Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Voter Fraud? Not Quite

Today, Rush Limbaugh alternated between trying to suppress the Democratic vote and accusing the Party of voter fraud. In the latter tale, Limbaugh, commenting about the office of state secretary of state, claimed

They have no clue. So, you know, people running for that office don't draw very much attention, not very many donations. Consequently, even a modest injection of cash into those raises can elect and be the determining factor in who wins. And so this idea was to get as many Democrats in that position. Regardless who the governor was, regardless the state legislature, get a Democrat holding office as the secretary of state, and then charge vote fraud, do all kinds of things, and have that person be the one who determines the outcome. Now, this is a party. This indicates, illustrates how essential vote fraud is to the Democrat Party, and it's exactly how we ended up with Al Franken.

You might think that someone alleging "vote fraud" in a specific election might actually give a little evidence of it, even distorting or manipulating fact to make his point. Alas, Rush has none on Franken, choosing instead to lie and move on.

But the larger point of Democratic voter fraud is worth considering, given that the purpose of perpetrating this urban myth (pun intended) is prospectively to cast as illegitimate the election of a Democrat. In April of 2007 The New York Times reported

Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.

Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year.

Most of those charged have been Democrats, voting records show. Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, a review of court records and interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers show.

In Miami, an assistant United States attorney said many cases there involved what were apparently mistakes by immigrants, not fraud.....

Mistakes and lapses in enforcing voting and registration rules routinely occur in elections, allowing thousands of ineligible voters to go to the polls. But the federal cases provide little evidence of widespread, organized fraud, prosecutors and election law experts said.

As the table below shows, there were a mere 70 convictions for election-related crimes occurring from October 2002 through September 2005, despite Attorney General John Ashcroft arguably placing no higher priority than ferreting out anything which might give Democrats an electoral advantage.

Limbaugh, of course, got in a swipe at one of his favorite targets, without which a right-wing fantasy about voter fraud is complete. "ACORN," he maintained, "is a criminal enterprise funded with taxpayer money."

Meat Loaf sang "two out of three ain't bad;" but, one out of three? ACORN did receive taxpayer money but, inasmuch as it no longer exists and all investigations found it was no "criminal enterprise," Rush's claim ranks as one of his two-fers: two lies in one sentence. Before ACORN was de-funded and disbanded, Brave New Films produced this video (way below), illustrating the effort to destroy ACORN and suppress the black vote.

But as we have seen repeatedly, the facts really are irrelevant. Limbaugh knows. The GOP's senatorial candidate in Illinois, Mark Kirk, knows. Former RNC official Robert de Posada in Nevada knows. The white vote in most states is in decline as a percentage of the total vote. The GOP can adjust in one of two ways: fashion policies to appeal to blacks, Hispanics, and Asians- or suppress their vote. We know what they have chosen.

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