Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Politics of Voter Fraud

by CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

The Republicans have finally uncovered evidence of fraud they can prevent.  For a time it seemed as thought they’d never find it and their relentless search created the illusion of incompetence.

Individual Republicans and Republican legislatures all over the country have been passing laws in order to make what they describe as voter fraud more difficult by a variety of efforts that coincidentally (although only the most cynical would believe deliberately) have a greater impact on the poor and minorities than on the rest of the population.

In Colorado, Scott Gessler, the secretary of state, decided that non-citizen voting was a serious problem in that state saying:  “ We have to recognize that we have real vulnerabilities in the system. I don’t think we should be saying the sky is falling, but at the same time, we have to recognize we have a serious vulnerability.”    As evidence of this he first said that he thought there were 11,805 noncitizens on the voting rolls.  After presumably praying over this number or invoking some other deistic assistance, he reduced that number to 3,903 and sent letters to those individuals demanding that they offer proof of citizenship or be stricken from the rolls.  Once the letters were sent out it was learned that there were only 141 noncitizens on the voter rolls or .0041 percent of the total number of voters in the state.

In Florida the Division of Elections said there might be 180,000 non-citizens on the rolls.  After pursuing the issue it concluded that number was 207. In Florida, there are no cases of people having voted who were not entitled to vote.

In South Carolina a law was passed requiring photo ID in order to cut down on voting fraud of which there have been three cases since 2000. In Pennsylvania, the Republican legislature’s attempts to prevent voter fraud by requiring photo IDs are now in the court.  Michael Wojcik who served as Alleghany County solicitor from 2004 to 2012 has written that there was never an accusation of voter fraud in that county.  According to NBC’s Open Channel, the State of Pennsylvania advised the court that it would present no evidence of voter fraud in the trial involving the photo ID law that was passed in 2012.  (Following passage of that law Republican Mike Turzai, in a moment of brazen and unbridled enthusiasm at the law’s passage, said the law was “going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania-done.”  That left the impression that the law had nothing to do with fraud and everything to do with winning one for Governor Romney.)    As was observed at the outset, there is, nonetheless, good news on the fraud front.  Some has been discovered by the Republicans.

In the best of all possible worlds for which the Republicans were searching in their zeal to find fraud, they would have found dead Democrats voting, in some cases more than once, non-citizens voting, live Democrats voting twice, etc.  Instead they found fraud being committed by themselves.

September 29th it was disclosed that several Florida counties were encountering suspicious registration forms.  Florida’s Republicans, it will be recalled, were so concerned about the registration process that in 2011 the legislature passed a law that imposed such punitive requirements on people registering voters that the League of Women Voters and other groups said they could no longer conduct registration drives because of the law’s stringent provisions and draconian penalties for their violation (such as a $1000 fine if forms were not turned in within 48 hours after they were signed. The law’s unreasonable requirements were blocked in June 2012 but groups wanting to register voters lost almost a year because of their fear of violating the blocked provisions. ) The fraud the Republicans found was being undertaken by one of their own and it was real, actual fraud as distinguished from the imaginary kind of which they had been dreaming.

Strategic Allied Consulting was a firm hired by the Florida Republican party to register new voters.  On September 29 it was reported that 10 Florida counties had encountered suspicious voter registration forms submitted by Strategic Allied Consulting employees.  According to reports, some employees told people they contacted they were only registering Republicans, some forms had suspicious signatures and others had bogus addresses.  In response to criticism of the company by Republicans, the company said the comments were “libelous” and that the fraud was limited to one employee although in Palm Beach County more than 100 applications were being examined and investigations were being conducted in 10 other Florida counties.  In Colorado an employee of the company could be seen on a video telling a potential voter she was only registering Republican voters and that she was an employee of the county clerk’s office.  Apparently the company’s one rogue employee was mobile.

Whether one employee was criminal and peripatetic or whether the company had many criminally inclined employees is irrelevant.  What is important is that the Republicans have finally found fraud. The weapon they used was a mirror.  The entire country is in their debt.

Christopher Brauchli is an attorney living in Boulder, Colorado. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 29, 2016
Robert Fisk
The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker
James Rose
Politics in the Echo Chamber: How Trump Becomes President
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Vice Grip on the Presidential Debates
Daniel Kato
Rethinking the Race over Race: What Clinton Should do Now About ‘Super-Predators’
Peter Certo
Clinton’s Awkward Stumbles on Trade
Fran Shor
Demonizing the Green Party Vote
Rev. William Alberts
Trump’s Road Rage to the White House
Luke O'Brien
Because We Couldn’t Have Sanders, You’ll Get Trump
Michael J. Sainato
How the Payday Loan Industry is Obstructing Reform
Robert Fantina
You Can’t Have War Without Racism
Gregory Barrett
Bad Theater at the United Nations (Starring Kerry, Power, and Obama
James A Haught
The Long, Long Journey to Female Equality
Thomas Knapp
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture
Jack Smith
Must They be Enemies? Russia, Putin and the US
Gilbert Mercier
Clinton vs Trump: Lesser of Two Evils or the Devil You Know
Tom H. Hastings
Manifesting the Worst Old Norms
George Ella Lyon
This Just in From Rancho Politico
September 28, 2016
Eric Draitser
Stop Trump! Stop Clinton!! Stop the Madness (and Let Me Get Off)!
Ted Rall
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Robert Fisk
Cliché and Banality at the Debates: Trump and Clinton on the Middle East
Patrick Cockburn
Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains
Lowell Flanders
Donald Trump, Islamophobia and Immigrants
Shane Burley
Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Jan Oberg
Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion
Ramzy Baroud
Ban Ki-Moon’s Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
Gareth Porter
How We Could End the Permanent War State
Sam Husseini
Debate Night’s Biggest Lie Was Told by Lester Holt
Laura Carlsen
Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize!
Binoy Kampmark
The Triumph of Momentum: Re-Electing Jeremy Corbyn
David Macaray
When the Saints Go Marching In
Seth Oelbaum
All Black Lives Will Never Matter for Clinton and Trump
Adam Parsons
Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders
Cesar Chelala
The Trump Bubble
September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]