Thursday, March 29, 2007

Voter fraud

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Is a fraud. It actually allows Republicans to prevent people from voting, which has been their modus operandi since the beginning. I mean, what else can you do when the entire country is more liberal than your party?

As Congress probes the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, attention is centering on who knew what, and when. It's just as important to focus on "why," such as the reason given for the firing of at least one of the U.S. attorneys, John McKay of Washington state: failure to prosecute the phantom of individual voter fraud.

Allegations of voter fraud -- someone sneaking into the polls to cast an illicit vote -- have been pushed in recent years by partisans seeking to justify proof-of-citizenship and other restrictive ID requirements as a condition of voting. Scare stories abound on the Internet and on editorial pages, and they quickly become accepted wisdom.

But the notion of widespread voter fraud, as these prosecutors found out, is itself a fraud. Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch. Where fraud exists, of course, it should be prosecuted and punished. (And politicians have been stuffing ballot boxes and buying votes since senators wore togas; Lyndon Johnson won a 1948 Senate race after his partisans famously "found" a box of votes well after the election.) Yet evidence of actual fraud by individual voters is painfully skimpy.

What to do now? Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt go on in their article:

Congress should use this controversy as an opportunity to address true issues of voter protection. Experts have concluded that the most significant threat of fraud comes from electronic voting systems, now used by 80 percent of voters. Legislation introduced by Reps. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.) and Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) would require a voter-verified record along with random audits to double-check against tampering. It would also bar wireless components from machines that could allow a hacker using a PDA to stage an attack. Lawmakers should also immediately stop pushing ID measures that would turn away legitimate voters.

Those investigating the U.S. attorney firings should ask what orders went out to other prosecutors in the run-up to the 2006 election. Prosecutors are not hired-gun lawyers on a party payroll. They have a special duty to exercise their power responsibly, particularly in the context of a heated election. Pressure on prosecutors to join a witch hunt for individual voter fraud is a scandal, not just for the Justice Department but for voters seeking to exercise their most basic right.

First of all, get rid of the Real ID act and the paperless electronic voting machines.

Update 3/30:
Ripley from Zen Cabin reviews a post from Project Vote about Republicans working hard to block votes and concludes:

Of course, this shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone who’s been awake the last seven years. The Republican Party knows – KNOWS – they can’t win elections fairly. Isn’t that right, Karl?

Recess appointments, suppressing the minority vote, firing uncooperative Prosecutors – it’s all part of the Scheme for the GOP. Take, take, take by hook or by crook. And look at the results the nation is left with: the Gulf coast, Iraq, illegal wiretaps of US citizens’ phone calls, Halliburton, Enron, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, etc. ad nauseum.

These alleged adults cheat like spoiled children – suspect voting machines with no verification or oversight, voter registration scams, phone jamming scams – so they can get more of their incompetent friends into office, rob us blind and trash our house.

It’s 5 years too late but I hope the US Attorney fiasco tears their little organization to shreds. I want to see people in jail. I want to see people turning on Rove, Cheney, Gonzales, Bush and every other Republican jackanape so fast the Press can’t keep up with the names. I want to see the CBC on national television, demanding to know why Bush’s DOJ is ignoring, at best, this politically orchestrated rape of American citizens’ right to participate in the democratic process.


whig said...

Direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines need to be banned. Voter-verified paper audit trails (VVPAT) are not a solution. There needs to be a paper ballot which can be counted separately.

ellroon said...

Yes, yes and yes!