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Voter Fraud in Alabama?

The NYT has an interesting story about a voter fraud investigation in Alabama.

K. Dackson (mail):
I am shocked, shocked to find Democrats openly breaking the law and people shrugging it off by claiming it's no big deal.
7.10.2008 11:27am
Justin (mail):
The accusations here are serious, although at this point they are just accusations. Hopefully a thorough investigation will help detail what's going on, and maybe we can see if voter fraud (as opposed to "registration fraud") truly exists, and if so, what measures would be effective at eliminating it.
7.10.2008 11:31am
GV:
Oh, concerns about law breaking is so pre-9/11.
7.10.2008 11:33am
Justin (mail):
Dackson,

1) What's been stated so far is hardly proof of Democrats breaking the law. What we have are accusations that are clearly sufficiently credible for a thorough investigation, but there's nothing that approaches proof of anything.

2) Nobody is shrugging it off by claiming it's no big deal. Certain people accused of committing crimes are claiming they didn't commit those crimes - not that those crimes are no big deal.
7.10.2008 11:34am
autolykos:

What's been stated so far is hardly proof of Democrats breaking the law. What we have are accusations that are clearly sufficiently credible for a thorough investigation, but there's nothing that approaches proof of anything.


Your classification of things as "proof" or "allegations" is legally sloppy and logically incoherent. The existing evidence may or may not be sufficient to bear the prosecution's burden, but we won't know that until after a trial.

As a private citizen, you're free to impose whatever burden you want and believe whatever you want, regardless of what evidence exists, but don't mutter half-baked thoughts about "proof" and how individuals (as opposed to the state) need to ignore the evidence since it hasn't been "proven".
7.10.2008 11:47am
Gregory Conen (mail):
@autolykos: It's true that, as private citizens and voters, we are legally free to subscribe to whatever burdens of proof we want. However, surely arguing over what those standards should be is valid. Proof has meaning outside of legal circles, and if Justin thinks the evidence doesn't prove (ie demonstrate conclusively) misconduct, that's hardly logically incoherent.
7.10.2008 11:52am
Per Son:
Voter fraud is one of those interesting topics, and depending on who is in charge of the DOJ or state agency says a lot about who are looked at - that would go both directions. For example, the Clinton Administration spent resources on stomping out voter suppresion, while this DOJ tends to focus on voter fraud. Both evils in my mind, and the law.

Nasty remarks against one party do little to resolve the very real issue of voter fraud and vote suppresion.

Whether it is fraud in a largely black county, or a polling booth person in Cuyahoga County who "assisted" my great aunt by pushing all of the buttons for Republicans when my great aunt said she wanted a straight Democratic ticket (it was resolved when my aunt raised a giant ruckas, something she should never had been required to do) - there are probs.

I point out the example of my great aunt, because I assume the assistant did this many times over and over.
7.10.2008 11:58am
MartyA:
It is striking that _The New York Times_ would ever print something that hinted at blacks being involved in voter fraud. Why else would the lefties be so opposed to requiring IDs before voting?
I've long believed that the first step in preventing dems from stealing other elections is to do a search of those voting in the last election by residence. I believe it was Oakland 10-15 years ago when they did this for another reason and found many (50-60?) voters listing the small home of a city pol as their home address. Don't think anything ever came of it. Of course, there is always the old technique of gathering absentee ballots or voter registration cards at nursing homes.
7.10.2008 12:07pm
Per Son:
MartyA:

You must have never heard of Ohio, where in 2004 there were counties that had more votes cast for Bush than there were registered voters in the entire county. Or have you also forgotten the Florida debacle where people were prevented from voting because they had a name similiar to a convicted felon.

Once again, there is fraud occurring and it is from all directions. Why then do people on this Board seem to think it is just a Democratic Party problem?
7.10.2008 12:11pm
anonymouseducator:

Why else would the lefties be so opposed to requiring IDs before voting?


Because it keeps people who would vote Democrat from voting, because they don't have ID's and don't care enough to get them.
7.10.2008 12:31pm
ejo:
mostly because the fraud is on the dem end of things. other than the screechings of Kos and the radical left, the actual incidence of repub voter fraud claims are rare. not surprising given that dems control the poor urban areas with the least intelligent voters.
7.10.2008 12:40pm
BGates:
Why then do people on this Board seem to think it is just a Democratic Party problem?
Because it's the Democratic Party which resists efforts to fight the problem, and Democrats who loudly and repeatedly state that there is no problem.
7.10.2008 12:41pm
Gabriel Malor (mail):
Once again, there is fraud occurring and it is from all directions. Why then do people on this Board seem to think it is just a Democratic Party problem?

Let us not forget Washington State, Per Son. Democrats will get credit for opposing voter fraud when they actually, y'know, oppose voter fraud.
7.10.2008 12:44pm
Per Son:
ejo:

"the actual incidence of repub voter fraud claims are rare."

That is a laugh. If anyone can post a list of convictions for voter fraud and the party it involved - that would be great.
7.10.2008 12:46pm
Leonard Pinth-Garnell (mail):
anonymouseducator has obviously never been poor. many of the elderly poor grew up in an age when birth certificates were never issued.

Sure, they've been voting for decades now, but the latest Republican tactic of denying them the vote - in a Don Quixote-inspired perception of widespread fraud - is just the latest incarnation of McCarthyism and an attempt to keep The Darkies (and now Latinos) back on the plantation where they Can't Make No Fuss.

If anonymouseducator knew how impossible it is to get a valid ID (suitable for voting) maybe she wouldn't be so quick to judge.
7.10.2008 12:47pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
If anonymouseducator knew how impossible it is to get a valid ID (suitable for voting) maybe she wouldn't be so quick to judge.
And yet, Democrats couldn't even dig up one such person for their lawsuit in Crawford.


You must have never heard of Ohio, where in 2004 there were counties that had more votes cast for Bush than there were registered voters in the entire county.
Didn't hear of it because it didn't happen.
7.10.2008 12:56pm
Sarcastro (www):
To be a full citizen one needs just the slight money reqired to get an ID. What's wrong with a little fee to vote?

And the evidence of fraud is incontravertable! Affidavits! It's not like the Republicans have politicized investigations into voter fraud in the past.

Also, the NY Times clearly has a liberal bias, so the actual story must be much worse! Any election Republicans lose is suspect, retroactively to 2006.
7.10.2008 12:56pm
ichthyophagous (mail):
In connection with the statement of Pinth-Garnell above, I must point out that the likelihood of someone reaching age 63 without having to show a birth certificate is small, to put it mildly. Getting Social Security requires one, for example.
7.10.2008 12:57pm
Per Son:
Where are all the convictions of vote fraud? If it is such a problem facing the US - I figured there would be more than 86 convictions between 2002 and 2006.

Moreover, focusing on just vote fraud ignores the other side of the coin voter-suppression or other frauds. Like how there were thousands of flyers spread in Prince George's County saying how the Republican Senate cadidate was a Democrat, or similiar campaigns where incorrect dates for elections are spread through phone calls and mailings in Democratic strongholds.

How about the Rovian tactic of getting churches to hand over memberlists and then sending these lists to candidates and PACs?

If you actually think one side has dirtier hands than the other - you are a moron. Again, voter fraud is just one subset of a much larger problem involving illegal election activities - and it is wrong at best and dishonest at worst to perpetuate the myth that it is mroe one side than the other.
7.10.2008 1:00pm
wcb:
People manage to get id's to buy beer or to buy tobacco products. No one thinks this is a problem. Somehow voting is a totally different issue. It boggles the mind. If activists spent more time helping people with proper procedures rather than "helping" them get to the ballot box then this wouldn't be an issue. Expense is also not an issue. Most states with id requirements will waive them for the poor.

I grew up in Alabama and absentee ballot fraud in those counties in particular has been infamous for many years. 20 to 30% absentee balloting rates are almost prima facie evidence of fraud. Many of these former civil rights leaders think it is now their hereditary right to soak their constituents. It's sad.
7.10.2008 1:01pm
autolykos:

It's true that, as private citizens and voters, we are legally free to subscribe to whatever burdens of proof we want. However, surely arguing over what those standards should be is valid. Proof has meaning outside of legal circles, and if Justin thinks the evidence doesn't prove (ie demonstrate conclusively) misconduct, that's hardly logically incoherent.


We're not arguing over what the standards of proof should be, we're talking about the discounting of facts that lead to a conclusion one doesn't like on the grounds solely on the basis that they haven't been proven. When a paper as liberal as the New York Times publishes multiple statements from votes stating that they were paid to vote Democratic, it takes a tremendous level of gaul to be willing to stand up and publicly whine about how there isn't sufficient proof.

Honestly, the more I think about this, the more I think of the Viceroy's protestations in the Imperial Senate scene from Star Wars Episode I (yes, I'm a dork, I know).

The suggestion that we shouldn't do anything because there hasn't been an investigation of the allegations is simply a dilatory tactic. If you need a conviction in a court of law to be convinced that somsthing is proven, that's your perogative, but don't claim I can't reach my own conclusions because something you don't think something is proven.
7.10.2008 1:02pm
Sarcastro (www):
wcb has a great point. Alcohal is a right just like voting, isn't it? I hear old people get fake ID's to drink all the time!

And the poor are generally unemployed, so they have loads of time to go off and get an ID.

Absentee ballots are always fake. The dead are always filing those out to vote, which is illegal.

autolykos is a humble genius, as all dorks are. I generally require much less then a conviction before I start policies that burden people's Constitutional rights.

My only argument with his thesis is that this situation is more like when the guys with white on the right side of their face kept disenfranchising the guy with white on the left side of his face by voting like a million times.
7.10.2008 1:14pm
Per Son:
David M. Nieporent:

So there was no voting irregularities in Ohio? There were tons of problems, some were caught, and fixed - others it appeared weren't. One question, why are some repubs like Blackwell so against electronic voting where a paper record is not kept? Hmmm. . . I can think of a reason.

From Conyer's letter to Ken Blackwell:

"On election day, a computerized voting machine in ward 1B in the Gahanna precinct of Franklin County recorded a total of 4,258 votes for President Bush and 260 votes for Democratic challenger, John Kerry. However, there are only 800 registered voters in that Gahanna precinct, and only 638 people cast votes at the New Life Church polling site. It was since discovered that a computer glitch resulted in the recording of 3,893 extra votes for President George W. Bush.

Fortunately, this glitch was caught and the numbers were adjusted to show President Bush's true vote count at 365 votes to Senator Kerry's 260 votes."

Miami County Vote Discrepancy -- In Miami County, with 100% of the precincts reporting on Wednesday, November 3, 2004, President Bush had received 20,807 votes, or 65.80% of the vote, and Senator Kerry had received 10,724 votes, or 33.92% of the vote. Miami reported 31,620 voters. Inexplicably, nearly 19,000 new ballots were added after all precincts reported, boosting President Bush's vote count to 33,039, or 65.77%, while Senator Kerry's vote percentage stayed exactly the same to three one-hundredths of a percentage point at 33.92%.

Roger Kearney of Rhombus Technologies, Ltd., the reporting company responsible for vote results of Miami County, has stated that the problem was not with his reporting and that the additional 19,000 votes came before 100% of the precincts were in. However, this does not explain how the vote count could change for President Bush, but not for Senator Kerry, after 19,000 new votes were added to the roster.
7.10.2008 1:14pm
ejo:
a 10 second google found a nice article on that far right rag, salon, which addressed the Ohio myths. but, to folks like per son, the deep breathing of Kos is far more credible than any actual facts cited. after all, they still cite to fraud in fla which doesn't exist that conclusively proves gore would have won, despite the facts.
7.10.2008 1:18pm
Per Son:
Funny thing. I have never been on the Kos website ever, and never have felt that Florida would have certainly gone to Gore.

So I guess you don't know how folks like Per Son are after all.
7.10.2008 1:20pm
Per Son:
I'll add that I believe that Bush won Ohio despite the voting problems. The Dem's biggest problem was Kerry not Republican vote suppression - although to act like that does not occur . . . means that you would probably be willing to buy a bridge I have for sale.
7.10.2008 1:22pm
ejo:
nah, you don't sound conspiracy minded at all, even though you mouth the same debunked nonsense that one finds all over the internet. my apologies for the insensitivity.
7.10.2008 1:34pm
wcb:
Setting aside the ethics of it, is "voter suppression" illegal? Not that I am aware of, but I'm no expert. Voting fraud clearly is, as is paying someone to vote. But is it actually illegal to tell someone the wrong date of an election or mislead them about the beliefs or affiliations of a candidate?

Note - I'm sure it is illegal for the state to discourage minority voting. I'm only referring to private parties.
7.10.2008 1:34pm
Sarcastro (www):
Per Son (if that's his real name) thinks there may be some Republican vote supression. In my book, that makes him a Communist, and suspected Islamoterrorist.

I do hope Cheney takes some time out of his busy day to check this "per son" out. Personally.
7.10.2008 1:37pm
josh:
How is publication of the issue in the pinko-commie NY Times "shrugging it off?"
7.10.2008 1:39pm
JK:
Both voter fraud and voter suppression are more regional than partisan. The south has been consistently terrible throughout the history of the nation, but periodic bubbles have popped up all over the place. It's also meaningless to try to connect one of the major parties to voter fraud/suppression over any significant period of time due to the shifting coalitions that make up both parties.
7.10.2008 1:43pm
Bored HLS 3L:
It's amazing to me that each side (besides believing that their own party is 100% right on all issues) believes that the other side consistently is cheating, yet simultaneously believes, no matter how much documentary evidence there is, that their own side is not nor ever has been guilty of such dirty tricks.

Oh well, back to bar studying...
7.10.2008 1:57pm
Dave N (mail):
a polling booth person in Cuyahoga County who "assisted" my great aunt by pushing all of the buttons for Republicans when my great aunt said she wanted a straight Democratic ticket
Because we know that Cuyahoga County, home of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, is such a Republican bastion.
7.10.2008 1:57pm
glangston (mail):
What does the low level of prosecution for voter fraud tell us?

Maybe, like the low level of Brady Law prosecutions not much. Just a low level of interest and resources (at least according to law enforcement.)
Brady Bill
7.10.2008 1:58pm
Per Son:
Dave N:

So because a Dem would win anyways in Cuyahoga county, illegal actions by Republicans is somehow ok??

I live in DC, a apart from Carol Schwartz - Democratic victories are forgone conclusions - I still would be appalled by any voter suppression or voter fraud.

As for voter suppression being illegal, I am only referring to illegal tactics.
7.10.2008 2:06pm
Dave N (mail):
Per Son,

Not in the least. It just seemed to me that if a county is going to be doing wholesale fraud (as you were suggesting in your anecdote), it would be doing the fraud for the political party in power.

I am for "clean" elections in all respects. I find nothing wrong with requiring voter ID and there should be some mechanism (a fingerprint, perhaps?) to verify absentee voters; I support paper trails for electronic voting; I think that voting rolls should be kept "tight" and missing two general elections in a row should cause a name to be purged; I also abhor any attempt to actually disenfrachise those who are lawfully entitled to vote.
7.10.2008 2:20pm
Brett Bellmore:

So because a Dem would win anyways in Cuyahoga county, illegal actions by Republicans is somehow ok?


I suspect the argument would be more like, "Because elections officers in Cuyahoga county would be Democrats, illegal actions by Republicans are unlikely.

Though I suppose it's possible one or two Republicans slipped through by accident.
7.10.2008 2:23pm
autolykos:

autolykos is a humble genius, as all dorks are. I generally require much less then a conviction before I start policies that burden people's Constitutional rights.


1. Sarcasm is the defense of the weak.

2. If you're going to be sarcastic, at least try to be funny.

3. We don't need to "start policies". We need to, you know, enforce the law.
7.10.2008 2:27pm
hattio1:
It's funny, in the latest voter ID law Democrats generally did not claim that there was no voter fraud, but that the law didn't address the easiest, moste effective voter fraud method, absentee voting. (They additionally claimed that the law would disenfranchise more legal voters than it would stop fraudulent voting). Now, we have an article which implies that, yes, absentee voters often involve fraud. The conservatives on this list take evidence of ABSENTEE voter fraud as evidence that the law they passed was really needed and effective, thus ignoring not only that this involved absentee voter fraud, but also that the fraud occurred AFTER the latest law was passed.
Finally, to top it all off conservatives say the reality in Alabama must be worse because, well, this is they New York Times and everyone knows they are liberal. Ignoring the fact that both this story and a freaking column by George F. Will were linked to by the oh-so-liberal Volokh Conspiracy. Whatever you do, make sure you don't challenge any of your underlying assumptions.
7.10.2008 2:34pm
Sarcastro (www):
1. And seriousness is the refuge of the shallow!

2. Humor is in the eye of the beholder. I assure you, I am having a grand time!

3. Indeed, since every law is always enforced, policy is never set by discretionary enforcement!
7.10.2008 2:34pm
Per Son:
Dave N:

I was providing examples of vote problems and listed my aunt, because that is a real world example to me (she ain't gonna lie to her beloved nephew).

Sarcastro: you are funny, and I believe that you make many of us laugh.
7.10.2008 2:37pm
libarbarian (mail):

I am shocked, shocked to find Democrats openly breaking the law and people shrugging it off by claiming it's no big deal.



I'm equally shocked that the Republicans would accuse poor black people of voting fraud right before this election.
7.10.2008 2:40pm
K. Dackson (mail):
Justin wrote:


Dackson,

1) What's been stated so far is hardly proof of Democrats breaking the law. What we have are accusations that are clearly sufficiently credible for a thorough investigation, but there's nothing that approaches proof of anything.

2) Nobody is shrugging it off by claiming it's no big deal. Certain people accused of committing crimes are claiming they didn't commit those crimes - not that those crimes are no big deal.



Let me respond to point #1.

The article clearly states:


In interviews in the county, where a third of the population lives below the poverty line and $100 is a fortune, several residents said they had seen votes openly bought and sold by local officials.

"I've been standing around when they come and do it," said Kisha Cole, who was standing with friends in a Marion neighborhood a few days ago. "They say, 'I gotcha,' means they're going to handle you when you sign your ballot, give you $20-$30."

One young man, Chris Steadman, said: "Well, yeah, I've accepted it. $100, $50. It's pretty common. Ain't no jobs around here. I know it's wrong."

In an affidavit taken by the Democracy Defense League just before the election, Christopher Collins, a 23-year-old unemployed local resident, said he had been paid by local officials to use an absentee ballot ever since he had been eligible to vote.

"The last time I voted, I was paid $30," Mr. Collins said in a telephone interview this week, adding: "It's pretty common. It ain't nothing new."


Sounds pretty much like proof to me. A witness who admits that he participated in the activity while "know[ing] it's wrong".

Not good enough? How about a signed affidavit?

As to point #2:

People who are admitting they are doing it and have been doing it for a long time ("It ain't nothing new"), sure sounds like business as usual. Ergo - it's no big deal to them.
7.10.2008 2:41pm
K. Dackson (mail):
Those of you who claim to have a problem with voter fraud should show a little consistency.

Be outraged at ANY instance of voter fraud, not just the ones that are tagetting your party.
7.10.2008 2:46pm
Dave N (mail):
K. Dackson,
Be outraged at ANY instance of voter fraud, not just the ones that are tagetting your party.
I am.
7.10.2008 2:49pm
Per Son:
me too
7.10.2008 2:55pm
autolykos:

Be outraged at ANY instance of voter fraud, not just the ones that are tagetting your party.


I'd ask to whom you are referring, but I'm guessing it's the proverbial strawman.
7.10.2008 3:02pm
autolykos:

2. Humor is in the eye of the beholder. I assure you, I am having a grand time!


I can't fault you for having low standards, after all, somebody has to buy all those tickets to see Margaret Cho perform...
7.10.2008 3:06pm
Snarky:
First of all, as a Democrat, I think any Democratic official who engages in vote buying should be in prison.

I will note that this probable blatant corruption as described in the NYT article seems to be limited to a small rural county. In most places, it probably would not be economical or politically possible to engage in actual vote buying.

1,000 absentee ballots is described as a large number. i.e. this is really a tiny rural county.

I do not think that the example of a small rural county, which is surely an outlier, provides much justification for policies like requiring Voters to have state-issued ID. Especially since it appears that much of the fraud is with respect to absentee ballots.

Finally, Voter ID requirements would not help in this county. In this case, the problem is not that there are not enough laws, the problem is that the law that is on the books is not being enforced. Candidates are actually at the ballot box, and no one is stopping them.

Well, guess what. Even if you have a voter ID law, it doesn't do much good if it isn't enforced, does it? And anyway, especially in the context of a small town where everyone knows everyone, it seems especially likely that people would have a tendency to fail to enforce the law.

What this county needs is a good dose of law and order.

NRA supporters should understand this one: sometimes it makes sense to simple enforce the laws you already have before you make new ones. The county here as described in the article sounds completely corrupt and lawless. That is the problem.
7.10.2008 3:09pm
K. Dackson (mail):
autolykos:

It is a general admonition. Too often when we see stories of Democrat fraud like the article linked, partisan Democrats come out and either deny or claim that it is not a problem. Ditto if it is the Republicans caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

It would be refreshing if for once one of the libs would simply come out and say "This story is outrageous. It makes me ashamed to be associated with these people."

But it will never happen.
7.10.2008 3:10pm
ejo:
now it's poor folks get to commit voter fraud because, what, they're poor? they are less educated and dumber voters make better democrats? I can't quite get the reasoning. I am afraid that I don't accept anecdotes very often as there is no way to prove them one way or the other-much like your nonsense on voter fraud in ohio which you didn't pick up from any far left website.
7.10.2008 3:14pm
Per Son:
Hmmm. Ok. Howabout, voter fraud is horrible, regardless of who does it.

My responses were only going to the belief that seems to exist here that only Dems are bad actors in the realm of voting.

I cannot imagine how anyone could argue that the stuff in the article if true, is somehow not horrible.
7.10.2008 3:21pm
Sarcastro (www):
K. Dackson is totally right, libs will never come clean.

Snarky must therefore not be a lib, what with all his calls for law and order and prison.

I think he's a concern troll! A real lib would be frothing at the mouth, quoting Marx and reinterpreting our Constitution!
7.10.2008 3:22pm
Per Son:
No, I got it from a congressional letter from Conyers to Blackwell. It seems the only stuff on google that goes against the letter are from "far right" blogs and websites. SO whats a guy to do?
7.10.2008 3:28pm
ejo:
ps, ps, ps-thank you for the explanation. you didn't actually get it from Kos, you got it from a congressman who got it from Kos. now, to educate yourself and avoid descending to the level of a 9/11 truther, go take a look at the Salon article. do your own google, I presume you are over 12-it actually cites to some facts and people willing to be named, not Kos assertions. you might learn something by the end of the day.
7.10.2008 3:41pm
ejo:
www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/06/03/kennedy/index.html
7.10.2008 3:44pm
Per Son:
Ok - I read th article, and I do not see how that disproves problems in Ohio. It disagrees with a different article.

Funny thing is - I never said Ohio really voted for Kerry, but for silly shenanigans. I pointed out serious problems. You, ejo, are the one with the Kos obsession and "far left" obsession not I. I have stated here and elsewhere that Kerry's biggest problem was Kerry not voter fraud/suppression/etc.

So, in all of this, what is your point?
7.10.2008 3:53pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Two points: (1) voting fraud and voter suppression are both wrong, no matter which party does it; and (2) IMHO, Sarcastro is the best new poster on the VC in quite some time. And IANS.
7.10.2008 3:57pm
ejo:
when you continue to obsess on non-existent voter fraud, I am afraid thou dost protest too much. kerry was a problem-live with it, better luck next election. in the NYT, we appear to have obvious fraud and your counter is non-existent fraud.
7.10.2008 3:59pm
Per Son:
Ejo:

Ugh - you are frustrating me!!!!!!!!! Are you a troll who is intentionally attributing comments to me that I never said. I never countered anything in the NYT article!!! I countered the assertion that it is somehow just a problem with Democrats.

As for Ohio, you have made a decision to view one version of facts. Personally, I do not know, and I tend to believe there were some serious problems, but not enough to change the election. You stated "kerry was a problem-live with it." Were you addressing me, because I never said Bush did not legitimately win the election in 2004 - I can't help it if a majority of the voting Americans did something I consider dumb (re-elect Bush).

I also stated:

"Moreover, focusing on just vote fraud ignores the other side of the coin voter-suppression or other frauds. Like how there were thousands of flyers spread in Prince George's County saying how the Republican Senate cadidate was a Democrat, or similiar campaigns where incorrect dates for elections are spread through phone calls and mailings in Democratic strongholds."

Those things happened. It is a fact. If it makes you feel happy, I'll list some Democratic voter fraud. The dead people voting for Kennedy and the recent debacle in East Saint Louis.
7.10.2008 4:08pm
libarbarian (mail):
1. Voter ID laws don't do ANYTHING to combat Absentee vote-fraud.

2. The idea that Democrats are paying massive (allegedly thousands at least) numbers of strangers to vote without anyone stepping forward and going "states evidence" reaches Fake-Moon-Landing levels of conspiracy theorizing. Somehow we are supposed to believe that democrats are paying thousands of perfect strangers to vote, all across the country, but that the Republican party cannot get even one single mole to take part and then blow the whistle, or even a participant to come forward and testify "I was paid for my vote by Democrats".
7.10.2008 4:14pm
Per Son:
Libarbarian:

As for number 2, I believe there are people who have used such payments. The question is how widespread, and who was responsible. If you all recall in 2006 there were some ACORN employees doing just that. ACORN was helping the DOJ go after these employees, and tons of people on this site was saying that ACORN committed vote fraud.

That is like blaiming the DNC if I went and committed vote fraud without their knowledge.

I do understand where you are coming from, though. Where are these vast networks of vote fraud, as opposed to regional problems here and there.
7.10.2008 4:22pm
Per Son:
Damn my grammer and spelling sucks today.
7.10.2008 4:22pm
libarbarian (mail):
REAL voter fraud is usually crried out by a small number of comitted partisans behind closed doors - faking absentee ballots, re-programing vote machines, stuffing ballot boxes.

Real voter fraud does not take the form of a coordinated campaign to pay thousands of untrustworthy strangers to commit a crime on your behalf.

The Republican obsession with the most easily caught (when it actually happens) and least attempted form of voter fraud, which "just happens" to require measures likely to suppress Democratic-leaning voting Demographics, strikes sane people as a little bit fishy.
7.10.2008 4:25pm
Matt_T:
Sarcastro, are you having an off week? Your wit seems uncharacteristically flat.
7.10.2008 4:43pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Actually, Matt_T, I do have a cold...plus there's no Dangermouse]
7.10.2008 4:54pm
A Law Dawg:
Just because voter ID laws do nothing to stop absentee fraud doesn't mean they don't stop OTHER voter fraud.
7.10.2008 4:59pm
Justin (mail):
K. Dackson,

A bunch of statements made by a few random people (who by their job descriptions and lignual skills may not be educated) that unidentified people (not Democrats) give out $20 or $30 to vote, is not proof by any stretch of "Democrats openly breaking the law."

Also, if all you meant is that the impoverished people who have allegedly accepted the money don't think it is a big deal, then that's ok. But that's hardly an interesting point, nor is it the implication you gave when you said "people shrugging it off" the implication I took was you meant Democrats and liberal politicians and analysts. Good thing we got that cleared up.
7.10.2008 5:03pm
SATA_Interface:
Yeah, what happened to Dangermouse? ejo's working overtime on froth duty.
7.10.2008 5:17pm
libarbarian (mail):

Just because voter ID laws do nothing to stop absentee fraud doesn't mean they don't stop OTHER voter fraud.


1. Absentee ballot fraud is by far the most common type of voter fraud. Why focus the lion-share of police resources to fight a much less widespread form of abuse?

2. If a Democratic official ignored a major crime problem in a democratic area and instead sent the police to hassle you and your neighbors over a much less widespread and less dangerous form of crime in your neighborhood, I doubt you'd be so sanguine.
7.10.2008 5:20pm
Per Son:
The lords clothed in black silk have silenced Dangermouse.
7.10.2008 5:22pm
DangerMouse:
Actually, I've just had client meetings all day. Pretty busy for me right now.
7.10.2008 5:44pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Justin,

A bunch of statements made by a few random people (who by their job descriptions and lignual skills may not be educated) that unidentified people (not Democrats) give out $20 or $30 to vote, is not proof by any stretch of "Democrats openly breaking the law."

Since everyone else here is apparently too polite to mention it: When you are making assumptions about strangers' educational attainment on the basis of their speech, it really is better not to refer to their poor "lignual skills."

So two of the three people quoted used That Contraction Of Which All We Educated Folks Have Been Well Broken.(Alabamans saying "ain't" in conversation? Say it, er, isn't so!) I gather the "job descriptions" bit (why the plural?) is a reference to the description of one of the three as unemployed.

Never mind the assumptions, though. I'm more interested in why you think what you're assuming true would be relevant if it were. Presumably even a poor and uneducated man can tell whether someone has offered him money in exchange for his vote. Is the implication that the unlettered are too stupid to be credible witnesses? Too dishonest? Or what?
7.10.2008 6:59pm
Smokey:
Dave N said:
I am for "clean" elections in all respects. I find nothing wrong with requiring voter ID and there should be some mechanism (a fingerprint, perhaps?) to verify absentee voters; I support paper trails for electronic voting; I think that voting rolls should be kept "tight" and missing two general elections in a row should cause a name to be purged.
Eminently reasonable proposals. Who could honestly argue with them? But somehow I think that Republicans and Democrats [I'm neither] would have diametrically opposed views on verifying each and every voter's identity and citizenship.

But I don't wonder why the Democrat Party opposes identity/citizenship verification of voters, and why the Republican Party favors identity/citizenship verification. One of them is just gaming the system.
7.10.2008 8:50pm
the conspiracy theories ....:
crack me up. So do the made up "facts" about Ohio.
7.10.2008 9:34pm
Jim Miller (mail) (www):
It is curious that so many commenters here say there is no proof of fraud when the article itself notes that that there have been convictions in earlier years.

As for the party balance in vote fraud, there is no doubt that people in both parties commit vote fraud -- and that it is far more common among Democrats. Anyone who doesn't believe that should read John Fund's "Stealing Elections", or simply do regular searches on Google News with "vote + fraud".

Incidentally, one of the subjects I try to cover at my own site is vote fraud -- and I have found many examples, without spending a lot of time.

By the way, Democrats should take vote fraud seriously, too, since it occurs in Democratic primaries, as well as general elections. In fact, since the electorates are usually smaller in primaries, it is likely that vote fraud changes the outcome more often in primaries than in general elections.

(Oh, and one ironic bit. Recently, the NYT ran an editorial proclaiming that vote fraud was a "myth". Somehow I doubt that the publication of this article -- or even the convictions of the accused in these counties -- will change their minds.)
7.10.2008 9:57pm
TokyoTom (mail):
BOTH parties game the system, by gerrymandering, voter suppression, vote inflation anf the like, all the way up to the Presidential election, where they have passed laws that concentrate all of the votes on the candidate who gets the most votes. A monopolization of power is very useful to the rent-seekers, as it provides them with greater confidence in a return from their bribes campaign contributions. This in turn makes corruption and influence-peddling so irresistible, as "Contract with America" Republicans displayed so well over Bush's terms.

It's a shame that the Supreme Court declined to apply a Due Process standard to redistricting.

Jon, can we take it from this that you have a partisan view as to where the problem lies?
7.10.2008 10:16pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
David M. Nieporent:

So there was no voting irregularities in Ohio?
There are "voting irregularities" everywhere, if that term is defined so broadly as to include initial counting errors, technical glitches, and other routine mistakes. But I believe that what I wrote was that "it didn't happen," where "it" referred to the claim that "in 2004 there were counties [in Ohio] that had more votes cast for Bush than there were registered voters in the entire county."

From Conyer's letter to Ken Blackwell:
Well, obviously if John Conyers complains about a Republican winning, it must be factually-based because John Conyers is an unbiased, nonpartisan source.

Miami County Vote Discrepancy -- In Miami County, with 100% of the precincts reporting on Wednesday, November 3, 2004, President Bush had received 20,807 votes, or 65.80% of the vote, and Senator Kerry had received 10,724 votes, or 33.92% of the vote. Miami reported 31,620 voters. Inexplicably, nearly 19,000 new ballots were added after all precincts reported, boosting President Bush's vote count to 33,039, or 65.77%, while Senator Kerry's vote percentage stayed exactly the same to three one-hundredths of a percentage point at 33.92%.
Except that "all precincts" hadn't reported; this was reported and debunked years ago. The confusion came from the fact that as soon as a precinct reported a single vote, it was described as "reporting," even though it hadn't reported all its votes yet.
Roger Kearney of Rhombus Technologies, Ltd., the reporting company responsible for vote results of Miami County, has stated that the problem was not with his reporting and that the additional 19,000 votes came before 100% of the precincts were in. However, this does not explain how the vote count could change for President Bush, but not for Senator Kerry, after 19,000 new votes were added to the roster.
That doesn't even make sense on its own merits. By the very numbers you cited, the vote count changed proportionally for both candidates. Bush did not get 19,000 votes; he got 13,000. Kerry got the rest.
7.10.2008 11:05pm
LM (mail):
The most reliable conclusion I can draw from this thread is that publication in the N.Y. Times makes things conservatives agree with irrefutably right and things conservatives disagree with irrefutably wrong. Thanks for that.

... and DangerMouse had a busy day.
7.10.2008 11:52pm
Stump (mail):
And in what alternate reality is going from 65.80% to 65.77% considered a "boost"?
7.11.2008 12:08am
Psalm91 (mail):
Back to one of the original posts: The reality of fraud is irrelevant. The reality of well publicized pre-election indictments is the point. We can guarantee that there will be no federal indictments of Republicans in the months up to the election. Any indictments actually issued will become moot after the election. The indictments are electoral tactics.
7.11.2008 1:38am
Sam Hall (mail):
Designing a simple and secure electronic voting system with not only a paper trail, but also a paper audit trail is not rocket science. We could have state wide vote totals within minutes of the polls closing with all the hard copy documentation needed to insure an accurate count. Such a system could also prevent people from voting more than once.

The fact that we don't have such a system says to me that the powers-that-be either don't care or really don't want a secure system.
7.11.2008 8:06am
wuzzagrunt (mail):
I can recall several local incidents of Twicky Wepubwicans (we can assume) papering minority neighborhoods with flyers announcing the fact that it is a violation of federal law to vote if you are not a citizen and/or if you are a convicted felon, and that federal agents would be at the polling sites to verify that voters were eligible to cast a ballot. I think they also mentioned LEOs checking individuals for active warrants.

Well, you can imagine that Democrat Party officials (and the sympathetic media) were aghast at the underhanded voter suppression tactics. One can imagine the frantic, last-minute phone calls, assuring everyone that nobody would be "disenfranchised" in this manner. We can only hope that disaster was averted.

Only a racist would have the effrontery to ask who is likely to be discouraged from voting, by this type of stunt.
7.11.2008 9:38am
hattio1:
Smokey,
Your theory about the Dems always opposing voter fraud proposals is interesting and all. But it's wrong. In the recent voter fraud bill, there were Democratic amendments to address absentee voter fraud. You know, the kind that is actually being discussed here. Voted down...by the Republicans...who supported ending voter fraud, of course...just not that KIND of voter fraud.
7.11.2008 1:19pm