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.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 30, 2015
Bill Blunden
The NSA’s 9/11 Cover-Up: General Hayden Told a Lie, and It’s a Whopper
Richard Ward
Sandra Bland, Rebel
Jeffrey St. Clair
How One Safari Nut, the CIA and Neoliberal Environmentalists Plotted to Destroy Mozambique
Martha Rosenberg
Tracking the Lion Killers Back to the Old Oval Office
Binoy Kampmark
Dead Again: the Latest Demise of Mullah Omar
Kathy Kelly – Buddy Bell
No Warlords Need Apply: a Call for Credible Peacemaking in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on ‘IS’
Stephen Lendman
The Show Trial of Saif Qaddafi: a Manufactured Death Sentence
John Grant
The United States of Absurdity, Circa 2015
Karl Grossman
The Case of John Peter Zenger and the Fight for a Free Press
Cesar Chelala
Cultural Treasures Are Also Victims of War
Jeff Taylor
Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon
Conn Hallinan
Ukraine: Close to the Edge
Stephen Lendman
What Happened to Ralkina Jones? Another Jail Cell Death
Rob Wallace
Neoliberal Ebola: the Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak
Dmitry Rodionov
The ‘Ichkerization’ Crime Wave in Ukraine
Joyce Nelson
Scott Walker & Stephen Harper: a New Bromance
Bill Blunden
The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption
Thomas Mountain
The Sheepdog Politics of Barack Obama
Farzana Versey
A President and a Yogi: Abdul Kalam’s Symbolism
Norman Pollack
America’s Decline: Internal Structural-Cultural Subversion
Foday Darboe
How Obama Failed Africa
Cesar Chelala
Russia’s Insidious Epidemic
Tom H. Hastings
Defending Democracy
David Macaray
Why Union Contracts are Good for the Country
Virginia Arthur
The High and Dry Sierras
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, the Season Finale, Mekonception in Redhook
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz