Could it be? A real-life case of vote fraud?

(AP)

(AP)

Well, there it is: A probable case of attempted, systematic voting fraud, right here in metro Atlanta.

Of course, it’s not the type of voting fraud that might be thwarted through strict voter-ID laws. Even without such laws, that particular type of voting fraud remains extremely rare and isolated. Instead, this type of scam involves an effort to cheat eligible citizens of their constitutional right to vote and take part in our democracy.

According to a memo sent this week to students by Michael Sanseviro, dean of students at Kennesaw State University, “unauthorized individuals are walking around with clipboards claiming they are registering students to vote. Some of these unauthorized individuals are targeting particular student populations,” specifically black students. The goal appears to be to falsely convince these students that they have been  registered to vote. Then, when they appear at their voting precincts in November, ready to cast their ballots they discover that no registration was turned in to state officials and they are ineligible to participate.

“If you or anybody you know completed a form for one of those unauthorized individuals, please complete a NEW voter registration online at kennesaw.turbovote.org or visit vote.kennesaw.edu,” Sanseviro warned in his memo. “We have had students in the past not be able to vote on election day because they completed a form with an unauthorized person and were never properly registered.”

If so, that’s a pretty insidious little scam, but let’s be honest: It differs only in scale and audacity to the years-long, highly orchestrated effort by the Republican Party to try to win elections by suppressing valid turnout of minorities and the young through strict voter-ID and other legal restrictions.

I know I know: To hear conservatives tell it, voter impersonation is so prevalent that it throws the very basis of our electoral system into doubt unless it is addressed. The problem is, there is absolutely no evidence that such a claim is true. Study after study after study has proved that actual cases of in-person voting fraud are extremely rare to the point that they are almost non-existent, and certainly pose no threat to the integrity of the system.

A Loyola University study, for example, documented a total of 31 credible but unproved allegations of in-person voting fraud anywhere in the country between 2000 and 2014. That’s 31 possibly tainted votes out of a billion votes cast over that time frame.

To combat such statistical research, conservatives have relied almost exclusively on anecdotal reports. For example, in order to refute the claim “that voter fraud is a myth, a charade meant to justify repressive voting laws,” the Heritage Foundation has compiled a database of vote-fraud cases that covers all 50 states and reaches back more than 20 years.

As the group brags, “Heritage’s voter fraud database catalogues over 400 examples of individuals convicted of numerous offenses, from impersonation fraud at the polls, to duplicate voting, to schemes to buy votes and steal elections.”

Four hundred cases from all 50 states over two decades. That’s an average of one documented case per state every 2.5 years. But in reality , even that is a gross exaggeration of the problem. If you search through those 400 cases compiled by the diligent researchers at Heritage, you find a total of three (3) that might have been prevented or addressed by strict voter-ID laws.

Per state, that’s one case of voter impersonation every 333 years.

Based on the Heritage Foundation’s own research, that’s how big a problem this is. It’s also worth noting that the vast majority of voting fraud cases listed in the Heritage database involve abuse of absentee balloting, a limited but real problem that conservatives have shown absolutely zero interest in addressing because it offers no political advantage to them.

Think about it: The Republican Party prides itself on opposing government regulation, bureaucracy, red-tape and unnecessary taxpayer expenditures. So when such a party insists on the creation of a massive, expensive new government bureaucracy in supposed response to a problem that by any rational analysis does not exist, I think it’s safe to assume that something else is going on.

Increasingly, the courts are coming to that same conclusion. Recent rulings in Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin have overturned voter suppression efforts as illegal, unconstitutional infringements on the right to vote.

As U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson wrote, the Wisconsin case “demonstrates that a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections.’’

In the North Carolina case, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was even more critical. It noted that North Carolina Republicans had compiled reams of information about the means, location and timing of voting by black and younger citizens. GOP legislators and staffers wanted to know which forms of ID that black and young voters would be least likely to use; they wanted to know when and where those voters cast their ballots and when and how they typically registered.

As the court found, those legislators then devised an omnibus piece of legislation to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision”  and suppress their vote. Those forms of government-issued ID used most disproportionately by black voters were no longer acceptable to vote. “African-Americans disproportionately used early voting,” so early voting was curtailed. Black churches used Sunday voting to get parishioners to the polls, so Sunday voting was cut in half. Legislators discovered that black and young voters disproportionately used same-day registration to vote, so same-day registration was eliminated despite a complete absence of evidence that it had been abused.

And on and on it went, provision after provision, each and every one trying to deny the vote to certain groups.

“Faced with this record, we can only conclude that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent,” the court wrote.

So yes, the shenanigans at Kennesaw State are shameful.  But they don’t approach in scale or malevolence what is being attempted through the law in legislatures all over the country.  You hear a lot of frustration from Republicans these days about their inability to attract black and minority voters, a lot of bafflement about why they can’t seem to get a fair hearing.

But if you want respect, you have to show respect. And if Republicans had spent half as much time, energy, money and ingenuity trying to woo minority voters as they’ve spent trying to keep them from voting at all, they’d be a lot better off.

 

Reader Comments 0

1468 comments
Greg Vanker
Greg Vanker

Disgusting. There's nothing more un-American than impeding anybody's ability to vote.

J260
J260

Well, except for maybe illegal votes cancelling out the votes of legal American citizens.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"Top Ferguson activist found shot in burning car, police say"


@StraightNOChaser


May Jehovah remember him in PARADISE !


Rest in Peace little brother your life was not


in vain!


They can kill  your body but not your soul.


Take your rest and we'll see you again.


I rebuke your killer(s) in the name of Jesus.


And may they be wither like the green herbs.




_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@StraightNoChaser That's too bad.  Seems he had nuanced positions.

"Though fiery in his defense of black America, Seals' commentary could not always be placed in a one-size-fits-all box. He was highly critical, for instance, of the Black Lives Matter movement, which he accused, along with white liberal groups, of "hijacking" the Ferguson protests.He was also critical of African-Americans who would blindly vote for Democrats. In October 2014, the Washington Post reported that Seals was "roaming black neighborhoods" with voter registration forms, urging Ferguson residents to cast their ballots for anyone but a Democrat."


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Some fact-checking.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/09/08/fact-check-trump-clinton-msnbc-commander-in-chief-forum/89973830/


Turns out that Clinton might've interpreted one of Trump's statements from 2003, after the invasion and occupation had begun, that indicated positive things about the Iraq war, as evidence that he supported the war.

That was about all they could hang on her.

Donald, OTOH... well, just read the thing, if you didn't pick up on this in real time as you watched last night.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

“Aleppo is in Syria,” Barnicle explained. “It’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.”

“OK, got it, got it,” Johnson interrupted. “Well, with regard to Syria, I do think that it’s a mess and that the only way that we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that at an end.”

Later, Johnson was asked by Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin how he felt about the interview.

“I’m incredibly frustrated with myself,” he said.

When pressed whether Johnson felt it should be considered a “big flap,” the former New Mexico governor replied: “Well sure, it should. Absolutely.”

Honesty absent excuses.

I like that!

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@StraightNoChaser 

Did I indicate there was anything sinister about Hillary wearing an earpeace?

No!

Just that she's worn one often.

So defensive, you liberals are. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@StraightNoChaser @FIGMO2

I'm not trying to clean anything up, SNC. 

You simply have a need to believe that's what I'm doing.

Feel free. No skin of my assets.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Seriously, why would Hillary Clinton need an ear piece to cheat on foreign policy and Donald Trump does not?  She has traveled the world and worked on foreign policy.  Trump on the other hand can't even find the Middle East on a map and does not know what the caliphate is unless he reads it on a teleprompter.

rimsky
rimsky

 It’s official! Donald Trump is getting his butttttt sued by a bunch of little girls. Well, sort of! Jeff Popick, the dadager of the USA Freedom Girls — the creepy arse little kid band that performed at one of his events last year — has filed a lawsuit against Trump for stiffing them.


But but but Hillary

gadem
gadem

@rimsky Donald does not like to pay. He is a dead beat....the Republicans cheer!

wifflect
wifflect

Hillary & Bill never pay either - the foundation picks up their bils

gadem
gadem

@wifflect proof?! Show your work.


I can show lawsuit after lawsuit against Donald.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

One thing I did wonder about--was Trump properly sequestered during Clinton's half hour, or was he allowed to hear her answers?

I'm assuming the former, but I didn't happen to see that noted anywhere.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Visual_Cortex 

He apparently was listening as he made reference to it immediately on coming out, if I remember correctly.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Donnie_Pinko @Visual_Cortex

There have been forums in elections prior to this one (can't remember the televangelist who hosted them, but McCain and Obama, for sure, did one), and they were sequestered.

Really not fair to allow one candidate to have that advantage over the other one, if they didn't.

TBS
TBS

I'm shocked

TBS
TBS

But but wiki leaks

rimsky
rimsky

Trump's total lack of knowledge combined with his BS from last night in a nut shell.


 . He criticized U.S. military generals to explain why he knows more about ISIS than they do

  • Suggested that he'd fire current generals if he becomes president
  • Praised Vladimir Putin
  • Said Putin is a stronger leader than President Obama
  • Said that, by reading the body language of the intelligence officials who gave him his intelligence briefing, he could tell these people aren't happy with President Obama
  • Said his trip to Mexico was a success because official who was responsible for it resigned
  • Defended his tweet suggesting that sexual assault in the military is due to men and women serving together in military
  • Repeated his claim that the United States should have taken Iraq's and Libya's oil:
  • And explained that you take the oil by "leaving a certain group behind"

Douglas Webster
Douglas Webster

In Pennsylvania, after Republicans tried to implement a Voter ID law (one the House speaker rashly boasted would ensure Mitt Romney's victory in the state) the law was challenged.  


At a State Court hearing on the measure, the PA Secretary of State was asked, under oath, whether she was aware of any voter fraud in the state in the last decade.  She replied no.


When asked if she anticipated any such fraud in the upcoming election, she again responded, No.


Get these weasels under oath and make them repeat their claims.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@JohnnyReb @Visual_Cortex You would think that, being a Trump guy and all.


Generally, I'm all for chunky sports stars ... but tennis requires a mobility Serena cannot hope to achieve while lugging around breasts that are registered to vote in a different US state from the rest of her.

~~~Mathew Norman the Telegraph

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@TBS if he had been wearing an earpiece as does Hillary, his staff could have prompted him and no one would have known the difference.

TBS
TBS

If this

If that

If a frog had wings

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts

If if was a fifth