"You can't steal an election one person at a time."
October 30, 2012 11:33 AM   Subscribe

The possibility of voter fraud in the US has spawned a number of state laws requiring particular kinds of identification at the polls, as well as grassroots organizations that search public records to challenge certain voters' registrations . Much of the modern debate about potential voter fraud has been driven by Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow, former member of the Federal Elections Commission, and former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, where he worked on voting issues. Writing for the New Yorker, Jane Mayer describes von Spakovsky's influence on conservative groups like True the Vote, various state attempts to disqualify registered voters, and the lack of evidence for many claims made in support of voter ID laws.
posted by catlet (111 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I read the Jane Mayer article last week and was struck by how easily von Spakovsky's alleged evidence for voter fraud is taken apart as weak, out of date and outright false. It makes you wonder if there isn't a motive other than genuine concern over voter fraud.
posted by chrismc at 11:40 AM on October 30, 2012 [26 favorites]


At least gerrymandering makes no pretense to virtue.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:40 AM on October 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


"The possibility of voter fraud in the US has spawned a number of state laws..." i think the phrase is "voter disenfranchisement" or "voter suppression".
posted by facetious at 11:47 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


potential voter fraud

Which is about as serious a problem as potential chupacabra attacks outside polling stations.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:49 AM on October 30, 2012 [19 favorites]


I don't think it's the possibility of voter fraud that has spawned these efforts. I think it's the possibility of progressive voters going to the polls that has done so. The specter of fraud is just the justification given.
posted by lunasol at 11:50 AM on October 30, 2012 [16 favorites]


It would be interesting to see a massive effort to get everyone a photo ID card, then turn to the Republicans and say "Ok, problem solved, next?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:57 AM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's one simple way to deal with this, and that's a universal federal ID card. I don't see what the problem is, except for some religious extremists who are worried about the mark of the Beast. Every single person here has one, from the poorest to the Queen. Issuance of the card is compulsory, unlike voter ID cards or driver's licenses. It's not like a social security number, which was never invented for (and still isn't appropriate for use as) a national ID number. I guess once upon a time I found the concept unpleasant, but the truth is that even in America you need government-issued ID for almost everything. Why all of the beating around the bush?
posted by 1adam12 at 11:57 AM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


As a non-US observer whose country bends over backwards to count as many votes as possible, these voter suppression laws, more than anything else, make me pessimistic for the future of democracy in America.
posted by smorange at 11:59 AM on October 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Egg Shen: "potential voter fraud

Which is about as serious a problem as potential chupacabra attacks outside polling stations.
"

Chupacabras were never the problem. The Black Chupacabra League, however, is a terrifying threat to our democracy.
posted by boo_radley at 12:06 PM on October 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


They aren't really grassroots organizations, are they? More like they are GOP operatives getting funding and mission directives from GOP headquarters. Which is about as grassy as astroturf.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:06 PM on October 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


the truth is that even in America you need government-issued ID for almost everything. Why all of the beating around the bush?

Because the IDs are government-issued but not government-funded, at least not without jumping through hoops. The possibility of voter fraud is so remote that requiring IDs for voting is tantamount to imposing fees in time or money for the privilege of voting, effectively disenfranchising the poor or overworked. It is not beating around the bush to say that an ID is simply not necessary to vote. It never has been in the past, and there is no reason to require it now. This is separate from the issue of national ID cards. Even if everyone had an ID card, they shouldn't be required to show ID to vote.
posted by stopgap at 12:07 PM on October 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


Sure, let's give everyone a photo ID card. You think that will be the end of it? Next, they'll be lobbying for mandatory drug tests, like they have with welfare recipients.
posted by orme at 12:08 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


How long until the right wing starts arguing that absentee ballots need to be witnessed and notarized?
posted by stopgap at 12:09 PM on October 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "Which is about as grassy as astroturf."

Astroturf pretends at being grass. This is as grassy as a salt desert.
posted by boo_radley at 12:11 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


How long until the right wing starts arguing that absentee ballots need to be witnessed and notarized?

... with an exemption for the military.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:11 PM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


How long until the right wing starts arguing that absentee ballots need to be witnessed and notarized?

Come on now, that won't happen because once all these codgers die off marijuana will be legalized and we'll all vote by throwing flowers through a hula hoop.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:13 PM on October 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


How long until the right wing starts arguing that absentee ballots need to be witnessed and notarized?

Appears to be the case in Missouri already, for voters other than "overseas voters, those on active military duty or members of their immediate family living with them or voters who are permanently disabled and their caregivers".
posted by catlet at 12:17 PM on October 30, 2012


How long until the right wing starts arguing that absentee ballots need to be witnessed and notarized?


They already need to be witnessed in a fair number of states. Signature verification is one way to knock out valid ballots if your interpretation of the voter's scrawl on the ballot envelope doesn't match the scrawl on their registration form.

Realistically speaking, in-person voting is the voting method least vulnerable to fraud. The protection of a secret ballot is harder to enforce when you don't have election officials watching the vote casting.

It's important for non-Americans to realize that we have fifty different voter registration lists that are not coordinated at all, so the federal government can't simply issue a Federal Voter ID. Because we don't have any sort of national ID card, there isn't a comprehensive list of American citizens eligible to register. Not everyone has a Social Security number. Not everyone pays income taxes. Not everyone drives. And the more variance you give to the states, the more shenanigans they can get away with.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 12:19 PM on October 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Meh, we've hand this in vote early, vote often Northern Ireland for years and democracy hasn't crumbled. You just turn up with your passport, driver's licence, bus pass, student card, election ID card or basically anything you probably didn't print yourself.
It's hardly unreasonable to think that someone who operates in the modern world won't have access to some form of ID. How did they open a bank account, sign a lease on a place to live etc. It also stops allegations of voter fraud and means less recounts. If you're going to go to all the bother of going to a polling station chances are you might have some form of ID. If for some mind bending reason you have no ID at all, you can get an election ID card and the nice election people who are independent tell you this incessantly for months before the election.
posted by Damienmce at 12:29 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damienmce: " the nice election people who are independent "

This is sort of the problem the article's subject is working to correct.
posted by boo_radley at 12:33 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


How did they open a bank account, sign a lease on a place to live etc

A lot of people don't have bank accounts. I've never had to show ID to sign a lease, though I have had background checks done based on my Social Security number. Landlords really only care if they're going to get paid. Many people who don't drive never get a state ID, and I'm sure the number of people in the US without passports would be astonishing to someone from Europe.
posted by stopgap at 12:33 PM on October 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Van Spakovsky is a major turd:

But he cited a 2000 investigation, by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, of voting records in Georgia over the previous two decades; the paper reported that it had turned up fifty-four hundred instances of dead people being recorded as having voted. “That seems pretty substantial to me,” he said.

He did not mention that the article’s findings were later revised. The Journal-Constitution ran a follow-up article after the Georgia Secretary of State’s office indicated that the vast majority of the cases appeared to reflect clerical errors. Upon closer inspection, the paper admitted, its only specific example of a deceased voter casting a ballot didn’t hold up. The ballot of a living voter had been attributed to a dead man whose name was nearly identical.

posted by PenDevil at 12:34 PM on October 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


You just turn up with your passport, driver's licence, bus pass, student card, election ID card or basically anything you probably didn't print yourself.

This thread is inevitably going to devolve into arguments we've had many times before, but what the heck... homeless people have the right to vote. Destitute shut-ins have the right to vote. People who've lost everything in a fire on November 5 have the right to vote. Tailor your system to accommodate those voters.
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:38 PM on October 30, 2012 [37 favorites]


Voter ID requirements work to suppress votes even if you don't find the fees or other hoops associated with getting an ID onerous (as documented here).

Anecdote: I was living in a photo ID-requiring state for the primaries and local elections earlier this year. I forgot my wallet. I hadn't left much time to vote before getting to work on time. If I hadn't had someone at home willing and able to fetch my ID for me and bring it to me at the polling place, I wouldn't have voted in that election. "People who forget their wallets" isn't any sort of oppressed class, but momentary flakiness shouldn't result in disenfranchisement.

Anecdote: I'm now living in a state that has such limited DMV hours that I would have to take time off my paid-hourly job in order to get an ID. I don't have the resources to do that right now. If this state required a current photo ID to vote, I'd be out of luck.
posted by asperity at 12:41 PM on October 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is sort of the problem the article's subject is working to correct.

You have to have an totally clean electoral office, obviously it doesn't work without one. In NI since either side is mutually suspicious of the other they both make sure it's staffed by very dull, nice civil servants. No jobs for the boys political appointees.
posted by Damienmce at 12:44 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


"We made a mistake," Mary Siegel, a leader of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, who has been involved in a local Tea Party group, told me. "We’re just here to protect the voter. We have no idea when we look at the registrations what color or creed or party you are. We just look at where your property is and how many people are living there."

"So if there are, say, seven of you living at an address in what anyone in the state knows is a low-income area, why, how could we possibly guess your likely party affiliation that way, right???"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:50 PM on October 30, 2012 [16 favorites]


These are only grassroots organizations if you ignore that they are growing out of super subsidized bullshit.
posted by srboisvert at 12:52 PM on October 30, 2012


I note there are no similar Must Show ID laws for the people writing electronic voting software.
posted by odinsdream at 12:56 PM on October 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


"Hans von Spakovsky" doesn't sound like an American name to me.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:00 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


How did they open a bank account, sign a lease on a place to live etc

Having a bank account, flying on an airline, using a credit card and most of the so-called "common sense" examples in which one usually shows an ID are also not basic civil rights.
posted by Gelatin at 1:01 PM on October 30, 2012 [19 favorites]


Mysterious Docs Found in Meth House Reveal Inner Workings of Dark Money Group
posted by homunculus at 1:02 PM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Chupacabras were never the problem. The Black Chupacabra League, however, is a terrifying threat to our democracy.

Not to mention those ones that up from south of the border to steal all our jobs and have anchor babies.

Sure, let's give everyone a photo ID card. You think that will be the end of it? Next, they'll be lobbying for mandatory drug tests, like they have with welfare recipients.

Or mandatory DNA samples.

I guess once upon a time I found the concept unpleasant, but the truth is that even in America you need government-issued ID for almost everything. Why all of the beating around the bush?

A universal federal ID card would be the first step toward having the mark of the beast, and everybody knows the beast votes Democrat.

In some states it's probably not going to matter anyway because a mathematically "appropriate" number of even the voter ID'd ballots will probably mysteriously vanish.
posted by fuse theorem at 1:05 PM on October 30, 2012


What about just showing your Health Card? ...Oh, never mind.
posted by Bartonius at 1:06 PM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


The brilliant quote used as the title of this thread pretty much sums up - for anyone within or outside the US wondering - why this push is bullshit. Two reasons - double-scoop bullshit, if you will - are at play:

1. Voter impersonator fraud is so negligibly rare, in study after study, that even those who believe in voter ID laws (such as Larry Sabato, a political-science professor at the University of Virginia, quoted in the article) do not believe it is now nor ever has been a problem that even approaches the possibility of influencing the outcome of an election, and

2. The voter ID laws being proposed do not apply evenly to all people. As noted in the article: "eleven per cent of the voting-age population lacks the kind of I.D. cards required by the strictest states. Eighteen per cent of Americans over the age of sixty-five do not have such documentation; among African-Americans the figure is twenty-five per cent." You count students working for cash into the mix, and you have another swath of the (likely liberal) population who cannot vote.

The worst part is, voter ID laws don't even need to pass for these guys to be effective; they just have to engage in a massive push of registration challenges based on location and number of people in the household (which can most certainly indicate likely affiliation) in order to scare and inconvenience enough people to stay home, in the hundreds or thousands - and in swing states like Ohio, that can make a huge difference.

There is no voter impersonator problem; not now, not before. This is straight-up intimidation. I'm thankful there are courts knocking these state laws down, but as Congressman John Lewis said in the article: "it seems we must fight this fight over and over."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:09 PM on October 30, 2012 [14 favorites]


If for some mind bending reason you have no ID at all

Most people have some sort of ID, just not the kind of ID that the laws would require. Lots of people without drivers licenses have social security cards, veteran cards, student IDs etc. None of which would be permissible in a lot of voter ID laws. If you need any convincing that this is purely a way for the GOP to supress voters, there are some states that won't take the above IDs but will accept GUN PERMITS.

It is very, very easy in the United States to live your life without a photo ID. It's not like England (and other countries) where you need multiple forms of ID and other hoops to jump through just to get a bank account opened. There are millions of Americans who do not have the sort of ID that would be acceptable for the Voter ID laws but the ID they do have has been sufficient to get them through every other area of their life. And by total coincidence, these people often happen to be people who are young or poor or minority or any other demographic who often vote Democrat.

Not that any of this matters, because there is not a problem with voter fraud. Problems that I've read about are things like Felons voting, which ID laws would do nothing to prevent. And as the US has a colorful history of voter supression, I do think that we need to be extra vigilant at attempts to prevent people from voting.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:10 PM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I used to think that everyone had an ID, a bank account and a birth certificate. Working with poor people has totally schooled me. I meet people every month who do not have their birth certificates and who will be totally fucked when their state IDs expire and they need to renew them.

These are people who do not have bank accounts. they don't fly, they don't have credit.
posted by vespabelle at 1:12 PM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney Campaign Training Poll Watchers To Mislead Voters In Wisconsin.
"The training also encouraged volunteers to deceive election workers and the public about who they were associated with. On page 3 of the packet, Romney poll workers were instructed to hide their affiliation with the campaign and told to sign in at the polls as a “concerned citizen” instead. As Kristina Sesek, Romney’s legal counsel who just graduated from Marquette Law School last year, explained, “We’re going to have you sign in this election cycle as a ‘concerned citizen.’ We’re just trying to alleviate some of the animosity of being a Republican observer up front.”
posted by octobersurprise at 1:14 PM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here are the Georgia voter ID requirements.

I work with people who, demographically, are the rural poor. Most of them don't have the kind of ID needed to vote; they don't drive (or have lost their licenses due to DUI or other legal reasons), they work under the table or don't work, they live with friends or family. If you live with your kin, your name's probably not on the electric bill. If you work cutting firewood, you don't have an employment ID from a state, local, or federal employer. These folks might have a Social Security card, but that's not voter legal.
posted by catlet at 1:15 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bill Clinton actually tried to get a national photo ID passed through congress in the 90s, but the GOP foamed at the mouth about big brother and Democratic conspiracies and killed it before it went anywhere.
posted by braksandwich at 1:15 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


octobersurprise: "Romney Campaign Training Poll Watchers To Mislead Voters In Wisconsin. "

Eponysterrible.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:17 PM on October 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Big Dollar GOP Donors Funded Voter Intimidation Billboards
posted by homunculus at 1:26 PM on October 30, 2012


That von Spakovsky guy is utterly full of shit. I'm insulted he thinks he can lie his ass about his fake cause and expect me to take him seriously.
posted by zzazazz at 2:13 PM on October 30, 2012


That a non-existent problem has spawned the huge number of laws across the US is a testament to the power of the right-wing noise machine, which consists of "think tanks" like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute that manufacture talking points, as well as the well disciplined media gadflies like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity who trumpet the talking points. The scary thing is that these dolts are so incompetent that they use the same wording as the issued documents from the "think tanks" because they are incapable of even paraphrasing.

So now individual voter fraud, a problem without any evidence but that has the main effect of suppressing voting among significant numbers of disenfranchised Americans, has become a huge issue to the electorate at large whose only exposure to it is the simplistic talking points these generators of nonsense have created. I can admire the brilliance of it while I despise the intent and the people involved. Would that the progressive cause had as much resource at its disposal. Instead it depends strictly on straightforward pleading of its case.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:20 PM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mysterious Docs Found in Meth House Reveal Inner Workings of Dark Money Group

It's the classic Republican night out: Some crystal meth, some anonymous man-on-man action, and some massive electoral fraud.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:20 PM on October 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


ALEC drafted a sample voter-I.D. bill for other states to copy.

Fancy seeing you here.


Also, this:

Having a bank account, flying on an airline, using a credit card and most of the so-called "common sense" examples in which one usually shows an ID are also not basic civil rights.

is an important point. It's definitely the case that the barrier to voting should be way, way lower than the barriers to having a bank account, flying, and having a credit card. It's also not clear to me that one should have to identify oneself permanently in order to vote; one should only have to exhibit eligibility (by standards low enough to acknowledge the fact that this is very hard for many eligible voters to do; false positives here are not nearly as bad as false negatives) to vote in that jurisdiction.

It should be possible to have an anonymous voter database. For example, imagine going to something like the DMV, showing some proof of eligibility to vote (which is not recorded), and being given a ticket with a random number. A list of numbers assigned is kept, but with no identifying information associated to the numbers. Later, you show up to vote with your number-ticket, you vote, and your number gets crossed off the list. Only folks with numbers can vote. You can only vote once, because it's noted that your number has voted. Maybe the mint, or someone else with anti-counterfeit skills, can make the number tickets. By making the numbers sufficiently large, it can be made very unlikely that the random number made up by a (mythical!) fraudulent voter is even on the list. At the cost of slightly increasing the "risk" of voter fraud, the numbers could even be reusable in a certain number of elections, as long as you keep your ticket, so that busy folks don't have to prove eligibility in every election. The threshold for proving eligibility should be set very low. Under this system, one must be eligible to vote in order to vote, and can only vote once, unless one illicitly obtains tickets. All the while, it's unknown who voted and when, etc.

<hamburger> The main flaw is people buying multiple tickets from other ticketed voters and voting multiple times, but since the point of the whole thing would be to satisfy a bunch of right-wing crazies, there shouldn't be objections to this: the idea that the ability to buy votes entitles one to more votes would be highly attractive to the "hurf durf job creators" crowd, and in reality, I don't see that many more people would cheat in this way than cheat under the present system, i.e. apparently essentially none. The difference is that the (basically nonexistent) cheaters would be heroic John Galt types in the eyes of the sort of people who worry about individual voter fraud, instead of intersecting largely with the demographics they want to disenfranchise. <\hamburger>

As several people have pointed out, the actual problem is that having things like a fixed address, a job, a bank account, ID, etc. are not inherent preconditions for franchise. Someone with the right to vote retains that right even if they lose their (hypothetical) voter ID card. What system to implement to address the "problem" of individual-voter fraud instead of the "solutions" offered by those who would disenfranchise their neighbours is academic, though, since the actual impediments to democracy come from corruption and bad design in the electoral system itself. Nobody's inability to identify themself is the cause of those problems.

(My only quibbles with the quote above are that flying on an airplane by itself may not actually require ID, and that, in fact, unrestricted travel is a basic civil right for which one is often [possibly] required to show ID in practice -- whatever one thinks of that -- so it's not clear that civil rights are automatically things which one needn't identify oneself to exercise in practice.)
posted by kengraham at 2:20 PM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I always get a laugh when some jingoistic American claims that the USA has perfected democracy. Most countries in the world have figured out how to run elections properly. It's not that hard.
First step: Don't let politicians design the system.
posted by rocket88 at 2:32 PM on October 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


My question is, if voter fraud was so easy, wouldn't the most powerful, wealthy, best-connected people in the country be the most efficient at commiting voter fraud? We'd have had nothing but Republican presidents.
posted by Rykey at 2:52 PM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


My question is, if voter fraud was so easy, wouldn't the most powerful, wealthy, best-connected people in the country be the most efficient at commiting voter fraud? We'd have had nothing but Republican presidents.

The most powerful, wealthy, best-connected people in the country just donate to both parties.
posted by jaduncan at 2:59 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Floating around the fringier ends of the internet, A PDF report of suspicious patterns in the GOP presidential primary race with implication for the actual election. A case of voter/election/something fraud or a true exemplar of the art of cherry picking data to support a conclusion based on a chance pattern observed in a few races?

I have absolutely no idea, given the 'control' (I shudder to use the word here) analyses of Democratic races and races in districts with paper ballot trails. It was an interesting read though.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:42 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


PA IDs (can be requested but not required during this election):

Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (including the Department of State Voter ID Card)
PA Driver’s License or Non-driver’s License photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date)
Valid U.S. passport
U.S. military ID- active duty and retired military (a military or veteran’s ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date
Employee photo ID issued by Federal, PA, PA County or PA Municipal government
Photo ID from an accredited PA public or private institution of higher learning, including colleges, universities, seminaries, community colleges and other two-year colleges
Photo ID issued by a PA care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes

I own...three of these, but one is only because I work at a college. And ours don't have dates on them yet, because there have been supply chain delays in replacing them. My passport expires next year, and sure, I'll pony up the $100 or whatever to have it replaced, but that is not something that most people bother with. I do have a state non-driver's ID. It is not an easy thing to get, and it requires substantial amounts of paperwork and free time. I mainly use it to buy alcohol. There have been a disturbing number of mailings with wrong information, or billboards with mistakes, primarily targeted at likely Democratic voters. More importantly, no one in PA has demonstrated that the voter ID law is a necessary step to prevent voter fraud. Millions of dollars have been wasted on court cases, creation of promotional materials, and other steps-- money that, frankly, PA doesn't really have to spare. It is disheartening to see this growing as an issue-- an issue solely created for the propagation of strawmen, the disenfranchisement of the poor, and to incite distrust against fellow Americans. Very sad.

PS: PA residents, this is the website to check on your registration and other voter information: http://www.votespa.com/portal/server.pt/community/home/13514#
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:36 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well this seems like the place to put it:

Last Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada heard an appeal about whether to overturn an election due to irregularities in the votes - problems with signatures, mismatches between differing lists, problems with vouchees / vouchers1, etc.

It's an interesting read, and I find that the majority/minority really get into the reason behind the procedures we have set up for voting and how the procedures interact with the fundamental qualification for voting (aka living in the riding/district, being a citizen, and being 18+, full stop, nothing else). It can be a tough balance to make, and anyone who likes dry discussion of electoral policy should check it out. And who doesn't like that?!

1: Since there's no required pre-registration, we have same-day registration, and if you don't have documentation, someone can vouch for you; they can swear an oath that you are who you say you are / live where you say. Their info & relationship to you is recorded in case of problems.

2: As a side note, a lot of my friends from law school were casting aspersions on the ruling - the SCC overturned the lower court decision and let the election of a Conservative MP stand. And two of the 4-person majority were appointed by that government. However, I would say that's bullshit. Another of the majority is the most left-wing judge on the court, and there was no indication of fraud in the entire affair, just irregularities. So my friends are calling for voter suppression based on honest clerical error, because it lines up with their politics. Fuckers.

posted by Lemurrhea at 4:42 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


From the NYT article linked in the FPP:

Ms. Engelbrecht, who at 42 is younger than most of the Tea Party members she addresses around the country, said that until four years ago she was apolitical, a churchgoing mother of two who ran a successful oil field machinery business with her husband in Fort Bend County, Tex.

“Then in 2008, I don’t know, something clicked,” she said. “I saw our country headed in a direction that, for whatever reason — it didn’t hit me until 2008 — this really threatens the future of our children.”


Huh, I wonder which direction she's talking about?
posted by dhens at 4:56 PM on October 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


apolitical, a churchgoing mother of two who ran a successful oil field machinery business

Heh.
posted by Rykey at 5:06 PM on October 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Again I refer you to this excellent article, "How to Rig an Election", in the most recent Harper's, about the history and scope of recent organized electoral fraud in the US.

Google provides additional sources...
posted by sneebler at 5:55 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any argument that worries more about fraud than about disenfranchising voters is a problematic one.

What gets me though is that Republicans tend to balk whenever the government wants to build a database and require that everyone be accounted for and have ID cards. Their libertarian nature freaks out. But when it comes to having an ID card to vote they suddenly change positions.
posted by Rashomon at 6:23 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney Campaign Training Poll Watchers To Mislead Voters In Wisconsin.
"The training also encouraged volunteers to deceive election workers and the public about who they were associated with. On page 3 of the packet, Romney poll workers were instructed to hide their affiliation with the campaign and told to sign in at the polls as a “concerned citizen” instead. As Kristina Sesek, Romney’s legal counsel who just graduated from Marquette Law School last year, explained, “We’re going to have you sign in this election cycle as a ‘concerned citizen.’ We’re just trying to alleviate some of the animosity of being a Republican observer up front.”


Uh, what the fuck?
posted by odinsdream at 6:36 PM on October 30, 2012


Related: If you have any trouble voting, or notice anything irregular at your polling place, please call Election Protection - 1-866-OURVOTE. It's a nonpartisan organization and the mission is to make sure that every single person [who is eligible] can vote.

Disclosure: I'm going to volunteer for them on election day. (And they were very clear about being nonpartisan; they instruct volunteers not to engage in ANY talk about substantive issues, and to help any voter who calls. They really are there to ensure that people who should be able to cast ballots can cast a ballot.)
posted by insectosaurus at 6:56 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


(And they were very clear about being nonpartisan; they instruct volunteers not to engage in ANY talk about substantive issues, and to help any voter who calls.

Come on, this kind of wink and nod "nonpartisan" is ridiculous. Their "coalition partners" include the United Steelworkers, the SEIU, Progessive Future, Common Cause, Demos, etc. etc.
posted by Jahaza at 7:09 PM on October 30, 2012


It seems to me that the vast majority of the 'fraud' going on is due to incompetence of poll workers and this fraud is actually having the potential effect of disenfrachisement rather than allowing for multiple votes.

My FIL is a supervisor of poll workers in Texas and extremely meticulous. He had an instance where a woman showed up to vote and they discovered that her vote had already been recorded. It was discovered that there was another woman in a different county with the exact same name and birthday as this woman, but the poll workers did not bother to verify the address (which was obviously different).

The woman ended up having to vote via with a provisional ballot and she had to hope that the people reviewing the provisional ballot weren't as dumb as the other set who let her doppleganger vote in her name in the first place.
posted by Leezie at 7:34 PM on October 30, 2012


I don't argue politics with people in person any more, not because I don't strongly believe in my rather liberal views, but because I just don't understand American Conservatives any more. How can you argue with what you don't understand? How can anyone be on their side and sleep at night? It sometimes seems like everything they do is built upon transparent lies.
posted by quillbreaker at 7:58 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


7 Electoral Scenarios Most Likely to Trigger Armed Rebellion. Or, you know, a total cable news freakout.
posted by homunculus at 8:36 PM on October 30, 2012


Democracy in America is like pee in the pool. You know it's there somewhere, but you can't see it, it almost doesn't exist. Like a fart in a windstorm, I guess.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 8:54 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Still, every little bit helps, as the old woman said when she pissed in the sea.
posted by homunculus at 9:11 PM on October 30, 2012


It would be swell if all you American MeFites observed the polls as concerned citizens. Seriously. It matters.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jahaza, what is it that you think "nonpartisan" means? Unless you're aware of a sub-civilization of apolitical robots in our midst, everyone's going to have political leanings. "Nonpartisan" means taking steps to ensure that those leanings do not affect your actions, which is precisely what was spelled out in the part of the comment you yourself quoted.

My wife and I have been stuck in Miami for a few days thanks to Sandy, so we decided to help out a friend of ours who does election work for SEIU. You could say that her work is "partisan" because it disproportionately helps Democratic voters, but you could only say that with either deep sarcasm or deep naïveté.

The truth is, the voting system here is grotesquely broken, and has been intentionally broken along partisan lines. So her day-to-day job consists almost entirely of desperate attempts to unbreak that system as best she can.

In poor neighborhoods, people are waiting five to seven hours to vote. There is just no comparison between it and anything I, as a middle-class white male, have ever had to deal with. I would expect to walk away from a line like that with the very first iPhone 6 and a signed photograph of myself with every captain of a USS Enterprise. But nope, this is just the barrier we've put in place between disadvantaged citizens and perhaps their most fundamental right.

So you want to find out the SEIU's nefarious secret plan? Water. Bringing water to people waiting in long lines. No, not laced with any mind-control substances, even though that was my first suggestion. So then you'd think surely they're just offering it in exchange to people who promise to vote Democrat, but wrong again... they intentionally avoid asking the question, and no one gets turned down as long as they still have water. In fact, they're even bringing water to the polling locations that have more reasonable lines, even though those locations are just teeming with filthy Republicans.

And this is EARLY VOTING. A 105-year-old woman stood in line for SIX HOURS yesterday to SAVE HERSELF THE HASSLE of dealing with election day. Tell me a solution to that problem that won't get poo-pooed as "partisan" because it disproportionately benefits Democrats, and I will give you this unicorn I found, I think it fell off the back of a truck.

I'll say it before, I'll say it again. Getting between a citizen and their vote ought to be treason, whether that consists of physical assault at the polls, posting fraudulent ad campaigns to create fear and uncertainty, or passing policies that serve no meaningful purpose other than disenfrachisement,
posted by Riki tiki at 9:46 PM on October 30, 2012 [21 favorites]


So my friends are calling for voter suppression based on honest clerical error, because it lines up with their politics. Fuckers.

Calling for the results to be thrown out is not calling for voter suppression of any sort. There is simply no conclusive evidence that Ted Opitz, who is sitting in the House for Etobicoke Centre, was actually elected MP by the voters in that riding.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:56 PM on October 30, 2012


There is even less evidence that he was elected unfairly. Read the judge's narrative.

I don't want to make anyone cry, but I swear that in 20-odd years I've never waited more than 15 minutes.

Elections should be contracted to the Australians. Those guys really have it figured out.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:08 PM on October 30, 2012


There is even less evidence that he was elected unfairly.

That sort of follows from there not being evidence that he was elected at all, shenanigans or not.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:18 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's one simple way to deal with this, and that's a universal federal ID card.

That deals with nothing. It exacerbates the real problem of targeted disenfranchisement by pandering to the naked pretense that an army of fraudulent voters exists. The problem in the States isn't voter fraud it's ballot fraud: that is fraud by people manning the polls and controlling the rolls, discarding the votes of people whose ID is incidental to their status as undesirables.

I don't see what the problem is, except for some religious extremists who are worried about the mark of the Beast. Every single person here has one, from the poorest to the Queen.

Britons also seem to have little problem with pervasive surveillance, though political abuses are well documented. And you have little problem silencing dissidents with draconian libel laws. Considering your apparent ignorance of our real issues and your own nation's political imperfections I think we'll take our prescriptive solutions from someone else.
posted by clarknova at 12:06 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


This might be the place to mention that anyone interested in U.S. election law should read Rick Hasen's blog.
posted by univac at 12:29 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


one more dead town's last parade, could you clarify your remarks? I am reading up on the Opitz case and it looks like the court ultimately decided that based on the balance of the evidence, Opitz barely squeezed by.

That sort of follows from there not being evidence that he was elected at all, shenanigans or not.
What does this mean? The election data show his opponent winning? There are no election data?
posted by dhens at 1:22 AM on October 31, 2012


clarknova: Britons also seem to have little problem with pervasive surveillance, though political abuses are well documented. And you have little problem silencing dissidents with draconian libel laws. Considering your apparent ignorance of our real issues and your own nation's political imperfections I think we'll take our prescriptive solutions from someone else.

The UK doesn't have a national ID card scheme. It was quite a big story.

It looks like the person you're replying to is actually in the Netherlands, which is one of the many other European countries with a monarchy. I am looking forward to your scathing indictment of their political system as well, however.
posted by smcg at 1:51 AM on October 31, 2012


What does this mean?

The margin was 26 votes, and it's not clear whether about 75 of the votes were legitimately cast (some people may have voted twice, and some people who should have voted in a different race may have voted in Etobicoke Centre instead).

A by-election would not actually change the balance of power in the House. The prime minister could have put an end to this by calling one.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:10 AM on October 31, 2012


How did they open a bank account, sign a lease on a place to live etc.

So I guess you're saying that someone who doesn't drive, lives hand to mouth without a bank account, and who rents a cheap apartment where the landlord doesn't give a damn, shouldn't be allowed to vote? This is lazy middle class suburbocentric thinking. "What, no ID?? How did they sign up for their Time Warner Cable/Internet/Digital Phone bundle and get insurance for their SUV???!!?"

But if this election season has taught us anything, it's that the "Middle Class (TM)" is the only thing that matters.
posted by aught at 5:21 AM on October 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The possibility of voter fraud

ITYM the overblown grandstanding right-wingers do as slight of hand to distract the media away from their own behind the scenes attempts to rig elections via electronic voting machines.
posted by aught at 5:24 AM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know my opinion on these matters is not shared by everyone on Metafilter, but the current circumstances in my state suggest that a photo ID requirement for voters would be a plus. The eastern portion of my state has long suffered from voter fraud. Last month, a state legislator representing that area pled guilty to voter fraud and resigned his seat. A few years before that, a state senator's election was unanimously found by a bipartisan legislative committee to be "flagrant" with fraud. As a general matter, I tend to think that our voting system is so porous and so open to fraud that we have no realistic idea of its scope. Closer monitoring of voting behavior as a general matter would not only block certain types of voter fraud, but would give policymakers a much better idea of the different types of risks such policies create (that is, there's a risk of voter suppression, but there's also a risk of letting illegal votes dilute legal ones). Finally, given that the history of establishing voter ID rules seems to create higher numbers of black and Democratic votes being cast and counted (see, e.g., Georgia and Indiana), the fear of voter ID requirements hampering people from voting seems to me to be highly overblown.
posted by Mr. Justice at 8:18 AM on October 31, 2012


Dead Town: did you read the judgement?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:24 AM on October 31, 2012


Mr. Justice: "The eastern portion of my state has long suffered from voter fraud. Last month, a state legislator representing that area pled guilty to voter fraud and resigned his seat.

Please to be explaining how a voter ID requirement would have prevented Mr. Hallum from destroying absentee ballots and/or buying votes of legitimately-registered voters, or the mishandling/destruction of ballots in the state senate race.

Finally, given that the history of establishing voter ID rules seems to create higher numbers of black and Democratic votes being cast and counted (see, e.g., Georgia and Indiana), the fear of voter ID requirements hampering people from voting seems to me to be highly overblown."

Can I get a cite for that, and hopefully one that's not a textbook case of post hoc ergo propter hoc analysis?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:25 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dead Town: did you read the judgement?

No; the facts were heard in the lower court.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2012


Because the IDs are government-issued but not government-funded, at least not without jumping through hoops.

I think that's a problem. You need an ID to do nearly anything these days, including getting an on-the-level job (form I-9), an I think that's very unlikely to change. Not having one is severely limiting.

At the very least there needs to be an easy-to-access government agency that's empowered to expend the resources and jump through the hoops to prove that an ID-less person is who they say they are and provide them with an all-purpose ID (gov. issued, proof of citizenship, with photo).
posted by cosmic.osmo at 9:01 AM on October 31, 2012


I don't want to make anyone cry, but I swear that in 20-odd years I've never waited more than 15 minutes.

That is primarily because of the difference in government organization in the U.S. and Canada. A U.S. ballot may have 50 to 100 voting items on it and runs many pages. It looks more like an SAT test than a ballot.

The voters information pamphlet may run 150 to 200 pages. There will be one pamphlet for the state and another for the county. In the U.S. you may vote for, among others:

President
U.S. Senator
U.S. Congressman
State Governor
Lt. Governor
Secretary of State
State Treasurer
State Auditor
State Attorney General
Commissioner of Public Lands
State Superintendent of Schools
Insurance Commissioner
State Legislators
State Supreme Court Judges
County Sheriff
County Commissioners
City Mayor
City council members
Local school board members
A bunch of local judges
A bunch of local tax levies
A dozen state initiatives
... and many more.

This is totally nuts. Most people have no idea what or whom they are voting for. Most of these should be appointed positions -- you vote for the person at the top and they make the appointments. Initiatives and taxes should be handled by the legislature, not individual votes.
posted by JackFlash at 9:27 AM on October 31, 2012


Wisconsin and the Case of the Disappearing Billboards
posted by homunculus at 10:17 AM on October 31, 2012


This is totally nuts. Most people have no idea what or whom they are voting for. Most of these should be appointed positions -- you vote for the person at the top and they make the appointments.

This is part of why we have political parties. You get a stamp of approval on the candidate, in some ways similar to the appointment system, but also the opportunity to vote them out individually if necessary and the possibility of splitting a ticket in a way you couldn't if you had all appointments based on who wins the top spot.
posted by Jahaza at 11:50 AM on October 31, 2012


Please to be explaining how a voter ID requirement would have prevented Mr. Hallum from destroying absentee ballots and/or buying votes of legitimately-registered voters, or the mishandling/destruction of ballots in the state senate race.

I'm afraid Mr. Justice is performing a one-man show mimicking a Republican-talking-point bot. Basically, I've seen this discussion repeated time and again, with the same "voter-fraud/picture-ID" bot on the one side whose talking points get shot down in the exactly the same way without any comeback, only to be repeated blithely in the next exchange. The amount of dishonesty in this way of promoting a point of view has become the hallmark of the Republican/right-wing political agenda. They no longer even attempt to argue factually or logically anymore, now that they're rediscovered Goebbels.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:27 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want to make anyone cry, but I swear that in 20-odd years I've never waited more than 15 minutes.

Neither have I and I live in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, USA. Of course, our Republicans are promoting an amendment to the state constitution (because a law would be vetoed by our excellent governor, Mark Dayton) to require picture ID for voters so that this wonderful state of affairs will come to an end, at least in areas of town where those people live.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:30 PM on October 31, 2012


One odd thing about this type of discussion is that advocates become so certain that they are correct that they don't bother considering the possibility that others might legitimately disagree with them. Two separate posters have now asked how a voter ID requirement would block voter fraud. For some reason, they overlooked what I said in my original post: "Closer monitoring of voting behavior as a general matter would not only block certain types of voter fraud, but would give policymakers a much better idea of the different types of risks such policies create (that is, there's a risk of voter suppression, but there's also a risk of letting illegal votes dilute legal ones)." Surely it is not so hard to understand how increased regulation of a system that is shot through with fraud might also block other kinds of fraudulent conduct of which we are currently unaware.

@Mental Wimp: thanks for comparing me to a bot and a Nazi, and explaining how dishonest I am. As far as I can tell, you have no grounds whatsoever to say any of this. None of these personal attacks demonstrate anything whatsoever about me or the factual basis of what I believe.

@tonycpsu: you'd have to read Spakovsky's work for the data you want (yes, yes, I know that we're supposed to treat what he has written with extraordinary skepticism, him being a Republican and all). But the short story is that you see large hikes in #s of votes cast by Democrats and blacks in Indiana and Georgia (after voter ID passed), but not in the demographically similar states of Illinois and Mississippi (where there is no voter ID law). If you have an alternative hypothesis to explain these facts, feel free to let all of us know. Reflexively accusing others of committing logical fallacies before you are familiar with the facts and arguments put forward is not especially convincing.
posted by Mr. Justice at 1:13 PM on October 31, 2012


Surely it is not so hard to understand how increased regulation of a system that is shot through with fraud might also block other kinds of fraudulent conduct of which we are currently unaware. [emphasis added]

The thing is that we know that voter ID requirements suppress votes to some extent. Accepting a known bad outcome (voter suppression) to combat a problem that may or may not exist (and so far there is little to no evidence supporting the idea that people ineligible to vote are voting) seems like a bad trade to me.

Even ignoring the problem of vote suppression, if you're proposing adding complication and expense to the voting system, it's on you to demonstrate why it's necessary. "It might expose fraud that might exist" isn't enough to justify that kind of change.
posted by asperity at 1:37 PM on October 31, 2012


Mr. Justice: "If you have an alternative hypothesis to explain these facts, feel free to let all of us know. Reflexively accusing others of committing logical fallacies before you are familiar with the facts and arguments put forward is not especially convincing."

You base your assertion that I'm not familiar with the facts and arguments on... what, exactly? Spakovsky isn't basing his arguments on political science research, he's basing them on claims from Ohio Republican House Speaker William Batchelder, who is citing data from Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp. And Politifact is not impressed:

Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder says Georgia’s voter ID law didn’t dissuade black voters from participating
Batchelder's office didn't get back to us. We put the question to William Minozzi, an assistant professor of political science at Ohio State University, who examined the effects of voter ID in a study published last fall.

"Correlation does not imply causation," he said. Georgia's increased voter participation is "the result of a lot of different things. I think you could call this cherry-picking."

"It's an obviously specious argument," said law professor Daniel Tokaji, associate director of Ohio State University's Election Law @ Moritz project, who testified against the photo-ID bill. "A lot of things affect turnout. The last two election cycles are ones in which the Democratic base has been extraordinarily motivated."

Both Minozzi and Tokaji cited the candidacy of Barack Obama, whose voter-registration drive in 2008 was called the largest in the history of presidential campaigns. The drive's biggest announced goal was in Georgia, where it aimed to register and turn out 500,000 unregistered African-American voters.

[...]

Speaker Batchelder was correct when he said voting increased in Georgia after its photo ID law took effect. Suggesting that the restriction caused the increase is a logical fallacy that ignores important other factors and is unsupported by research.
There are a few things wrong with the Politifact analysis -- it defends the laws by saying they don't discriminate against minorities, when the real question is whether they're discriminating against Democratic voters, some of whom are minorities, but others of whom are just poor, elderly, disabled, etc. But the most charitable possibility for Spakovsky's telling of events (which requires you to completely forget about Barack Obama's presidency creating a tidal wave of Democratic registrations) is that the voter ID power grab causes an equal and opposite reaction on the part of Democratic voting activists to fight these laws by getting people to register. This is like saying that arsonists cause an increase in the number of people saved from burning buildings.

If you want me to take Spakovsky seriously, give me something that shows he's relying on true experts and not political hacks.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:41 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


@Mental Wimp: thanks for comparing me to a bot and a Nazi, and explaining how dishonest I am. As far as I can tell, you have no grounds whatsoever to say any of this. None of these personal attacks demonstrate anything whatsoever about me or the factual basis of what I believe.

Yes, well, I just said you were mimicking a bot, and I didn't call you a Nazi, I called you a user of the original big lie theory formulated by a Nazi. In any event, if you bring long-ago discredited arguments and data to a discussion, there really isn't any point in discussing. tonycpsu covers this succinctly and well, so I don't bother repeating. Try to keep up.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:08 PM on October 31, 2012


@tonycpsu: you don't have to rely on experts or on political hacks; you can just rely on vote totals. It's a robust result that is true in multiple states over multiple cycles. The point is that the evidence refutes the theory that voter ID requirements cause voter suppression. Your theory is that there was a tidal wave of Democratic registration in states with voter ID requirements, but not in states without voter ID requirements? Why?

@Mental Wimp: I admit it: if someone says that I am mimicking a bot but denies that they're comparing me to a bot, and then explains that I'm using Nazi theories but denies that they're comparing me to a Nazi, I find that logic waaaaay too hard to follow. Feel free to explain how dishonest I am; as regards dishonesty, you've already demonstrated substantial expertise in that area.
posted by Mr. Justice at 2:13 PM on October 31, 2012


Where's the beef, Mr. Justice [sic]? Your post had two links to two stories about fraud that would not be stopped by voter ID. Where's this state-level voting data you speak of? You say "I have to read Spakovsky's work" but you haven't told me what part of his work to read.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:24 PM on October 31, 2012


Like I said, tonycpsu, you could look at Spakovsky's work. The papers he has written are on the Heritage website, or you could look at his book on voter fraud. You already mischaracterized his methodology in your previous post; perhaps you could actually read something he wrote before doing it again?

I don't understand the mindset of those who say that a photo ID requirement will not stop people who have committed other kinds of voter fraud. It's like saying "We know some people shoplift bottles of liquor regularly. However, they'd never, ever shoplift wine or beer!"
posted by Mr. Justice at 2:31 PM on October 31, 2012


I tried. Maybe my Google-fu is weak? Can a brother get a link?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:34 PM on October 31, 2012


tony, go to the Heritage website and look up "Spakovsky Georgia" and "Spakovsky Indiana". Come on, this really isn't that hard.
posted by Mr. Justice at 2:37 PM on October 31, 2012


Oh, I forgot, the Romney campaign taught us during the debates that think-tank blog posts are "studies", and therefore have equal weight with peer-reviewed research when trying to debate public policy. So maybe you're just using a different definition of study than I am?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:57 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Message from The Greatest Generation (NSFW)
posted by homunculus at 3:44 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


A 7-hour queue to vote should be unacceptable. You might as well deny people who can't take a day off the right to vote.
posted by ersatz at 4:35 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The New Yorker article implies that Hans von Spakovsky's mother lived in Nazi Germany during World War Two, and his father was a White Russian aristocrat guerrilla fighter against the Bolsheviks. At this rate, I can't tell whether von Spakovsky is supposed to be a Republican operative or a James Bond villain.
posted by jonp72 at 5:14 PM on October 31, 2012


[Folks dial back the insults and either decide you will have this conversation with the other people in the thread or email/MeMail if you just want to talk to a single person.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:28 PM on October 31, 2012


>Dead Town: did you read the judgement?

No; the facts were heard in the lower court.


The lower court decision is comprehensively dismissed by the superior court. The circumstances contested in each electoral district are discussed in detail. Almost all of the mistakes are found to be innocent: the will of the voter has not been violated; the voters intentions were not harmed; the outcome was not changed.

I despise the Harper government for a great many reasons.

Having looked through the Opitz decision, I am confident that there was no voting fraud. He really did win. Now, what about that Andrew Prescott lead? That sure looks greasy as hell.

Anyway, reading the final decision is probably something you should do before continuing to speak about it.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:20 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


A 7-hour queue to vote should be unacceptable. You might as well deny people who can't take a day off the right to vote.

I don't understand why it isn't a day off. It's a hell of a lot more important than Thanksgiving.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:22 PM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The lower court decision is comprehensively dismissed by the superior court.

That's a decision about the law, not about the facts. That's not how appellate courts work.

Anyway, reading the final decision is probably something you should do before continuing to speak about it.

Understanding how the court system works is probably something you should do before continuing to speak about it.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:16 PM on October 31, 2012


And after reading it, the SCC throws its governing principles to the wind and makes things up as it goes. I don't see a Bush v. Gore-style "please don't ever cite this as precedent" at the end, but it sure wouldn't be out of place.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:32 PM on October 31, 2012


Search For Mythical Voter Fraud Leads To False Sighting In Ohio
posted by homunculus at 8:51 PM on October 31, 2012


I don't understand why it isn't a day off. It's a hell of a lot more important than Thanksgiving.

You're just not in touch with the American psyche. I suggest starting with a nickname like ten tasty turkeys instead of five fresh fish.

one 'omemade 'amburger
posted by ersatz at 5:13 AM on November 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


[A couple of comments deleted. Try to stick to the topic, please, and gratuitous potshots at other users not so great either.]
posted by taz at 11:43 PM on November 1, 2012


I got yer voter fraud right here.

If only we'd checked the election worker's photo ID...
posted by tonycpsu at 2:20 PM on November 2, 2012


Is this thread about imaginary voter fraud being perpetrated by the dems and their Mexican hordes still being used to muddy the waters vis a vis ballot fraud actually being perpetrated by the elephants?

Is it?

Good. Because here's where I let ya'll know who's "winning" Ohio in six days. And it ain't Barack. Bless his heart.
posted by clarknova at 4:56 PM on November 2, 2012


Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law: Former GOP chair, governor - both on outs with party - say voter fraud wasn’t a concern, but reducing Democratic votes was.
posted by homunculus at 1:31 PM on November 26, 2012


Having looked through the Opitz decision, I am confident that there was no voting fraud. He really did win. Now, what about that Andrew Prescott lead? That sure looks greasy as hell.

Anyway, reading the final decision is probably something you should do before continuing to speak about it.


I have, and I've gone through law school in Canada. Can I comment? Because I agree with one more dead town's last parade. Sometimes the dissent gets it right.
posted by smorange at 12:09 AM on November 29, 2012


It was good to be so absolutely and utterly wrong. I wonder what happened.
posted by clarknova at 3:20 AM on November 29, 2012


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