Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Voter Fraud

Eeeeek! A Fraud!
Like alien abductions anecdotal reports of voter fraud abound while evidence to support these claims is lacking. An analysis of 250 allegations of fraud, conducted by the Brennan Center of Justice, New York University Law School, found Indiana's proposed photo ID requirements would not have prevented a single fraudulent vote. None. Zero. Nada. Voter fraud is a fraud, a myth.

Nevertheless, conservatives continue to spew unproven claims, present opinion as fact, make unsupported inferences, and deliberately conflate voter fraud with vote fraud. A TPMMuckracker article recounts an enlightening exchange between Senator Al Franken and leading voter fraud mythologist, Hans von Spakovsky.

There is ample evidence of vote fraud in the form of convictions for ballot box stuffing, reporting false counts, and discarding legally cast ballots. These isolated instances of criminal behavior are not at all the pervasive illegal voting by non-citizens that conservatives trumpet in pandering to paranoid low-information voters. 

What's going on here? Voter fraud is essentially non-existent, yet Republican-controlled legislatures across the country are pushing more restrictive photo identification rules into law. The Brennan Center noted such laws, "could well disenfranchise legitimate voters." Indeed, in an Indiana primary, a dozen elderly nuns were prevented from voting, because they lacked acceptable ID.

What's going on is a cynical political calculation by the Republican Party. Restrictive voting laws reduce election turnout, especially among the poor, minorities, and students, who are less likely to have a driver's license. These groups traditionally vote more heavily Democratic. Republicans are trying to win elections by suppressing Democratic votes. The GOP apparently puts lust for political power ahead of respect for democracy and the U.S. Constitution.

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1 comment:

  1. I had not considered the difference between vote and voter fraud before, didn't know there was one until your second paragraph, and finally understood by your third paragraph. Thanks for the enlightenment. I'll be listening for such a distinction from the pandering politicians.