A brush with voter fraud By Tom Knighton

A brush with voter fraud

By Tom Knighton

There’s been a lot of talk about voter fraud through the years. For very good reason, it’s something people take seriously and want to kill with fire. Well, a lot of us at least. However, people often have a misunderstanding about the forms that voter fraud takes. Having looked into events surrounding a local election here in Albany, Georgia, I have a unique perspective on how it actually happens.

My understanding started with a phone call. A woman, who I’ll call “Kelly” since she asked me to remain anonymous, had worked on a local campaign for a mayoral candidate I’d endorsed. That year, we had several new candidates and Kelly worked with one and was friends with another.

“I’ve got to tell you about what happened,” she said. This, however, requires a bit of time travel. (Hey, I’m a science fiction writer. I can do that, right?)

Kelly was in a downtown Albany restaurant when she was approached by a woman who wanted to talk about Kelly’s candidate and the campaign. The woman asked Kelly if they had “done their math” regarding how many votes they needed to win.

Unsure of what she meant, Kelly tried to answer.

This person told Kelly, and the candidate of another race, that for the right price, she could provide however many votes they wanted.

Now, I don’t think Kelly bought this, and neither did the candidate who is named Melissa.

Election night arrived, and I’d put the weekly issue of my newspaper to bed. I just had to get up at ridiculously early in the morning to get the physical papers from the printer, but that was nothing. It was election night!

I hit the first election night party, the one for Kelly’s candidate. It was early, and the mayoral elections would probably go to a run off anyways based on what I was seeing, so I only stayed a few minutes.

I then went around the corner to a watch party being held by a couple of candidates, including Melissa. The returns were coming in, and it looked like one of the candidates was about to lose to a veteran incumbent who not only held the seat, but has served as a mayor in another town several years before and was a well liked college professor.

Melissa’s race looked much different, however. She was winning.

As I left the party for the serenity of my bed, one of the local TV stations arrived to interview Melissa. After all, they were about to call the race of her. I had to agree, it looked like she had it easily.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I got up the next morning and saw that she’d lost.

A few days later came Kelly’s call. The woman Kelly spoke with told her that her method worked beautifully, and no one got caught because they used absentee ballots.

I started looking into the matter. Sure enough, in Melissa’s race, there was a massive number of absentee ballots coming from just one precinct.

Now, Melissa’s district was mostly working class folks, and this was in November. This wasn’t the time when people would go on vacation.

Every set of numbers I looked at failed to pass the sniff test. Melissa decided to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit regarding some irregularities during the election. During that process, she got records from the absentee ballots themselves, and based on what we both saw, we now understood how voter fraud happens and where reform efforts truly need to be directed.

The people selling the votes worked in a nursing home in that precinct. By Georgia law, an individual can have assistance in filling out their absentee ballot. However, the law also dictates that a given person can only help a few folks with their ballot. This, obviously, is done to prevent one person from having too much sway on the electoral process.

What was really happening, however, is that the “crew” involved would fill out the ballots for the residents of the nursing home. A handful would be signed by the individuals directly, but only as many as permitted by law. After that, they used other names.

So, how do I know there was something hinky going on?

Well, one of the first clues I noticed was the incredibly high rate of absentee ballots form that particular precinct. This wasn’t a presidential election year. These were all local elections. To be frank, most residents in nursing homes aren’t that concerned with local elections. For better or worse, they’re insulated from the effects of local government. This was shown with how few absentee ballots were filled out in other precincts with nursing homes.

Next, there was the fact that a large number these were single race voters, meaning they only voted in Melissa’s race. A single city commission race drew more attention than a mayoral race? If you buy that, you and I need to talk about some bridges I think you should own.

However, the most damning evidence came from Melissa. You see, she and her attorney were the ones with the ballot stubs. While they couldn’t see how anyone voted—nor should they have been—they could see who voted. Two piece emailed to me included the ballot of a woman, probably a resident of the nursing home. This woman, for whatever reason, required assistance filling out her ballot. In and of itself, nothing major.

What was significant, however, was that this woman was apparently able to help someone else fill out their ballot.

OK, let’s let that sink in for a moment.

Yes, she was unable to fill out her ballot without assistance, but was able to help someone else fill out their own.

Here’s where the problems come into play. For all the joking about the dead voting in places like Chicago, and I have little doubt that happens, those kinds of voter fraud are kind of tricky to pull off. They’re difficult and complicated, especially as ID technology becomes more advanced. In Georgia, our state issued ID cards contain codes that are scanned and make it harder to fake for voting purposes.

Absentee ballots, however, are a different matter. They’re designed for people who can’t physically be at the polling place. This is the only means for the vast majority of people serving in the military to vote. Also, there are voters in nursing homes who want to take part of the process, but are bedridden and unable to go themselves.

However, the standards for identification are significantly lower. This makes them an excellent tool for those who wish to influence elections for their own gain.

Further, groups can pull this off in almost any town. You don’t need the large numbers of people like Chicago or New York. No, you only need a few nursing homes or other places where registered voters reside but are unable to go and vote.

Much of the discussion on combating voter fraud focuses on ID requirements. Proponents of tougher ID requirements argue that requiring ID for all voters simply makes sense. Opponents argue that it will disenfranchise voters. Frankly, the opponents are full of it. We’ve been requiring ID in Georgia for years, and it’s worked out fine.

However, the flip side is that proponents are fighting on a front in a battle and have no clue that entire divisions are flanking them. The truth is, using absentee ballots simply makes the ID discussions pointless. Make it tougher to physically vote in a precinct all you want. There’s an easier way for them to do it already, and I suspect they’re already using it quite effectively.

So, that leaves us with how to fix this. After all, pointing out a problem only helps so much. Floating ideas on how to fix the problem is also important. Unfortunately, we find ourselves butting up against two problems. One is making sure that everyone entitled to vote has the opportunity to do so. The other is not preventing people who have difficulties from getting help.

However, I’m biased as hell. You see, I’ve watched my home town mimic Detroit in far too many ways to make me comfortable. My solution is to eliminate the “help” for people with absentee ballots and require an ID on file with a signature that can be compared to the ballot’s signature.

There is an alternative, however. Ballot helpers should be required to be registered (similar to voters), and must provide a state issued ID card to register. This eliminates the ability for the crew to just make up names for people to “help” with ballots.

Also, if you need help with your ballot, you do not get to help someone else. This may hamstring the ability of fraudsters from being able to recycle names such as we found with Melissa’s race.

Our electoral process is one of the greatest things about our nation. If we dislike our leadership, we can overturn it the next time around. It deserves respect, and the people who sell votes and use corrupt methods to get preferred people elected aren’t doing that. They’re playing with a system that made our nation the model for so many others throughout the world.

Like it or not, this is how a lot of fraud is happening, and it’s being ignored by those with the power to do something about it. That needs to change.

317 thoughts on “A brush with voter fraud By Tom Knighton

  1. No doubt this is why Progressives are pushing for all mail-in voting. Oregon and Colorado I believe have everyone vote my mail? The opportunities for fraud are greatly increased. As Team Obama says: “Vote early, vote often”.

    1. Washington, here. I’ve never been allowed to vote in person– and back before I was old enough to vote, there were people who were totally open about voting at their vacation home and back in Seattle. Every couple of years the news picks up a story like “couple’s dog gets an absentee ballot” or similar.

      Which really, really pisses me off about the various things that have passed by a very small margin.

      1. I’ve contemplated applying for multiple ballots and filming the entire process. I’m just not sure it would do any good.

          1. My parents tell me that a voter registration card in my name still arrives at their address in Texas – even though I have been registered in North Carolina for 29 years.

            1. I still get the voter materials for a woman who lived in my apartment before I did. I also kept getting jury summons for her, despite repeatedly sending them back and calling about it. I haven’t gotten any in a while, but I’m not sure if that’s because they actually fixed that issue, or her name just hasn’t come up in a while in the that particular lottery.

      2. As I’m sure I have pointed out before, I actually got absentee ballots in Washington as soon as I was eligible to vote (you make me feel old, I moved before they made it mandatory vote by mail). After I moved out of state they continued to send my ballot to my parents house (my address on record, before moving I worked out of town almost all the time, with no fixed address). Even though I had changed my address, changed my drivers license etc. I called them multiple times, as did my mom, to explain to them I no longer lived in Washington. So finally they wised up…. and started forwarding my ballot to my Idaho address.

        1. I was in the Navy before I could legally vote.

          Never got a single one of the ballots, even though I very carefully did everything I was supposed to, each time.

          My folks got one for me, though, and the only thing that eventually stopped them was after I’d moved to Spokane and they tried to call me up for jury duty. Even that probably only worked because it was Okanogan and my mom was in and out of the courthouse building a lot for weed board.

          1. I didn’t get to vote in my first presidential election because my absentee ballot arrive after the election was over. Annoying. (I don’t think there was any hanky-panky going on, because mail was notoriously delayed to my college at the time.)

      3. Apologies for jumping subthreads. You asked me a question in another thread where I can’t reply, so I’m replying here, instead.

        You asked:

        > …are you really arguing that people in New York City never need legally valid ID? So they use no credit cards, buy no alcohol, sign no rental contracts?

        No. I’m not arguing that at all. I’m talking about people who moved into the state from out of state and have not changed their ID to be local ID. I can use an out-of-state ID, which was valid in the place it was issued and which has not yet expired, to use credit cards, buy alcohol, sign contracts, and the like.

        I’m arguing that there is no benefit to *updating your ID before it expires*, just because you’ve moved states. None of the people one might present ID to in day-to-day life care about the difference between, for example, a NY ID and a TX ID.

        1. I’m arguing that there is no benefit to *updating your ID before it expires*, just because you’ve moved states.

          Except that there is– because if you don’t, you are committing fraud.

          When you use that ID, you are saying “I am so and so of this location.”

          That you are not very likely to be punished for it is an entirely different matter.

          Generally, if you can’t respond to a response here, we just go up to the last response you can respond to– or just copy the comment and start a new thread at the bottom.
          Almost everyone here gets the emails, anyway.

          1. Thanks for the cultural behavior tip, it’s good to know. 🙂

            I take your point. I updated my license within 30 days of mobing here, for example.

            But a lot of people don’t see it as being valuable because in their day to day life there is a reasonably high cost and no tangible benefit. Until, for example, they find they have to go across the country for jury duty.

            1. A lot of people are thieves; the price of not being that is “relatively high,” but that is not a reason to make it easier for those who break the law to avoid other costs from obeying the law.

              1. There is a law about how long you have to update your driver’s license. It varies by state. Here’s mine: “When moving to Idaho you will need to apply for an Idaho driver’s license within 90 days of residing in Idaho, whether your out-of-state license has expired or not. If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you are required to be licensed in Idaho within 30 days of residing in Idaho.”
                It looks, from transportation’s website, like if you don’t get it updated and you drive, you are driving without a valid license.

                1. *nod* And if it’s not a valid license, it’s not a valid ID, either.

                  Same way that my sister probably swiped my ID and used it, not getting caught doesn’t mean it’s not against the law.

                  1. Yep, my dad works for DOL, and is called to testify on drive records in court multiple times a week. At least once a month he has to testify on a case where someone is ticketed for driving without a valid license, because they were using an out of state one after having moved. Depending on the state and the circumstances this can be a relatively minor problem or can escalate into a felony fraud charge. And the more major charges involve using it as an ID rather than simply as a drivers license.

              2. Sure.

                But, given the current laws in NY about voting, requiring ID in the polling place would require a change in the law. And I think it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss, as part of a discussion of proposed changes, what the effects of those changes are on different groups of people.

                I don’t see any moral opprobrium attaching to not updating your driver’s license; it’s a technical violation of a bureaucratic regulation which exists to make the bureaucracy’s life easier, not to protect people. I think *speeding* is a crime of greater moral turpitude than failing to file the paperwork needed to update your residence.

                And so I’m very leery of a rule change which has the effect of penalizing a group of people whose behavior is absolutely normal and to whose behavior no moral significance attaches.

                Which isn’t to say that i’m *opposed* to such a rule change; it’s to say that I think there are costs involved which are spread unequally and are therefore problematic in my mind.

                  1. And the whole inconvenience argument cuts NO ice with me. Lots of things are inconvenient AND necessary. Not having an open season of Leftists with no bag limit, for example.

                    Suck it up and deal.

                    1. If they had a season on Leftists with a generous bag limit, could we have a road trip to Austin?

                    2. Hehehehe…. I just had an EVIL thought….

                      How loud do you think the howls would be if they said “Fine, you can vote with no ID– if you enter your name and vitals into this nation-wide system with your finger prints, accessible on demand at any other state in the system, and verified against all the other on-file fingerprints-and-identities, including criminal records for removing those ineligible to vote.

                      Absolutely convenient– look at all these locations:

                      And the digital version of fingerprinting is less than five minutes with an utter clutz on both sides of the project, low cost per scan.

                      Do that, and vote without photo ID.

                      I’m thinking “deafening from three states away,” you?

                  2. Since I replaced my ID within 30 days of moving here, I’m familiar with the process. 🙂

                    NY DMV offices are crowded. You basically have to take half a day off of work to do this, and that’s a decently high burden for something that has *no tangible benefit in actual day-to-day life*.

                    > willfully violating a law which is not inherently immoral most assuredly *does* have moral significance.

                    This strikes me as having no more moral significance than willfully speeding.

                    1. Not being a thief has no tangible benefit in day to day life, either.

                      There are a large number of laws that have no day to day tangible benefit to those following them. The benefit comes when everyone else follows them.


                      That you see no difference between identity fraud and the entire category of “speeding”– which can mean going 60 on the Oregon highway, or 50 down my residential street– has no bearing on prior statement of no moral significance. They’re not even similar classes, since one is based on following the spirit of the law (drive a safe speed), and the other is based on being too lazy to hold up one’s side of an agreement, while continuing to draw the benefits, and justifying it because one doesn’t usually get punished for it. It’s especially noxious because the benefit comes from the presumption that enough other people will be fulfilling their side of the identity agreement to make the ID worthwhile.

                    2. CA DMV offices are just as bad. Does the NY DMV at least give you your actual driver’s license when you leave, instead of a printed piece of paper that says “NOT AN ID” on it and a promise to mail it to you?

                    3. > Does the NY DMV at least give you your actual driver’s license when you leave, instead of a printed piece of paper that says “NOT AN ID” on it and a promise to mail it to you?


                  3. > That you see no difference between identity fraud and the entire category of “speeding”

                    I’m deeply puzzled by this framing.

                    In NYC, it’s basically true that the only thing most out of state immigrants use their ID for is (a) buying alcohol and (b) getting on an airplane. Their credit cards and bank accounts were established before they moved; they aren’t using the ID to qualify for government benefits (because they *couldn’t* do that without a state ID).

                    So what’s the identity fraud involved?

                    > being too lazy to hold up one’s side of an agreement, while continuing to draw the benefits

                    Again, this is puzzling.

                    The entire premise of my argument is that there *are no benefits to draw*.

                    What benefits do you think people who live in NYC and have out-of-state ID are drawing?

                    1. The entire premise of my argument is that there *are no benefits to draw*.

                      No, YOUR claim is that there were no benefits from replacing the ID, and thus the new law must be built around the assumption that following existing law would be an undue burden on voting.

                      There’s now been three different people pointing out a rather large number of “benefits,” starting with accessing anything they have in an account with a card or a check… but you keep repeating the same thing and ignoring everything else.

                1. I don’t see any moral opprobrium attaching to not updating your driver’s license; it’s a technical violation of a bureaucratic regulation which exists to make the bureaucracy’s life easier, not to protect people.

                  The law in the state of New York is that you must obtain a NYS driver’s license within thirty days of moving to the state. It is not simply a matter of technical violation of a bureaucratic regulation.

                  I am sorry that some people find it inconvient to take an afternoon at the driver’s license bureau. I find it more than inconvient to have my vote negated by voter fraud.

                  1. Actually, the requirements may be more onerous than that. Such as — do you have legal proof of residence?

                    I used a piece of mail to get a library card and then used that, but it was not on the list and indeed surprised the clerk. I certainly didn’t have anything they listed in time.

                    1. In the case of the NC law it specifies what is and is not acceptable photo ID. This does not include, for example, a work place ID or student ID.

                    2. > Such as — do you have legal proof of residence?

                      This turns out to be a real issue in NYC; a lot of people are living in places where they’re not on the lease. (I’m not on the lease, for example; my husband is a grad student, and *he* is on the lease — which makes proving legal residency trickier than you might expect).

                    3. Which means you’re probably breaking the law again not to mention the lease contract.

                    4. > Which means you’re probably breaking the law again not to mention the lease contract.

                      This is not, in fact, true under NY housing law or under the terms of a lot of housing contracts. The *lease holder* may well be violating the lease, but the *sublessor* is not (having no contractual obligation to the lease holder).

            2. Interesting. Here in AZ, you have an absolute maximum of 7 months after you move to update everything (unless you are military). Immediately if you are employed in the State, registered to vote, or do much of anything of an economic activity.

              This is one thing that they also treat as “guilty until laboriously proven innocent”…

          2. I’ve never understood why anyone with internet access to actually read the comments online would want 4-500 emails daily from accordingtohoyt. I tend to only check my email every week or so, and would be tempted to just get another email address and forget about the one I had the first time I opened it up to see “you have 3542 unread emails”

            1. Email works better for me, since I’m usually doing something like laundry or chasing kids while I read. Much harder to lose my place when I can delete a comment after reading it.

              1. Personally, I went full WordPress after initially getting a Gravitar (just before they merged) so I get a little icon in the corner of the screen anytime someone replies to me, and the Dashboard gives a good view of threads I’ve replied to that get more comments, and it has another screen for tracking new posts on blogs I follow. Between that and the nifty script, it’s easy to keep track, plus it gives instant access to a lot of other people’s blogs.

                1. *laughs* WordPress has never done the way it’s supposed to on that for me. I only recently got it to consistently email posts to blogs I’d used the WordPress system to follow.

            2. Used to be before we hardened our network security even MORE, I could hit ‘reply to this comment’ via email, and it would take me to WP and let me reply to a comment that wasn’t showing the ‘reply’ link because it had hit the sub-nested thread limit, and the comment would show up where it’s supposed to.

              1. That also works in the comment display in the WP “Reader”, the only problem being WP’s narrow vertical column fetish, which can result in the replys becoming one character wide, or going off the side of the display area entirely with no horizontal scroller.

  2. The chairman of the Will County (IL) Republican Party has told me the same thing. Absentee voting, especially from Nursing Homes is the Illinois Dhimmicrapic Party’s favorite form of vote fraud.

  3. I guess Poll Watchers need to be assigned to Nursing homes as well?
    Frankly, I can’t see how this works without collusion on the part of some of the staff at the homes. They know; they see. But they say nothing. I suppose because their candidates are being supported thereby.

    1. Given the mostly lousy pay at nursing homes, a few bucks in well placed bribes works wonders for political operatives.

      1. You’re assuming it’s all done in the nursing homes. Most likely the only thing that happens there are the signatures, if it really is their signatures.

        1. According to our local Republican Party Chair, it is done right there in the nursing homes, every election.

      1. Or told that if they complain they won’t have a job? How hard is it to file a patient abuse charge?

        1. From my friend who works in the field’s stories about what goes on, they don’t have time and energy to see what’s going on with something as unnecessary to keeping people alive as voting. They’ve got two people where they ought to have five but one quit and two were never hired in the first place, and one of the two that is there got injured by a dementia patient yesterday and can only do half the normal workload while the other is stealing patient medications . . .

          Shall I really scare you? The facility she works in is the second best rated in her state. (She’s not in my state and she needs to keep her job. I’m not saying where she is, sorry.)

          1. The places that are poorly rated are basically human warehouses.

            The work load is a lot easier if you cut a lot of corners, like doing the services paid for when someone isn’t being visited that day.

            (Do Not Trust when a place gets upset about relatives dropping in without calling ahead, even when you’re polite. My aunt found out about some neglect of her mom because she’s even worse about remembering appointments than I am, and was showing up at times other than when she was scheduled. Turns out the care for her mom was only being given when someone in full possession of their facilities was there to observe it being given. And it looked nice…. then again, there is a rather long tradition of “helpful” women being little old lady’s friends, and robbing them blind.)

            1. A Bad One is worse than Death but the Nursing Home I had to put Mom in was a very good one.

              She was definitely happy there.

              Oh, they had no problems with me or my sister just dropping in with out calling.

              1. *nod* My great aunt had a live-in lady who really was what all those widow-robbers pretend to be, too.

                I think that different laws influence if the folks who make for good assisted care workers go into nursing homes or something like “Visiting Angels,” where they can spend more individual time with folks.

                The amount of social security abuse matters, too– I know Washington has some issues with both SS and Veteran’s office. (Shocking, I know.)

  4. Each national election cycle I read stories about vote fraud that sound plausible. And each election cycle the stories go nowhere because the Democrats don’t want to look too closely (because they know what they’d find?) and the Republicans don’t have any guts.


    Each election cycle, the stories get further. A little further, but further. As more Conservative and/or Libertarian Republicans get elected on state and national levels, the chances of an investigation being pushed through improve. If this trend continues, the Democrats are going to get caught in a major scandal. One a lot bigger than a President who most people knew was a party-boy banging the help. Once one of these cases breaks wide, there seems to me to be a good chance that it will cascade. That could get really interesting,

      1. The national party machinery is comfortable as “loyal opposition”, the rising young turks aren’t. This adds a layer of nasty infighting, but I don’t see it stopping the process. We are slowly getting a cadre of rising Names who will, I believe, eventually be willing to say “Yes, we are targeting poor neighborhoods. That’s because YOU target poor neighborhoods, because you exploit the poor, you racist Liberal bastards.”

        And then the fight will really get started.

        1. Which is why anything done to reduce vote fraud is “racist” “voter suppression”.

          1. But the term “racist” is rapidly becoming about as shocking as the f-bomb in a cable TV show. Soon the reaction is going to be collective yawns.

            1. Reaction already is collective yawns from everyone except the collective. By which I mean MSM and the party of Jim Crow and group rights – the Democrats.

              1. Case in point, I bet Durbin thought he was pretty clever with his “back of the bus” line regarding Lynch’s nomination (she’s a black woman, just like Rosa Parks! It’s brilliant. For Durbin, on a normal scale it’s just this side of drooling idiocy) but even John “I’ll wear the gimp suit for the MSM, but draw the line at the ball gag” McCain has said that no Republican should vote for her confirmation.

                1. Occasionally McPain will check his spine and balls out of the lockbox and say something right.

                  1. Perhaps he is just going senile and forgets which side he is supposed to be mavericking against?

    1. It wasn’t that he was banging the help, there have been plenty of Presidents that did that (I’m sure it is just coincidence that all the ones I can think of off hand are Democrats, maybe they are just more blatant about it?). It is the fact that he lied under oath about it, perjury will get me or you five years, but all it gets a President is some airtime on national tv and a being the butt of some low brow jokes.

      1. I’ve thought for a while that what really got the Republicans all hot under the collar was less the perjury than the issue of “Monica Lewinsky? REALLY!?!”. I mean, the Leader Of The Free World™ is supposed to do better than that. When Kennedy was banging Marilyn Monroe like a screen door in a gale, he was having an affaire with the national sex symbol. Admittedly, he was also taking advantage of a woman with the emotional maturity of a six-year-old, but it LOOKED better.

        None of this was conscious, or the Republican leadership would have been able to make better use of it. And a lot of the drive to impeach the swine was based of frustration. There’s a lot Clinton seems to have done that Bubba and his charming wife Bruno were able to stonewall on. I think that the realization that nominating Shrillary will bring all that garbage back into play is one major reason the Democrat establishment isn’t too enthused about her. Bush didn’t dig for the same reason Bush didn’t run headlong investigations into all the Liberal twits who played footsie with terror organizations; he had stuff to do that actually mattered. But let Hillary run for President and it might be a little hard to keep a lid on stuff.

        1. What got a lot of Republicans hot under the collar was the fact that the Left successfully turned the entire investigation into a sex scandal, when over half of it was for other, far more serious, issues. But those got brushed aside over the “They’re accusing Slick Willie of something that happens all the time around the country, Who cares if he slept with her?”

          1. That, and the fact that the “Who cares if he slept with her” was coming from people who would have gone spare if a Republican CEO were caught banging an intern. THAT case would have been all about “imbalance of power” and “presumed inability to consent.”

          2. At the time I had a certain contempt for any adult with less self control than I had. Keeping my pants zipped does not and did not seem at all challenging to me.

            Now that I’m older, I look more harshly on the pattern of behavior that makes him a certain sexual predator and a likely rapist. If that is feminism, feminists are too soft on rape for me.

            1. Oh, it wasn’t rape rape, you see.

              THAT is “sexual relations involving someone I want to destroy and/or someone I want to be a victim.”

      2. Not a lawyer, but what I recall from that period in our history was that it wasn’t that Billy boy lied under oath, fifth amendment and all that, but that he got other people to lie under oath. That is known as suborning perjury, and, again as I recall, why they jerked his law license even if the whole impeachment thing fell apart. Actually a good thing for the Dems. It turned impeachment into a toxic subject for the Republicans much as gun control has become for the Democrats.

        1. The fifth doesn’t protect you from consequences of false testimony, it protects you from consequences of no testimony at all.

        2. The fifth amendment protects you from having to basically confess under oath. “Pleading the fifth” means keeping silent and not answering the question, when answering the question would incriminate themselves. It does not absolve them of the guilt of perjury for lying under oath in an attempt to escape conviction.

    2. Putting the conservatives in charge doesn’t necessarily help. During Bush 43’s second term, he directed the federal prosecutors to start spending more time on voter fraud charges. A pretty good-sized chunk of them flat out refused, characterizing it as a waste of time and resources that could be better spent pursuing what they claimed were more serious and frequent crimes.

      1. Of course they refused; they’re Democrats. A prime example of why elections don’t matter. You can’t clean up the bureaucracy without reforming civil service, and they have a vested interest in making sure no one who would do that gets elected.

        1. An executive order removing the mandatory union membership for federal ‘crats will be a good starter. None were in a union at all until JFK made it possible by executive order in 1962 or 1963.

          Next in line would be a repeal of the Civil Service Laws to make it easy to fire a bureaucrat.

          1. I’m pretty sure that the federal government is right to work. I know DOD is, since I’m not in the union.

            Absolutely agree on making it easier to fire employees. It’s amazing the kind of crap I hear about people doing without getting fired. Especially considering that we’re the last line of defense between the bad juju in the reactors and the general public.

            1. Until they make it so you don’t have to pay for the representation that you do not want, I don’t consider it a real option. Especially with how hard it is to get a proper accounting done.

              1. I don’t pay any union dues. Which is good, because the union provides me zero benefit. The only thing I really care about is pay, which is set by the General Schedule, and being good at my job has earned me enough goodwill with my supervision that they shield me from over reactions to my contraceptive (AKA my personality).

                1. You managed to escape the “representation fee”?

                  Lucky you!

                  I know that different contracts are slightly different, and that my husband was flatly informed that they’d be obnoxious about “representing” him if he wasn’t a member.

                  1. No representation fee, and being a nuke and an RCT I’m quite adept at sea-lawyering, so I really wouldn’t want them representing me in the first place. I’m also rather easy to please, as long as I get to go home every night and they pay me for the time I’m there I have no problem. Once those conditions are no longer met, I’ll quit. I’m perfectly confident in my ability to find another job. The union can pound sand.

                    1. Sadly, not an option in most places.

                      Even if you’re not a union member, they “represent” you, and you pay for that unwanted service.

                      There’s some darkly amusing stuff where folks are fighting for their legal right to not pay for political junk, too.

                    2. Yeah, we need federal Right-to-Work legislation. It’s a clear-cut free association issue.

            2. In my dealings with the NRC staff I have found almost all of them are excellent engineers and reasonable to talk to. There are a few jackasses who have an agenda and pursue it to an unreasonable extent.

              IHMO, the NRC has more good engineers than NASA does. AS far as I can see, they have not been captured by the leftists. My old faculty adviser at UT Austin, Dr. Dale Klein, was NRC chairman for several years and he did a lot of purging of deadwood and made sure the organization hired good qualified people. It will take years for the lefties to take over that group. Dr. Klein was one of W’s best appointments.

  5. Tom, I wonder if this counts as elder abuse. If senior citizens are having their voting rights exchanged for cash by the nursing home staff, and if they are being made unwitting accomplices in the crime of voter fraud, that seems like elder abuse to me.

    1. Might be able to hit it on the identity fraud angle, too– and probably HIPA, I believe that’s how they smacked down some of the hospitals that were selling kids’ IDs.

    2. I don’t know for certain, but I suspect they don’t get in the way of any resident who wants to vote for themselves. As such, I’m not sure if it would constitute elder abuse under such circumstances.

      However, I have to agree with Foxfier. It’s definitely identity fraud, and also probably a HIPPA violation.

      1. Except that there’s a pretty broad loophole for “voter assistance”, After that, any investigation is “suppressing voting”.

  6. Washington state, my home. All mail balloting. No one checks who you are, ever.

    I listen to accusations of fraud every election. The Republicans claim fraud and the Democrats claim that there is no evidence of fraud. Then they block any efforts to find that evidence. When the evidence is clear, as it was in a governor’s race a few years ago, the Democrats claim that most of the fraudulent votes were for the Republican candidate and a judge throws out the whole thing by stating that we can never know which way they voted due to voter privacy laws.

    Nothing changes.

    1. It will chafe the day some politician decides that he doesn’t give a fat damn what names they call him. Get somebody really angry and the whole house of cards comes crashing down.

      1. I think we’re already there. The likes of Cruz and Walker don’t seem to care much what the vileprogs and media (all together now, BIRM) call them. The only thing keeping vileprog heads from exploding by the bushel is the fact that the young barbarians aren’t in national leadership positions. Yet.

        1. There is a bit of noise over Walker supposedly being too quick to dump someone because of pressure from the right.

            1. Apparently there was pressure before that because she’s been pretty dang hostile to the socon and immigration* side of things– some folks who are more involved in the whole mess think that she’s using the abilities (and contacts) she was hired for to make the guy look bad.

              *a subject where he really needs help to reassure folks, not evidence of a pattern

          1. Yeah, I’ve seen a bit of that. On the one hand, she isn’t exactly wrong about Iowa (my mother grew up there, I have family there – they’re all Democrats, and my grandmother makes good money renting the farm out to grow corn). On the other hand, if your campaign isn’t about the candidate and his message, you’re doing it wrong.

            I’d like to think that the woman involved is professional enough to recognize that last part and gave Walker no choice but to accept her resignation. Time will tell if he’s the kind of politician who is willing to cut losses and focus on moving forward or if he’s a cheap suit that folds under the slightest pressure. His history in Wisconsin leans away from the latter.

    2. Yes, that was the Rossi (R) vs. Gregoire (D) gubernatorial election. I believe that judge-shopping worked out well, so that they could keep all those extra votes that just kept turning up…in trunks of cars…and they were enough to push Gregoire over the win margin. Now some claim that that this is actually evidence that the Republicans want to DENY votes…that’s some lovely Orwellian speech there.
      And now that Washington state is all mail voting, the fun will just keep right on happening. Oregon decided that it was a great way to increase voting franchisement (at the expense of actual, legal voters) that they joined in the fraud fun fest.

  7. The Justice Department is sueing North Carolina over the Voter ID law. The liberal and progressive press has been happy to rake it over the coals.

    Note this from an article in the NYT (Students Joining Battle to Upend Laws on Voter ID):

    Under the North Carolina law passed last year, the period for early voting was shortened and same-day registration was eliminated. Beginning in 2016, voters will need to show photo identification, and student ID cards, including those issued by state universities, will not be acceptable. In most instances, neither will an out-of-state driver’s license.

    In most instances, neither will an out-of-state driver’s license.? OMG!!!

    1. Wait! You have to be a resident of the state where you want to vote? *GASP* The horror!! My smelling salts and a fainting couch, quickly!

      1. I live in NYC. I’ve got a friend who has lived in NY for four years, and considers NY to be her permanent home, but who never bothered replacing her driver’s license because *nobody in NY needs a driver’s license* and so going to the DMV to do this wasn’t worth the hassle. It took her former home state demanding an out of state driver’s license to justify her request for exemption from jury duty to finally push her to do it.

        I have other friends who consider themselves permanent NY residents who also still have out-of-state licenses because the benefit to spending half a day at the DMV getting it replaced is close to nonexistent.

        My point is: it’s not per se a fair assumption that only having an out-of-state driver’s license is an indication of non-residency.

        1. In most states that I know of, you are required to update your license within a relatively short time of moving into the state. And if they don’t want to get a driver’s license, they can get a non-driving state ID.

          1. There may be a requirement for “replacing out-of-state driver’s licenses” but IMO it likely isn’t enforced unless the person tries to use the out-of-state driver’s license as ID.

            1. Not even then.

              The rule in NY is you have to replace within 30 days of moving here.

              How can the person to whom the ID is presented differentiate someone who is a tourist (and therefore not moving here) or who has moved here but is still within their thirty day grace period, on the one hand, from someone who has been here for more than thirty days and therefore should have replaced?

              I understand the reasons for the rule. But it’s essentially unenforceable except in a small set of edge cases.

              1. Same way Washington does? You have to change your registration at least 30 days before the election. Same as the grace period for a new ID.

                1. Sure. It’s pretty easy for *the state* to tell whether or not you’ve updated your ID when you interact with the state. But … the overwhelming majority of interactions that I use my ID for are non-state interactions, and how is the person I’m interacting with to tell?

                  1. In the response shortly before this, you just insisted there were no benefits to be gained and thus no fraud; now you’re claiming that there’s no benefits because most people can’t tell that someone is using an invalid ID.

                    So you only consider it fraud if someone uses false ID to get benefits and gets caught?

          2. Of course. Even in NY, the law requires you to do this – although AFAIK there are no criminal penalties for failure to do so.

            But driver’s licence or non-driving ID, either way, there is close to zero benefit to actually *doing* it. And there’s a lot of hassle; the lines are long, and so the process is time-consuming. So a lot of people don’t bother; it’s a rule, compliance with which brings no benefit other than the psychological benefit of knowing you have complied with the rule, and noncompliance with which brings no harm other than the psychological harm of knowing you haven’t complied with the rule.

              1. Sure. I’m not arguing against that proposition; i’m arguing against the proposition that not having an in-state ID is per se indication of non-residence. 🙂

                That said, my concern is this: I think there are a large number of people who would want to vote in a given election but are sufficiently uninformed about the process that they wouldn’t discover the ID requirement until after it was too late to fix it before the election.

                I think there are ways to overcome that, to be sure. But – and this really gets to the heart of a lot of tribal political disputes – I don’t trust the people who really want voter ID to care about overcoming that.

                1. Again – don’t care. If the fact is published and a good attempt is made to ensure that as many as possible know, then tough shit for the ones too oblivious to know about it. They probably shouldn’t be voting anyway, because they aren’t likely to know anything about the candidates or the issues.

                2. I really don’t care too much about the inconvenience argument. I spent several years sweating my balls off (nearly literally, spending 5-10 hours in a 130 degree space gives a whole new meaning to “low and to the left”) for this country – and I got off rather easy. If one cannot un-ass themselves enough to spend and afternoon at the DMV at some point in a 2 year period, they don’t deserve to have any input into the course of the nation.

                  1. I understand where you are coming from – people who are voting should care enough to pay a minimum price in terms of effort to be able to do so.

                    What bothers me about this, though, is that that cuts unequally. For people who live in, say, Saratoga Springs, a driver’s license is an *essential element of daily life*. So someone who lives there, but who doesn’t care enough to pay a minimum price, is able to vote without paying that price (because the price to be paid is something which is essential for them and therefore not internalized as a price), while the person who lives in NYC but doesn’t care enough to pay a minimum price *isn’t*.

                    I think that imbalance will inevitably skew the outcome. The test being used isn’t *actually* “are you willing to pay a minimum price” it’s “are you willing to pay a minimum price OR do you live somewhere where this particular minimum price isn’t actually a price at all?”, and that means that the results of the test don’t actually validate what you’re asking for.

                    1. I suppose you’re making it clear that New York has gone to great lengths to make sure that people don’t need ID that contains the address where they live on it, because there are all manner of things that require that in other states. Not just for driving; opening bank accounts, writing checks, getting loans, for example.

                    2. I don’t support voter ID because it adds costs to voting, I support it because it reduces fraud. I just discount those that argue against voter ID based on the increased cost because the cost is minor compared to those borne by others.

                    3. Georgia was taken to court on this point, arguing that the ID requirement amounted to a poll tax.

                      They responded by making state issued ID only cards for free.

                      Problem solved.

                    4. This one of the few times that the court’s inability to understand that not all costs are monetary is a good thing. And I have no problem with kicking in a few more bucks for my drivers license to provide free ID’s for eligible voters.

                    5. Honestly, in Georgia, the numbers of ID only folks are so small that we didn’t even really notice despite the presence of Atlanta. Though I think most Atlanta folks get drivers licenses too, so that’s part of it.

                      Other states might have a slight increase in DL fees, but for the integrity of the system? Yeah, I’d pay more.

                    6. …are you really arguing that people in New York City never need legally valid ID? So they use no credit cards, buy no alcohol, sign no rental contracts?

                      That many of the other places don’t check that the ID is actually valid doesn’t mean that they’re not required to have it, or that they’re not committing fraud when they use an invalid ID.

                3. Since the burden is on the voter to prove they are allowed to vote, not on the state to prove that they’re not residents, who cares if an out of state ID is proof of non residence?

                4. Voter ID in Arizona does overcome that – any voters that do not have in-state ID can vote, but the vote goes in a separate ‘iffy’ container along with any documentation to prove that they are a resident. That gets checked through later, if any margin of victory is less than those votes. Calling the person, checking utility records, landlords, etc., are ways that the ID is verified.

                  Unfortunately the absentee ballots are still the weak spot here.

                5. I’m going to argue that failure to get an in-state ID is actually a pretty good indication of non-residency. Bear with me and I’ll explain where I’m coming from.

                  You bring up people who live in NYC. They consider themselves residents of NYC, yet they have failed to get identification saying so.

                  College students and military personnel often live in a given area for years. They sign leases, get power turned on, all that stuff. College students get jobs, and some military folks get second jobs. They pay taxes on the money they earn. All that stuff. What they don’t do is get ID for that state. Why? Because they’re just passing through. Soon enough, they’ll leave and go elsewhere. Possibly home, possibly to another town where they’ll go through the same process again.

                  Where one considers themselves to be from is irrelevant. I can say I’m a resident of anywhere I want to, but there has to be a hard and defined criteria. Without meeting that, you’re not a resident. I don’t care how long you live there. Why? Because they’ve chosen not to meet the criteria. If they expect sympathy because of that, tough. I spend half a day or more at the DMV when I have to go up there too. It’s a pain in the butt, but I do it because that’s the game that has to be played.

                  If they don’t, so be it, but I don’t care where they consider themselves to be a resident of. Without crossing that one checkmark off, they’re not.

                6. That said, my concern is this: I think there are a large number of people who would want to vote in a given election but are sufficiently uninformed about the process that they wouldn’t discover the ID requirement until after it was too late to fix it before the election.

                  Is there any state where you don’t have to register to vote? The information can be provided to people when they register.

        2. “My point is: it’s not per se a fair assumption that only having an out-of-state driver’s license is an indication of non-residency”

          Strawman argument. That is not what CACS or the article she quoted stated. What she actually stated was very different, that in most cases out-of-state driviers license is not a valid proof of RESIDENCY!

          1. > That is not what CACS or the article she quoted stated. What she actually stated was very different, that in most cases out-of-state driviers license is not a valid proof of RESIDENCY!


            But the comment (from TxRed) I replied to was saying:

            > Wait! You have to be a resident of the state where you want to vote? *GASP* The horror!!

            Which, to me at least, pretty clearly implies that the speaker thinks having an out-of-state ID is a sign of nonresidency.

            It’s not a straw man in this case. 🙂

            1. You have fixed upon one aspect. NC law allows for seven different kinds of ID. Frankly if someone does not obtain one of the valid forms that is their choice, but with that choice comes a consequence — they don’t get to vote.

            2. Actually, having an out of state ID IS a sign of nonresidency. Since ID is standardly used to prove three things, your identity, your age, and your residency; ergo an out of state ID is a sign on nonresidency, same as an ID claiming you were born in 1984 is considered proof you are old enough to buy alcohol.

              1. *As a practical matter*, I know many people who are clearly resident in this state who do not have in-state ID. The fact that they don’t have a document is less important for determining residency than the fact that they are physically located here and pay taxes here.

                This is of particular importance in NY, honestly, because of the way NY determines ‘residency’ for purposes of state taxation. If you spend at least 180 days living in NY in a given year, you are a resident here and must pay taxes as a resident. Whether or not you have an in-state ID is *irrelevant* to that determination of residency.

                1. There’s always an excuse for keeping a system that caters to fraud, isn’t there. Well, if you can’t be bothered, why should anyone else care?

        3. Gotta choose your DMV office and time of day visit more carefully. Of course, I live in a rural county. Except for getting the intial drivers license for the kids, have never spent more then an hour in the DMV office. If I see the waiting chairs filled up and people standing, I turn around and come again some other day. First thing Tuesday or Wednesday morning the first week of the month is usually a good time. Last Friday of the month anytime – BAD.

    2. The Austin, TX dhimmicrap party has a very finely tuned fraud machine. They would come around campus 2-3 times a year encouraging OOS students to register to vote, telling them no one would check on their registrations.

  8. What’s fascinating to me about voter fraud is that by definition, for it to have an effect, it would have to be carried out on a large enough scale (usually at least thousands of votes) that you’d think it would be incredibly easy to verify if it was in fact happening, and that somebody would admit to carrying out sooner or later. Yet somehow it’s always accusations and never any convictions. (Heresolong, above, clarifies some of why this happens, but like any conspiracy, you’d think sooner or later someone would cop to something; nobody keeps secrets forever.)

    1. To get convictions, you need proof beyond reasonable doubt. Thanks to secret ballots there is zero physical evidence associated with voter fraud. All you would have are people confessing, which they probably wouldn’t do in the face of jail time. Without the threat of jail time there’s no way to get someone to testify against others, and without corroborating evidence the testimony of co-conspirators is useless.

      Not to mention the fact that the office responsible for seeking indictments and prosecuting crimes is an elected position, more than likely the district attorney is part of the machine that runs the fraud system. Even if he isn’t, because proof – and thus convictions – are so hard to come by there are other crimes that are legitimately a higher priority for scarce resources.

      Of course, we have had multiple cases of people confessing to voting multiple times, or ineligible people voting (usually multiple times as well). Just never under oath where there are consequences for such admission.

      1. Actually, that’s not true; True the Vote here in TX simply looks at the reported vote totals and then compares that with the number of registered voters. The number of precincts in Democrat districts that have more votes than registrations is interesting.

        Which is why they’re pushing for same day registration and mandatory voting, to shutdown that evidence. Only thing then is they’re too brazen to hide it.

        That’s one reason why the Left hates James O’Keefe for proving how little checking happens, and video taping it.

        1. You can, in some cases, prove that voting fraud has occurred. But you cannot prove that person X cast fraudulent votes for candidate Y. Now, based on the composition of the precinct you can make a reasonable assumption about who benefited from the fraud (though maybe not, since precincts aren’t firewalled from one another, Democrats could run up fraudulent votes in a heavily Republican precinct to boost their overall votes in the district) but you couldn’t say that the candidate had anything to do with it, as opposed to overzealous supporters.

        2. I liked it when True the Vote Texas tracked down the registration address in a precinct near Houston and found eight (or was it five? I’ll have to check) voters supposedly living at a Fortune Teller’s place of business. That was one of the more amusing ones (for certain values of amusing.)

          1. Which is why the 0bamanauts sicced the IRS, OSHA, AND the EPA on the Englebrechts. They were cutting into their margin of fraud in Huston and were starting to get traction nationally.

    2. Stephen, think of it this way.

      On a local election, particularly for a county commission seat, the impact is much smaller. In this case, it was a few hundred votes.

      Now, take this and put it in a few thousand communities. It was about a year after I ran my story that someone was convicted of this exact same thing in another town, so it’s not exclusive to Albany, GA..

      Where it gets interesting is getting all of these “cartels” on the same page enough to swing national or state elections.

        1. Yep, they did.

          And I suspect they rallied folks who did this and got them all on the pro-Obama page.

          Then again, this isn’t the only way to commit voter fraud. It’s just one way to do it. No reason it wasn’t happening in a multitude of ways.

          1. Which is why the latest wrinkle is mandatory voting. At that point, the Democrat precincts will have 100% turnout, 95% Democrat, and any complaints will be met with how law abiding they are. Otherwise, it won’t be checked.

            Also at that point, you can kiss any statewide voting, such as Governor, US Senator, not to mention the Presidency, permanently goodbye.

            1. The good news is that this is an Obama proposal, which means it’s going exactly nowhere for at least the next 20 years, and by then voter ID will be a requirement in the majority of the states, if not nationally.

              1. I would agree if we had an actual conservative majority in either house of Congress; instead, we have Weepy and Vichy, both of whom have shown that they will let anything through….

                1. To be fair, there’s a vast gulf between mismanaging a political gambit and allowing anything through. If they were going to simply drop to their knees and give Obama what they want, his budget proposal would already be up for vote. They aren’t traitors, they just think the Democrats are more powerful politically than they really are. That’s why I prefer McClellan as an analogy for the Senate Majority Leader.

            2. I saw a headline on that the other day. It was so stupid I didn’t follow up.
              How do we make an inaction a crime? Well, brought to us by the people that make no health insurance a crime. I suppose I should not be surprised, but the concept was bad enough on that and this is just creepy. What is the penality? An extra week at Hillary’s ‘fun’ camp?
              Most crime is considered you doing something. You hit my face. crime. You steal my TV. crime. Even the more nebulous ‘victimless’ have action. You smoke pot? crime (most places). Drive without a license. Here you increase my risk of being hurt and possible expenses. A single ‘joy-ride’ may pass without incident, but you were endangering my life and property irresponsibily.
              But not voting. Where is the hurt? You are making the statement you are ok with whoever wins. I am not harmed. Even unlike victimless crime, your non-action doesn’t create a societal burden.
              This is just typical progressive inverson. You have no mandatory rights, but you have mandatory responsibilities. The State no longer serves you, you serve the State.

              1. Just as a point from someone who has been observing voting in a place where its mandatory and requires ID…

                IIRC not voting means a fine. Now, granted, Australia has a small enough population, but the details of where I live for the purpose of voting has been pulled at least once since I got here – probably either from my banking info / tax info / medicare / rental. I got called once by someone from the local commission on elections asking as to why I hadn’t voted, and I replied it was because I hadn’t taken the citizenship oath yet. I managed to make use of the call to ask when I’d be eligible and they were able to look that up for me. So my guess is they look at ‘address, people in residence’.

                From what I understand, every citizen is obligated to vote, so at least you can’t say you didn’t have a say in the elections. Even if your vote says that you voted for Emperor Palpatine (which is then considered either a garbage vote or ‘other’) it’s counted and you’re listed as having voted, thus, your vote can’t be stolen and can’t be falsified. My hubby says that they have a big book of who lives where for your voting district and the name is crossed out manually, and the book is sent to whoever is counting the ballots.

                There are some out of state votes, but they are either made ahead of time by a few weeks if you’re aware you won’t be in your local district for it, or you must present several proofs of identification recognized by the state if voting on the day, even if it’s just outside your district. They try to arrange that election day gets scheduled on a weekend so most people aren’t inconvenienced, and the ones working get a chance. It really doesn’t take long.

                That’s kinda a surface description from what I remember and there may be points that might not be accurate.

            3. good heavens, do you trust the judgment of the person who decides to not vote?

              If so, how can you possibly attack his judgment that he should not vote?

              If not, why do you want him to vote?

          1. And now she’s a progressive hero. Just like the general who was in charge of Abu Ghraib.

    3. There are lots of convictions– just not enough. It’s also notable that a lot of reports minimize how many convictions there are, by limiting it to voters convicted of voting multiple times, vs stuff like this:

      Your mistake may be in viewing it as “a” conspiracy– that’s like looking at all the car radios that are stolen, and the tiny rate of people convicted for it, and being confused because nobody is blowing the conspiracy open.

      It’s mostly people cheating for gain, not one big, easy to expose group that controls all of the cheating— heck, it’s probably only so overwhelmingly biased because there’s one side in the US that has a modern tradition of the ends absolutely justifying the means.

      1. The reason there is a modern tradition is because there was an older tradition.

        The left took over the Democrats for a reason. The GOP did not have anywhere near as much to offer.

        Democrats in the South during Jim Crow were a consensus of conspiracies. A faction of local leaders would ensure their own people won election, and then pay off the important supporters with public funds. Higher officials were picked for deflecting legal attention from the whole mess.

        As for the city machines elsewhere, I’ve not heard of one who thinks that the same organization ran New York and Chicago.

        1. That’s funny. Being from The South I think you have a mistaken impression of where fraud and corruption takes place. The political culture in Memphis, for example, is hugely different than that of nearby counties just 20 miles away. Corruption isn’t a Southern thing. It is riverine and maritime. Chicago is vastly more corrupt than, for example, Chattanooga. And New York more so than Nashville. But Memphis IS at least in the same league of corruption as Chicago… because it is much closer to Chicago than Nashville or Chattanooga. Not physically, but transportation wise. Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans… are all neighbors along the Mississippi. Swapping people, goods, ideas, culture, etc. Which is why those cities are known for the Blues but not nearby cities in the same states. One factor that I think concentrates corruption in riverine and maritime cities… the ability to earn a living just by letting valuable goods pass through. If you live out away from these transportation hubs, then you have to produce (or at least extract) some kind of actual wealth. If you live on the river or at the port then you can just make a living by skimming a little money on each bit of real wealth that passes under your nose. “Be a shame if your X didn’t get to market before it spoiled, ahem.” So what is commonplace in places like Chicago and Memphis and New Orleans would absolutely not be tolerated even the next county over in the rural South countryside. In places like New York, Boston, or New Orleans that are also big maritime ports, you have the perfect storm of also having huge immigrant influxes that are ignorant of local law, custom, and even language who can be ‘farmed’ for votes by the local Machines. Oh, sure, there is some Good ‘ol Boyism that, while in the decline now, has gone on since dirt was new… It’s not the regionwide vote-stealing political machine you seem to imply. There just aren’t the sort of people there to ‘farm’ or the culture to tolerate it.

          1. If you live on the river or at the port then you can just make a living by skimming a little money on each bit of real wealth that passes under your nose. “Be a shame if your X didn’t get to market before it spoiled, ahem.”

            If folks are wondering, the Seattle port dispute has this going on right now. The Teamsters insist that they’re not doing an illegal slowdown, a change in traffic flow (which didn’t involve hiring more Teamsters, the way they wanted) in December screwed things up… so much that there was mention of must-ship goods that weren’t getting out over Thanksgiving.
            Some impressive traffic, that has effects before it’s even put in place.

            1. One of the reasons I like Walker is that he recognizes that unions are one of the biggest problems in our economy. Monopolies are generally bad, even in the labor market.

          2. Yep. Though the old Crump machine by WW2 had extended it’s influence statewide, and was very openly arrogant about it. The Crumps were supporters of the small time democrat machine that ran Athens before the uprising by returning veterans in 1946.

            The Pendergast machine, which Robert Heinlein cut his political teeth on, and sponsored Harry Truman, dominated both Kansas and Missouri state politics for decades

          3. Political machines aren’t just a southern thing. They were old when the Gracchi were using them

            1. What!!!! You mean Chicago didn’t invent them!!!!! [Very Big Evil Grin]

          4. Umm . . . Chicago is a whole state-width away from the Mississippi. It’s on Lake Michigan, pretty close to the southern end.

            It is a major port, though.

            1. There’s a canal that runs from Chicago to the Mississippi, that’s why Chicago is a major port. Before the railroads the upper midwest could use it to ship through Chicago to the Atlantic rather than down to New Orleans.

              1. it was a port before that through the lakes to the Erie canal and then the St Larry Seaway once locks got around the Niagra drop
                Sea going vessels brought the zebra mussels plaguing the lakes in via the seaway, not the barge traffic of the Chicago river.
                as an aside ..iirc some of the first US subs were made around Milwaukee and then went out via the seaway.

                1. The shipyards in Manitowoc, WI would build submarine hulls in WW2, then put them on a barge where they would go to Chicago, then down the canal to the Mississippi and down to the shipyard in Pascagoula where they’d be fitted out and tested. I think they built about 20 to 30 subs during the war. After that, they went back to building great lakes boats.

                  1. Weren’t the Manitowoc subs considered superior, because of being built level, rather than on tilted ways?

          5. Thank you for the insight into why the Democrat Arkie Mafia lasted so long.

            I suspect you missed which historical periods I was trying to imply.

            In the 1870s there was absolutely a more widespread support for fraud, corruption, and voter suppression if it would counter the possibility of Republican rule.

            Votes from the south that helped pass Posse Comitatus can be considered an extension of this.

            Culturally speaking, the mid to late nineteenth century has some significant distinctions from that of modern day for the same areas.

            I think that WWII caused many to consider whether they wanted to be on the same path we’d gone to such effort to remove the Germans and Japanese from.

            1. I think once one has stormed beaches, marched across Europe, and lost friends to make the world safe for democracy one is much less tolerant of anti-democratic behavior at home.

    4. There is the occasional instance where a precinct returns votes at 110% tally of registered voters, and there was that real nice video of Black Panthers wielding billy sticks in Philadelphia, which Eric Holder declined to examine because “Blacks can not be racist”.

      1. It was a bit more than that in Philadelphia. After the 2008 election, the Justice Department – still under Bush 43 – brought charges against the New Black Panther Party members in the photos. The suspects never showed in court, and were convicted in absentia. Then Obama moved into the White House, Holder became the Attorney General, and the charges were dropped without comment.

    5. In Illinois, the honest republican leaders talk a lot about getting beyond the “Margin of Fraud.” The dhimmicraps here make a specialty of having the race be at least within 2%, because there are several south and westside (Crook County) precincts where the ward heelers there deliberately withhold reporting their votes until late, say about 9PM. They then manufacture up enough votes to put their man over the top.

      Joe DiLeo has written a LOT of stories about this based upon his actual experience in Chicago. I have linked to one of those below. Much mention is also made of the “mobile horde of Chicago/East St. Louis voters” who are rented out to local democrat party organizations to help win elections. They have been caught red-handed several times voting in Missouri, Indiana, and Wisconsin elections. The ONLY reason they were not used out of state last year was because Republican officials in those states promised criminal charges.


      1. You can search Illinois Review for “pavel” stories. There are a LOT of them.

      2. In Illinois, the honest republican leaders talk a lot about getting beyond the “Margin of Fraud.” The dhimmicraps here make a specialty of having the race be at least within 2%, because there are several south and westside (Crook County) precincts where the ward heelers there deliberately withhold reporting their votes until late, say about 9PM. They then manufacture up enough votes to put their man over the top.

        I’ve also held the opinion for a long time that votes should not be counted until ALL the polls (including Hawaii and Alaska) are closed and the votes brought to the place where they would be counted, and that no “found” ballot boxes would be allowed.

        1. I asked the Will County Chairman once why did not the R party hold back reporting results in a few precincts until the Chicago ones reported. He told me it was illegal to do so, but the R’s would be prosecuted for doing it and the D’s would not be.

          1. I wonder if the law could get thrown out on the basis of inconsistent application, or at least an appeal to the feds on the basis of civil rights violation. Obviously the last bit would require a Republican AG willing to take on the Chicago Machine.

            1. Which is why the dhimmicraps in Illinoisy put so much effort and money in capturing the AG spot in every election.

  9. Albany, Albany: How amateurish. You’re in Georgia for crying out loud, the state of Eugene Talmadge and the County Unit election system. Of course the fraud is in the absentee ballots; it has been ever since the advent of voting machines.

    There’s really no good solution. Registering people assisting with votes doesn’t help where you have a machine and the only ones registered are the cronies of the local boss. Even portable electronic card swipers are no guarantee that the card swiped is of the person entering the vote, and you really do not want a system tied to the Internet.

  10. First off, there’s no such thing as a fraud-proof system. The best we can hope for is to make the costs of fraud so high that buying an effective number of votes is cost-prohibitive in any reasonably contested election.

    Secondly, this is why the Electoral College is so important, it firewalls the Presidential elections from local voter fraud. It does no good for Chicago to produce more fake votes than what is necessary to carry Illinois. Absent the EC, every fraudulent vote in Chicago disenfranchises a voter in Texas.

    Thirdly, the common refrain that there is no evidence of voter fraud is absurd. Every time I see it I ask them what kind of evidence would they expect to see. I usually don’t get a response.

    My solution would be a federal law requiring proof of citizenship be presented at the time of registering, and that photo ID (ideally with a biometric component) be presented at the time of requesting a ballot. Maybe have a roving clerk who can go to invalid voters to register/fill out their absentee request. Require anyone who assists a voter must themselves be a registered voter.

    1. The value of the EC was brought home to me in 2000. Absent the EC, the recounts would have been nationwide, not confined to Florida.

      1. The recounts wouldn’t have been nationwide, they would have been in Chicago, NYC, California, etc., not in Kansas or Texas. After all, that’s what Gore was trying to pull on a county level before the USSC smacked him down.

  11. A fun fact I forgot to include.

    While I reported this, my grandfather was elections supervisor once upon a time. He was fired right before an election because…(wait for it)…he went to the TV news to report that he had reason to believe there would be extensive voter fraud.

    At least it’s a family tradition. 😀

      1. I’m pretty sure I’m descended from the first New Hampshire superior court justice to be impeached, in part due to conduct “…impertinent and unbecoming to his office.”

    1. One of the years I worked as a precinct inspector (in the California system, this is the head guy in the precinct board), I worked in a polling place which had tables for five different precincts.

      One of the hotly contested elections that year was a city council election. There was an insurgent write-in candidacy fueled by a fight over the plans to tear down a racetrack and replace it with condos. The precinct board in one of the other precincts had put up signs IN THE POLLING BOOTHS telling people about the write-in candidates.

      This was, of course, a complete violation of the rules. You were required to post a sign informing voters of the names of certified write-in candidates, but you couldn’t put those signs *in the polling booths themselves*.

      So I went over and demanded that the inspector for that precinct take them down. She refused.

      So I called the county elections office – our superiors – explained the situation to them and then handed the phone to her. She complied with them.


      California election law requires that the polling places be open for public observation while the poll workers run through post-election tasks (basically sorting the ballots and reconciling tasks). The building we were in was a school library with no exterior windows, so if the doors were closed, nobody could see that anyone was inside doing anything at all. It was a cold November night, and the inspector for the other precinct closed all the doors once we closed the polls at 8pm.

      I insisted she reopen them, because otherwise how could we comply with the public access requirement of the law if nobody could tell we were there? She refused. I called the county elections office again, she complied again.

      1. Two cases of blatant violation of voting regulations, refusal to comply when challenged, reluctantly submit upon appeal to higher authority. Makes one wonder just how long the little sweetie had been getting away with that or similar violations before you came along. And I have this funny feeling would go right back to similar carp the minute you left.

        1. I was furious at her pretty much the whole day.

          I mean: I have strong political preferences, and I’m a cultural liberal. But, in my mind, messing with the integrity of the election process is just *wrong*, at a fundamental level. And she wasn’t just violating procedural rules; she was going to the heart of the integrity of the system, and it wasn’t ok.

  12. I like the idea of registering those who help with absentee ballots. I also think voters should have to put their thumb print on their ballot, and anyone who helps them should have to put their thumb print down as well. Any ballots with smudged prints should be discarded on arrival as attempted fraud. We might not be able to correct the fraud in that election, but we would be able to track down the offenders and prevent them from doing it again.

    Around here, we keep getting hit with single issue elections and failure to publicize that there is an election. Couple of election cycles back, the city had a sewer bond issue on the ballot. It was on the city calendar on the city web site, but the news paper, tv stations, and radio stations made no mention of the election. I found out by accident when I went looking for info on the next city council meeting. Started asking around the office and nobody knew there was an election. We had a whopping 7% voter turnout, and of course the city got their sewer bond passed. I’ve started nudging my state representatives to change the law so that a single issue ballot election with less than 20% voter turn out is invalid and gets held over until the next presidential election.

      1. Don’t most places have elections every year, it’s just that in odd years nobody cares?

        1. In our area, “special elections” for cities are held kind of at random– and the yearly ones aren’t “special.” Last year, IIRC, one of the “special votes” was only a few weeks off of the regular vote. Extra taxes for the fire department, or something.

          The regular yearly ones that aren’t presidential tend to favor the Right, precisely because of the lack of a drumbeat of how folks are supposed to think.

          1. Yep. I’ve voted in a couple (usually school levys) that I had no idea there was an election on, oh, March 13th, (there was one in a couple of neighboring towns last week, but not, this time, one in my school district) until I was driving through town on the day of the election and noticed the little 1’x3′ plywood sign in the road saying “vote today.”

            1. And yes, doing away with special elections and having elections only on “standard” election days would be a very good idea.

              1. That would depend entirely on what your goal was. A fair open and honest voting process, sure. Slipping a bond issue or special appropriation past a clueless public, not so much.
                Most states have sunshine laws that require all public meetings to be exactly that, public. Those regulations are routinely violated at every level of government.

                1. ” It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”
                  sounds like too many see that as a “How To”, not satire.

      2. Yes and no. It costs between $60k and $70k minimum for an election around here, whether there are 10 items on the ballot or 1. So there is an election in February. And March. And April. Sometimes in June. Again in August and sometimes in September. And finally in November. That adds up quick. The point is to make it painful for the local elected crooks to run these single issue ballots intentionally aiming for low voter turn out. If you want to pass an issue, don’t try to hide it and expect a low voter turn out to work in your favor.

        1. How is this an argument against a single yearly election, instead of a bunch of smaller ones, barring really major special occasions? (Such as “the guy died.”)

          1. It’s not. It’s an argument for making them hold ballot issues that fail to garner 20% voter turnout over until the next presidential election. It’s not accidental around here, it is intentional.

    1. Thumb print on the ballot is a bad idea. It’s essentially putting your name on the ballot – unless you also forbid the government from maintaining a list of thumbprints attached to names* for non-felons – and eliminating the secret ballot opens things up to all kinds of abuse. Look at what happened to Brandon Eichs. Imagine what would have happened if it got out that he had voted for *gasp* a Republican.

      *I actually like the idea of a database of fingerprints without any identifying information for registered voters. When you register to vote you also register your fingerprints. When you go to vote, your print is scanned and compared to the database. If your print is found in the database and the HAS_VOTED bit is FALSE, the HAS_VOTED bit is flipped, a green light is lit at the polling place, and you get your ballot. Otherwise, a red light is lit and you either try another finger (maybe there was a scar or something) or are sent away.

      1. The gov’t has my fingerprints at least three times already–for my Navy work, for my concealed carry, and for medical when my husband was activated.

        I figured the finger print suggestion was with the signature, not with the voting part.

          1. Foxfier got it right – I was referring to placing the print on the signature card right next to the signature.

  13. Same crap happens in Illinoisy too, except it is all over the state here, not just a few blue enclaves……

      1. That Will County GOP chairman I mentioned earlier told me a story about one time when he was monitoring one of the suspect Will County precincts he caught a whole busload of the “mobile horde” getting off a bus in Will County from a Baptist church on Chicago’s southside. Furthermore, the local precinct captain was talking loudly to each one as they stepped off the bus handing them a card with $5 taped to it that had the name and address of who they were voting in place of. He had the list in alphabetical order and had everyone line up to vote in that order.

        That idiocy made it easy to prove in court and throw out EVERY vote those 60-70 folks made, which ensured the election went the other way than the dhimmicraps intended. Those 60 to 70 votes would have indeed tipped the city council and County Board races the other way.

        1. Exactly. In local elections, it doesn’t really take all that many votes to make a difference.

          Plus, local elections are where future congressmen come from, and so on. Keep the Republicans, for example, from developing rising talent in those local races, you keep experience on the Dem side of the aisle.

          Then, when faced with a tough opponent, the response can always be, “he doesn’t have my experience!” Ironic when you look at the White House, but I promise you that it’ll happen.

        2. Note that nothing was actually done to the perpetrators, however. No real incentive not to do it again, just to be more careful next time and hand out the false names while the bus was traveling to the polls. If all the voters would have had to spent a significant amount of jail time, and the one paying them some serious prison time, then something might have been accomplished.

  14. Now, besides the examples Tom just gave, also remember the ones that Sarah has given in the past – Absentee ballots apparently sent in for people who did NOT need help, and who showed up to vote at the polling place, only to be told that they had already voted absentee and could only fill out a provisional ballot.

    Instead, the absentee voting should be set up so that, if the person votes at the polling place, THAT vote is taken, and their absentee ballot is placed in the “Provisional” bin.

    1. Unless you have a photo ID requirement it just flips the scam. Then the fraudsters just have to get their hands on a list of who is getting sent an absentee ballot and show up at the polling place claiming to be that person, shunting the legitimate absentee ballot into the provisional bin. Even if you challenge the provisional ballot, good luck proving that you didn’t show up at the polling place (where would the burden of proof lie?). And how do you subtract the fraudulent vote from the returns?

      1. Well, I didn’t consider the voter ID requirement, since in KY it’s been the law for as long as I can remember, but yes, of course you have to have that for it to work.

            1. It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.

              Joseph Stalin

      2. Even if you challenge the provisional ballot, good luck proving that you didn’t show up at the polling place (where would the burden of proof lie?). And how do you subtract the fraudulent vote from the returns?

        Send someone to interview everyone who ends up in this situation. Your address is on file, so they know where you live. And you should be able to provide a quick and definite answer to the interviewer about which method you used to vote.

    2. Yep.

      And those examples also go to show how easily manipulated the absentee ballot system actually is.

      That’s definitely where some serious efforts need to be focused, but they’re not.

      1. Back when Bush 43 was in office (possibly 2006), a number of international observers (including some from Iraq) came to see how the US handled elections. They were shocked at the incredibly low amount of security in the system. No IDs required, and mail-in votes were allowed. They couldn’t believe it.

        1. I thought that was for 08, and it was “To ensure fraud didn’t keep GWB in office” yet they were still shocked and it showed how likely he won by a larger margin than reported because even some UN weenies were sure there was fraud against him, not the fraud to protect him they were expecting. But I do remember reading the shock and horror even the biggest leftoids felt at several of our systems … and mostly at leftoid controlled ones for the most part. The ones they thought were going to be biased were the least biased.

    3. As a practical matter, what you are asking is very difficult.

      I’m speaking as someone who worked as a polling place officer in California in every election except one between 1992 and 2008 (inclusive).

      One issue is this: one of the primary points to provisional ballots is to defer decision making until later, when more information can be assembled and decisions can be made using a unified process instead of ad hoc on the whim of the polling place officers.

      Another issue is this: in many places, absentee ballots which are received in the county reporting office prior to the close of polls are run through the machines to be counted either before the polls close or immediately after the closing of the polls. This is done so that they’re out of the way and counted before the precinct ballots arrive, which is important because everyone wants results as soon as possible.

      Because of this, there’s no way to know that “this absentee should be reclassified as provisional”. The decision to count or not count the absentee, if the absentee is received at the reporting office before the polls close, is made *before the information is available* that would force it to be reclassed as provisional – and changing that would mean significantly slowing the release of results, which is a price few would be willing to pay.

      1. If absentee ballots are counted first, then that’s a damn stupid way to run an election.

        Absentee ballots should go to a secure facility, then a barcode identifying the voter should be scanned, name compared to name on ballot, and also flagged if the voter went to the poll. All of this should be done before the actual ballot is separated from the identifying info, and the ones flagged as provisional go into a different bin, to be counted later, if at all. Not difficult at all.

        Yes, such a system can be gamed, but it’s harder to do than the current one.

        1. Absentee ballots received prior to election day go to a secure facility and then are counted on election day. When a voter’s ballot is opened, it is recorded that that voter’s vote has been counted. Absentee ballots received in polling places on election day, or via mail postmarked by election day but received after election day, are stored in a secure facility and counted *after all precinct ballots are counted* but *before all provisionals are counted*.

          Every precinct book marks the people who *received* absentee ballots. People so marked are required to vote provisionally and their provisional is only counted if no absentee was counted for them.

          This is primarily done for time-efficiency reasons. Everyone wants results as soon as possible, so there’s an incentive to streamline counting for that end.

          1. If you go back and read carefully, I wasn’t talking about how it IS done, I was talking about how it SHOULD BE done. Reiterating how it IS done, does not forward your point any.

            1. On the one hand that’s fair.

              On the other hand: the point i’m trying to make is that this system is designed around a different goal: the goal of time-efficient counting and quick reporting of results.

              The system you are proposing requires delaying the count of any absentee ballots until after all precinct ballots are counted. Since it’s common for absentee ballots to represent 20-30% of the vote, and on the order of 30-40% of the absentee ballots are currently received and counted prior to poll closing, the cost of your proposed system is a delay in the counting of potentially as much as 12% of the votes.

              The *benefit*, as far as I can tell, is that it allows precinct votes to automatically take precedence over absentee votes in the case of conflict between the two.

              I understand why you want that benefit, but I think that the current system better reflects the balance of interests desired by the majority of the system’s users.

              1. On the other hand: the point i’m trying to make is that this system is designed around a different goal: the goal of time-efficient counting and quick reporting of results.

                I don’t care. It’s also facilitating voter fraud. IN PERSON votes should take precedence, always, because it is far more difficult, if identification is required, to game the system.

              2. “I understand why you want that benefit, but I think that the current system better reflects the balance of interests desired by the majority of the system’s users.”

                Possibly true, but I doubt it better reflects the balance of interests desired by the majority of the system’s legitimate users. Which is what it should be reflecting.

              3. It’s definitely a good idea to count absentees prior to the poll votes. This prevents manufacturing votes as needed to put one faction over the top.

                  1. Not as easy as you’d think. Absentee ballots are subject to abuse because they’re easier to manipulate. So let’s say the polls close. At that point, before the precincts begin to count, the absentee ballots are tallied. Then the precincts are counted. If you want an example of why this is a good idea, look into the time when Georgia had three men claiming to be governor.

                    1. Be that as it may, if you don’t know the outcome, you can’t cook the results. And counting the absentees last would not prevent the shenanigans of absentees already voted in someone’s name.

                      If you really want to see the “fun,” get FBI poll watchers involved. The best way is to argue suppression of black votes, which is what some places did to get their poll watchers. Odd that it also played havoc with the political cronies.

                    2. And counting the absentees last would not prevent the shenanigans of absentees already voted in someone’s name.

                      How could it not, if you’re removing the absentee ballots which are supposedly from the same person who came in and voted at the polling place into the provisional bin instead of sending their in-person vote there.

                1. Unless boxes of ballots are found during the recount process. But that’s never happened.

                  1. Look into the write-in campaign of Herman Talmadge, and the uncounted votes that mysteriously surfaced, and where everyone had voted in alphabetical order.

                    1. Or the 2008 Minnesota Senate election, or the 2004 Washington Gubernatorial election.

                      That last sentence was more than a little tongue in cheek.

                    2. Or Sioux County, IA in 2000, when five boxes of ballots were found in the courthouse basement two months after the election. Apparently the vote went the way it was “supposed” to and whoever stashed them didn’t “need” to add them to the pot.

                    3. Washington 2004 & 2008. Gregoire stating on camera, “we will count the votes until we win.” It only took three recounts. Arizona presidential election 2000, Iowa, same year. I’m sure others can add to the list.

          2. I’m not certain how absentee ballots are counted- if at all. I’ve heard and read multiple times that absentee ballots aren’t counted at all unless the number of ballots exceeds the difference in votes. For eample, if a vote is 67 for A, and 42 for B, with 5 absentee ballots, they’re never opened. If it’s If the vote were 56-53 with 5 absentees, then they’re opened and counted. Maybe it differs by jurisdiction…

            1. It does; differ by jurisdiction, that is.

              And by who the absentee’s are liable to support, for some strange reason military absentee ballots are seldom counted at all.

            2. > I’ve heard and read multiple times that absentee ballots aren’t counted at all unless the number of ballots exceeds the difference in votes.

              I’m not aware of any jurisdiction in which that’s true – although to be fair I’ve only extensively looked at election law in California and in New York.

              My understanding is that this belief is basically an urban myth.

  15. Opponents of voter ID say that it will disenfranchise legitimate voters, but they gloss over the fact that fraudulent votes also disenfranchise legitimate voters. The difference is that if I am disenfranchised because I was turned away from the polling place, I know that my vote wasn’t counted and I generally know what I need to do to ensure my vote is counted next time. On the other hand, if I’m disenfranchised because my vote was cancelled by my liberal sister voting twice, I have no way to know that my vote didn’t count and no sure way to correct the problem.

    Thus, even if voter ID results in initial disenfranchisement much greater than the actual (but unknowable) rate of voter fraud, it is the preferred course of action because the rate of disenfranchisement will trend toward zero as people identify and fix the problems keeping them from voting.

  16. Absentee voting is, IMO, a far greater threat to the integrity of elections than in-person voter fraud. In-person voter fraud is fairly rare and is reasonably difficult to pull off on a large scale. Absentee voter fraud is much easier to pull off on a large scale, and it’s difficult to detect in a way that allows you to *prove* it has happened. (It’s also difficult to prove that it hasn’t happened – which means there’s an ambiguity space which makes it easy for trust to deteriorate).

    Absentee voting also makes it possible for people to coerce votes, which can be a real problem (to name a serious but not exclusive example: abusive family situations).

    On the other hand, *some* absentee voting is necessary. Some people will be out of town, and people who will be out of town should still be allowed to vote. Active duty military will be deployed. Emergency workers and the like may not be able to go to the polling place on polling day.

    But it should be restricted to the cases where it’s necessary – and Washington-state style absentee-only systems are a very, very bad idea.

    1. I very much like the absentee system we have in place here. Often called early voting, and I know some here vehemently oppose it, but they have never produced an argument that *I* saw the merit of.
      I use it myself regularly, because at the time elections are held I am often out of town for work. It works pretty simple, starting a certain amount of time before election day (about a month) polls are opened at the county courthouse. You can go into the courthouse during regular business hours, ask to vote, show your drivers license (we have voter ID requirements) and they compare that against the list, if you haven’t voted yet, you get a ballot, go over to the booth and fill it out.

      There is a provision to receive a mail-in ballot, but you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get it, and I’ve never known anyone who actually received one. I HAVE known of people picking up family members at the nursing home, and taking them to the courthouse so they can vote, but the booths are open and in full view of not only an office with half a dozen workers present, but any citizens that are going about their regular business, so someone else filling out their ballot would be noticed.

      1. I’d want it to be open beyond normal business hours– something like 6AM to 8PM for at least a couple of days– but I like that form, too.

        1. It would be nice, but the way it is set up, they are using the regular government employees, during their regular hours, so they don’t have to work overtime, nor get paid for extra hours.

        2. Perhaps extended Saturday hours for 3 week-ends before election day? I think the mail-in is a system made for fraud, but this type of early voting would work, provided county clerks can not count votes on said machines until election day. Perhaps best would be the ‘optical’ paper ballots. We have them and the touch screen machines both. I usually go with optical as it is faster. Now, of course, on election day if the county had recorded 100 early votes and then had 200 ballots in the box, could be an issue.

          1. Optical paper ballots are also less susceptible to computer software fraud than are touch-screen ballots, and they are recountable in a way that touch-screen ballots (often) are not.

            I’m a computer programmer and a former election official. I *will not* vote on a touch-screen ballot. I do not trust the security.

            1. Our optical ballots have a broken arrow pointing to each name. You fill in the space on the arrow for who you want. Easy for voters, easy for the scanners and easy for humans in a recount.

          2. We’re old fashioned, still use paper ballots filled out with a pencil and sealed in a signed envelope.

          3. I believe that ballot security in that situation would be fairly easy to assign to specific people– maybe even with video– and thus make the invisible fraud a lot harder.

          4. In the late 1970s or early 1980s, in Knighton’s neck of the woods, there was a close city race either in Albany or a nearby town. The city used paper ballots with optical readers. Well, one candidate called for a recount, and they ran the ballots through the machine again, and got a different total. Then the first candidate asked to run them through the machine a third time, and they got another different result. Likely they ended up doing a hand count. But if their hadn’t have been a recount, no one would have known they had a flaky optical reader.

            Now hypothesize an optical reader that intentionally flaky . . .

            1. I’m going to say it was somewhere else, because I don’t recall that and I was kicking around back in those days. I was young, but still interested in politics.

              Then again, who knows. It was a long time ago and I may have just flat out forgotten.

              1. it was around Albany. I happened to be in Georgia at the time and saw it on WALB. This was when Gil Patrick was about the best meteorologist around (pre Weather Channel days), and when in the viewing area I’d tune in to the weather. This meant getting up early enough to watch the morning show, or tuning in at 6:00 for the news.

            2. One of the reason touch screen machines terrify me is that if there is a flaky recording of the vote and there is no paper trail, there is no way it can *ever* be detected.

              1. Not completely true; most machines seem to at least display a summary screen showing what will be recorded. Which is why there were several cases reported (in Illinois, IIRC; this is my surprised face) in 2014 where people voted for Republicans and the machine switched several / all votes to the Democrat.

                That’s not to say what got recorded, though.

      2. Early voting as a mechanism for people who are fundamentally local but unable to get to the polling place on election day, combined with a more-difficult but still-possible mail system for people (like deployed military or people on vacation) who are genuinely out of town throughout the early voting period, seems like it’s a good compromise.

        One of the advantages to a well run early voting system is that registration can be checked on the spot, and the books in the polling places can be updated to reflect that the voting has already occurred. It also preserves the secrecy of the ballot in the way mail-in does not.

      3. I’ve done early voting when I knew I’d be out of town. My parents have done absentee ballots due to age. It wasn’t that arduous, but it’s rural enough that most in the county knows them, anyway. The problem is that this casualness also opens the way for fraud.

  17. I do seem to recall at least one person who bragged about voting multiple times in the 2012 election, guess who for.
    I think it’s fair to surmise that voter fraud probably counts for a 2-5 percent shift in election results. Add to that a similar 2-5 percent skew from liberal media bias. Given that Dem/lib/prog 4-10 percent advantage it’s a wonder any Repubs or conservatives ever win anything.
    Hard to change much of anything when the media cheerfully reports “nothing to see here” and the cheating winners take office and refuse to enforce even the pitifully inadequate voter regulations we do have. Case in point, two young gentlemen armed with clubs in paramilitary dress in front of a polling place, actually convicted of voter intimidation before the Justice Department declines to pursue the cases.
    This all does help one to at least understand that the sentiment to “let it all burn” does appeal to those tired of fighting a constant up hill battle.

    1. Speaking as someone who believes that voter fraud’s effect on non-local elections is insignificant: the *single best argument* for voter ID and other requirements, in my mind, is that they help reassure people. They make it easier to believe there isn’t fraud and harder to believe the system is corrupt; thereby, they help stabilize faith in the integrity of the system.

      A system with complete integrity will still fail if people don’t believe it has complete integrity.

      1. Born and raised in downstate Illinois, so I’m something of a hard sell on the whole vote system integrity thing.
        Of course when I moved to Alabama in the mid ’80s I found myself getting homesick for my former home state at every election cycle. Chi-town politics with a Southern twang.

        1. I consider New Mexico to be like Chicago, except with tortillas instead of Polish sausage. But NM started corrupt in Territorial days, and its bi-partisan, or used to be.

  18. Maybe we should dip voters thumbs in indelible ink as they do in third world countries. Perhaps the only eligible absentee voting allowed is military personnel. I would prefer to disenfranchise the sick, infirm and business travelers than enable easy voter fraud. After all, this is a republic, not a democracy.

  19. Here’s another thought on defeating voter fraud. Scan a finger print when someone shows up to vote – set an order so it’s the same for every person unless that finger is not available (ie, right thumb unless it is missing, then use left thumb, right index, left index, etc., etc.). Record with the signature and print a serial number off of a detachable ballot card. The detachable ballot card has the serial number recorded by the poll workers AND a ballot number – different and unique from the serial number. The ballot only has the ballot number on it. The voter takes the detachable card with them with the understanding they are required to maintain it for 30 days under penalty of perjury. After the election, compare all of the finger prints. If one shows up more than once, the Sheriff goes and visits that person. They produce the ballot cards, allowing for those specific ballots to be removed from the count and get arrested for voting fraud with a side order of perjury…plus any other warrants out for them. If they can’t produce more than one ballot card, well, we still have your finger prints voting more than once, so arrest for perjury and let them explain it to a judge.

    1. That system isn’t too hard to defeat. I go vote once, then I wrap the first finger scanned in a bandage – tell anyone who asks that I sliced it real good peeling apples – then I scan the #2 finger on the list, which will have a different pattern. Obviously I can’t do this ten times, but I can still cast a good number of votes.

  20. What leaves me shaking my head is the TX quirk, introduced by the court system, natch, that for district elections (school, bond, water-use) you must present ID to confirm that you belong to the district. Courts upheld that, no problem. But state/federal elections are supposed to be without ID (still under appeal). Which is one very good reason to have one vote every-other-year, and combine district with state/national elections; barring cases where a special election MUST be called due to death, conviction, or medical disqualification.

  21. My opinion- Election Day should, with very few exceptions (military away from home is one) be Election Day. Especially the national elections every 2 years. Polls open 24 hours, the same 24. Midnight to midnight eastern time, let’s say. Each town/city/county should have a mobile vote taking team that travels to facilities that request it for their residents- hospitals, nursing homes, etc. (And for individuals who request it in advance.) On ELECTION DAY. And the team has to have a rep for each candidate for the highest office listed on the ballot. Elections are supposed to be a snapshot of the electorate, not a rolling poll.

  22. One other thing about elections. All ballots, in fact, all official government communications within the states and DC, should be in English and English only. Someone living in the United States who speaks and reads no English has not participated in any national discussion that allows them to understand issues. Polls consistently show English as the only official language is supported by over 85% of the population. It’s not supported by the Collective. And judges, who fear that someone who has lived here for 30 years and hasn’t learned English might be oppressed and feel unwelcome.

    The official voter guide in California is published in 7 languages. Arabic isn’t one of them- yet.

    1. The reason English was not established at the official language of business in the Constitution or the Articles of Confederation is that it had already been so established. There had been a vote predating, I think, the Revolution. English won.

      German was the runner up, which makes for an interesting AH scenario if that quote was right.

      This was understood in the nineteenth century. For example, Irish language schools were private. Public schools were in English.

      1. Er, no, there was only a discussion about whether to provide bi-lingual materials because Germans couldn’t learn English overnight.

        1. ?

          Perhaps I’m incorrect. I recall seeing that sometime in the colonial era there was a vote. English had the most votes by far, then German, then few other languages.

          1. If I remember correctly, the only colony/state which had the debate was Pennsylvania- and English won. PA had the largest number of German immigrants.

            1. I’m curious now.

              Can anyone give me some cites so that I might get things straight in my head?

              1. http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/officialamerican/englishonly/
                The 28 nations of the European Union speak 23 languages http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2013/09/language-diversity
                Any wonder they have problems within the EU right now?

                Concepts and ideas suffer through translation. Don’t know if it’s actually true, but I’ve often heard that while we in the U.S. know we have had one continuous government since the adoption of the Constitution, the Chinese look at every new president as a new government, and refer to elections as “a controlled revolution”. While we can understand and laugh at their misinterpretation of our electoral system, there remains the fact that a native Chinese speaker who never learns English doesn’t have the concept of American government down because it doesn’t truly exist in the Chinese language. The average English speaker has as a normal vocabulary more then twice as many words as any European language speaker, and a total vocabulary 3-5 times as large.

                1. Hm, the thing they disprove doesn’t actually have a lot to do with the initial claim– I did eventually find details on it, sourced to Rippley’s Believe it or Not.
                  “Twenty-seven members of the congress voted for, and 27 voted against, this proposal. Frederick Muhlenberg broke the tie by casting a negative vote. Believe it or not.”

                  Anybody know where one could get a list of all the stuff voted on in the First Continental Congress?

                  I just get kind of suspicious when all the corrections I can find first have to change the claim itself– especially when they change it to different things!

    1. Melissa went to court over the irregularities, but it was thrown out on a technicality. By the time she went through the process again and had everything done, she’d have had about three weeks in the seat before it came up for reelection.

      There has still been no prosecution on the voter fraud.

        1. I suspect part of the problem is actually attaching people to fraudulent absentee ballots. They can know they happened, but trying to attach individuals directly to them is tricky. Further, we can’t prove who voted which way for obvious reasons.

          It’s also worth noting that Melissa’s suit dealt with other irregularities that I didn’t get into such as finding out a candidate was told she lived in Melissa’s ward, despite her trying to register as a candidate in her correct ward. As such, when the candidate registered and began campaigning, she garnered support. After early voting started, the gentlemen I bought my newspaper from learned where she lived and found she was in a different ward. He and I went to talk to the woman, who was genuinely upset by all this. However, she’d received votes already.

          It was a mess.

          FWIW, Melissa is now holding as seat on the county school board, so there’s that. 😀

          1. Well that’s something. It still leaves a bad taste in my mouth that no one has been prosecuted for this. I’m a big lover of the voting system (even if I don’t always like how the results turn out). I think it’s shameful that people are gaming the system like this.

            1. Agreed.

              Someday, I’ll have to share the story of the phone conversation with the chairman of the county election board the day after the story ran. 😀

  23. When I lived in Upstate NY, I remember going to work around election day and hearing the older guys swapping stories about the good ole’ days, just a few years ago, when (insert locally well known political operative’s name here) would call up and tell “John” to go to Precinct 12 and vote as “William Brown” for (insert Democratic Candidate’s name here). Then go to Precinct 42 it Troy to vote for another candidate as another name, and finally could you please go on up to Schenectady to vote as so and so for candidate, whatever. There was a literal army of people they could call on to go help swing an election where ever they needed to.

    I guess by the time I was there, they’d modernized their cheating methods.

    1. A drunk from a neighboring county attempted to recruit my grandfather to come vote for such-and-such. When my grandfather pointed out that he wasn’t a resident, the drunk said that didn’t matter.

      1. I had a (I suspect D) worker try to sign me up to vote in NM as I was walking to supper in Albuquerque one evening. I said no, “I’m not from your party.” She smiled and offered me the form, “That’s OK!” I tried again. “I’m not a resident.” Same smile, “No problem!” Tried again. “I’m registered to vote in TX and have already voted in the primary.” That seemed to get the hint across and she trotted off to sign up one of the drunks leaning against the next building.

    1. Yep. Born and raised.

      The only time I didn’t live here was when I was in the Navy. Of course, now I’m curious who your family is. Click my name, use the contact feature, and gimme a holler. 😀

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