Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Big Lie

How does the saying go? “Tell a lie often enough, long enough and it becomes the truth.” For the Republican’s the big lie is voter fraud. The candidate for Secretary of State here in Connecticut contends that voter fraud is rampant but offers no facts, there have only been a hand full of voter fraud cases in Connecticut. Every election a bipartisan audit of the election is conducted but doesn’t turn up no more than a half a dozen cases of fraud.

In Florida the the Department of Law Enforcement conducted an investigation to arrest all those people who were voting fraudulently, do you know how many they found in the 2012 presidential election? Two. That’s right only two cases.

In an article in Salon, by Andrew Burmon who wrote about Texas voter fraud, he wrote…
The statistics bear me out. From 2002 to 2005 only one person was found guilty of registration fraud. Twenty people were found guilty of voting while ineligible and five people were found guilty of voting more than once. That’s 26 criminal voters -- voters who vote twice, impersonate other people, vote without being a resident -- the voters that Republicans warn about. Meanwhile thousands of people are getting turned away at the polls.
In an opinion piece in Politico writing by Tova Andrea Wang who wrote…
Yet law enforcement statistics, reports from elections officials and widespread research have proved that voter fraud at the polling place is virtually non-existent. The motivation for ginning up this bogeyman is often to intimidate certain groups of voters and, ultimately, make it harder for minority or disadvantaged groups to exercise their right to vote. It is no accident that these operations have repeatedly focused on minority communities.
A CBS affiliate wrote this about voter fraud in North Carolina…
Elections officials in North Carolina said most of the voting fraud allegations they investigate turn out to be unfounded. Over the past five years, the state has referred about 350 cases to district attorneys for investigation, mostly in cases of felons who cast a ballot without first getting their voting rights restored. There are more than six million registered voters in the state. States already have ways to check the identity of voters when they register and when they go to cast a ballot. North Carolina’s current law requires residents to provide documents proving their name and address in order to register to vote. Those who register improperly can be charged with a felony.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania the Republicans actually boasted about how the voter ID laws will give the elections to the Republicans…
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai was caught on tape this summer boasting about his colleagues' success: "... First pro-life legislation -- abortion facility regulations -- in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."
Law officials said in court case against the law in Pennsylvania,
…in a stipulation agreement signed earlier this month, state officials conceded that they had no evidence of prior in-person voter fraud, or even any reason to believe that such crimes would occur with more frequency if a voter ID law wasn't in effect.
    "There have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states,” the statement reads.
But if you listen to the Republicans who are passing all the voter ID laws are disenfranchising thousands of voters you would think that voter fraud is rampant. Many states use Interstate Crosscheck program checks voter lists for duplicates name but Al Jazeera America reported that,
There are 6,951,484 names on the target list of the 28 states in the Crosscheck group; each of them represents a suspected double voter whose registration has now become subject to challenge and removal. According to a 2013 presentation by Kobach to the National Association of State Election Directors, the program is a highly sophisticated voter-fraud-detection system. The sample matches he showed his audience included the following criteria: first, last and middle name or initial; date of birth; suffixes; and Social Security number, or at least its last four digits.

 That was the sales pitch. But the actual lists show that not only are middle names commonly mismatched and suffix discrepancies ignored, even birthdates don’t seem to have been taken into account. Moreover, Crosscheck deliberately ignores Social Security mismatches, in the few instances when the numbers are even collected. The Crosscheck instructions for county election officers state, “Social Security numbers are included for verification; the numbers might or might not match.”
The real goal seems to be to remove as many people who might vote for Democratic in the elections.

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