It’s a sad commentary on America when mostly Republican controlled states are racing to pass more and more restrictive voting laws to make it harder for people to register to vote and to actually vote.
Hiding behind a virtually non-existent problem in search of repressive laws, “voter fraud” has continually been invoked by the likes of Karl Rove and fearmongering politicians to scare the public into thinking elections will be safer with voter id and limiting early voting.
An article by Stirling professor of of history and social policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Alexander Keyssar, in the Harvard Magazine called, “Voter Suppression Returns,” highlights historic periods of voter suppression due to various tactics and laws. The latest series of these attempts to suppress the vote which primarily affect the elderly, the young and minorities who coincidentally tend to vote democratic, has kicked in big time since 2009.
The organization leading the pack in creating rubber-stamped voter i.d. laws that seem to get more and more challenging for voters who do not readily have the type of documents needed to have access to a picture i.d. is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC has been very busy in creating and proliferating template voter id laws. ALEC is also well financed with millions of dollars from the the Koch Brothers and friends.
Voter Fraud is Voter Fraud – Except for Republicans
Follow the Voter Fraud Talking Point Road
Karl Rove gave a speech to the National Republican Lawyers Association (NRLA) in 2006 which paved the road for the ridiculous talking point blitz campaigns taken up by right-wing media outlets and echo chambers around the U.S. to mislead the public into thinking “voter fraud” or “voter impersonation” is a huge issue. When specifically asked about the fact that there are rare cases of “voter fraud”, Republican politicians and pundits play this down, ignore it or side-step the issue by saying the laws are to protect us from “what might be a problem.”
RNC Chair Lies About Voter Fraud
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus outright lies about so-called “voter fraud” in Wisconsin. Priebus was asked why Republicans in Congress voted to dismantle the Election Assistance Commission which would track voter fraud and insure the integrity of the vote. He completely avoided answering the question. How genuine is Priebus about protecting the vote? Priebus personifies dirty tricks in his talking point campaign to disinform the public about what would really protect the vote and insure all people can vote.
Ironically, the National Republican Lawyers Association end up undermining their own premise about widespread voter fraud through their own report according to this Huffington Post article by Debbie Hines: “New Republican Data Shows No Need for Voter ID Laws.”
In 2004 Wisconsin had 3 million votes cast and there were 7 cases of voter fraud. These cases were related to felons who had served their time and thought they were able to now vote or the small amount of 0.0002 percent of the electorate! This is the big voter fraud Priebus is complaining about in order to disenfranchise thousands of voters in Wisconsin through Republican sponsored voter I.D. laws.
The Brennan Center has indicated that the combination of voter i.d. laws and restrictive registration laws and cutting back on early voting days may end up preventing 5 million legal Americans from voting. However, the numbers could be higher.
No Party Preference and No Way to Crosscheck Results
Another interesting point is that some states now register people to vote without having them indicate a party preference. This is disturbing because it makes it more difficult to check if there is funny business with changing the numbers of votes for a particular candidate.
However, Karl Rove boosts about his special data-mined database called “Voter Vault” which rivals any database on individuals. Through voter vault Rove knows all about each voter through microtargeting techniques. Is there an attempt to keep the statistics to only certain folks with access to these special databases and make it more difficult for others to check and crosscheck voting registration and voting statistics to see if the vote is being tampered with?
More Shark Attacks/Year in Florida than Voter Fraud
Why Exit Polls are Key to Insuring the Integrity of the Vote
Exit Polls are an essential part of insuring the integrity of the vote. An exit poll is done when voters have voted. It is an important crosscheck with the later tabulated vote to see if there are any discrepancies. Exit Polls should not only be used to try and foretell the election results before the votes are tabulated, they should also be used to check the tabulated results and be a canary in the election to indicate if hand recounts are in order to insure the integrity of the election.
However, folks like Karl Rove appear to like exit polls only when they can be used for their own purposes. Otherwise, they are vigorously discounted by Rove and others if they indicate differences with their chosen result as happened in Ohio in 2004. Then the fawning media began backtracking and apologizing for exit polls. Also, sometimes exit polls were completely absent in areas where they could have shed light on potential vote manipulation which is more accurately called “election fraud”. An “exit poll” is a check on who voted for whom. That is why when there are discrepancies between the vote totals by computer or scanned devices with the exit polls, it is time to hand-count the ballots to see why there is a discrepancy.
Trouble with the Scott Walker Recall Election
The Exit polls from the Scott Walker Recall Election and the so-called scanned ballot totals were off by 7 points. Why? Was that a symptom of the fact that the scanned ballots were incorrectly tabulated? Was that a symptom that the votes were messed with? Was that a symptom of problems with the exit polls?