We’ve been hearing a lot about voter fraud the last week or so from the GOP. The accusations they have presented are not examples of voter fraud. It is important for us to understand what the various methods are to fraudulently alter the election results and why they are being done to block our vote.
It seems as though this term is the catch-all for anything related to rigging / stealing an election. Voter fraud, simply put, is fraud committed by a voter. Examples are:
· Voting as someone else. We’ve all heard charges of dead people voting. Registering as Mickey Mouse isn’t voter fraud – attempting to vote as Mickey Mouse is.
· Paying someone for their vote, which works best with absentee ballots.
· Voting more than one time – usually in different districts or states.
· In some cases, it is illegal for convicted felons to vote. Their voting rights are not restored following their prison term. I’ll be addressing the Florida situation in a separate post.
· Voting in a district other than the one you should be voting in. The best example of this is conservative pundit, Ann Coulter, who in Palm Beach County was charged with knowingly attempting to vote in the incorrect district in 2006 which is a felony. Read the Fox News story.
Voter Registration Fraud:
This is the act of submitting fraudulent voter registration forms. Of course, we’ve all heard about ACORN by now. Fox News, John McCain and the rest of the Republican machine have been repeating these talking points for days. Mickey Mouse has registered to vote. Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo has registered to vote in Nevada along with many of his teammates.
Actually, the person or people who have submitted these forms to ACORN are the ones guilty of voter registration fraud. The law states that all registration forms that have been submitted to groups, like ACORN, must be submitted to the elections administration office. By submitting the forms, ACORN was following the election law.
ACORN generally employs poorer people to sign up people to vote. They are paid for each form they submit. This is hard work and some of these people are looking for an easy way to collect money. If ACORN actually paid these people for the fraudulent forms, ACORN would actually be classified as a victim as people had stolen money from them.
ACORN reviews the forms they receive and flags any that appear bogus. They then submit the forms to the election administration office as required by law, including the fraudulent registration forms flagged for review.
For more on this story, read Republicans Raise red flag over voter fraud. The third paragraph supports what I have stated here.
In 2004, Sproul and Associates was under investigation in Nevada and Oregon for illegally tossing voter registration cards submitted by Democrats. This is an example of an organization involved in voter registration fraud. Read the full story here.
Election fraud is a scheme to manipulate the election results. Since 2000, we have heard endless methods of how the Republican Party has orchestrated election fraud in key battleground states.
One methodology is by disenfranchising the electorate. There are many ways to accomplish this and I’m only going to mention some.
· In Ohio, in 2004, certain precincts were provided too few voting machines for the number of people registered to vote. Of course, this was in African-American precincts which are predominately Democratic. This creates longer lines causing people who can not wait, to leave rather than vote. Some precincts reported waits of up to 8 hours.
· Poll watchers challenging voters at the precinct. This serves multiple purposes. It slows down the election process generating longer lines. The voters who have been challenged have the option of voting on a provisional ballot – most of which never get counted. Some voters who witness others being challenged may get leery thus leave without ever voting.
In 2000, Republican operatives embarked on South Florida in an effort to delay and prevent a full recount from occurring before the required deadline. There are many articles, books and now a movie which detail the events of the 2000 election. Then-Republican Secretary of State and Florida campaign manager for George W. Bush, Katherine Harris was charged with preventing an Al Gore victory. At the end of the day, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that there shall be no recount in Florida, thus handing the presidency to Bush.
Stuffing ballot boxes: This was best exemplified during the 1960 election between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Charges had been raised by both parties that the results of the election in Chicago and Texas were altered by ‘stuffing of the ballot boxes.’
Black Box Voting – it is possible to alter the results of an election very simply. Watch Bev Harris from Black Box Voting.org show Howard Dean how easily election results can be altered.
There are many more examples of election fraud and there are some excellent sources out there to get more information.
The Brad Blog – This is probably my favorite site for voter, voter registration and election fraud information. If you have time, read up on the Clint Curtis / Tom Feeney story. Brad Friedman has also done an incredible job reporting about ACORN.
Greg Palast – Palist is an investigative journalist who has been on top of this since 2000. His book ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy’ was an extremely informative read. It covered much more than the 2000 election but his reporting about the caging lists was unmatched.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – Has written many articles about this subject. His 2 articles in 2006 for Rolling Stone were amazing – Was the 2004 Election Stolen? and Will the Next Election Be Hacked? and are definitely worth the read.
Palast and Kennedy have teamed up on Steal Back Your Vote which provides great information on what we can do to prevent a reoccurrence of the thefts of the past. The comic book is available for download and a video is coming soon.
Black Box Voting.org – Bev Harris has been a champion of this cause. You may have seen her in the HBO Documentary – Hacking Democracy. On her site, there is a book called ‘Black Box Voting’ which is available for download. Her site becomes an incredible source around each election. Here is a new video put out by Harris.
Black Box Voting.com – This site is not affiliated with Bev Harris’s site. You can download the ‘Black Box Voting’ book here as well. Apparently the 2 sites have had a falling out and have continued as 2 separate sites.