At Balkinization, Marty Lederman makes the case that the U.S. Attorney firing scandal is really a faux "voter fraud" scandal. Brian Tamanaha's post on the rule of law (as opposed to rule by law) is worth reading too.
[b]There is little, if any, reliable evidence of any serious problem of voter fraud in the United States.[/b]
Inquiry finds evidence of fraud in election
Cast ballots outnumber voters by 4,609
Investigators said Tuesday they found clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee, including more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses or voted in the name of a dead person.
Officials said charges will be filed in coming weeks, as individual cases are reviewed and more evidence is gathered.
Nonetheless, it is likely that many - perhaps most - of those who committed fraud won't face prosecution because city records are so sloppy that it will be difficult to establish cases that will stand up in court.
And even now, three months after the investigation, officials have not been able to close a gap of 7,000 votes, with more ballots cast than voters listed. Officials said the gap remains at 4,609.
U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic likened it to trying to prove "a bank embezzlement if the bank cannot tell how much money was there in the first place."
Biskupic announced the preliminary findings at a news conference, along with Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann, who is also overseeing the joint inquiry.
Tuesday's announcement comes after a Journal Sentinel investigation that found widespread problems with the election in the city, including that the election totals themselves were not double-checked by city and county panels charged with doing so.
Some of the problems identified by the newspaper, such as spotty compliance with procedures to verify same-day registrants, are broader and are the subject of a statewide audit approved by lawmakers.
Tuesday's announcement could breathe new life into the Republican-backed photo ID debate, which did not survive a veto from Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and might instead eventually go to voters as a proposed constitutional amendment.
A photo ID requirement might have caught some of the problems highlighted in Tuesday's preliminary report. It notes cases of people voting in the name of a dead person or as someone else. Investigators located some people listed as voting who said they did not vote.
In other cases, according to Tuesday's report, people "registered and voted with identities and addresses that cannot in any way be linked to a real person."
Officials did not identify how many fit each category.
Investigators have focused only on the City of Milwaukee in reviewing duplicate-voting offenses. Officials said Tuesday, though, that they would expand the review of felons voting illegally to Milwaukee suburbs.
The newspaper found at least 278 felons who voted statewide, though only a partial review could be completed because of a state law that bars public access to birthdates of voters.
At least 54 U.S. attorneys appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate left office before completion of a four-year term between 1981 and 2006 (not counting those whose tenure was interrupted by a change in presidential administration). Of those 54, 17 left to become Article III federal judges, one left to become a federal magistrate judge, six left to serve in other positions in the executive branch, four sought elective office, two left to serve in state government, one died, and 15 left to enter or return to private practice. Of the remaining eight U.S. attorneys who left before completing a four-year term without a change in presidential administration, two were apparently dismissed by the President, and three apparently resigned after news reports indicated they had engaged in questionable personal actions. No information was available on the three remaining U.S. attorneys who resigned.
Culling through about 100 tips about fraud, investigators found only a handful that had some merit, and "only one where we had a real shot," Mr. Iglesias said.
That inquiry focused on the woman who had submitted the registration applications in the names of the teenagers and at least two dozen others. Mr. Iglesias said she had worked for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn, which had paid her and others in part based on how many applications they turned in.
He said that when the F.B.I. interviewed her, she did not make any clear admission of guilt. And under federal election law, Mr. Iglesisas said, prosecutors would have had to prove that the woman, who had been fired for other reasons, had falsified the applications with the intent of influencing the election. Mr. Iglesias said "it appeared she was just doing it for the money."
do you have any good evidence of any widescale voter fraud cases in the last 10 years? Or even small-scale?
As for FL in 2000: Was there even one case verified where a qualified voter was turned away from the polls?
Sure, there are plenty of cases of voting irregularities over the years, but little evidence that there is a large scale problem of an orchestrated attempt by large numbers (or even small numbers) of people to cast illegal ballots.
Observations that voter fraud might be possible and often relatively easy and virtually untraceable if someone were motivated to commit it
The United States is also nearly unique in lacking a unified voter registration system or national identity card, Gould said, adding that he would ideally require U.S. voters to dip a finger in an ink bowl or have a cuticle stained black after voting.
"In El Salvador, Namibia and so many other elections, the ink was extremely important in preventing challenges to multiple voting," Gould said.
And that's why we need Govt-issued Photo ID laws. To keep the people from voting once about whom we have no evidence they voted at all let alone more than once.
This strikes me is being more than a little disingenuous. Why don't you begin by describing exactly what it is you would consider voter fraud?
There is no conceivable excuse by which a failure to require a unique photo ID, provided at the state's expense to the poor, is a failure which can generally be excused.
Clinton fired all the US Attorneys for purely political reasons: because he wanted Democrats, not Republicans, in those positions.
There is zero difference between what Clinton did and what Bush did.
If by "state's expense" you mean 4-12 hours of a paralegal's time hunting down a wayward birth certificate and/or social security card. Granted, not every case will require that much work but a few certainly will - not all folks are as organized as VC posters apparently are and, last I checked, the constitution does not specify attention to personal affairs as a qualification to vote.
Clinton did not remove USAs in order to obstruct ongoing investigations
If by "state's expense" you mean 4-12 hours of a paralegal's time hunting down a wayward birth certificate and/or social security card.
In general, the following are not proof that there is a serious "voter fraud" problem:
2) Observations that voter fraud might be possible if someone were motivated to commit it
Correct me if I am wrong but you seem to be saying it is better to have a very high level of illegitimate ballots cast than one voter turned away.
An individual can be sent to prison for inattention to persional affairs (e.g., not paying taxes). However, such a person must never be denied the right to vote.
And exactly what is the problem with enforcing absentee ballot laws against people in the military? They are defending our country so election laws don't apply to them?
Al, people steal mail all the time. ...
There is no requirement in the world that would solve the problem of intercepted absentee ballots as long as we mail them.
Most working class folk have all their taxes withheld from their paychecks - it's much easier for everyone involved to do it this way. At any rate, your example is disingenuous - the worst the IRS will do is levy a fine + back interest.
Wait, you obviously didn't get the memo, they put one of them on the "fired list" on election day, don't you know!?
So you're saying no, zero, USA's were removed after this during the Clinton Admin?
Let's not lose sight of the forest through the trees, here. The allegation is that the White House's political office arranged for the firing of a number of otherwise perfectly qualified and adequately performing US Attys because they were unwilling to let partisan political considerations trump their professional judgment.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledged Thursday there was a "great deal of concern" in some quarters about former U.S. Attorney John McKay's handling of election fraud allegations during the 2004 election in Washington state. But he said he doesn't know if that's why McKay was placed on a list of U.S. attorneys to be fired in March 2005.
Uh, election day 2006 isn't "half way through" the 2nd term. Clown.
And a list of USA's to be fired in March 2005 was being put together right after the 2004 elections.
Thanks for the suggestion. Sadly, that link button doesn't seem to work for me. Maybe it's because I use Netscape. Or maybe I'm still doing something wrong.