The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 17, 2014: Fraud The Vote Story

In our last episode, we talked about a group calling itself “True The Vote.” Their motto is “equipping citizens to take a stand for free and fair elections.” They also consider themselves “the nation’s leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization.” They are big on election monitoring, and they have this belief that there is a significant problem with voter fraud in this country. “We are helping stop corruption where it can start – at the polls.” Actually that’s where it ends. It usually begins much sooner than someone walking into the polling booth, and is often done to avoid having to do just that. So, believing that requiring every voter to have a photo ID would solve the problem, they support Voter ID laws. So I do not support them. Might as well get that cleared up from the start. I’m not a journalist, I’m just a blogger with a liberal stand.

Before continuing, let’s do something True The Vote doesn’t do, and that’s point out that there are various kinds of election fraud. Not all election fraud is in-person voter fraud, where someone shows up at a polling place and illegally tries to cast a vote under a false identity. Of all the kinds of election fraud, this is probably the only kind that would be prevented by a sanctioned photo ID. A photo ID would not stop voter registration fraud, or absentee ballot fraud. Nor would it do anything to deter tampering with the results of the election. The Constitution was amended to stop the racist practice of requiring black and Native American voters to pay a poll tax before casting their votes in a federal election. The Supreme Court ruled in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections “that making voter affluence an electoral standard violated the Equal Protection Clause.” You can’t make people have to pay something in order to vote. And requiring them to obtain some kind of photo ID will cost them money, one way or another. The concern is for poor people, who do have a right to vote and often cast it against political parties that favor the wealthy. Coincidentally enough, this is the same party that is trying to make it harder for poorer folks to vote, because they know whose vote they would get. It’s blindingly obvious to anyone with an IQ in the three-digit range.

To justify support for requiring photo IDs for every voter, True The Vote gives a list of incidents in 46 states meant to illustrate the existence of voter fraud, and therefore the need for photo IDs. And while each may be an example of some kind of election fraud, even voter fraud, none illustrate the kind of massive fraud Republicans say is going on that photo IDs would prevent. Strangely enough, there is so much voter fraud being committed by people casting votes for Democrats that the Republicans have managed to control the House of Representatives and most state legislatures for about a decade. So it’s really, really hard to believe that voter fraud is any kind of problem at all. In fact (a word repugnant to those who disdain thinking), if one party was committing the kind of massive fraud the Republicans say is going on, wouldn’t it make sense that that party would control the House of Representatives and most state legislatures? Hey, Republicans! We’re not the stupid ones. Even your own Rick Santorum admitted it. It’s simple, Republicans: Either there is no massive voter fraud problem, or there is one and your party is committing it.

So is the kind of voter fraud photo IDs would prevent really happening in massive numbers? Let’s look at each of True The Vote’s examples. And remember, a lot of things are wrongly called “voter fraud,” so just finding news articles about people described as being charged with “voter fraud” does not automatically qualify as valid examples. Voter fraud is, in simple terms, trying to fraudulently cast a vote. And while absentee ballots are an easy way to commit voter fraud, they are not the kind of voter fraud a photo ID would prevent. In fact, they are exactly the kind of voter fraud one would commit if one couldn’t pass the photo ID check. So right away, we can see that requiring a photo ID is more likely to increase absentee ballot voter fraud. Just saying.

Absentee ballots are the fraud committed in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut [limited free visits], Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If your problem is with absentee ballot fraud, requiring a photo ID isn’t necessarily going to prevent that, especially when it’s elected officials doing the fraud.

Voter registration fraud, where the problem involves how voter registration efforts were done illegally, not in-person voter fraud, were the problems in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada (a constitutional issue involving ACORN which went out of business years ago), North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington,

Illegal vote solicitation or buying was the “voter fraud” committed in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas. That’s a fraud committed by the candidates, not the voters involved. And I’m pretty sure they already knew the identities of the voters, so photo IDs would not have prevented those crimes.

Residency issues were the culprit in Kansas, Maine and New Hampshire. An interesting thing about the New Hampshire story is that they give figures that show voter fraud is not a serious problem. They investigated 8 cases out of about 711,000 votes cast. That’s about one fraudulent voter in 90,000. Are photo IDs needed to stop such a crime wave?

Illegal voting (which involved convicted criminals voting, or some other non-identity issue) happened in Minnesota and Tennessee. And even if a photo ID would have prevented these two crimes, does that justify requiring every citizen to present a photo ID?

Petition fraud would not have been stopped by Voter ID laws in Michigan (Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s staff committed that crime), Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The justification for having Voter ID laws in Arizona was because someone ran for office in the wrong district. I’m pretty sure no one doubted who she was. And she was the candidate, not the voter.

And the link doesn’t work for the stories about Alabama, California, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia. It doesn’t prove your point when the link to your evidence doesn’t work. It’s like directing a shopper to an aisle that doesn’t exist. “Yes, Angus steaks at forty cents a pound are in Aisle Pi-R-Squared.”

The missing states were Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, Vermont, and District of Columbia. Four of these are generally considered blue states, but apparently there is no voter fraud happening in any of those places. And Montana is usually considered a red state, but they could find no voter fraud after they elected a Democrat as governor. You would think that if the Democrats really were casting votes for dead people, or voting under a false identity, there would be a lot of it going on to give them such control over those states. So why couldn’t True The Vote find any examples from them? I don’t know, maybe because it isn’t happening on such a massive scale?

Remember, the argument the red states are making is that there is such a massive voter fraud problem that the only way to stop all this illegal voting is to require every person stepping up to the voting booth to first present an acceptable photo ID (and government-issued student photo IDs are sometimes not considered valid). Yet they are unable to come up with any evidence that the problem is that big. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that nobody ever tried to illegally cast a vote. I’m just saying that it doesn’t happen so often that the only way to prevent it is to require people who may not have acceptable photo IDs (elderly people, students, nuns) to spend money to get one.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss voter fraud, True The Vote, lying conservatives, or anything else you wish.

64 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 17, 2014: Fraud The Vote Story

  1. Interesting that the nationwide efforts to halt non-existent (and mostly non-white, to be sure) “voter fraud” are so widely accepted and urged by virtually the entire of the GOP, even as any reasonable attempt at limiting both gun purchase by background checks and/or magazine-size limits results in GOP screams of outrage that can probably be heard even by the Mars Rover. OTOH, the history of emergent Fascist movements in the 20th century suggests that no one should really be surprised by any of that.

    • I think that if we tell these folks that someone, perhaps the CIA, is correlating their voter registration info with the background check info, they will be afraid to buy more guns or vote. If we promote it with a picture of an eagle, flag, and cross, they will both buy our tee (tea) shirts and drop off the grid altogether.

    • Thank you, Zooey. The song parody was written a while ago. It’s one of my favorite Moody Blues songs, and I was intrigued by the challenge of making it work.

  2. Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Except in North Carolina where the state government is f’ing SICK of the damn “Moral Monday” monkeys and all their noise, complaining, griping, etc. So how to deal with it? With a law that basically abridges the freedom of speech along with the right to peaceably assemble and allathat redress of grievances nonsense.

    But hey, the Constitution only prohibits CONGRESS from pulling that crap, right? Right.

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/05/moral-mondays-shames-nc-lawmakers-so

    • Speaking of GOoPers and Amendment One

      What is it with Republicans and free speech? Evidently the only speech they support is the speech paid for with Billionaire Bucks.

      Wingnuts seem to universally loathe the First Amendment (with possible exception of the Fox Noise Machine’s RIGHT to shriek nothing but lies) as much as they worship the last 14 words of the Second: “. . . , the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” . . . all with none of that meaningless “well regulated Militia” bullshit.

    • Every time I see this list I am reminded that these paper products are inferior and a waste of money. I’m reminded of the beer commercial:
      “I don’t always use wasteful disposable paper products, but when I do I would prefer that they do not completely disintegrate before completing the cleaning task.” Stay Koch-less my friends!

  3. Anthony Hopkins hears a waltz he composed 50 years ago performed for the first time. OMG, it’s so beautiful.

    • Song parody idea:
      “If you’re going down to DC
      Be sure to wear some tea bags in your hair…”

        • If you’re going down to DC
          Be sure to wear some tea bags in your hair
          If you’re going down to DC
          You’re gonna meet some angry people there

          For those who come down to DC
          Summertime will be a hatefest there
          In the streets of our capital
          Angry people with tea bags in their hair

          All across the nation such a strange vibration
          People deluded
          There’s the last generation with no real explanation
          People deluded, people deluded

          (repeat refrain)

  4. Nascar driver Kurt Busch qualified for the Indy 500 today, before heading to Charlotte to race tonight in the All Star race. Now that he’s actually driven an Indy car ‘officially’, I have to believe that any doubts he had about Danica Patrick’s talents are now over.

    Danica was a shoo-in to win the fan vote and be included in the All Star race, but a bunch of people on Reddit block-voted an unknown named Josh Wise in instead.

  5. News of the weird:

    Kim Jong-un’s ‘executed’ ex-girlfriend miraculously reappears on TV

    The ex-girlfriend of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who was thought to have been executed by firing squad last year has appeared back on state television smiling and talking.

    In what is a miraculous turn of events, singer Hyon Song-wyol seems to have come back from the dead after being interviewed during a state broadcast.

    Last year, reports from newspapers in neighbouring South Korea reported that Hyon had been one of a group of musicians arrested and then machine gunned down after charges of pornography were brought against her.

        • LOL!πŸ˜€ 10-4 on the ‘one’ screwdriver! I thought it was Bacardi 151 that was the highest ABV available over the counter. Glad you are over that part of your life.

          The way you like to argue on Twitter, Wayne, you should look into http://www.discussionist.com/, and see if you can get something going there. It’s a spinoff from Democratic Underground, where supposedly, liberals and conservatives can debate topics, maybe civilly. It’s just been up for a few days, so everyone is ‘new’ there. I could use a friendly screenname over there when I can get into things there.

          • I seem to remember something called Double Tvarsky (or something like that) that I was pretty sure was 180 proof. Maybe they stopped making it after I quit drinking. (Not that I’m implying there’s necessarily a connection between the two.)

            And I signed up for Discussionist as WayneASchneider.πŸ˜‰

            • Awesome! I am my same name on Discussionist also. it’s run by the DU people, so it won’t devolve into Disqus or Facepuke. I think maybe we could all enjoy a foray into there when the topic suits us.

            • No, I just replied on this thread: Who Are You and Why Are You Here?

              I don’t comment much. In over a year, on DU, I’ve made 685 comments. Less than two a day, average. What I’ve been able to observe, however, is the admins are trying to foster a place where debate can take place, but baiting and flaming can be controlled. The same seven member jury system used at DU is alos in place at Discussionist.

            • I just got told I can’t post two comments within a five minute window. I may pass out before then.

  6. Federal judge declares Idaho’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Idaho became the latest state Tuesday in which a federal judge declared its ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional, delivering yet another victory for same-sex proponents — albeit not necessarily a definitive one.
    U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Wagahoff Dale issued her sweeping opinion knocking down Idaho state laws and a state constitutional amendment, passed in 2006, as failing to live up to the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantee no “state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
    “Idaho’s marriage laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental right to marry and relegate their families to a stigmatized, second-class status without sufficient reason for doing so,” Dale wrote. “These laws do not withstand any applicable level of constitutional scrutiny.”
    The judge’s order takes effect at 9 a.m. Friday.

    ‘Another one bites the dust!’πŸ˜€

    • Jimmy Carter could get at least half of those renovated with donated materials and labor, I betcha!

    • That’ll be the next excuse for the Rs losing an election. All the women’s periods converged, and they were all at ‘that time of the month’ on election day!

    • Hear, fuckin’ hear!

      Now, Obama, fire that fuck running the FCC and give communication back to the people!

  7. Ebb, are you out there?

    Badmoodman hasn’t checked in recently either.

    • My computer has gone nuts.
      This iPhone doesn’t always allow me to post or reply.

      • Oh and it’s also birdwatching. the peregrine falcons have four juveniles that are getting ready to fledge .

      • I have the cheapest 3G phone AT&T had in the store in 2011. I’m on the base station now, but at work, I’m on the cheapie. I can’t imagine an I-Phone being worse. It must be your service. Sorry your base is on the fritz. My ex keeps having a similar problem. I have the Comcast Norton protection. Hers keeps filling up with junkware and messing up. Mine is always working, and I sometimes clear the temp file and the cookies on my own. It always helps.

    • Anyone have a magnifying glass? The older I get, the harder it is to spot 10-30 million teabaggers.

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