer.

    But, had I not needed a passport, I would have gotten to 30 without needing a photo ID at all. So your claim that a photo ID is required for 99% of everything I do is manifestly false.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  52. Pablo, the link I provided about prosecutions of people who make innocent mistakes is from the NY Times, not Talking Points Memo. But it scarcely matters: there doesn’t seem to be any disagreement about facts. (The fact your sil wasn’t prosecuted doesn’t seem any more relevant than the fact sometimes you get caught speeding and sometimes you don’t.)

    I know there are people who object to photo ID on principle, but I am not one of them. If there were a free ID card (and you did not have to take a day or two off work to get it), I would not object to requiring it to vote. I don’t think there is any epidemic of fraud this will stop, but I don’t think it’s burdensome. Somehow, though, the plans that Republicans actually put forth always involve great expense and hassle. Funny thing about that.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0a9729)

  53. Really Aph… How did you get a bank account then?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  54. Scott Jacobs: I walked into a bank, handed them a $2000 scholarship check, and said “i’d like to open a bank account, please.”

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  55. That said, I will admit that I had to try several banks before I found one that would let me do it.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  56. Aphrael,

    Did you open your bank account before July 2004? I think the ID rules for opening bank accounts changed after the effective date of the Patriot Act, at least for federal banking institutions. Perhaps the requirements for state banking institutions are looser.

    DRJ (c6d1df)

  57. I’m not surprised. In order for a bank to be federally insured, they have to have the little things, like ID. I believe S&L’s and Credit unions (and banks who don’t want the safety and security of being federally insured) can ignore some of those, but still…

    And these days, to write a check, you almost have to have a Driver’s Liscence number on it most times.

    ID is – in this day and age – almost 100% required. Those 4 million disabled still have to have SOMETHING, or else they couldn’t collect their federal/state/local benefits. Cash those checks, whatever…

    If you want ID, it’s very, very easy to get one.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  58. and you did not have to take a day or two off work to get it

    How the hell slow is YOUR dmv???

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  59. Memo to supporters of Photo ID.
    My locality requires me to show photo ID, my voter’s registration card, and checks my signature before I can get to the voting booth. There seems to be little impact on the rate of voter fraud, however, because the main locus of voter fraud seems to always be absentee ballots, which are completely unimpacted by photo ID.

    I myself think you should be more concerned about the people who are eligible to vote but don’t, than the people who aren’t eligible but do. The number of the former vastly outweigh the number of the latter.

    kishnevi (283dc7)

  60. Kishnevi,

    People don’t vote for a reason. Some don’t vote because they are not informed about the issues. Others don’t vote because they can’t decide who the best candidate is or what the best answer is, and they opt not to vote because of that uncertainty. And some people just don’t care about some issues or elections.

    Why do we want uninformed, uncertain, or disinterested people to vote just for the sake of voting?

    DRJ (c6d1df)

  61. Kishnevi, as a polling place precinct worker in every election for a decade and a half, I am prohibited from asking for ID.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  62. How the hell slow is YOUR dmv???

    The question, as you know, is how far away your DMV is if you don’t drive. I’m really surprised at the callousness your remarks show, although coming from a Bush Deadender, I shouldn’t be.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0a9729)

  63. To Whomever brought up the dreaded “H” word:
    Halliburton does not receive “welfare” from the government, but produces a product and/or services for the government. I fail to see how that compares to AFDC families, etc., who do not provide any service to the community at large.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  64. A better comparison to the services Halliburton provides to the U.S. taxpayer would be that newspaper the bums “sell” you in exchange for a handout.

    Does the paper really hide the fact that its charity?

    alphie (015011)

  65. What kind of revenue do those bums bring in alphie?

    Are they incorporated and do they have stockholders?

    Are they traded on a stock exchange?

    You are a moron Alphie.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  66. Aphrael: if I live in an area where the nearest polling place is too far to walk, does that make the tax on gasoline (or the cost of a bus ticket, or whatever) an unconstitutional poll tax?

    Xrlq (eac760)

  67. If you have to take 2 days off work to walk to the nearest DMV, there are problems beyond lack of ID…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  68. And yeah, I’m pretty callous, because I dislike the idea of people who aren’t supposed to be voting, ummm… voting…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  69. Like you’ve never been legally declared dead before…

    What, your friends don’t do pranks?!

    Miana (f65649)

  70. By the way, deliberate voter supression and annoyance (by both Dems and Repubs) probably loses more votes in toto than the “surplus” votes.

    “hi, i am bill clinton, please vote democratic”
    “hi, i am george bush, please vote republican”
    “hi, i am rick santorum, please vote bigoted”
    ((don’t talk unless you’ve seen his campaign lit))

    When anyone named “john smith” can’t vote in certain states, because “someone” was convicted with that name… something’s fishy.

    Miana (f65649)

  71. I like the fact that liberals on this board, and in general, argue on this subject in the following way:

    1) there is no voter fraud problem; and
    2) imposing any kind of rules to make sure there is no voter fraud (picture ID, better recordkeeping of voter registration / death records , etc) would “disenfranchise” voters.

    Seems to prove to me that libs know that doing anything to make voting more secure and legitimate would hurt dems – otherwise they would not have the passion for this subject, and would not make the foolish claim (1) above, when there are so many instances showing that there are voter fraud problems.

    A lack of convictions does not prove otherwise. Is there no organized crime b/c not every criminal has been convicted? A new law had to be enacted to deal with organized crime “RICO”. Would your argument before RICO have been that organized crime did not exist b/c of a lack of convictions? (after all Al Capone was convicted for tax fraud, not organized crime). That is such a straw-man argument it is ridiculous. The point is that the laws on the books regarding vote fraud are not very good, there is not a lot of political will to prosecute those cases, and those cases are hard to prove based on the laws currently on the books. That does not mean voter fraud does not exist, and it is a very irrational argument to claim it does not exist based on lack of convictions. there is not a ton of under-age drinking convictions in my town, but I can guaruntee that there is a lot of underage drinking going on. So, based on the evidence of voting “irregularities”, why not do things to strengthen the legitimacy of our voting process?

    Any rational person knows that requring a picture ID is not onerous on anyone, and I frankly have no respect for anyone who makes an argument that requiring a picture ID disenfranchises anyone. The states that have passed/attempted to pass such laws allow for free such ID’s to people who cannot afford the nominal fee, and in today’s world, almost everyone already has a photo id – to cash checks, to rent movies, to buy alcohol, to fly, and more and more, to even use credit cards. So, that argument is ridiculous and irrational.

    Why then, is the left so against such easy, unobtrusive measures to protect the validity of our electoral process? There is only one rational reason left. They realize that voter fraud overwhelmingly helps one side in the election process.

    But, with that said, I think it is naive of any conservatives to believe we will ever get a lib/dem to admit as much. Why would they? It’s the same thing as arguing about Main Stream Media bias. Why would anyone on the left ever admit that they have an unfair advantage in the electoral process b/c of media bias and/or b/c of voter fraud? It goes entirely against their interest to do so. Indeed, it is entirely in their interest to argue vehemently that such things do not exist.

    Great Banana (aa0c92)

  72. How “conservatives” argue: evidence that people don’t have picture ID vs. theory that they “must”. Evidence that DMV offices are not convenient located vs. snark that it’s too bad. (Have fun when it’s your turn in the Old Age Home, bozo.)

    How “conservatives” argue, 2: brings up rampant underage drinking; leaves out the fact that the paltry number of voter fraud convictions come from a deliberate and concerted effort to find voter fraud. Does the top political advisor to your mayor make speech after speech about underage drinking? Does he replace the city prosecutors to find ones committed to making underage drinking their top priority?

    This isn’t rocket science, this is elementary thinking. Are the only remaining Bush conservatives brain damaged to a one?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0d40b6)

  73. Please Mr. Lazarus,

    Cite me to the massive concerted effort to find and prosecute voter fraud that has happened. It simply is not true.

    And please explain to me how lack of convictions is proof that such does not exist.

    Aside from asserting that “the fact that the paltry number of voter fraud convictions come from a deliberate and concerted effort to find voter fraud”, you have offered no evidence to back this up, and it simply is not true. I wish it were true.

    Moreover, you have offered no evidence to prove the point that a lack of convictions equals that voter fraud does not happen. I think my examples of incidents that prove the opposite, are in fact telling. You offer nothing but snark and bald assertions, which are not even true.

    Why are you against a picture ID? because it is “onerous” because people would not be able to obtain one. Those are laughable arguments, and we both know it. So why are you really against a picture ID? Please. You argue without facts, logic, or reason, but do have passion.

    Finally, I will put up my education, experience, knowledge and mental acuiety against yours any day of the week. Certainly, you have offered nothing to demonstrate any real mental capacity in this thread.

    Great Banana (aa0c92)

  74. “Does the top political advisor to your mayor make speech after speech about underage drinking?”

    What difference does that make? 1st, cite me all the speeches where Karl Rove discussed voter fraud – I don’t believe there are a significant amount. Regardless, show me where the President made such speechs. Show me where any top-ranking federal Republican elected official made such speeches.

    this is an issue where the base feels strongly, but the actual politicians have not done much. So, your not only arguing a straw-man, but a false one at that.

    Great Banana (aa0c92)

  75. Finally, let’s assume for the sake of argument that there is no significan voter fraud.

    Why are you against requiring picture ID to vote? Do you really believe obtaining a picture ID is “onerous” or would “disenfranchise” legitimate voters? Please explain in what way obtaining a picture ID is “onerous” or would “disenfranchise” anyone – I’d really like to know.

    Great Banana (aa0c92)

  76. The courts have made it virtually impossible to investigate vote fraud. Any plan that actually protects against vote fraud has been declared unconstitutional. No reasonable ID program is possible. Any atempt to investigate is crippled by judges who think that the right to vote is universal and constantly find in favor of protecting political machines that deliver votes for people with whom they feel comfortable.

    Between one and two million illegal votes are were cast in 2004. There is no hope that any but the most clumsy will ever be suspected. And they will be protected as much as possible.

    Ken Hahn (ae92a2)

  77. I’m curious as to how the state offers ID’s for “free” to those who can’t afford it. The state takes our taxes and spends them to construct, man and equip the DMV. The state then charges a nominal $5 fee for a photo ID. What’s the big deal about the extra $5? I bet it costs the state hundreds of dollars to make that driver’s license or photo ID. Let’s be fair about it – charge for driver’s licenses, but issue state ID’s for free. And make them good for 10 – 20 years, instead of 4.

    Nursing homes could send a busload once a year to get their ID’s updated. Or the state could send an get-your-ID-on-a-bus machine to said nursing homes.

    Given the above, would photo ID’s be okay with y’all, or am I among the brain-damaged?

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  78. Apologies if this appears twice – what the heck is it with my posts disappearing lately?

    Given that the state builds, mans and equips the DMV to issue ID’s and driving licenses, what is the big deal about the “extra” $5 fee for an ID? Make it free. The state probably pays hundreds of dollars for that ID to be produced and issued anyway. Charge fees for licenses, but let the state ID be free, and have it good for 10 or 20 years instead of 4.

    Nursing homes could bus groups of their residents once a year to ‘stay legal’ to ensure voting rights are kept. Municipalities could do the same as needed.

    Given the above, would requiring a photo ID be okay, or am I among the brain damaged?

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  79. Why do the libs on this and other threads keep arguing so vehemently against the concept of fair elections? Didn’t they have legions of lawyers lined up in 2006 ready to file suit at the drop of a hat if things didn’t go their way? Libs in recent years have been very ingracious losers in tight elections. Fairness seems to be a fair weather issue for them. What about those evil voting machines?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  80. Why are you against requiring picture ID to vote?

    It is a waste of money and resources to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

    If you are so concerned about in-person voter fraud then require a non-picture ID like a utility bill, lease, gov’t check, or bank statement before you let someone vote. That will stamp out the non-existant in-person voter fraud just as well as a photo id and it will not disenfranchise any voters.

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  81. When scant proof of citizenship and identity is required to register or to vote, voter fraud will occur. Isn’t that precisely why the rules are so lax (as a native Chicagoan, I’ll say yes)? Politicians make the rules!

    And it’s funny how voter fraud is considered a trivial issue until the shoe is on the other foot.

    Just google it…

    Patricia (824fa1)

  82. We have all been missing the obvious solution. Take an electronic picture of the voter at the time he registers to vote. Reproduce it along with his other information in the registration sheets which are sent to the polling places every election. They make very portable cameras these days which can be taken anywhere during a registration drive.

    nk (1185e3)

  83. P.S. Right now, when I vote, they have a copy of my signature from my registration and compare it to my signature on the ballot receipt.

    nk (1185e3)

  84. P.P.S. To forestall quibling about the cost. We are not Bangladesh. And electronic cameras and flash cards are not all that expensive. We could equip every registrar with a camera at less than the money John Edwards spends at the beauty shop.

    nk (1185e3)

  85. nk,

    That would be a workable compromise. I still think it is a waste of money, time and effort but if it got the Repubs to stop pretending that in-person voter fraud is occurring then it would be worth it.

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  86. Georgia passed a picture voter id law a year or so ago that included free drivers licenses or identification cards to those unable to afford them. This replaced the old law that allowed some 23 different types of id, including ones that are easily gotten by illegals, including a utility bill or a hunting or fishing license.

    The usual suspects still whined that it was oppressive, unfair, all the usual lines of crap, and took it to court anyways.

    The whole ‘the poor can’t afford photo id’ line is just a red herring.

    Finrod Felagund (14ce3a)

  87. XRLQ: is the state requiring you to pay the money as a condition of voting? You could hitchike, for example, or ride a bicycle.

    Great Banana: I’m a liberal. I have neither argued that there is no voter fraud problem nor that rules to prevent voter fraud disenfranchise voters. I have *only* argued that it is illiberal, and unconstitutional, to require people to pay money in order to vote. As long as the IDs are free, I have no problem with them.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  88. Blue Neponsett, you are unfortunately right that it will not do anything about the bulk of vote fraud in “one party” precincts which is ballot-box stuffing. I suppose one attempt to remedy that would be also taking a time/date stamped electronic picture of the voter as he signs his ballot receipt (NOT as he is voting).

    BTW: In Cook County, Illinois it is not the Republicans complaining — it is the independents and non-Daley Democrats. The Republicans have long ago achieved detente with the Machine and get their share of the perks and pork.

    nk (1185e3)

  89. If you are so concerned about in-person voter fraud then require a non-picture ID like a utility bill, lease, gov’t check, or bank statement before you let someone vote. That will stamp out the non-existant in-person voter fraud just as well as a photo id and it will not disenfranchise any voters.

    None of those do anything to prove who you are. It’s a piece of paper with a name on it, anyone could walk up and claim to be that person. There’s a reason people are told to shred their bills and bank statements before throwing them out. Hint, it’s not because the trash goblins are stealing them.

    Taltos (c99804)

  90. It’s a piece of paper with a name on it, anyone could walk up and claim to be that person.

    Why would anyone do that in order to cast a vote?

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  91. Wow Blue… You lack immagination.

    They do it in order to cast extra votes for the canidates/measures they care about.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  92. Great Banana, Scott, and others–refer back to my comment. Photo ID does nothing to prevent the major source of voter fraud (going by the experience in my locality)–absentee voting.

    kishnevi (997873)

  93. They do it in order to cast extra votes for the canidates/measures they care about.

    Who is this “They”? It is logistically impossible to effect an election by stealing utility bills and having imposters show up pretending to be the customer/voter. I just don’t think we need to protect the voting system from things that will never happen.

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  94. Who is this “They”? It is logistically impossible to effect an election by stealing utility bills and having imposters show up pretending to be the customer/voter.

    The 2004 gubernatorial election in washington was “won” by 129 votes if I recall.

    Taltos (c99804)

  95. votes that magically appeared after 2-3 recounts IRCC. Recounts that had to be halted immediatly, because the correct result (a Dem win) had been achieved.

    Teche (c003f1)

  96. The 2004 gubernatorial election in washington was “won” by 129 votes if I recall.

    So someone is going to root through the trash, steal 129 discarded utility bills, and then pretend to be the 129 different voters in order to steal an election? Does that seem monumentally unlikely to anyone else?

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  97. So someone is going to root through the trash, steal 129 discarded utility bills, and then pretend to be the 129 different voters in order to steal an election? Does that seem monumentally unlikely to anyone else?

    1.) I never claimed that was the case in the washington election, that was more likely ballot stuffing via the “oops we missed these ones *wink* *wink* ” tactic. It was merely a refutation of your claim that the small scale voter fruad is incapable of effecting an election.

    2.) No one thinks that any one person would vote 129 times like this. However, a couple hundred people voting 2 or 3 times each has the same desired effect.

    Taltos (c99804)

  98. However, a couple hundred people voting 2 or 3 times each has the same desired effect.

    There’s something to that. However, I don’t see any reason other than partisanship to assume that the effect of that wouldn’t more or less balance out — eg, there’s no evidence that members of either party are more likely to do that than the other.

    There is reason to believe that the *effect* could be unbalanced in districts with unbalanced voter pools — eg, if a roughly equal percentage of democrats and republicans fraudulently double vote, it will result in more democratic votes in democratic-leaning districts and more republican votes in republican-leaning districts, effectively exacerbating the results of partisan gerrymandering.

    But ISTM that the impact of that could be reduced by a fairer districting process (altho, note, unbalanced districts are an inevitable result of demographic patterns — no matter how fairly you district, san francisco’s district will have a partisan balance, as will bakersfield’s).

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  99. It was merely a refutation of your claim that the small scale voter fruad is incapable of effecting an election.

    I don’t think you refuted the claim. I still say it is monumentally unlikely that 129 votes could be fraudulently cast by having a person or a group of people use stolen/forged utility bills. It just isn’t going to happen, the logistics of it are too difficult. In fact, I challenge anyone to describe a realistic way of fraudulently casting 129 votes using stolen or forged non-photo id’s. This is the doomsday scenario photo-id only proponents are warning us about so it shouldn’t be too difficult to give an example of how it may happen.

    Blue Neponset (a09128)

  100. I suppose the lack of successful prosecutions of members of the Negro Conspiracy to Debauch White Women and the Jewish Conspiracy to Enslave Europe are merely more evidence of how devious these conspiracies are. This is the exact same reasoning that lack of successful vote fraud prosecutions despite concerted effort isn’t because the underlying problem doesn’t exist, but because of successful attempts to conceal it.

    Now, to take up some of the other points. There are people on both the left and the libertarian right who object to ID, but I am not one of them. If the state gives out free ID cards (and not at seven remote locations located in exurban all-GOP neighborhoods), I’m OK with it. As I have said before, the plans that have been proposed are not free and inconvenient for many people to obtain, and, yes, I think that the attempt to disenfranchise elderly and poor who vote Democratic is deliberate. (The burdensome nature of obtaining this ID is not diminished by a bunch of conservative middle-class people writing on the Internet that everyone must already have ID, in the teeth of evidentiary findings to the contrary.)

    Until the DoJ scandal, Rove’s emphasis on so-called voter fraud wasn’t hidden at all.

    April 7, 2006, [Rove] gave a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association [not exactly a private venue–AJL], in which he covered a number of topics of interest to his audience (i.e. tort reform), but one topic seemed to hold the audience’s attention in particular: voter fraud.[…] Rove had clearly spent a lot of time on it — rattling off statistics and referring to problem counties in far-flung states with familiarity. He also showed no shyness at over-hyping the issue: “We are, in some parts of the country, I’m afraid to say, beginning to look like we have elections like those run in countries where they guys in charge are, you know, colonels in mirrored sunglasses.”

    New information also emerged showing the extent to which the White House encouraged investigations of election fraud within weeks of November balloting. Rove, in particular, was preoccupied with pressing Gonzales and his aides about alleged voting problems in a handful of battleground states, according to testimony and documents.

    Three of the six hot spots Rove mentioned in his speech had their US Attorneys fired. Coincidence? Bush is in the mix himself.

    Despite that fact, Karl Rove and President Bush himself passed along complaints to Alberto Gonzales in October 2006 about Biskupic’s and Iglesias’ performance on voter fraud. Iglesias was fired. Biskupic, for some reason, wasn’t. But it looks like it was a very close call.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0d40b6)

  101. “So someone is going to root through the trash, steal 129 discarded utility bills, and then pretend to be the 129 different voters in order to steal an election? Does that seem monumentally unlikely to anyone else?”

    Some of the fraudulent votes in Washington State had ‘X’ as the signature (without witnesses), some are _legible_ as not being the listed name. Like a voter ‘John Q. Smith’ being signed ‘Mickey Mouse’. These votes were counted – with the court ruling “Well, we can’t say _who_ cast the ballot illegally, so it counts.” That’s what our law requires to overturn an election – identifying the specific source of fraud. That seems inherently problematic when the ballots include any votes for federal office.

    Did the guy signing ‘Mickey Mouse’ root through the trash? No, but signing something insane is (to me) a lot riskier than just guessing what a signature for ‘John Q. Smith’ _might_ look like. I mean, cursive writing as a skill isn’t _that_ dead.

    The signature verification (at least in King County Washington) is well documented – via photographs taken at the ‘canvassing board’ – to be insanely incompetent.

    And yet, here in Washington State, we’re moving to 100% by-mail voting. That means that the ONLY ballot security is SIGNATURES. Which, King County has indicated won’t actually do even a cursory comparison to avoid disenfrancising anyone.

    Oh, and I have to put two stamps ($0.41 now) on each ballot. Usually four times a year or so. ($3.28/year) So… that’s a _larger_ poll tax than the $5 ID would be over just a couple of years.

    Al (b624ac)

  102. If you are so concerned about in-person voter fraud then require a non-picture ID like a utility bill, lease, gov’t check, or bank statement before you let someone vote. That will stamp out the non-existant in-person voter fraud just as well as a photo id and it will not disenfranchise any voters.

    You can’t be serious! What you’re saying is that if I have your utilitiy bill, I can vote for you, and that utility bill is conclusive proof that I am you.

    Steverino (d27168)

  103. And yet, here in Washington State, we’re moving to 100% by-mail voting. That means that the ONLY ballot security is SIGNATURES. Which, King County has indicated won’t actually do even a cursory comparison to avoid disenfrancising anyone.

    Don’t forget they also admitted that they broke their own rules when they falsified the recocilliation records.

    Taltos (c99804)

  104. Al, I’m going to save you big money. The rate for a 2-oz. letter is 58c, not 82c.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0d40b6)

  105. Al: aye, and I think that if absentee voting is required (as opposed to being optional), then the ballot mailing envelopes should be prepaid.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  106. So, in the only case discussed in this thread that actually seems to be about organized vote fraud–photo ID is irrelevant, and misconduct on the part of the ELECTIONS STAFF is key.

    If you have to pick a case that helps show Photo ID is actually useful (intead of just another hurdle for the poor, disabled, etc. to jump over) you’ll need to do better.

    BTW, here’s another case that Photo ID would not have helped. For purposes of convenience, I’m quoting the Wiki article on Xavier Suarez.
    Suarez’s first term as mayor ended in 1993 and he returned to practice law in Miami before he ran a second time in November 1997.

    “Suarez was removed from office in March 1998 when a court ruled that there was absentee ballot fraud in an election against Joe Carollo, resulting in the jailing of the city commissioner and thirteen staff members. Later elected to the Executive Committee of the Miami-Dade Republican Party, Suarez has admitted to “handling” absentee ballot forms in the 2000 presidential election.” [No one seems to have found Suarez to have actually done anything wrong in 2000, but note the local Republican Party didn't exactly ostracize him after the vote fraud scandal.]

    The full ruling can be found at http://www.campaignwatch.org/sruling.htm

    The case was particularly memorable because of how it played out, something that the quote doesn’t begin to hint at.
    First, Carollo is declared the winner.
    Then, absentee ballots are counted and Suarez is declared the actual winner.
    Next, evidence of fraud regarding the absentee ballots comes to light; Carollo sues.
    The judge quickly rules that because of the evidence of fraud, all the absentee ballots must be thrown out–even the ones which are legitimate.
    This means the election reverts back to Carollo, who becomes the mayor (again).
    The Miami mayor’s office certainly had a revolving door that year.

    kishnevi (ba7408)

  107. I think the truth behind the resistance to ID requirements is not just the expense. More generally, it’s the fact that a certain %age of the Democratic constituency is intractably going to be without the will or knowledge or organization to have their IDs on election day. I think there is a lot of overlap between these folks and the people I worked with in my public defender internships. It’s not really about why they won’t have their IDs in hand (even if they were free)- they just won’t, for one of 28 different reasons. Life is a messy, chaotic experience for many underclass people. It’s not just about the cost.

    There’s no tidy workaround for this. These people have the right to vote, and a certain % of them exercise it. Anyone who says they shouldn’t vote because they don’t have their sh*t together is ignorant of what a fundamental right is. I think Dems should worry less about having a nice clean reason as to why ID requirements are too onerous, and acknowledge the reality that they depend largely on poorer, less organized people who only marginally understand the system, even when it’s made relatively easy for them. And stand on their rights.

    If it came down to balancing, the regulators have a heavy burden, and the people who would be shut out by ID requirements would far outnumber the fraudulent votes that would provably be prevented by the regulation.

    biwah (2dcf66)

  108. Kishnevi,

    Here’s an example of a state (Kentucky) that decided to make election fraud a priority. And here are the results. It seems absentee balloting isn’t the problem, but informing people that election fraud will be investigated is apparently the solution.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  109. biwah makes a good point. Based on some limited experience with my wife as election in Chicago, there was a whole lot of willingness of the (democratic) judges to “vouch” for the person who came in and wasn’t registered. “I vouch – she’s from my building / my neighborhood / my street / etc.” Here they do match signatures, so ID is a little less of an issue, but the “provisional” ballot system is a joke. If the judge ‘vouches’ then the vote counts. My wife was literally exhausted from challenging non-registered voters for 12 hours in ’04. If she hadn’t have been there, there would have been dozens of ‘vouched’ non-registered voters voting, just in our ward.

    Many of these people don’t and won’t have their act together, but you’re right – they do have the right to vote. If it’s not a photo ID, it’s prior registration. The only workarounds – same day registration – are a tantamount invitation to game the system. Hmm.

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  110. Kishnevi,

    Before the midterm elections, Kentucky decided to make election fraud a priority and here are the results. It seems absentee balloting isn’t the problem but informing people that election fraud will be investigated may be the solution.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  111. Many of these people don’t and won’t have their act together, but you’re right – they do have the right to vote.

    They have the right to vote if, they obey the rules and follow the laws. If someone is too lazy, incompetent, stupid, whatever to be able to bring their ID when they go to vote, well that’s just too damned bad.

    Taltos (c99804)

  112. Kishnevi,

    Before the midterm elections, Kentucky decided to make election fraud a priority and the results are summarized at the link. At least in Kentucky, it seems absentee balloting isn’t the problem but making it clear election fraud will be investigated – and then doing it – may be the solution.

    Here’s the link: http://kentucky.gov/Newsroom/ag/electionhotlineresults.htm

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  113. In the counties where I have worked as a precinct board inspector in California, it would be fairly easy to vote multiple times, if you wanted to.

    Note: The list of polling places is public.
    Note: The list of registered voters in a polling place is public and posted outdoors, along with a list of who has voted already (for precinct walkers to check). Both names and addresses are findable.
    Note: Precinct board members are not allowed to ask for ID.

    So, if you want to game the system, you go to a bunch of polling places, find a name which hasn’t voted, and walk in, claiming to be that person. Unless that person, or someone who knows that person, happens to be present to challenge you, you will be able to vote, and walk out again, with nobody the wiser.

    How often this happens, I couldn’t say. But it wouldn’t be hard to do.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  114. Uh, oh, DRJ. Worrying about electronic voting machines (the most serious problem in the story at your link) is a Democratic trait. Keep it up and your Bush Pioneer membership will be canceled.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0d40b6)

  115. Andrew,

    I disagree. Unless you happen to believe that Democratic voters are dumber than Republican voters (and I don’t), questions about voting machines cross party lines – especially when the machines are new.

    Ultimately, the election fraud issues identified in Kentucky were “19 complaints regarding election officials, 23 complaints about electioneering within 300’ of the polls and 17 about vote buying or selling.” If the first 2 groups of complaints (about election and officials and electioneering) were valid, they could be remedied by education from the AG’s or Elections office or by replacement with new personnel who correctly enforce the rules.

    That leaves vote buying or selling – an election fraud issue that can be investigated, prosecuted and punished in every state. In its first widespread effort to identify election fraud, Kentucky found 17 potential vote-buying cases in a statewide election. Interesting, n’est pas?

    DRJ (c6d1df)

  116. XRLQ: is the state requiring you to pay the money as a condition of voting? You could hitchike, for example, or ride a bicycle.

    Or I could panhandle and get someone else to cough up the $15 I need to get a state ID. How is that different from hitchhiking? And the bike wasn’t free, either.

    Come to think of it, all taxes on necessities are poll taxes. If you don’t buy food and drink, you’ll die, and not all states allow dead people to vote.

    Xrlq (8b6bc2)

  117. Yes folks, Illinois: Letting the dead vote since Kennedy…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  118. The debate on the issue won’t get anywhere until conservatives acknowledge that liberals are genuinely worried about barring, impeding, or discouraging legitimate, legal voters from voting, and design anti-fraud measures that take that into account. Liberals are also very worried about vote fraud – the type of fraud they believe conservatives commit, what a surprise! That’s why all the action agitating for requiring paper trails for electronic voting machines is on the left.

    If you take this attitude:

    They have the right to vote if, they obey the rules and follow the laws. If someone is too lazy, incompetent, stupid, whatever to be able to bring their ID when they go to vote, well that’s just too damned bad.

    You will be fought tooth and nail, in the streets, in the courts, house-to-house. And you will never get anywhere.

    Meanwhile, in reality world, it’s clear from watching the U.S. Attorneys scandal that the entire national DOJ system was put under intense pressure to find and convict voter fraud since the 2004 elections. The piffling handful of convictions is highly unlikely to be the fault of the impossibility of finding evidence. I can’t think of any other crime in the U.S. where evidence is, for unexplained reasons, completely impossible to collect in the vast majority of cases.

    When you direct the entire law enforcement system to prosecute voter fraud and come up with a handful of cases, Occam’s Razor suggests that there aren’t an order of magnitude more than that dancing away from conviction, unless someone comes up with a specific and provable argument to the contrary.

    glasnost (47df72)

  119. The debate on the issue won’t get anywhere until conservatives acknowledge that liberals are genuinely worried about barring, impeding, or discouraging legitimate, legal voters from voting, and design anti-fraud measures that take that into account.

    The fact that in Washington state, ALL absentee ballots were pitched instead of just the impropper ones (thus ensuring a democrat victory) kind of kills your assertation that liberals want all votes counted.

    Conservatives want all legitimate votes counted, liberals only care about legitimate votes if it means they win, otherwise they couldn’t be bothered…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  120. If you take this attitude:

    They have the right to vote if, they obey the rules and follow the laws. If someone is too lazy, incompetent, stupid, whatever to be able to bring their ID when they go to vote, well that’s just too damned bad.

    You will be fought tooth and nail, in the streets, in the courts, house-to-house. And you will never get anywhere.

    Yes yes requiring people to do things properly and as required by law is ridiculous and untennable. Thats why we never arrest people for speeding or dui, afterall they just forgot about the laws so they shouldn’t be punished for it.

    Taltos (c99804)

  121. Scott: throwing out all the absentee ballots is actually a standard remedy in this sort of case. Read the link on the Suarez case I provided in comment 107 for some of the legal background.

    kishnevi (ba7408)

  122. Andrew Lazarus.

    That’s what I’d think too.

    But I got a ballot (2003 if I recall correctly) returned marked ‘insufficient postage’ when it had correct postage for a 2-oz letter. There wasn’t a brick attached or anything, it was just the equivalent of two heavy sheets of paper + the security envelope.

    If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might believe that it was returned because my name is printed on the _outside_, and anyone might just look it up in a table and say “hmm, he’s on objectivist, he probably didn’t vote for McDermott, sucks to be him, return it.”

    I’m not prominent in any way, so I don’t imagine that to be true. (But I am glad that the one sensible change of moving the signature to _underneath_ the portion covered by the sealed flap was made.)

    But I’m not going to bloody well use anything less than two full first class stamps. (Let the peons who can’t afford the poll tax get their ballots rejected! Wait, no, that’s not the goal _either_.) Call me boggled that it isn’t ‘No Postage Required.’

    Al (b624ac)

  123. Al: the new rates since Monday have redone the rules for envelope size. Letters under 3.5 oz which are large (I haven’t looked up the exact size, but it certainly applies to 8.5×11 flats) are 39c extra. I’ll have to be even more careful.

    BTW, I do think return of the ballot should be free.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0d40b6)

  124. Nice one

    Baselice conducted a poll the first week in April for an anonymous client on another subject. He says he threw the voter ID question in on his own, because it was a hot topic at the time. He provided the results to Republicans, who are now using it to support their cause.

    The poll found 95 percent of Republicans, 91 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats support using photo IDs.

    Royal Masset, the former political director of the Republican Party of Texas, who trained Baselice, says it is easy to elicit that kind of response to a poll question.

    Among Republicans it is an “article of religious faith that voter fraud is causing us to lose elections,” Masset said. He doesn’t agree with that, but does believe that requiring photo IDs could cause enough of a dropoff in legitimate Democratic voting to add 3 percent to the Republican vote.

    AF (683024)

  125. ffs AF… Did you not read P’s post about the spam filter?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  126. It’s like arguing with a five year old.
    Do something other than lie kiddo.Or if you insist on lying, find something where it’s harder to find out the truth, The last time was a mf’g joke.

    AF (683024)

  127. yeah… I’m the liar.

    So what does your highly sellective use of facts make you?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  128. The fact that in Washington state, ALL absentee ballots were pitched instead of just the impropper ones (thus ensuring a democrat victory) kind of kills your assertation that liberals want all votes counted.

    I wonder how many of those were military absentee ballots.

    BECAUSE WE SUPPORT THE TROOPS! By not letting them vote.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  129. I learned all about Voter Fraud in NYC, when I was a Democrat. See, the Old Tamany hall guys taught me how to re-weigh a voting machine and re-count the votes until they got a number that they liked. Mind you this was during the 80′s. When I became a GOP activist, all I learned was how to speak in front of crowds and how to knock on doors and ask for votes.

    JSF (de5a83)

  130. Well, if they let the military vote, they wouldn’t be in power to support them…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  131. The Fraudulent Fraud Squad The incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights.

    “Imagine the National Rifle Association’s Web site suddenly disappeared, along with all the data and reports the group had ever posted on gun issues. Imagine Planned Parenthood inexplicably closed its doors one day, without comment from its former leaders. The scenarios are unthinkable, given how established these organizations have become. But even if something did happen to the NRA or Planned Parenthood, no doubt other gun or abortion groups would quickly fill the vacuum and push the ideas they’d pushed for years.
    Not so for the American Center for Voting Rights, a group that has literally just disappeared as an organization, and for which it seems no replacement group will rise up. With no notice and little comment, ACVR—the only prominent nongovernmental organization claiming that voter fraud is a major problem, a problem warranting strict rules such as voter-ID laws—simply stopped appearing at government panels and conferences. Its Web domain name has suddenly expired, its reports are all gone (except where they have been preserved by its opponents), and its general counsel, Mark “Thor” Hearne, has cleansed his résumé of affiliation with the group. Hearne won’t speak to the press about ACVR’s demise. No other group has taken up the “voter fraud” mantra.”

    And Scott, This is for you

    AF (683024)


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