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vote fraud graph
From the DNC's Protecting the Vote site.
This week saw the war on voting carried to a ridiculous extreme. In order to prove the conservative case that conspiracies to commit voter fraud exist, James O'Keefe carried out a conspiracy to commit voter fraud. It's a stunt that turned the families of the recently deceased into victims, and opens O'Keefe and his minions to criminal prosecution, again.

To that end, Daily Kos has teamed up with People for the America Way to petition New Hampshire officials to investigate O'Keefe for voter fraud. You can sign the petition to Attorney General Delaney and U.S. Attorney Kacavas here.

In other news:

  • On a positive note, Think Progress's Scott Keyes writes about the various states with legislation pending to either ameliorate previous voter restriction laws passed, or to expand voting rights. Proposed legislation in Florida would restore a two-week window for early voting, and ease restrictions on third party voter registration groups, like the League of Women Voters. Bills in New York would establish two weeks of early voting, allow same day registration, and make the dirty trick of deceiving voters about the time or place of an election illegal. In Virginia, a new bill would restore voting rights for convicted felons who have completed their sentences. And in Washington, a bill has been introduced to allow for same-day in-person registration, along with online registration up to eight days before an election.
  • Relatedly, the Nebraska legislature has pulled a restrictive voter ID bill from its agenda, at least for now.
  • While much of the attention on voter suppression in the past year has focused on what state legislatures have done, Robert M. Brandon, founder and president of the Fair Elections Legal Network, writes at Politico about what secretaries of state are doing to disenfranchise voters.
    [R]ecent actions by some secretaries of state look even more disturbing, given their traditional role as a state’s chief elections officer, with a mandate to administer elections fairly.

    The secretaries of state in Colorado, Kansas, Maine and New Mexico all used their office last year to throw doubt on their state’s election system. To support more restrictive voting laws, these officials called into question the eligibility of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of registered voters — though there is little evidence to support their claims of people illegally registering and voting. [...]

    Policies to make voting more difficult have no place in the office of a state’s chief election administrator. The goal should be getting more citizens to vote, not fewer. We would be served better by secretaries of state who are more interested in modernizing election law and encouraging policies that ensure all eligible voters have equal access to the polls.

  • The Society Pages has a detailed look at the coordinated GOP effort to suppress the vote, and the organization behind it: ALEC.
    ALEC drafted model ID voter legislation, and every single new voter ID law was passed with ALEC member involvement. ALEC’s policy agenda for 2011 included bills to deregulate polluting industries, privatize education, eliminate unions, and voting restrictions. [...]

    The purpose of new voter ID laws is to demobilize certain portions of electorate who are more likely to vote for Democrats, a goal laid out by ALEC founder, Paul Weyrich many decades ago who stated that “I don’t want everybody to vote… Our leverage in the elections goes up as the voting populus goes down.”

    But you already knew that, didn't you?

  • The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus is ringing alarm bells over efforts in that legislature to disenfranchise voters in that state.
    Republican legislators this year have filed at least two bills -- one would require voters to show identification at the polls -- that black lawmakers said they object to.

    Norfolk Sen. Yvonne Miller lashed out at those measures during a morning news conference at the capital, her voice rising as she said they would take Virginia "back to the bad old days when there was a very small electorate, when only men could vote and only white men who owned property could vote."

    Those measures are designed to discourage voting, not prevent possible voter fraud as supporters suggest, added Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico County.

    "These are solutions looking for a problem," McEachin said of the Republican legislation he considers a vehicle for the GOP to vent over the fact that "an African American man is the President of the United States and they can't stand it."

  • A number of groups are sounding the alarm on the very specific targeting of black college students in Texas.
    In a joint letter to the Department of Justice, the Texas NAACP, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and the Brennan Center for Justice detailed how Black college students are being suppressed. African-Americans constitute 17.2 percent of Texas' total university student population and 16.9 percent of the state's public university students, despite representing a smaller share of Texas' overall voting age population.

    "African-Americans are more likely to be attending a public university in Texas than whites, but student IDs were not included as an acceptable form of identification in Senate Bill 14," they said. "According to the 2009 American Community Survey, 8 percent of voting-age African-Americans in Texas were attending a public university, compared with only 5.8 percent of voting-age whites."

  • It's hard to figure out what's more pitiful in this op-ed from Newt Gingrich: his blinding hypocrisy or the fact that the only place he could find to print it was the Daily Caller. How the mighty have fallen.
  • Gingrich wrote that in response to the Justice Department's intervention to block the voter ID provisions of an election law passed in South Carolina. The state is retaliating, officials announced, by filing suit against the Justice Departments. The state's lawyer, Christopher Coates, is, well, nuts.
    Fighting on their behalf will be a former DOJ official who claimed that the Civil Rights Division is opposed to protecting the civil rights of whites and who defended the Bush-era politicalization of the division by Bradley Schlozman as an effort to “diversify.”

    He's also the guy who signed off on the New Black Panther Party case while at the DOJ, the voter intimidation case that conservatives have been flogging for years, even though lawyers were unable to find any voters who were actually intimidated.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republican definition of "voter fraud" (12+ / 0-)

    any vote that is cast that is NOT for a republican!

    Is GlowNZ back yet?

    by edrie on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 01:02:54 PM PST

    •  As per your sig (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, Matt Z

      Last I heard, GlowNZ and Miep ran off to South America together.

      It happens....

      Most people, when knocked over by the truth, have a tendency to pick themselves up, brush themselves off...and then hurry away like nothing had ever happened.

      by Pluto on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 01:35:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have to point out that... (11+ / 0-)

    the number of reports of UFO sightings is skewed, because 42 percent of all people who spot a UFO are abducted, and they and can't very well phone in a report from Zorg, now can they?

  •  How about a Federal level law (4+ / 0-)

    To wit: Any changes to procedures for allowing people to cast a ballot must result in an increase in the number of valid ballots cast. That is, a rule which eliminates 7 fraudulent ballots at the cost of 8 legitimate voters turned away would not be allowed.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 01:15:04 PM PST

    •  Personally, I think people should just (4+ / 0-)

      stop worrying about voter fraud.  It is a waste of time and money - it is also pretty much the dumbest, most inefficient way to try to steal votes for an election.

      •  Given that the GOP has a meme and will not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        let go, forcing them to prove they are not disenfranchising hundreds to prevent tens of illegal ballots would make them shut up.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 02:00:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I don't think that it would because (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          since when are they logical or even remotely reality-based?

          I am not kidding when I say that I think that the topic should be dropped - of course when I say that it should be dropped, I do not mean that there shouldn't be a cutting insult hurled at any idiot who would believe that an election could be stolen by relying on enough people to die just weeks before an election; then finding the necessary work force to recruit to go out and cast the illegal ballots; and finally keep that all a freaking secret.

          If they are that stupid, I say that we should leave it as an option because that yields two important results:

          1. Their failure; and
          2. They will be too busy to be using really effective means like stuffing ballot boxes; employing corrupt Secretaries of State; or getting computer programmers to change electronic voting machine tallies.

          •  Even in the bad old days (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mnemosyne, Ahianne

            when dead people voted in my hometown Chicago, the real gaming of the elections was in the pay-offs, the vote quotas for precinct campaigns who could lose their city jobs if they didn't deliver, so they offered bribes for votes to their constituents, who were also made to understand that getting their sidewalk repaired depended on this.

            Nothing is addressed in these voter suppression bills that is ever going to game an election. But four and five hour lines, like those in Ohio in 2004, will do it.

            Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

            by anastasia p on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 03:14:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's the issue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, Minnesota Deb

        And the actual ways you COULD commit effective voter fraud aren't even covered here and probably are no longer viable in most places with improved record keeping. The only effective way to game an election is inside — election fraud, not voter-by--voter fraud. That is how the Republicans stole Ohio — and the presidency — in 2004. And they did it by the very tactics they now want to encode into law — preventing as many Democratic voters as possible from ever reaching the voting booth.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

        by anastasia p on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 03:11:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Turning away legitimate voters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is kind of the point.

      Please don't feed the security state.

      •  Ergo, make it illegal to do so (0+ / 0-)

        But make them work at it and fail.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 02:13:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would like a federal law (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark, Ahianne, Minnesota Deb

      that forbids states to roll back existing voter rights without demonstrating a very high bar of necessity.

      In Ohio this November, voters will have the opportunity to speak out on voter suppression when we vote to repeal HB 194 — thanks to the nearly half million people who signed our petition!

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 03:09:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sure, the Facts are Your Opinion, BUUUuuuut (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates, happymisanthropy, Matt Z

    we'll have to leave it there.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 01:21:54 PM PST

  •  And just how many of those reports of UFO (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, nomandates, Matt Z, anastasia p, Ahianne

    sightings were people spotting illegal aliens trying to vote for Democrats?! Huh? Betcha didn't of that, didya, smarty pants! Why that proves, PROVES, that we need to run barbwire clear around 'Merica to protect our votes from being stolen!

    "What profit a man if he gain the world but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

    From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

    by ontheleftcoast on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 01:26:40 PM PST

  •  Good factual reporting, Joan. (5+ / 0-)
    UFO Sightings Skyrocket Into 2012

    During the first week of 2012, UFO reports streamed in from around the world as numerous eyewitnesses described and videotaped strange things in the sky.

    The Colorado-based Mutual UFO Network, the largest UFO investigative organization in the world, received many reports of UFOs during the first week of the year from eyewitnesses in 36 out of 50 states.

    The 14 states that haven't reported in so far are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming -- but the year is young.

    I guess you noticed that New Hampshire isn't on that list.

    Most people, when knocked over by the truth, have a tendency to pick themselves up, brush themselves off...and then hurry away like nothing had ever happened.

    by Pluto on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 01:28:13 PM PST

  •  A voter registration card won't work in Virginia. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    SB 1, the first bill introduced in the Virginia Senate this year, disallows the state-issued voter registration card as a form of ID to use at the polls!

  •  I thought that I read that it was 17 cases (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, TKO333

    of voter fraud over the past few years.  

    Nearly double that nine cited in the graph.

    Now O'Keefe has added ten or more to the list.

    If nine, 17 or - gasp - 27 votes have been cast illegally amongst the millions cast over the past six years, does that not call into question the our entire political system?

    The only real "voter fraud" that I think I've seen and that matters is that which took place in the Supreme Court in the year 2000, but that's just me.

    •  In 2006, when our lege passed the ID bill — (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, Ahianne, TKO333

      the first time voters in Ohio ever had to produce ID at the polls which increased voting time dramatically (in 2004 they did it by shorting machines in urban areas and on liberal college campuses like Oberlin & Kenyon) — the League of Women Voters of Ohio did a study and found that in the previous two elections in Ohio — 2002 and 2004 — there were, I forget the exact figure but it was single digits, maybe 7?, cases of voter fraud out of millions of votes cast

      After the 2008 election, after all the screeching about "ACORN! ACORN!" and multiple lawsuits filed here by the Ohio Republican Party, I asked out then Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner at a wrap-up forum on the election how many verified cases of voter fraud they had found.

      You know what she said?

      One. ONE. Out of over five million cast.

      I understand that now our new Republican secretary of state and attorney general are trying to trump up some cases as show ponies primarily I understand going after confused seniors who may have mailed voted absentee and somehow managed to vote in person on election day, which requires some accidentally fortuitous timing, since absentee ballots requested and returned are marked in the poll book so you would have to vote provisional.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 03:21:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Joan, can you also mention the major fail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mnemosyne, Ahianne

    that the ME SoS had regarding their attempt to prove voter fraud?  One Salvadoran, back in '02, was found to have cast a bad ballot, otherwise the 206 or so "cases" they were waving in the press conference cameras earlier in the year were proved to be groundless.

    What needs to happen, nation wide, to improve election security is for there to be regular random-sample audits - small, statistically derived recounts - to verify the otherwise unchecked-by-humans machine tallies (of all types of machines, not just touchscreens).  If the wingnuts wanted to include similarly designed random - sample registration audits of voters, more power too them.  I guarantee that there would be orders of magnitude greater chances of finding machine descrepancies than there would be of finding O'Keefe- or LePage-style "cases" of nefarious activity in the registration line.

    What also needs to be addressed is the self-evident fact that much of this is driven by the GOP's need to limit access to the ballot box by not just minorities but also by college students in general.  The ME case was directed specifically to campuses in large part.   If the Dems were ever to grow a strategic sensibility, they  would have made this fact an important campaign issue by now, to get the attention of the student population, that there is someone looking out for them.   This isn't happening and you have to wonder why...

    "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius -/- "Yeah, well, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi

    by nailbender on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 02:07:16 PM PST

    •  sorry, here's the ME link to the GOP fail: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, TKO333

      "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius -/- "Yeah, well, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi

      by nailbender on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 02:08:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Random audits wouldn't catch voter fraud (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Any discrepancies in tallies are about a thousand times more likely to be poll worker error. A discrepancy in tally cannot prove voter fraud.

      As for college students, they were targeted in Ohio in 2004 — but only some. Students are Oberlin — notorious for being a hotbed of liberal activists — waited in line 4 and 5 hours. At Kenyon, they waited up to 12. They had only two machines for something like 1,300 voters and one was broken part of the day. The school cancelled classes and exams.

      Interestingly, up the road at Nazarene Bible College, they had plenty of machines and no lines. And in Columbus where inner city polling places had hours-long waits and were begging for additional machines, a pastor at one of the biggest evangelical churches there which was also a polling place bragged that he could get as many machines as he wanted. In any case, there was almost no wait there.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 03:26:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was talking about random audits of registration (0+ / 0-)

        records, not random vote tallies, which might be performed at the same time as  the sample recount process, but it would be a separate type of systems check, and one that would put a sock in the mouth of folks like LePage, Summers and Webster (the ME GOP chair that made the bogus allegations of student voter fraud that Summers jumped on like a dog on roadkill).

        As to machine audits being only likely to find operator error, are you considering programmers to be operators (which they usually  aren't)?  Because there are numerous documented cases of voting machines screwing up in a thousand different ways, some because of operator error and many because of programming faults and some that no one could figure out.   Just google voting machine malfunctions or something like that.

        I drafted a bill that became law, btw, that is now in force in ME, that requires a  voter verified paper ballot to be produced in any machine counting system, so that humans can physically do recounts, not relying on the machines to recount themselves, as is so often stupidly the case in this country.

        But back to the confusion between (virtually nonexistent) voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement (which is what the GOP is up to, when and where they can pull it off), the ME SoS, in the link provided just above, exposes his own ignorance:

        Asked whether one confirmed case of voter fraud {referring to the Salvadoran mentioned in the post above} was enough to consider the system broken, Summer replied that if one voter is disenfranchised, that’s too many.

        "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius -/- "Yeah, well, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi

        by nailbender on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 06:37:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone notice O'Keefe failed? (5+ / 0-)

    The one striking point about O'Keefe's voter fraud attempt, that no one seems to be pointing out, is that it was uncovered immediately, before the election.
    The defences against vote fraud are SOLID! Additional ID is unnecessary!

    •  You are exactly right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a difficult feat to pull off. It would be virtually impossible to mobilize in enough numbers to affect even a small local election, let alone a presidential election.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 03:27:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I must quibble slightly with the diary... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dannyinla, wsexson

      the O'Keefe faction didn't merely try to assume the identity of dead people in order to vote, one of them also tried to assume the identity of a living, breathing person who the OK'er assumed was dead...(whom?)

      Robert William Beaulieu is 23-years-old, lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, and is a registered Democrat. He’s also very much not dead.

      But you wouldn’t have known that if you watched the lastest undercover sting video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, which featured a man with an Irish accent attempting to obtain a ballot on behalf of a Robert Beaulieu who lives on Cassandra Lane.

      That’s the home University of New Hampshire graduate Robert W. Beaulieu, pictured above, shares with his parents. Robert P. Beaulieu, unrelated, died a few months back at the age of 84, and is apparently the man Project Vertitas’ investigator intended to impersonate. By all appearances, they got the wrong guy.

      via TPM

      Family members of the living Mr. Beaulieu saw a piece on Current TV about the sting and recognized the name...

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