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I'm not going to point fingers at anyone but just to try and clarify why this is important.

Election Fraud is the illegal interference with the process of an election.

Voter fraud is a popular, if vague phrase, which in general seems to mean that individual voters misrepresenting who they are. When organized, this becomes electoral fraud.

Voter fraud has been proved to be extremely rare in the US, no matter how much the right wing scream about it, but when they actually act upon this mistaken belief it can result in:

Moreover, these claims of voter fraud are frequently used to justify policies that do not solve the alleged wrongs, but that could well disenfranchise legitimate voters.
Which becomes Election fraud and a far more serious and real threat than individual voter fraud. It is less about what happens in the polling booth and more about removing the right to vote.

The general methodologies used in election fraud

1] Disenfranchisement: Making it difficult or impossible for certain groups of people to vote when they have the right to vote.

2] Intimidate: To render full of fear.

3] Vote buying: Paying people to vote.

4] Misinformation: Lying to gain votes

5] Misleading or confusing ballot papers.

6] Destruction or loss of ballot papers.

It doesn't have to be all of the above, just one of the above is enough.

Rather than preaching to the choir I will just state

Which groups of people are trying to commit election fraud?

1] By trying to make your right to vote harder

2] By scaring people witless with lies.

3] By pumping unlimited money into the campaigns?

4] By repeating debunked lies as if they were facts.

5] By making ballot papers incomprehensible.

6] By historically losing cast ballots.

Once you have answered these question then you have a duty to vote for the other side no matter what your political views happen to be, it is after all a threat to our democratic process.

You could argue that lying in politics is all part of the process, myself, I regard it as election fraud.

Originally posted to LaFeminista on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Manifesto Initiative.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Surely you mean (8+ / 0-)

    "Which groups of people are trying to commit election fraud?"

    Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa? Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
    Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga! Eala þeodnes þrym!

    by Alea iacta est on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:11:15 AM PDT

  •  Some ideas (18+ / 0-)

    When I lved in WA, I can remember two cases of actual voter fraud (in twenty years). By this I mean someone who voted fraudulently who shouldn’t have voted.

    One was some guy who used his dog’s name to apply for a credit card. Then the dog got a lot of mail. So he registered to vote under his dog’s name (because his dog had a credit card). And he filled in the mail-in ballot. Then he told friends about it and he got caught and was prosecuted.

    The other was a woman whose husband died before the election. She filled in his mail-in ballot the way he would have voted and signed his name. But the signature didn’t match and she got caught.

    I think actual voter fraud is very rare.

    Election fraud (committed by political parties) is more common.

    It involves rigging voting machines. Or sending observers to challenge every voter in a precinct that might vote for the other party. Or not providing enough voting machines in certain areas (so people have to wait in line and then they get tired of waiting and go home because the line is too long). Or removing people from the voting lists (because their name is John Smith or Juan Rodriguez or some common name that matches the name of a convicted felon). Or by requiring people to have a photo ID. Or by limiting the hours or days when people can vote.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:40:40 AM PDT

    •  Part and parcel of the methodology (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, MsGrin, kurious, Dbug

      I would agree individual voter fraud is extremely rare and wouldn't influence an election one way or another, because you are as likely to have voter fraud on one side as you are the other.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 01:56:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or judicially staying a hand recount and then (3+ / 0-)

      ruling that there's insufficient time to resume the recount.   Flying in a group of rent-a-thugs to disrupt a recount in the state's largest county (which happens to have a solid majority for the other party) also helps.  Having a state's Sec. of State (who happens to be a state co-chair of your campaign) conduct a pre-election purge of voting rolls doesn't hurt, either.

      The party that openly stole the 2000 election in broad daylight (and that engaged in some sleazy tactics in 2004, too) proferring itself as the champion of electoral integrity is one of the greatest scams in American political history.  Then again, it is natural human behavior to repeat successful past behaviors in a current crisis.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 08:23:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These are the desperate acts of a party... (6+ / 0-)

    That sees its sunset on the horizon (thanks Linda McMahon).  These instances of the GOP turning one of their innate fears (voter fraud) into reality by committing the same actions that they accuse others of doing (takes some brass!) truly indicate how the Republicans, themselves, know that they're circling the drain and that they have very little time left on their side.

    The party with the winning electoral coalition (diverse, tolerant, variable, and varied) does not need to suppress the other side's voters with such tactics. Because the GOP feels that it needs to tells me that the writing is on the wall and they realize that they don't have enough old Southerners and Dixiecrats and delusional people around to scrounge up votes.

    Sure they'll still win a seat here and there but I think that when we've stabilized our coalition of voters this year resulting in the re-election of President Obama, we can then branch out to wedge issues that will really destroy the GOP -- water rights in the West, conservation in the South and Mountain West, etc.  And after four more years of good job growth under Obama, we'll have a much stronger argument to convince people to keep voting us into office.

    The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

    by BasharH on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 02:22:13 AM PDT

    •  We need at least two parties but sadly the (6+ / 0-)

      modern GOP isn't up to the task.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 02:27:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We definitely do... (4+ / 0-)

        But it's not even the GOP anymore.  It's been taken over by crazies, while the reasonable Republicans sit on their hands and stay passive.  I hate invoking Nazi analogies but it does fit in this case -- the German population as a whole post-WWI until the end of WWII is to the Nazi party what the Republican silent majority (the reasonable old guard) is to the current GOP leadership.

        Maybe after a few election cycles of losing they'll finally realize that their extremist wing really doesn't have any answers that people want to listen to.  We'll be lucky if they even realize that it's not okay to even keep some of these extremist views locked up tight while putting on some other public face that is more presentable.

        If the GOP can't get its act together, we may see Indies start to select their own major candidate.  But I think it's very possible that the current GOP will just fracture, sending their voters to the Constitution party or the Libertarian party... where they belong anyway but where they've been loathe to go because they can't win elections under those banners.

        The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

        by BasharH on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 02:39:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and this has proven very useful to me... (7+ / 0-)

    When combatting crazy right-wing delusional people --  A handful of cases (not all proven even) out of 600 million votes.  That's pretty damning when it comes to the prevalence of voter fraud in our elections.  It's possible this GOP firm in the news now may double the proven cases of fraud described in this study!

    The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

    by BasharH on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 02:25:37 AM PDT

  •  You forgot running incompetent candidates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to undermine the democratic process.

    The Rmoney candidacy is a sign of gross disrespect for the American people.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 03:47:08 AM PDT

    •  I'm not sure just how well hidden that is and if (0+ / 0-)

      you could consider it fraud, too obvious fraud perhaps?


      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 03:56:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Charles Blow just realized that Willard is (6+ / 0-)

        incompetent the other day. He brought it up on "The Last Word" and blew Odonnell's mind.  Granted, Lawrence was suffering from a head cold, but he claimed in the wrap up to the program that it was a perception that had never occurred to him.

        The Republican party has a long history of recruiting lots of candidates for primaries to give the impression of choice to the electorate. The voters don't know that all of these people are put up by the chamber of commerce for show and that, while they all look different, their defining characteristic is that they'll do what their masters tell them.

        When Akin complains that the Senator is not acting "like a lady," he's pointing out that she's not being obedient, another word for which is "submissive." Obedience is all. An "uppity" person is one which does not make obeisance.  Which is why the President bowing to the foreign dignitaries was so upsetting. In some eyes, the fellow who was uppity at home was being submissive overseas.  That's what they mean when they charge him with apologizing.  People who do not respect other people do not know what being courteous means. They also don't understand being obedient on one's own initiative. Obedience, in their world, is something to be exacted.  Of course, it is the exaction or extraction which makes it abusive. Virtue that is coerced is ipso facto abuse.

        We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 05:10:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ayup. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    example of Voter Fraud:

    Wendy Rosen, candidate in MD01

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 04:37:14 AM PDT

  •  I always thought the federal government (5+ / 0-)

    should control the federal elections. It would be easy, since on the federal side there are one one, two or at most three choices to make (pres/vp, sen, rep) so a simple paper ballot would be all that is necessary. The FEC could provide those, and the ballots themselves could be remanded to federal custody for tabulation (perhaps under federal court, or even IRS supervision). Let's face it, as corrupt as the federal government is, it doesn't hold a candle to the corruption at the state level where the sun hardly ever shines. There is no election integrity now. I don't know if my idea would improve things, I think it would if done thoughtfully, and I don't think it could make things worse. We are already approaching the point where it's getting difficult to call this a democracy without rolling the eyes.

  •  faux candidates have been put up to take primaries (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, a2nite

    And then tank in the general.
    Was diary post here yesterday by Glen The Plumber re Sproul, and various name changing companies hired for mischief, destruction, and dissuasions to election processes. Hired Romney this round.
    DOJ should be IDing them out of the assault on voting and eligibility.

    Job Crater Republicans Make Our Lives Miserable. Drop Them.

    by renzo capetti on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 04:42:37 AM PDT

  •  exactly! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Systematic paid by the RNC "ELECTION FRAUD"

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 04:51:00 AM PDT

    •  Bradblog put it succinctly (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ashaman, MsGrin, a2nite, LaFeminista

      With the latest schemes going on in all swing states paid for by the RNC..

      this is not voter fraud, not one ballot cast, not one voter engaged in the treacher..  

      This is systematic election fraud, changes address on registered voters, changing party is, destroying voter registrations of "democratic" Ids.

      All done across multiple states all paid for by the RNC to dispursements to swing state republican parties. Which then paid the firm!The brad blog nc GOP joins fl....

      Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

      by totallynext on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 04:59:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Having just observed the elections in Belarus, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, MsGrin, LaFeminista

    I can tell you that there's lots more kinds of fraud than the ones listed by our esteemed diarist.  

    There's blocking potential candidates on flimsy or non-existent grounds.  There's distorted media coverage (more of a problem in a place where the government controls the media, like Belarus).  

    There's stuffing the ballot box with ballots allegedly from voters who didn't actually vote.  There's a lack of transparency in how the votes are counted at the polling station, and there's a serious lack of transparency in how the votes are tabulated at the district or county level.

    No, this country has not sunk to the levels of Belarus.  But eternal vigilance really is the price of freedom, in this context.

    "Y'know what intelligent people call someone who runs around saying NO to everything all the time? A three-year-old who needs a nap." BiPM

    by stevenwag on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 05:35:05 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Important clarification.  ;-)

    'Kiss my ass: This is a holy site for the Polish people, show some respect!' ~Rick Gorka, Romney spokesman

    by MsGrin on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:09:33 AM PDT

  •  Looking for fraud in all the wrong places (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsGrin, LaFeminista

    Instead of looking at voters of color, how about looking at the keepers of the voting rolls?

    Instead of looking at foreclosed borrowers, how about looking at banks with perverse incentives?

    Instead of looking at the unemployed, how about looking at the job exporters?

    Instead of looking at disabled veterans, how about looking at the cost overruns of defense contractors?

    When the Republicans sing about fraud, it's always off-key and out of tune.  Won't someone teach them how to sing?

    •  Except it's a 'simple' if wrong message (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...and it gets their base fired up very effectively.  "Boo!  ACORN!!!"  Ends justifies the means or whatever to those clowns.

      'Kiss my ass: This is a holy site for the Polish people, show some respect!' ~Rick Gorka, Romney spokesman

      by MsGrin on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:16:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Expand the terminology (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We need to clearly mention:
    Voter Identity Fraud (which almost doesn't exist)
    Voter Registration Fraud (which usually does not lead to voter identity fraud)
    Vote Counting/Tabulation Fraud (which won Bush the 2004 election)
    Any other Specific type of election fraud

  •  To be honest... (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think all lying to voters ought to be considered election fraud.  Lying about one's own policies, or those of one's opponent, could be considered fraud -- but I feel that the term "election fraud" ought to apply to lying to voters ONLY when it is lying about the election process itself.  (E.g., misinformation about the time and/or place one can go to vote.)

    Trying to change people's minds about who to vote for should not be categorized together with trying to defraud people out of the vote they intended to cast.

    •  Depends on the distortion, by cutting video or (0+ / 0-)

      recordings to say the opposite is a good example.

      I have nothing against honest disagreement.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 08:16:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm. (0+ / 0-)

        Yeah, deceptively recutting an opponent's video or recordings is definitely dirty pool, but I still feel that ought to be a different category of wrongdoing.

        "You lied to make me change my mind" is not at all the same thing as "You did not change my mind but you illegally prevented/falsified my vote".

  •  Election fraud & Voter Suppression vs. Voter Fraud (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Republican distortion of the truth ignores the fact that:  organized, concerted actions taken by powerful republican governors, etc to prevent likely Democratic voters from voting is the real issue when discussing actions likely to affect the results of elections.

    The number of alleged occasional individuals who might attempt to vote despite being ineligible to vote are no match for the actual widespread determined plots of politicians like Fl. Gov. Scott's "Shameless voter suppression efforts

    Less than a week before general election ballots are mailed to voters, Gov. Rick Scott's administration has sent another error-riddled list of potentially ineligible voters to county elections supervisors. The governor's determination to suppress the votes of minorities and low-income Floridians is surpassed only by his administration's ineptitude...

    There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Florida, and Scott's search for ineligible voters is looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack... they sent a list of 2,625 suspects to elections supervisors that was so flawed the supervisors put a stop to the purge effort. Then the state agreed to abandon that list, ran names through a federal database of noncitizens and finally emailed a list Wednesday of 198 potentially ineligible voters. That's 198 out of 11,446,540 registered voters...

    When the alleged number of "potentially ineligible voters" is so small compared to the total number of voters, why are republican governors spending so much time--and taxpayer money to tackle a problem that doesn't exist?  Because, of course:
    It is no surprise that the state's list of potentially ineligible voters is disproportionately filled with Democrats, Hispanics and African-Americans...

    This is shameless voter suppression insisted upon by the governor. It it is exactly the reason why federal law prohibits voter roll purges within 90 days of an election, and the courts should stop this fiasco before it goes any further...

    Individual voters don't have the connections, money, or power to organize efforts to commit "voter fraud" that would in any effective way influence the results of an election.  Also, efforts of ineligible voters to attempt to vote aren't limited to people supporting just one party, but the republicans don't seem to be concerned about possible ineligible likely republican voters slipping through the dragnet to cast their vote for Romney/ Ryan.  

    When the same people who scream "voter fraud" are actually the ones committing possible fraud in voter registration forms when they are trying to GOTV of likely republicans, it's clear that they are the ones trying to manipulate elections they can't win honestly by using every dishonest honest tactic they can possibly think of.  Of course, the RNC is acting shocked--shocked--by the illegal voter registration tactics of the consulting firm they hired, they keep hiring the same firm because of despite the fact they've done this before:  

    ...the RNC has sent more than $3.1 million this year to Strategic Allied Consulting, a company formed in June by Nathan Sproul, an Arizona voting consultant. Sproul has operated other firms that have been accused in past elections of improprieties designed to help Republican candidates, including dumping registration forms filled out by Democrats, but none of those allegations led to any criminal charges.
    Then they accuse Democrats or potential Democratic voters  of doing the things that, in fact, the Republicans are doing.
  •  Cannot recommend this enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    These terms are confused all the time and it's driving me nuts.  Voter fraud rarely has an effect on elections, has hasn't had an effect is at least a century.  Those scenes in Gangs of New York where the guys get a shave and haircut to go vote again?  That's voter fraud.  

    Election fraud is how Bush won two terms.  It's tampering with voting machines.  etc.  

    It's all at the level in the election hierarchy that the fraud takes place, and a national election is typically stolen at the city or state level.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 08:08:35 AM PDT

  •  Policy wiki: election fraud (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the great resources. I have added much of your information in our election policy wiki. Also, we have an ongoing policy poll for our Community Manifesto: What do you think about voter (photo) ID?

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