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Most of us here on dKos know that the voter-ID laws are claimed to be in response to election fraud which almost never happens. I want to look at why it never happens.

The first point to remember is that fraudulent voting has to be committed before the votes are counted. (Fraudulent counting, however, can wait until the other party's precincts have been reported.) Now every cycle brings a few elections decided on a few votes. Going into an election, however, you never know that it will be decided on a few votes; the more important an election, the more votes you need to steal to have a good chance of affecting an election.

The second point is that voter-ID laws are intended to be enforced by the judges of election. (Back when fraudulent voting was rampant in Chicago, the judges of election were at the center of it.) If you have the cooperation of the judges of election, showing a picture ID to them doesn't matter; they simply accept what you show them even if it has a different name than the registered voter's.  

Put those together. In order to steal a state-rep race, you have to have fakes impersonate thousands of voters in hundreds -- at least -- of precincts with the judges of election intending to stop that. Well, many judges of election -- most of the judges of election in Chicago -- live in the precinct where they work. If you go in with the ID of John Smith who lives at 123 S. Main St., you have a small -- but real -- chance of the judge saying something like:
"I know John Smith, and you ain't him," or
"I remember Smith's funeral, who are you?" or
"I live at 121, and the Jones live at 123, not the Smiths."

The chances of that happening at any one time are fairly small. The chances of that happening when you repeat it thousands of times approach certainty. The picture that this has been done repeatedly for years with no-one twigging is laughable.

And, of course, anybody who has participated has a great chance to sell his story. So far, all we have seen is right-wingers trying to do it to prove that it is possible, and they have been caught.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Well stated, but (6+ / 0-)

    I think you underestimate the likelihood of the impersonator getting caught.

    John Smith may have already voted.  Oops!

    That's why, when James O'Keefe's thugs tried voter impersonation in New Hampshire, they used the names of people who had died in the last week - too recently, they hoped, to have been stricken from the rolls.  And the late John Smith wouldn't have voted earlier in the day - because these fraudsters know that actual voter impersonation doesn't exist, except in their own crimes.

    And O'Keefe's thugs were caught, just as you suggest, by local poll workers who know local voters and families.

  •  Another reason (6+ / 0-)

    voter fraud doesn't exist.  It's a HUGE risk for a miniscule return.  One vote of thousands or millions versus years in prison.

    Even very desperate people can't usually be bribed to take that chance.  Or it'd have to be a very big bribe, many times over, to have any chance at making a difference.

    Just not worth it.

  •  All of this proves that the stated reason isn't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie4fairness, gfv6800, Lujane

    the real reason for the push for these laws.  Clearly, they introduce fear that "others" are stealing the elections - thereby helping to drive up voter turnout of the "desired" group; and the biggest reason - to put barriers into place to make it more unlikely that the "non-preferred" voters (i.e., Democratic leaning) will actually be able to vote.  The GOP - can't win on the truth, can't win on the issues - all that is left is to cheat.

    Good Sense is Seldom Common

  •  I had one of those (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, allie4fairness, gfv6800, Lujane

    An elderly couple came in and the address on their ID didn't match the voter record.

    We asked the standard question and they said they had moved from the local assisted living center to one in the next county.

    But they said that they still maintained a home within the county but in a different precinct.

    By rule they shouldn't have been allowed to vote since they couldn't document that their residence was within the county.

    The Republican Judge let them vote normally and complained when I told them that they should change their address of record to their home.

    I guess Republicans don't care about following the rules when it comes to allowing elderly white people to vote.

    © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

    by Tomtech on Wed May 21, 2014 at 05:27:37 PM PDT

  •  Confessions of a fraudulent voter. Ahem. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gfv6800, Lujane

    I have voted every single election since I turned 18. One election, I voted twice. Here is my story.

    I moved around several times that year and always reregistered in my new location. When I received my voter paperwork, I had two polling places. Hmmm.

    I went to one polling place, signed in and voted my punch card ballot. I have no idea if I created any hanging chads at the time.

    Then I went to the other polling place. I was the only voter there with several officials. I signed in again and took my unpunched ballot, and very publicly, walked over to the box and deposited it in the box. I wanted to be very sure that everyone saw what I did. The officials, startled, said, well, that is your right and laughed.

    Well, a few weeks later, I got a phone call. Did you vote twice? Well, sort of. Did you know that is a felony? I did. But I really only voted once. The second ballot was blank. You can ask everyone who was there.

    And that is my tale of what it takes to be a fraudulent voter. You can't get away with it.

    Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

    by pucklady on Wed May 21, 2014 at 06:06:45 PM PDT

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