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The Vote Fraud Fraud, Willful Blindness Edition

[ 71 ] July 30, 2012 |

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.


Comments (71)

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  1. Jack says:

    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.

  2. Spuddie says:

    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?

  3. someBrad says:

    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 says:

      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 for more details.

    • Davis X. Machina says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

        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 says:

      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.

    • vacuumslayer says:

      Considering how close elections have been recently…

      • Heron says:

        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.

  4. Dan Nexon says:

    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.


    • mark f says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

        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.

      • Armando Cortez the Mexican says:

        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.

    • Murc says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

            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 says:

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

          • Hogan says:

            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 says:

            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 says:

          “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

      • anecdote says:

        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.

  5. c u n d gulag says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • Sev says:

      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 says:

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

      Not that difficult at all….

      • Malaclypse says:

        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.”

      • Spuddie says:

        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 says:

        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?

  6. Tiny Hermaphrodite says:

    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.

  7. […] so much and irreparably damage our nation” I went over to Lawyers, Guns and Money and saw this post.  I quickly realized I owed jack a less flippant […]

  8. Heron says:

    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).

  9. tomstickler says:

    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.

  10. Jon H says:

    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 says:

      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!

  11. John says:

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

  12. Sidney18511 says:

    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.

  13. J Harvey says:

    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.

  14. […] more about Voter ID laws at NC Policy Watch, the New York Times, and Lawyers, Guns & […]

  15. […] Wanted to Know about Voter ID Laws. Others weigh in at NC Policy Watch, the New York Times, and Lawyers, Guns & […]

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