More proof that GOP cries of voter fraud is a fraud

Republicans continue to cry about “voter fraud” especially in states that have close poll numbers like Ohio. Their argument is that the state needs to release the mismatched voter registrations collected since January because they believe such mismatches means the people aren’t eligible to vote and they want to challenge them before they cast a vote. This would force these people to cast a provisional ballot – which is less likely to be counted in the final tally from election night.

This is a legal yet unethical way to “cage” voters.

The Ohio GOP sued the state for the release of the list of names. That case went to the US Supreme Court and the court ruled that the GOP didn’t have standing to sue. Next House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) sent a letter to President Bush to ask the Department of Justice to intervene in the case.

Now there is word that the DOJ won’t intervene.

The Department of Justice will not require Ohio to disclose the names of voters whose registration applications did not match other government databases, according to two people familiar with discussions between state and federal lawyers.

The decision comes about a week after an unusual request from President Bush asking the department to investigate the matter and roughly two weeks after the Supreme Court dismissed a case involving the flagged registration applications.

Ohio Vote-Challenge Effort Hits Another Roadblock

The important point to make again is that just because the data might not match the various databases doesn’t mean there is an attempt commit voter fraud.

But there’s little chance that these errors will result in improper voting on election day, much less affect outcomes. According to researcher Lorraine C. Minnite, of Columbia University, a total of 24 people, across the U.S., were found guilty of voter fraud between 2002 and 2005 — an average of eight per year.

How to Stop the Rigging of Election ’08

For months now, Republicans have been claiming that voter fraud is rampant and that government officials aren’t sufficiently cracking down. Democrats insist that voter fraud is practically nonexistent –- the real problem is intimidation and harassment of voters at the polls, they say.

Voting-rights experts tend to agree with the Democrats. A study by the Brennan Center for Justice, for example, found that, “It’s more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

Another study, by Barnard College political scientist Lori Minnite, similarly concluded that voter fraud is “extremely rare.” The Brennan Center also showed that the sort of strict rules advocated by Republicans in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere would disenfranchise thousands of people -– usually the poor, elderly and minorities.

A Myth of Voter Fraud

The idea of massive fraud by voters continues to be proven as a hyped-up myth. The Cincinnati Enquirer has provided a detailed analysis of Ohio’s more than 8 million registered voters and found that problems involving illegitimate voting are minimal. The Enquirer found only 6567 voters who had duplicate registrations. All are individuals who registered twice at their own address, a common routinely resolved by election officials and poll workers. An investigation by Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips of the 2004 election found that of the nearly 800 duplicate registrations he analyzed, none voted more than once. The Enquirer also flagged 589 registered voters who won’t be 18 on Election Day.

Since 1953, only six Ohioans have been sent to prison for voter fraud, according to the Columbus Dispatch. But Republican sheriffs and prosecutors are in the midst of a partisan witch hunt the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s in the Deep South. to harass, arrest and prosecute voting rights groups registering new voters. 

Critical US Supreme Court Ruling Against Rovian GOP Vote Meddling May Prove Temporary

So now we know the GOP will stop at nothing to disrupt the election. What do you do?

Check out the website Election Protection and read up on the issue. When voting make sure you have the needed identification and vote early if possible. If you do get challenged and are forced to fill out a provisional ballot – make sure you resolve the issue as soon as possible or your vote will not count.

Ohio GOP still trying to disrupt elections

The Ohio GOP continues to fight Secretary of State Brunner to force her to produce a list of registrations that failed to match data on state and federal databases the state is required to check as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). It now has had House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) send a letter to President Bush to ask the Department of Justice to intervene in the case.

The Republicans contend that the state must give the list of registration mismatches to local election boards so that challenges can be made on election day. Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio Secretary of State, contends that HAVA gives no guidance on what to do about mismatches. She also contends that even if the data isn’t a 100% match, it can’t be used to keep someone from voting.

The type of mismatches included missing middle names, someone failed to put in a change of address so the address doesn’t match, their name is misspelled or the different databases hold different information. None of issues would prevent that person from voting – that is even with the data mismatch the voter was eligible to vote.

State Republicans believe these mismatches should be used to keep that person from voting – that the person isn’t eligible to vote. They filed a lawsuit to force Brunner to turn over the mismatches to the local boards. Through appeals, the case was sent to the US Supreme Court. The court didn’t rule on the merits of the case (who was correct) only that private groups couldn’t sue for enforcement of HAVA. So now the GOP wants the Department of Justice involved.

They claim Brunner is attempting to hide voter fraud but the real point is to force those voters to fill out provisional ballots.

In 2006, nationwide, only 60% of provisional ballots were counted. In Ohio, where the poll numbers show a close race for President, keeping 20% of questionable voters from having their votes counted would affect the outcome of the overall vote in the state. In fact the GOP only need to suppress 5 to 6 percent. After they get those voters to cast provisional ballots then they can fight how they are counted.

Late last week Secretary Brunner issued a directive on how to handle and count provisional ballots for this election so hopefully the GOP efforts, if successfully, won’t keep large numbers of people from having their vote counted. Currently there are 200,000 registrations that have mismatched data out of 600,000 new registrations.

The other point of their efforts is to cast a bad light on the election if their candidate loses. They can claim the election was “stolen”.

Another side issue is the efforts of some extremists – either Republicans or sympathetic to Republicans – have now taken to trying to hack the state election website and to mail in or call in death threats to Secretary Brunner. In fact one man has been arrested so far for making threats.

But this is a classic operation from the right – intimidations, threats, and loud protests – used to get their way. It all reminds me of efforts in fascist 3rd world countries where voters are threatened of killed for exercising their duty. The Republicans can’t just let the normal civil court actions take place they have to cause trouble.

Real sad.

Side Note

Election Law Blog has more information on this issue and others around the country.

2008 Election Burn Out Not My Fault

A friend of mine, on an e-mail list in which I participate, asked us what we thought of the recent GOP presidential candidate debates. I made a snide comment: “There was a debate last night?”

She said that one of those men could be the next the President so I should care.

I don’t and here’s why:

I am not a member of any party so anything having to do with choosing any party ticket is not relevant to me.

My concern is from Labor Day weekend 2008 to November 2008 when the two people we are forced to choose from will be on my ballot and their final messages will be out.

I’m guessing that Hillary and Rudy will be the two evils I will have to choose from when I really want to vote for Obama since I can’t vote for Pete Stark since he is not running.

But, Doug, how do you know it is going to be Senator Clinton and Rudy Giuliani in 2008?

I’ve seen it before. The Democrats seem to let conservative “hit” men and their media lackeys pick their candidate. Back in the 2004 elections, the populist candidate was Howard Dean. He had the buzz and the money. The GOP was scared so they and their media flunkies destroyed him. They got the candidate they wanted in John Kerry.

Basically they want someone to run against who they can smear effectively. They had pretty much nothing on Dean but tons on Kerry.

In recent weeks there have been 3 or 4 books released by conservatives about Senator Clinton. All of them rehash falsehoods from the time her husband was President. The GOP HATE Senator Clinton and they know if she is the Dem nominee they can solidify their base like they did against Kerry in 2004.

Take a look at this article:

Wash. Post review misrepresents, conflates allegations in Clinton books

Until 2008 I really don’t care as it is out of my hands – right now it is all about filling time on the 24 hour news channels, in between stories about missing white women and out of control young Hollywood starlets. It seems they can’t deal with real issues that are happening in the world today that effect real people.

Like the Democrats caving to a President with an approval rating of 28% on the issue of a timetable to withdraw from Iraq.

or this one:

John Boehner- Hypocrite

When moralists throw stones….

Less than a week after former President Clinton handed the right wing their ass on Bin Laden and President Bush had more proof of his lies thrown in his face when the National Intelligence Estimate came out, a sex scandal has erupted in the US House of Representatives.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Florida) resigned suddenly after learning a report on his inappropriate Internet contact with a 16 year old House page was about to be reported on ABC News.

What made me bust out laughing was when I heard that Foley was a leader on the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus. He worked to help gain passage of the “Adam Walsh Child Protection Act of 2006” which, among other things, increases penalties for adults who use the Internet to discuss or solicit sexual acts with “minors” (defined as an “individual who has not attained the age of 18 years”). GOP leaders hailed this law as a vital tool in protecting our nation’s children against Internet predators.

Now one would think that the GOP would bounce Foley and stick to their scripts about “protecting children”, but it seems the speaker and majority leader knew back in 2005! about Foley and his obsession with male pages.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was notified early this year of inappropriate e-mails from former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) to a 16-year-old page, a top GOP House member said yesterday — contradicting the speaker’s assertions that he learned of concerns about Foley only last week.

Hastert did not dispute the claims of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), and his office confirmed that some of Hastert’s top aides knew last year that Foley had been ordered to cease contact with the boy and to treat all pages respectfully.

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post on Friday that he had learned in late spring of inappropriate e-mails Foley sent to the page, a boy from Louisiana, and that he promptly told Hastert, who appeared to know already of the concerns. Hours later, Boehner contacted The Post to say he could not be sure he had spoken with Hastert.

GOP Knew of Foley’s Messages

Any time an adult has some kind of contact with a minor of a sexual nature, people get quite upset, and the adult usually is vilified. Unless you are a Republican and your PR comes from Fox News:

Discussing the recent resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) with host Chris Wallace on the October 1 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, Fox News political analyst and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) claimed that House Republicans would have “been accused of gay bashing” if they had “overly aggressively reacted” to Foley’s allegedly inappropriate email communications with a 16-year-old male congressional page when House Republicans reportedly first learned of Foley’s actions in late 2005.

Gingrich: House GOP would have “been accused of gay bashing” if it “overly aggressively reacted” to Foley’s emails in 2005

On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume asserted that there is a “difference” between the Democratic and Republican parties because former Republican Rep. Mark Foley is “out of office and in total disgrace in his party” after allegedly engaging in sexually explicit communications with underage congressional pages, while President Bill Clinton and Rep. Barney Frank were not similarly reprimanded for their “inappropriate behavior.” However, neither the Clinton nor the Frank allegations involved minors.

Hume compared Foley scandal to those involving Clinton, Frank, ignoring key difference

On Fox News’ The Big Story Primetime, Ann Coulter claimed that reports that the House Republican leadership was previously aware of communications former Rep. Mark Foley allegedly had with underage congressional pages are “somewhat incredible,” asking: “Why wait until right before the election to let it break?” and dismissing such reports as gossip, saying: “It’s something you hear.”

Coulter spinning on Foley scandal


Brian Ross, who broke the story on Friday on ABC (US), is not one to report hearsay. More than one page has come forward and there are reports that pages were warned about Foley when they started their assignments.

Fox News is trying to spin the scandal like when they claimed that the abuse at Abu Ghraib was nothing more than Fraternity hazing.

So I guess we can add Republicans to the list of those who get a free pass on child abuse – along with Catholic priests.

See also:

GOP House leaders speak out against Internet predators