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View Diary: SD-Sen: GOP scandal claims first victims (33 comments)

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  •  This is important. (none)
    Yes, very important, and we need to keep an eye on any further developments on the legal front.

    The GOP will be attacking this election -- already is attacking this election -- using the rubric of "voter fraud", in their mind a Serious Problem. (Democrats worry about people being prevented from voting. Pubbies worry about people voting. Go figure.) They have the talking points in place, and no doubt by noon Election Day voter fraud stories will be reaching the media, providing handy excuses if any results meet legal challenges (and I fully expect a knife fight, viz. the Vanity Fair article). They'll be attempting to spin any challenges into a coverup for massive fraud, using cherry-picked examples.

    In Wisconsin in 2000 there were some isolated, misguided cases of offering homeless people inducements to vote. Though it can't have amounted to even three figures, this was the "line" on Wisconsin Democrats: they buy votes. In Wisconsin in 2004, we have already had another poorly supervised case of individuals abusing a paid-incentive system for getting folks registered to submit false registrations. (Never mind that they were fired. Never mind that the organization is cooperating with the investigation. They're "partisan" and thus responsible.) From all appearances they were just "buying" themselves some extra pay, with the false registrations -- many incomplete -- likely to disappear into the system forever. This is being spun as an opportunity for voting twice, despite all the necessary documentation it would take -- for most people, voting ONCE is a big hurdle.

    Which brings me to the point of all this. The Right wants to TURN voting into a big hurdle for people. Got ID? Got utility bill? Got grandmother's notarized signature? Gosh, you can't vote today, sorry. They want people discouraged about voting, just because it's complicated. We have to fight that.

    Oh, and we have to scrupulously avoid inducements. That's the wrong way to sweeten the pot against obstacles to voting, because there is very little in the way of inducement that is legal.

    So this story goes a long way toward neutralizing that line of attack, and we need to bring it up every time they pull something out of their butts on the "voter fraud" talking points cheat sheet.

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