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The Vote Fraud Fraud, Willful Blindness Edition

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Vote suppression laws are more common in swing states. Ann Althouse is unconcerned:

Weiser’s argument doesn’t prove as much as she’d like, because it’s also true that it’s in swing states where there’s the most reason to worry about fraud. It’s a corollary to the old saying “if it’s not close, they can’t cheat.”

If there was any evidence that in-person voter fraud existed, this might even be relevant. But, of course there isn’t. And it doesn’t even make sense in theory; you can’t swing an election, even a relatively close one, by mobilizing fake voters. That’s not how elections are ever stolen. ID laws aren’t about stopping voter fraud; they’re about making it harder for people who don’t reliably vote Republican to vote.

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  • Jack

    Winebox really is an exceptionally stupid, and especially amusing, wingnut blogger, isn’t she?

    And what about that Meade? ROFL! I have to laugh every time I think of that weird little guy.

    • Amok92

      Hi “Jack”, if you’re actually Meade let me tell you that you are my favorite LGM troll evah.

  • Spuddie

    What I always find interesting on this board is the lack of bullshit excuses for vote suppression by the right wingers here.

    Here they just ignore it and just say, “nyah-nyah we are going to win by fair means of foul”. Elsewhere they start blubbering about voter fraud being a “real problem” or how its so easy to get a photo ID that only illegal immigrants and criminals are the ones without one (nobody ever counts the elderly, except Royal Masset).

    Do we just have an inferior grade of right-wing troll or do they just not bother?

    • (the other) Davis

      I’m not masochistic enough to go looking, but I do seem to remember a resident troll busting out the “Anyone can get a free photo ID, so what’s the problem?” line of argument some weeks back.

    • They were bragging about superpacs buying the election too. I almost admire it, because most conservatives hem and haw about their goals, whereas these trolls come right and say how incredibly awful they are. Kinda refreshing.

      • Malaclypse

        To be fair, I think both of those trolls were merely different sockpuppets of JenBob.

    • Manta

      I actually think that it is always the same person (or maybe 2) using different handles

  • someBrad

    So, how much of a legitimate threat are these voter ID laws? Like how much should I be worried (as opposed to outraged, which I already am)?

    • Spuddie

      It has been touted that ID laws can cause up to a 3% gain for Republicans in some elections.

      As opposed to actual instances of voter fraud which can make as much of a difference of anywhere from 0.0002% to 0.045% (assuming all allegations of fraud are correct, a tall order by anyone’s standards)

      See Truthaboutvoterfraud.org for more details.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Try 400,000 voters in Philadelphia shunted off onto never-going-to-be-counted provisional ballots, due to no ID, or expired ID.

      For the state as a whole — 1.5 million voters.

      • One of the Blue

        I can only report experience here in Tennsessee. The election registrars got a lot unfriendlier after 2008 when the Repubs took over the county election commissions (majority party in the legislature gets to pick all county election commissions here). They were even more snarly this year (yes we too have a spanking new voter ID law). My wife had to argue strenuously and at length to be allowed to vote (they were going to deny her on the grounds that she had changed her signature slightly between the last time she registered to vote several years ago and now). She won the argument, but it took a while. Also getting voters checked in was taking a lot longer, even when nothing got questioned, then it ever has before, which definitely could be a deterrent to a voter with a limited time window.

      • John

        I would imagine that a substantial percentage of these people will acquire IDs by the time of the election. Even so, the Philly numbers are astonishing – there’s only 1.5 million people living in the city, and many of those are not eligible voters.

    • njorl

      I don’t know how reliable it is, or even remember where I read it, but there was one estimate that it would probably result in a Republican gain of nearly 1% in PA. That was considered the only state where it might make the difference. That gives it a real chance in deciding the PA outcome. There is also a real chance that PA decides the election. I’d say there’s a >2% chance that the next election goes Romney’s way due to PA’s voter suppression law.

    • Considering how close elections have been recently…

      • Heron

        Lots of that is gerrymandering as well. Texas, for instance, is close to a 50-50 state, but because of how our districts are constructed, Republicans tend to win everything but non-districted races like city council and mayor.

  • The thread is a real gem. Lots of screaming about “how you can’t do anything without an ID” ergo “everyone most have one.” Bonus, links to “Republican Lawyers Against Fraud” documenting a small number of instances that have almost no bearing on Voter ID laws.

    Sigh.

    • mark f

      Althouse’s commenters were the same ones yelling about how Obama didn’t have the sort of birth certificate one would need to obtain a driver’s license or passport, so apparently “everyone” has an ID except the President of the United States.

    • Spuddie

      Except none of the things where you need an ID is a right protected under the constitution, considered essential to the democratic way of life like voting.

      Of course this also comes from the same people who oppose registering firearms and rail against Social Security because they do not like being cataloged by the Govmint.

      • mark f

        Also too, more-or-less-real fraudulent tactics like dead people voting or 100%+ turnout requires the collusion of poll workers & ballot counters and thus would not actually be preventable, and would perhaps be exacerbated, by voter ID laws.

        • David Hunt

          That, of course, is a feature, not a bug.

      • Armando Cortez the Mexican

        Except none of the things where you need an ID is a right protected under the constitution…

        Try to purchase a gun without a government picture ID and this is an explicit constitutional individual right as recently affirmed by SCOTUS.

        Just try it.

        • Malaclypse

          Hiya Jennie. Do you know you have a very recognizable dumbprint?

        • ¡Arriba!

        • Spuddie

          That’s what gun shows are for Jenny.

          Guns can be freely owned and transferred among individuals without necessity of much in the lines of paperwork in many states. I certainly didn’t need a government ID to inherit my GF’s modest collection of rifles and shotguns nor transfer them to friends and family members.

          Besides, purchasing of a weapon is not considered a civic duty nor something inherently sancrosanct to the nature of a democratic way of life no matter how many NRA screeds you quote from. Voting is.

          • Holden Pattern

            The ballot box is dependent on the ammunition box. Suck it, libtard.

            • Spuddie

              “The ballot box is dependent on the ammunition box.”

              The New Black Panther Party Motto.

              See also AYYYYYCORN!!!!!!!

        • J Harvey

          Want to buy a gun without a government ID? Just go to a gun show. No ID, no background check required. Nice try.

    • Murc

      I would actually like to know about how these people without ID are getting by.

      I know that they are (or at least, they live day to day) but I do wonder how. I need an ID to get a job and loans and state benefits and suchly. I have trouble conceiving how I’d get anything done without it. I mean, even as a retiree who lives off her dead husbands pension (hypothetical) how would that work? Wouldn’t you still need ID to use Medicare?

      • Woodrowfan

        it’s not that they don’t have any ID, it’s that the IDs they do have are not the ones specified by the republican laws. For example, I am on my wife’s health insurance and I have a little card from the insurance company that I use, but under these new voter ID laws, it’s not enough.

        IMHO, the “everyone has some form of ID” talking point is just another dishonest republican distortion. (And I am not calling you either dishonest or a republican, just pointing out that this particular talking point is misleading.(

        • Murc

          Well, it should be understood that my query was in the spirit of “Well, my personal experience is that you need an ID for so many things that are seemingly necessary just to exist. And yet, there seem to be millions of people who get by just fine without either a drivers license, a non-drivers ID, or equivalents. I find this very interesting! I would like to hear their stories, because they are part of the rich tapestry of American experience I know nothing about.”

          • Spuddie

            Its a lot more common than you would think.

            Actually many elderly people probably do not have the kind of ID’s that these voter laws require nor are many capable of getting them.

            How easy would you think is it for someone in their 80’s+ to obtain a birth certificate?

            They usually don’t need a drivers license and the kind of insurance related cards aren’t necessarily photo IDs (or “acceptable ID”).

            Think about how few poor people have bank accounts. Welfare benefits ID’s seldom have photos or are considered “acceptable ID”.

          • DrDick

            For most things, a rent or utility receipt and a variety of other forms of identification (mostly without pictures on them) are acceptable. These laws narrow that down to state issued (generally at the DMV) photo IDs, which a lot of people do not otherwise need or have.

          • Woodrowfan

            no worries, I figured you were asking a real question and not concern-trolling,…..

          • There was a story in the Times about a woman in her 90s who never had to get a driver’s license because she doesn’t drive. She used to have a copy of her birth certificate (which probably staked her to a lot of other stuff in the meantime), but it burned up in a fire. When she learned about the new ID requirement, she called the county where she was born to request another copy. They said, “Sorry, we had a fire too.”

            I suspect there are also a lot of people subsisting entirely in the informal economy, where trust based on past exchanges counts for more than papers.

          • JoyfulA

            My late husband, when he became disabled in his 30s, did not renew his driver’s license because he could not safely drive. He did not have a birth certificate because he was born in eastern Europe during World War II and became a refugee as a toddler.

            His lack of “proper” ID did not present any problems. He died in 2003. Now, he’d no longer have the right to vote in Pennsylvania: no driver’s license and no birth certificate as required to get a driver’s license equivalent.

            I would think that refugee status with no birth certificate would apply to a lot of people, not just eastern Europeans but Cubans, Vietnamese, Somalis—

        • jefft452

          “it’s not that they don’t have any ID, it’s that the IDs they do have are not the ones specified by the republican laws”

          A student ID is good enough ID to withdraw money from a bank account, board an airplane, rent an apartment or any of the other things that wingnuts claim you must have ID to do
          But college students are more likely to vote D then R so its not good enough to vote

          • Malaclypse

            It actually is not good enough to open a bank account or to fly.

            None of which makes voter suppression vaguely acceptable.

      • anecdote

        FWIW – I once took a few hours off to drive my much older coworker to the DMV because she finally needed to get a non university issued photo ID. She is blind and never had use for a driver’s license. She was very independent and mobile but of course there was no bus service to anywhere near the DMV since generally only people with cars need to go there.

  • c u n d gulag

    Does any one of them think about how difficult it would be to commit voter fraud?

    It’s not like some anonymous computer impersonation.
    You have to have to physically impersonate someone else.

    If they live in the same area as you, do you go to vote once as yourself, and once as Joe Fakevoter?
    What if the poll worker knows you? And that you voted before?
    What if the poll worker knows Joe, and says you’re not him?

    Do you find someone who votes at a different polling place?
    What if, again, someone recognizes you as you, or knows Joe?

    Now, I can see some sort of fraud voting for a spouse or family member who’d deceased, and you fill-out an absentee ballot, but otherwise, committing voter fraud for one or two votes, is a convoluted and ineffective way to try to swing an election.

    I’m much more worried, frankly, about the steps to prevent voter fraud, and the electronic voting machines, which can be hacked by a HS kid.

    Ah, but those are the Conservatives best chances to win – while they scream about fraud in elections, the go and steal them, instead.

    I must have missed Christ’s “The Ends Justify the Means” sermon in the Bible.

    • Woodrowfan

      I work as an election officer in my county and I’ve pointed out this exact same thing to righties, only to be told that the Democrats round up busloads of “those people in the cites” and take them around from polling place to polling place and pay them in whiskey to vote. Nope, no racism there, nosireebob.

      • rea

        Like a bus load of “those people in the cites” showing up (drunk!) at a suburban polling place wouldn’t be instantly noticable.

        • mark f

          Who would be leaning over the check-in table trying to find a name with no ‘x’ next to it. “Do you mean to tell me you’re Caroline Smithenpeterfield, sir?”

          • Why yes, my good man, I am in fact your next-door neighbor Thomas Drexel Biddle IV of 23 Chestnut Hill Avenue, who died in September. What seems to be the trouble?

    • Sev

      I did a fair bit of voter registration, GOTV etc in the 80s. There is a fairly common type of voter fraud, pretty much the type Romney engaged in. People who, for one reason or another, prefer to vote in their old neighborhood, haven’t got around to changing their registration, and so on. It’s a terrible thing, the ferocity of this determination to commit electoral choice on the part of these people such that no inconvenience seems to deter them.

    • Armando Cortez the Mexican

      Does any one of them think about how difficult it would be to commit voter fraud?

      Not that difficult at all….

      • Malaclypse

        Also, Jennie may normally get sexual gratification by imagining his mother providing discipline for all the times he was a naughty naughty boy.

        There a lots and lots of things that “may be” true, Jennie. The non-insane look for “evidence.”

        • DrDick

          Yes, but there is none of that so JenBob must pull shit out of his/her ass to make a point.

        • Timb

          John Fund believes there are three legit voters in America. Him, his editor, and Sean Hannity an he won’t stop until he wins

      • Spuddie

        Except the story was bullshit. Allegations and rumors rather than anything which anyone bothered to act on. Bullshit rumors of voter fraud is what propels the disenfranchisement efforts.

      • mark f

        In addition to what everyone else said:

        Al Franken’s narrow, 312-vote victory in 2008 over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman may have come as the result of people being allowed to vote who, under existing law, shouldn’t have been. [. . .] [A conservative watchdog group] found, in what appears to clearly warrant further and official inquiry, that

        … At least 341 convicted felons voted in Minneapolis’s Hennepin County, the state’s largest, and another 52 voted illegally in St. Paul’s Ramsey County, the state’s second largest.

        So John Q. Felon showed up, was given a ballot, and voted. If John Q. Felon had showed up, presented a license, was handed a ballot, and voted, then Norm Coleman might still be a senator right now?

  • Tiny Hermaphrodite

    I must have missed Christ’s “The Ends Justify the Means” sermon in the Bible.

    It’s in new Conservapedia translation by Andrew Schlafly replacing the false, liberal passage in Mark 12,29-31.

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  • Heron

    you can’t swing an election, even a relatively close one, by mobilizing fake voters.

    Exactly. Why go through the trouble of courting people to vote illegally when it’s far easier to simply get your hands on the ballot boxes and either stuff or misreport the contents? Hell, if you control the state voting commission you don’t even need to do that; you can just certify the returns favorable to your team and stonewall those unlikely to break your way(see Florida, 2000). Considering how many of these states have majority Republican county and state governments, that’s a far easier approach and, as you point out, we USians actually have a history of doing it(for instance, every election in Texas before, say, 1970).

    • Holden Pattern

      OR, just tweak the numbers in the no-paper-record insecure electronic voting machines. W’evs.

  • tomstickler

    While everyone is focused on the shiny object of voter ID laws, the truly dangerous non-verifiable i-Votronic-style voting machines remain in the polling places, just waiting to be hacked.

  • Jon H

    Fox is pushing a “vote fraud” story from Eastern Kentucky.

    Only, their big story is about people buying votes. Which wouldn’t be stopped by voter id laws.

    Not that Fox mentions that.

    • Malaclypse

      Given that actual votes are still secret, I’d like to announce that, trust me, I’ll vote any way you want, honest and for true, if you pay me enough. I’ll even pretend to vote Republican!

      • Anonymous

        I have watched how often you post, the length of your posts and calculated that you are spending at least six hours a day on this blog….probably more.

        This leads any reasonable person to believe that you do not work. You’re either independently wealthy or, much more likely, you’re an unemployed slug.

        • Malaclypse

          I have watched how often you post, the length of your posts and calculated that you are spending at least six hours a day on this blog….probably more.

          Well, at least you are not at all obsessed, Jennie dear. But I’m still not that into you.

          • Timb

            Come on, mal you couldn’t do better than a dishonest troll who has time to make inane comments AND calculate how long you spend here (without noting the irony). I’m betting JenBob is independently wealthy

            • Spuddie

              3-1 odds Jenbob is unemployed, on welfare, or under the legal age for full time work.

              • automate

                I can not believe the troll spent all that time monitoring the blog and “calculating” and still does not realize that Malaclypse is a troll prevention script.

        • DrDick

          Given all the time you spend here and the total incoherence of your posts, it is quite clear that you are an unemployable slug.

        • BobS

          Wow, you’re obviously a genius with numbers- would it be possible for you to share the equation you used to calculate 6 hours? I think I’d like to perform that trick at parties.

  • John

    So Althouse is stupid? Nope–only her arguments are. Being Ann Althouse doesn’t require stupidity; just corruption.

  • Sidney18511

    The repubs just need to know the ID of every American that casts a vote. They must be known, every crack and crevice of every democrat that votes must be examined. But when it comes to the rightwing PAC money, we would be invading their civil rights if they had to release their ID.
    The repubs can’t win fair and square on their policies. Thay must cheat.

  • J Harvey

    I was just talking to a member of the Pennsylvania State Republican Committee about the new Vote Suppression Law which is in the courts right now. Before the case started in Commonwealth Court the state admitted there is no voter fraud here in Pennsylvania.

    When I pointed out there is no voter fraud to prevent, he claimed there is voter fraud. When I ask him to tell me one case (since the Governor does not know of any) he said the New Black Panther Party stood in front of a polling place in Philadelphia during the 2008 election.

    I pointed out even if it had not been proven that no one was prevented from voting due to this incident, it might be voter intimidation but it was not voter fraud. He could not think of any way having to show a government issued photo ID would prevent the New Black Panther Party from standing in front of a polling place in a Black neighborhood.

    The Governor does not know what is in the law because he did not read it before signing the law. The Secretary of State admitted in court that she does not know what the law requires. The law is only a few pages long, I have read it. Way to go One Term Tom. The law is so vague and contradictory it is no wonder the official in charge of enforcing it does not know what it requires.

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