"It's Jim Crow all over again."
October 30, 2014 11:48 AM   Subscribe

There are 6,951,484 names on the target list of the 28 states in the Crosscheck group; each of them represents a suspected double voter whose registration has now become subject to challenge and removal. According to a 2013 presentation by Kobach to the National Association of State Election Directors, the program is a highly sophisticated voter-fraud-detection system. The sample matches he showed his audience included the following criteria: first, last and middle name or initial; date of birth; suffixes; and Social Security number, or at least its last four digits.

That was the sales pitch. But the actual lists show that not only are middle names commonly mismatched and suffix discrepancies ignored, even birthdates don’t seem to have been taken into account. Moreover, Crosscheck deliberately ignores Social Security mismatches, in the few instances when the numbers are even collected. The Crosscheck instructions for county election officers state, “Social Security numbers are included for verification; the numbers might or might not match.”

In practice, all it takes to become a suspect is sharing a first and last name with a voter in another state.
The [Crosscheck] lists are heavily weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim — ones common among minorities, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, fully 1 in 7 African-Americans in those 27 states, plus the state of Washington (which enrolled in Crosscheck but has decided not to utilize the results), are listed as under suspicion of having voted twice. This also applies to 1 in 8 Asian-Americans and 1 in 8 Hispanic voters. White voters too — 1 in 11 — are at risk of having their names scrubbed from the voter rolls, though not as vulnerable as minorities.

If even a fraction of those names are blocked from voting or purged from voter rolls, it could alter the outcome of next week’s electoral battle for control of the U.S. Senate — and perhaps prove decisive in the 2016 presidential vote count.
posted by Atom Eyes (121 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
 
These people are despicable quasi-fascists. You're either for maximizing the franchise, or you must in some wise believe that some animals are more equal than others. I honestly don't see a third option.

The fact that this has gotten any traction in the US is a grave and tragic indictment of how far the country's gotten from its radical roots, and a deeply troubling signal of where the country is likely going from here.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:55 AM on October 30, 2014 [52 favorites]


The fact that they aren't even really attempting to disguise massive voter disenfranchisement is really breathtaking, isn't it?

I suppose when both the tide of demographics and culture are so overwhelmingly against you, you take what tools are left.

The Republican Party has got about one good election left in them, and then they become a regional party of angry old white people. They'll never elect another President in their current state.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:58 AM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


For the "Social Security numbers might or might not match" bit, as someone who has worked with messy EHR demographics data in the past, you can expect to see a lot of 111-11-1111 or 123-45-6789 or 999-99-9999 type stuff. To me, that one specific thing is not a political or ethical issue so much as a data integrity issue.
posted by oceanjesse at 11:59 AM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


In practice, all it takes to become a suspect is sharing a first and last name with a voter in another state.

I think it takes a bit of racism, too.
posted by tommasz at 12:00 PM on October 30, 2014 [25 favorites]


Please Don't Vote
posted by cjorgensen at 12:01 PM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


Not agreeing with the third option is different than not seeing it. It's entirely reasonable to be concerned about people voting in multiple states and want to have some system to stop it. But any such system is going to, by its nature, be inherently flawed. People sometimes have two middle names and use them interchangeably on different government forms. People sometimes fill out their social security numbers wrong.

Though my work doesn't involve elections, it's often necessary for me to see which systems of benefits clients have accessed - and we frequently see misspellings, even of people's own names, etc. So if you're having a computer go through these lists, it's going to be really, really hard to accurately ping everyone, without missing some people.

A better system would be to have the computer generate a list, and then have humans who can judge these things more finely go over said list and decide who actually needs to be eliminated. Computers are just not up to those kinds of judgments yet.
posted by corb at 12:03 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Massive amounts of infrastructure, all to prevent 30 possible incidents in over a billion votes.

So can we have this in place for healthcare and education now? Or is it just OK when it's in place to disenfranchise "those people"?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:06 PM on October 30, 2014 [19 favorites]


It's entirely reasonable to be concerned about people voting in multiple states and want to have some system to stop it.

We have a system for that, it's called, "Voter fraud is a felony." So, people generally avoid it.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:07 PM on October 30, 2014 [69 favorites]


For all the Republican party claims to care about lowering government waste, they appear to be completely inept at doing so.
posted by muddgirl at 12:08 PM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


"...If even a fraction of those names are blocked from voting or purged from voter rolls, it could alter the outcome of next week’s electoral battle for control of the U.S. Senate ..."

The voter can still cast a provisional ballot. Please stop spreading misinformation.
posted by republican at 12:08 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Now that's fresh!
posted by Navelgazer at 12:09 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


The voter can still cast a provisional ballot. Please stop spreading misinformation.

The not-really-a-ballot is not really a ballot.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:09 PM on October 30, 2014 [66 favorites]


corb: " It's entirely reasonable to be concerned about people voting in multiple states"

No, it really isn't. How would that work, vote in one state then drive over to the other state? Who would go through that much trouble for one fucking vote, where if you're caught it's a bajillion dollars fine plus jail time?

There have been approximately 30 cases of voting fraud - voting for someone else - in the past ten years worth of elections. Purging the rolls of lots and lots of (mostly Dem) voters to "solve" a problem that doesn't exist is like spraying a crowded room with gunfire to kill a gnat in a bunker the next town over.
posted by notsnot at 12:10 PM on October 30, 2014 [84 favorites]


Nope, sorry: when you're talking about numbers on the scale of 3.1 x 10^-8 chance of a vote being fraudulent, it is not in any universe where decimal mathematics is in force entirely reasonable to be concerned about people voting fraudulently. This is about suppressing voting by "undesirables," plain and simple.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:10 PM on October 30, 2014 [37 favorites]


The voter can still cast a provisional ballot. Please stop spreading misinformation.

Let them vote cake!
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:11 PM on October 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


A better system would be to...

System Works as Intended.

Ticket closed.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:12 PM on October 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


I don't think people are always aware that some of these things are felonies, and they're really easy to accidentally do. For example - I recently moved and registered to vote in my new state. I was filling out the form to the best of my knowledge, but it was a little unclear, and I nearly filled out the "new registration, not a move" box, because a lot of emphasis was placed on "New State Voter." Fortunately, while I was chatting with the election worker, they realized I had moved recently from out of state and were able to check that for me - otherwise I would have been registered to vote in two states for this election. And I'm fortunate enough to know that it is in fact a crime to vote in multiple states - but I could easily see someone else who maybe filled in both absentee ballots to make sure their vote got counted, unsure of which one was the "true" registration.

These lists should not be used for criminal prosecution: many of the individuals who are double registered are probably not trying to commit fraud. But we have a weird and convoluted voting system that hasn't really caught up yet to the fact that our population today is highly mobile. See, for example, the way of verifying registration in sending cards to people's addresses. It's designed for an era with a lot less mobility than currently. It'd be better, if, say, every time you interacted with a government agency, you could check "I am still voting at this location" or somesuch, so that these checks took place routinely throughout life and not just as a single mailer.
posted by corb at 12:13 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Republican Party has got about one good election left in them, and then they become a regional party of angry old white people. They'll never elect another President in their current state.

If they're taking over lots of governorships and state legislatures, have the US House, have controlled enough redistricting processes to ensure the House for a generation, are likely to take the Senate, have full intentions on filibustering everything possible (and particularly Presidential appointments) during Obama's final years, and arguably have a Supreme Court leaning their way in non-social issues... as well as having an opposition President in Obama who's proven himself willing to put Social Security on the table... do they NEED a President?
posted by delfin at 12:14 PM on October 30, 2014 [31 favorites]


It's entirely reasonable to be concerned about people voting in multiple states

Nope. You'd have to think very, very little of people to think they'd spend their day doing this, and for so little an outcome.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:16 PM on October 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


but I could easily see someone else who maybe filled in both absentee ballots to make sure their vote got counted, unsure of which one was the "true" registration.

It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to devote government resources to prevent this actually-very-very-rare occurrence.
posted by muddgirl at 12:16 PM on October 30, 2014 [18 favorites]


but I could easily see someone else who maybe filled in both absentee ballots to make sure their vote got counted, unsure of which one was the "true" registration.

The burden is really on you to show that this has actually happened, and at the level to constitute a serious problem, before you go messing with people's right to vote. A story you just made up right now doesn't really cut it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:20 PM on October 30, 2014 [49 favorites]


I don't think people are always aware that some of these things are felonies, and they're really easy to accidentally do

Being registered to vote in multiple places is not a felony. As you say, it's really easy to do -- I'm almost certainly registered in multiple places with all the interstate moving I've done. The people pushing this are pretending that everyone (or at least many of the people) who is a double-registrant is a double voter, which they obviously aren't. And they are on purpose using this to scare people and to demoralize people (oh, you registered properly and fairly? oh well, now you have to fill out this provisional ballot. We probably won't ever look at them, and if you want it counted you have to come back later and prove you are who you say you are. Wait, you have an hourly job and no car? I guess voting isn't really worth it to you, is it?) and to spend millions of dollars to disenfranchise as many of these people as possible. It isn't an accident, and it isn't innocent.

By contrast, it's really hard to vote in multiple locations in the same election. I guess theoretically there are 1 or 2 people a year who accidentally fill out two absentee ballots, but there is absolutely zero evidence that it happens in more than single-digit quantities in any election (and not for lack of looking -- they have been putting their best people looking at this stuff for years and still can't find any of it). This is just terrible. It's not good intentioned terrible, it's just terrible.
posted by brainmouse at 12:21 PM on October 30, 2014 [48 favorites]


Not agreeing with the third option is different than not seeing it. It's entirely reasonable to be concerned about people voting in multiple states and want to have some system to stop it. But any such system is going to, by its nature, be inherently flawed. People sometimes have two middle names and use them interchangeably on different government forms. People sometimes fill out their social security numbers wrong.

It is entirely reasonable to ask questions about the possibility of people voting in multiple states. It is, however, not reasonable to not look for an answer to that question before implementing a complicated system to reduce the possibility of voting in multiple states, and, oh yeah, just coincidentally disenfranchise a bunch of non-multiple voters.

It is doubly unreasonable to ask the question of whether people voting in multiple states is a problem, then do the research required to determine that the answer to your question is "yeah, people don't do that," and then nevertheless proceed to implement a system to prevent multiple voting (a thing that you have already determined doesn't meaningfully exist) and oh yes just coincidentally also disenfranchise a bunch of non-multiple voters.

In that case, it is more than reasonable to question the motivations of the antidemocratic motherfuckers behind the scheme.

It is an odd thing about our discourse, here in America. We are to diligently pretend that everyone here is in favor of democracy, bending over backwards to find reasons that the clearly antidemocratic actions of the motherfuckers who aren't in favor of democracy are somehow actually in defense of democracy, or that their actions are only antidemocratic by some accident rather than by design. It's a silly discourse convention and I'm done with people who follow it.1

There are motherfuckers in this country who are opposed to democracy. They are powerful, they are rich, and they will stop at nothing to keep us from claiming our birthright. Let's not play let's pretend about their motivations anymore.

1: Which not to say that whether or not I'm done with a person matters — I acknowledge that I'm just crazy internet people.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:21 PM on October 30, 2014 [47 favorites]


So we're prepared to spend massive amounts of money to preserve the sacred integrity of the vote, just in case some bozo decided on a lark to commit a felony by voting in two different states, which would make zero difference to any outcome.

Got it.

I'm sure there are no objections to also abolishing antiquated voting machines ("hanging chads") and moving to a verifiable voting system using hand-countable scannable ballots instead of mysterious black boxes that can be reprogrammed in the field? Sacred integrity of the vote and all that - let's make sure it can't be tampered with, right? And how about some extra voting hours, and unrestricted early voting, and weekend voting hours, so that every eligible voter can vote without having to lose working hours?

What's that you say...? The wrong sort of votes might be counted that way? That's crazy talk!
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:23 PM on October 30, 2014 [41 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I'm registered in two states, but who has time to vote twice?
posted by empath at 12:24 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


> The fact that they aren't even really attempting to disguise massive voter disenfranchisement is really breathtaking, isn't it?

Yes, but still not as breathtaking as the how little most people seem to care.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:25 PM on October 30, 2014 [9 favorites]


The Republican Party has got about one good election left in them, and then they become a regional party of angry old white people. They'll never elect another President in their current state.

I wish this consoling old chestnut were true... every election I hear liberal sympathizers saying, "Not much more life in the old farts, really!" Unfortunately I see a lot of *young* white men and women marching in footage of tea party rallies (they will vote GOP by default) or spouting nonsense on the web, and the sort of disinformation the corporate media spews about everything from the economy, to supposed threats at U.S. borders, to uneducated "equal time" rebuttals to climate change science, to our overseas military misadventures, all encourage people to vote more conservatively -- and I don't see the media getting more responsible or competent any time soon in this post-literate era.
posted by aught at 12:29 PM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


Oh, we care all right, but what the hell is there to be done about it? You can answer the "vote fraud could totally be a problem!" people a million times and it's like you're talking into the wind.

I'm ashamed of ever having made a "vote early and often!" joke in my life. I think that kind of shit primed people for being ready to believe this is a problem that needs solving, and I sure don't laugh at that line nowadays.
posted by asperity at 12:29 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Committing voter fraud to prevent voter fraud. Nice.
posted by nikoniko at 12:30 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Previous and still open thread in which some of these same tired pro-voter ID arguments were made, with no attempt to engage with the many cogent counter-arguments about how it's farcical to devote resources to something that's not been shown to be a problem, and how these schemes are entirely about maximizing political gain according to the people actually pursuing it in the states.

To save some back-and-forth, I suggest folks skim that thread first to see if the same argument was made and summarily ignored, and if so, not bother wasting time tilting at windmills.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:31 PM on October 30, 2014 [17 favorites]


Well, one windmill, predominantly.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:33 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yes, but still not as breathtaking as the how little most people seem to care.

I am starting to feel like people will accept jackbooted thugs marching on the street and beating their neighbors up in front of their house so long as they have a cell plan, Netflix, and a nice new car every few years.
posted by aught at 12:34 PM on October 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


skim that thread first to see if the same argument was made and summarily ignored, and if so, not bother wasting time tiling at windmills.

Seconded. This is not even close to the first thread in which we've covered this material, though I guess the seven million names are new. Oy. How do we find out if we're on these lists? I've been registered to vote in three of the states that are mentioned as using this program.
posted by asperity at 12:37 PM on October 30, 2014


It's not like it's even all that well disguised. Some of the less subtle among them make noises from time to time about how only landowners should have the vote, or how young women in particular shouldn't vote, or how anyone receiving assistance from the government shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Or how corporations should have restrictions lifted on how they can directly influence elections -- wait, that one already happened. Carry on.
posted by delfin at 12:37 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


There are still people who believe mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients is a good thing, even though (A) in every state where it was enacted, the program cost far more money than it saved, (B) in every state where it was enacted, the program failed to find significant numbers of people using illegal drugs, and (C) in Florida the law was struck down by a federal judge.

This sort of crap is exactly like that, except with consequences much more dire.
posted by Foosnark at 12:37 PM on October 30, 2014 [23 favorites]


I am starting to feel like people will accept jackbooted thugs marching on the street and beating their neighbors up in front of their house so long as they have a cell plan, Netflix, and a nice new car every few years.

Fewer and fewer of us are able to afford those things.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:38 PM on October 30, 2014 [13 favorites]


As someone with a background in econometrics, I can appreciate the cleverness of this ploy. Make no mistake, this is deliberate.

Imagine, for a second, you were presented with a list of people, and wanted to create a dummy variable to control for minority status. Let's call it "minority". Now, the dataset you've got probably doesn't have race in it, and if it does, you aren't allowed to use that data. (Voting Rights Act and all that.) No problem, for the econometrician. If you can't tabulate something directly, you can always use secondary effects of other, known values to create new variables that get you a little closer to the filter we want. All it takes is a canny observation about the subset you're trying to isolate.

To whit: let's hypothesize that some minority groups, for various historical reasons, have less variety in last names than the caucasian population. ("White," after all, is a big and somewhat arbitrary umbrella that covers a lot of European groups, each with their own set of distinctive last names, plus you have a diversity of alternative spellings from the proverbial Ellis Island changes, etc. etc.) This means that the Jacksons, Garcias, and Parks of the world are more likely to have somebody a state or two over with the same first and last names as them than average. Great. So, let's create a new dummy instrumental variable that returns "true" if somebody in another state has the same first and last names as a given voter. We could call it, say, "crosscheck". Then, under the guise of preventing double-voting, we just drop crosscheck==1.

Of course, we aren't getting all of the minority voters - this is still a fairly weak instrument, after all, and it would be giving the game away if we got 'em all anyway - but just shifting the mix a few percentage points helps wipe out that pesky demographic drift we've been trying to control for for the past few years.

Aren't statistics wonderfully useful?
posted by fifthrider at 12:39 PM on October 30, 2014 [36 favorites]


For example, even though I have a rare last name (ie, not even in the top ten thousand), a relatively uncommon middle initial for a woman, and a moderately common first name, there was a woman with the same name down to middle initial in the *same county as me* growing up, and who still lives in the area. I'm across the country now, but I could easily be blocked by these people. I probably won't be, because I have a quite anglo-german name, but it indicates how easily it is to completely block huge numbers of 'the wrong people' by manipulations of these lists. Very few people have a truly unique name, so you just have to choose the names that match the groups you want to block.

And of course, who the hell bothers to unregister themselves when moving? I certainly never have, I just re-register in my new place of residence.
posted by tavella at 12:40 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


wasting time tilting at windmills

Uh, have you seen the size of the blades on a windmill? If those things ever got out of control they could chop up you and your entire family into little pieces! There should really be some kind of law to keep those things in check...
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:41 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The voter can still cast a provisional ballot. Please stop spreading misinformation.

How are provisional ballots any kind of fail-safe against intentional purges? If you have been purged from the voter rolls, your provisional ballot would be rejected, would it not?
posted by compartment at 12:45 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I remember a Florida Republican politician pointing out after the 2000 voter purge of mostly black voters, that hey, it wasn't discrimination because we purged some black Republicans.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's entirely reasonable to be concerned about people voting in multiple states

I'm much more concerned about people spending money to influence local elections in multiple states than I am about individuals actually casting ballots.
posted by Slothrup at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2014 [19 favorites]


Or to reword: wholesale election fraud is much scarier than retail election fraud.
posted by Slothrup at 12:52 PM on October 30, 2014 [11 favorites]


When Republicans complain about voter fraud, it is because they have good reason to know it exists.
posted by TedW at 12:54 PM on October 30, 2014


In a country where 40-60% of citizens can't be bothered to vote once, we have to go through all this trouble, expense, and side-effects to keep 30 people from voting twice?
posted by MrGuilt at 12:54 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


How do we find out if we're on these lists?
There is a search box in the article and you don't have to put in your first name, just your last name. That way you can find some relatives as well.

Also, check with your Secretary of State's office to verify your registration if your state doesn't have same-day registration.
posted by soelo at 12:54 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The [Crosscheck] lists are heavily weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim — ones common among minorities, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic.
I'm going to print out a hard copy of this, so that I can physically cram it into the gaping maw of the next person I hear bring out the tired "lol why do black people give their kids such weird names?" canard. At least Tanyshya Jackson won't be stripped of the right to vote by a goddamned partial name match.
posted by Mayor West at 12:54 PM on October 30, 2014 [14 favorites]




I'm trying as hard as I can to muster a bit of nuance in my reaction to this, and I'm coming up empty-handed. All that's left is a sincere @#$%$! THE REPUBLICANS GRAR. The people behind this list, and the people in favor of it, are anti-democratic and, by the lights of their own rhetoric, anti-American. I guess if you're a billionaire the position makes some sense. Everyone else in support of it is a dupe and a fool.
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:01 PM on October 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


Committing voter fraud to prevent voter fraud. Nice.

Something...something...village...napalm.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:08 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


The idea of voter fraud in the form of people voting multiple times in multiple places is indeed rediculous. Where in the article does it say this is the problem crosscheck is supposed to solve? How large of an effect can you reasonably expect this to have?

If you're going to rig an election, you're going to make up fake ballots cast by stolen identities, that's way more efficient. Incidentially, Voter IDs will not prevent this either, and electronic voting methods are more than likely going to make it easier. Does this happen in America? I hope not, because if it does it means we're a lot worse off than we think we are.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:10 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Please don't let this be a; "I can imagine..., It's possible that..., or What if...." debate with no basis in reality thread.
posted by rdr at 1:11 PM on October 30, 2014


From the Washington Post:

Could non-citizens decide the November election?

"...How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010..."

"...Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections... "

posted by republican at 1:23 PM on October 30, 2014


The Republican Party has got about one good election left in them, and then they become a regional party of angry old white people. They'll never elect another President in their current state.

Oh boy... I'm not the first to comment on this, but.. This clearly immoral, unconstitutional and "in broad daylight" move to disenfranchise massive amounts of the citizenry is an archetypal symptom of the burgeoning movement to transform the U.S. into a fear-motivated fascist state. It just seems so crystal clear to me that they are in fact poised to take over the whole Goddam Congress, already have taken over state legislatures of many states, the Supreme Court... sheesh, they are in fact poised to take over the entire nation quite soon, and boy will you be surprised at how much, much more pain than we have already gone through will roll over this poor stumbling land.
posted by anguspodgorny at 1:27 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


From the Washington Post:

Could non-citizens decide the November election?


Admit it, you didn't actually read this article, did you.
posted by Floydd at 1:31 PM on October 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


From the Washington Post:
Could non-citizens decide the November election?


From that same article:
We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.
It seems unlikely that Crosscheck would do anything here either, presuming this is even a real problem about which something need be done.
posted by cjelli at 1:31 PM on October 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


First off, the CrossCheck thing isn't an attempt to deal with non-citizen voting, which is entirely orthogonal to double-voting by voters registered in different states.

Also: More voting fraud FUD, a researcher backtracks, and surprising facts about suffrage
Mark Robison writes a fact-checking column at the Reno Gazette. He reviewed the claims made in "Could non-citizens decide the November election?", published in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage political-science research blog.

Robison concluded:
[I]t's a lone study on a controversial subject with data that even the authors admit is not ideal. It's fodder for discussion but not for fears of election fraud.

Truth meter: 4 (out of 10)
And then study author Richman replied, agreeing with the 4-out-of-10 truth meter assessment.
"We agree with your rating of a '4' because:"

A. Noncitizen voting might tip one or two extremely close races but is unlikely to tip the balance in the Senate, and certainly not in the House."

B. Science is a process of finding, validation, replication and rebuttal

We are at the very beginning of the process. Colleagues have raised reasonable questions about the data we used--problems that we acknowledge in both the study and the Monkey Cage. It will take some time and additional research to increase confidence in our findings."Asked for a reply to Hasen's comments, Richman said, "We agree with Hasen. More work is needed. We view our study as the beginning of the process, not the definitive work on the question. We will be posting a response to some of our critics on the Monkey Cage in a few days, and I encourage you to keep an eye on that blog for it."
posted by tonycpsu at 1:33 PM on October 30, 2014 [16 favorites]


LOL that Washington Post article is an awesome trap.
posted by muddgirl at 1:34 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Though, to be fair, 4/10 is probably a record high on the Voter Fraud Truth-o-Meter.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:35 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Republican Party has got about one good election left in them, and then they become a regional party of angry old white people. They'll never elect another President in their current state.

I really think, if we are to have any hope to change things, this sort of thinking needs to be stopped. The idea that, as soon as the old white people die, the Republican party is finished is sheer fantasy.

You know who becomes old white people? Young white people. And, believe me, the states are full of young white people every bit as conservative as those old white people. Those are the people you have to change the minds of if you have any hope for the future.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:35 PM on October 30, 2014 [16 favorites]


Anyone giving odds on "oh oops those people should have been allowed to vote" happening within a couple weeks after the election? Or even if this shit gets thrown out beforehand, nobody on the list being allowed to vote anyway because "oops, must have been a miscommunication"?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:47 PM on October 30, 2014


I have no problem with this as long as the penalty for disenfranchising a legitimate voter is exile for everyone involved.
posted by srboisvert at 1:48 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


And, believe me, the states are full of young white people every bit as conservative as those old white people. Those are the people you have to change the minds of if you have any hope for the future.

Alternately, we could not waste our time trying to change the minds of committed, unswayable opponents of democracy, and instead spend our time organizing pro-democracy people against them. It's really hard, but it beats living in a dream world where we pretend that our enemies are acting from good, pro-democratic motives and just haven't been properly evangelized into the democratic fold.

Some politically central people are bad and badly need to be made politically marginal. There are more of us than there are of them, but for economic reasons they've got their greasy mitts all over the levers of power. They are opposed to democracy, specifically because they know they would be marginalized in a democratic society. And the war between us and them — the war they started — is what defines our historical moment.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:55 PM on October 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


And don't think a Republican in the White House after 2016 is impossible. If Hillary Clinton is the shoo-in, she is vulnerable. If she follows the pattern of most 'shoo-ins' two years before the election, she won't be the nominee, and who will?

I was actually pleasantly surprised that even Evil Dick Chaney didn't seriously consider anything extra-Constitutional to prevent the 2008 GOP debacle. But then, he and W. really wanted to retire and didn't want a pseudo-3rd term. But if/when one of the current crop of Republican Young-and-Middle-Aged Guns gets into the Oval Office, you can turn out the lights, democracy is over in the ol' U.S.ofA.

Remember, my personal feelings on the GOP are molded by my mother, a Republican Women's organizer in lieu of my father letting her have a job, who pushed me to volunteer for the Committee to Re-Elect the President (Nixon) in 1972, where, as a young man with a car, I was encouraged to participate in a 'seniors outreach' program, consisting of going to nursing homes to fill out the ballots of disabled old people. The Republican "advantage among older voters" has been driven by voter fraud for over 40 years, people.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:57 PM on October 30, 2014 [22 favorites]


The idea that, as soon as the old white people die, the Republican party is finished is sheer fantasy.

Not to mention a little ghoulish.
posted by corb at 1:58 PM on October 30, 2014


I have no problem with this as long as the penalty for disenfranchising a legitimate voter is exile for everyone involved.
I actually think you may be onto something here, if you'll allow me to substitute the words "felony charges" for "exile." If it's a felony to fraudulently vote, then it damn sure ought to be one for wrongfully disenfranchising someone. That would be astonishingly awesome, and I'd seriously fly back to the States just to hear the howls. Anybody know a lawmaker that could start this ball rolling in their constituency?
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 2:10 PM on October 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


And don't think a Republican in the White House after 2016 is impossible

By this time next year, we will have inaugurated President Boehner. What happens after that, I don't know.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:11 PM on October 30, 2014


And don't think a Republican in the White House after 2016 is impossible.

Me neither. I also don't think a Republican in the White House in 2016 is impossible.

Hillary definitely is vulnerable. Plus, there's a large part of the Democratic base who just don't like her. And, as much as the right hates Obama, they hate her even more. Maybe it's the Clinton name, I dunno. But, I think a Hillary candidacy will bring the right out in droves.

The crucial bit will be whomever the Republican candidate is. Luckily, their primaries of late have been like piranha feeding on each other. Still, A Republican winning the White House in 2016 is not inconceivable.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:15 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


By this time next year
It will only be 2015.
posted by soelo at 2:25 PM on October 30, 2014


Well, Boehner is next in the order of presidential succession after Vice President Biden. Do you have some inside information you aren't telling us, Pogo_Fuzzybutt?
posted by Longtime Listener at 2:32 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Though Kobach declined to be interviewed, Roger Bonds, the chairman of the Republican Party in Georgia’s Fulton County, responds, “This is how we have successfully prevented voter fraud voting.”
posted by mudpuppie at 2:34 PM on October 30, 2014


Well, Boehner is next in the order of presidential succession after Vice President Biden. Do you have some inside information you aren't telling us, Pogo_Fuzzybutt?

Can you conceive of a scenario where a Republican led congress impeaches Obama, but somehow ignores Biden ? They've got as much real reason for impeaching one as they have the other. Besides, if they are in for a penny, they'll be in for a pound - the Republicans nationwide haven't been noted for pursuing their agenda half-ways, after all.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:48 PM on October 30, 2014


Can you conceive of a scenario where a Republican led congress impeaches Obama

Not at this point, no. Same thing for the stuff posted earlier envisioning a Republican refusing to leave office or Bush/Cheney seriously considering the same.

Honestly getting a little tinfoiley in here right now.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:55 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The voter can still cast a provisional ballot. Please stop spreading misinformation.

Ex poll official here. Provisional ballots are, by and large, wasted votes. In my state, elections are on Tuesday. If you cast a provisional ballot on Tuesday, you have until Friday to present any necessary or missing information to the registrar. Any validated provisional ballots are counted after the close of business on Friday. Any provisional ballots that haven't been validated are tossed.

The problem is the election was already decided three days ago. Provisional ballots aren't the correct answer to anything.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:55 PM on October 30, 2014 [25 favorites]


I appear twice on the cross-check list.

Frankly, I know I'm being under-counted.

(For the record, white male with common name. You may know one of my many doppelgangers. Chances are one in four that any of said doppelgangers is black. What a country!)

Can you conceive of a scenario where a Republican led congress impeaches Obama, but somehow ignores Biden?

I can't conceive of a congress impeaching Obama at all. Oh, there are some who like to talk about it, but like so many things, that's just fodder for the folks back home.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:57 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


The real question, of course, is why the Democrats didn't try to poison the bills that established this system with their own amendments.

My modest proposal: an amendment to ensure that dead voters are properly stricken from the rolls, requiring that all persons who voted in an election before August 6th, 1965 present themselves each year in person at their local DMV or registrar to demonstrate their continued existence.

Let's see the Republicans chew on that one for a bit.
posted by fifthrider at 3:05 PM on October 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


It's entirely reasonable to be concerned about people voting in multiple states

It's MORE reasonable to be concerned about the software running on the servers being corrupt. There is NO WAY to check the software's cryptographic checksum. Since the capability exists to disregard everyone's actual vote, in risk assessment terms, no-one's vote can be certified to be counted.

Your vote doesn't count because the system is rigged at the servers. Prove otherwise. Show all work.
posted by mikelieman at 3:07 PM on October 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


There are 24 other people with my first and last name on Pinterest. Honestly, I don't think there could be too many people in the US who are the only people with their names, and I'm not one of them even though my last name isn't among the thousand most common names in the US. And given that my first and middle names were in the top 5 girls' names in the US for several years, I think there are probably other people out there with exactly the same first, middle and last name as me. It's amazing that I haven't been disenfranchised yet.

But that's silly, because my name is way too white to get caught in this thing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:09 PM on October 30, 2014


This is like creating a task force to prevent the counterfeiting of pennies.
posted by sourwookie at 3:36 PM on October 30, 2014 [20 favorites]


I can't conceive of a congress impeaching Obama at all. Oh, there are some who like to talk about it, but like so many things, that's just fodder for the folks back home.

I'd like to believe that. But, well... Lets just say that after the past few years, I am more convinced of the existence of Unicorns than I am of a moderate and reasonable republican.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:38 PM on October 30, 2014


As stated, minorities tend to have much more common names -- Asian cultures have a much more narrow pool of names to start with for linguistic reasons, Black last names only started from a small pool of slaveholders, Jewish first names are almost all from the Old Testament, etc.

Another factor: people in college, or educated professionals, are much more likely to be moving between states for work or school. So they are more likely to be registered in multiple states. Which, again, is not illegal in any way.

I'm on the list 4 times, because I have a name that is unusual for Americans at large but rather common for people of my ethnicity (I have THREE Facebook friends with my first and last name!).
posted by miyabo at 3:55 PM on October 30, 2014




Cornyn is representative of the monied ruling class: he's an entitled prick who is oblivious to the fact that he's an entitled prick.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:12 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Methodological challenges affect study of non-citizens’ voting:

...

“If most or all of the ‘non-citizens’ who indicated that they voted were in fact citizens who accidentally misstated their citizenship status, then the data would have nothing to contribute concerning the frequency of non-citizen voting.” In fact, any response error in self-reported citizenship status could have substantially altered the authors’ conclusions because they were only able to validate the votes of five respondents who claimed to be non-citizen voters in the 2008 CCES."
posted by batfish at 4:25 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Cornyn is representative of the monied ruling class: he's an entitled prick who is oblivious to the fact that he's an entitled prick.

Give the man credit. He is not anything like oblivious to the fact that he's an entitled prick. He's not being clueless. He's gloating. He loves it, and he knows he doesn't have to care what the help thinks about it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:30 PM on October 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


There is a woman in my town that has the same first name, middle initial and last name as me and it's confusing for my local library so I imagine if my state implemented this system it would confuse them too and we'd both get purged from the rolls. I ended up meeting her finally at meetup type thing and it turns out we're polar opposites in our politics so I like to think we cancel each other out but still, I'd like a chance to cast my ballot anyway.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 4:35 PM on October 30, 2014


Wait! You mean Republican vote suppressors are lying? Who would have expected that?
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:41 PM on October 30, 2014


While I can get behind the idiocy of the blanket statement that there's no way there's a Republican POTUS in '16, just who did you have in mind?

The entire party still suffers from the inescapable fact that "Generic Republican Candidate" polls ten or fifteen points ahead of any of the actual candidates. The old guard is older than ever, and the young ones are too far outside of the comfortable Venn diagram. Although I'd much rather have a President Boehner than almost anyone else with an R in front of their name. I can't believe I just typed that.

Now, I'm not saying the Dems are all that much better, but at least they have what appears to be a plan, and the money to carry out that plan. Now that there's no Obama, and little chance of Biden, you slowly come to realize that most of the old guard Dems wouldn't dream of running against the Bill Clinton machine. You'll get a couple Kucinich-lites, and barring a health emergency or a Dean Scream, Hillary should get the nom, and hopefully the election in a cakewalk. (I seriously tried to look up how to properly address her, because I honestly give a shit, but I don't know if Cabinet positions take precedence over being an elected Senator, so I'll call her Madam Secretary, Senator, First Lady of the United States, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. (?)
posted by Sphinx at 4:48 PM on October 30, 2014


Just from a cursory Googling, concealed carry license fraud seems to be an actual thing that happens pretty regularly, as opposed to in-person voter fraud. There would be a hell of a change in tune from the right if a program to deal with fraudulent firearms licensing gave even the barest hint of accidentally disenfranchising anyone of their 2nd amendment rights.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:02 PM on October 30, 2014 [16 favorites]


Look, we had to destroy the democracy in order to save it. It happens, okay?
posted by uosuaq at 5:33 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Madam Secretary, Senator, First Lady of the United States, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton...

... the Unburnt, the Stormborn, First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, Rhoynar, and the First Men, Breaker of Chains, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons.

did I leave any out?

On the one hand, the Khaleesi I want is Elizabeth Warren.1 But scuttlebutt is that the DNC has let it be known among the big-name consulting firms that anyone who works with anyone but Clinton will never work with the Democratic Party ever again, and as a result of this, anyone else who could plausibly run (except for maybe Biden) would be years behind Clinton organizationally should they start trying to putting together a campaign. Shrug. I've come to accept that national politics is an ungodly horror show; what faint hope I have for bourgeois electoral politics is at the municipal level.

1: And yes right now I'm totally picturing Warren standing astride the corpse of a Goldman Sachs executive, feasting on his heart. Which she has torn from his chest with her bare hands. And it is such a good image.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:57 PM on October 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


leotrotsky: The Republican Party has got about one good election left in them, and then they become a regional party of angry old white people. They'll never elect another President in their current state.

did you not watch how close the last election was, you know, in 2012? In the grand scheme of things that's basically 5 minutes ago.

It was pretty much too close to call until the very end. I was in a bar getting shitfaced the entire time, and getting perpetually drunker as it seemed more and more likely Romney would win.

Republicans are done is a nice sentiment, but seems to be relatively incompatible with reality despite what we'd like to hope it would be.
posted by emptythought at 6:08 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


It was pretty much too close to call until the very end.

That's not really true, although it's a popular narrative perpetuated by the Republican party who sought to deny and ignore any sort of mandate Obama would want to claim. Obama won 332 electoral votes. There were only four "close" states - "Only Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia were decided by less than 5 percentage points" - even if Romney had won all 4 states, he would have lost the election.
posted by muddgirl at 6:17 PM on October 30, 2014 [11 favorites]


Buick, I'm all about Elizabeth Warren, but I don't think a presidential run right now really fits with her mission. And I don't think she's ready to be president...yet. Hopefully Bernie Sanders can pull Hillary a bit to the left during the primaries...
posted by uosuaq at 6:24 PM on October 30, 2014


Yeah, I don't think that the Republicans are done, and I'm getting the distinct impression that the election on Tuesday is going to be a bloodbath, but 2012 wasn't close.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:25 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The tracking polls are looking awfully fishy in Florida. I'm worried there's going to be serious fraud this election cycle, but not voter fraud. These guys are running a scorched earth campaign on our ability to make informed decisions and even to know whether our votes count or not, all to make us feel too confused and hopeless to stand up for ourselves. And it's been working for years now.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:29 PM on October 30, 2014




The Republican Party has got about one good election left in them, and then they become a regional party of angry old white people.

Parties do what they need to do to win elections. 6 years ago the Republicans were in dire straits and managed to completely reinvent themselves -- changing from a party of strong foreign policy to one of economic worries and isolationism. That got them back up to near 50% of the country.

As the country changes the party will change with them -- probably to a pure focus on conservative social values so as to attract a substantial percentage of Hispanics.

It is a mistake to think of either party as having one consistent platform that stays the same from election to election. Instead, they change their platforms to get as much of the vote as they can. As long as there are two parties, and no massive screwups, they'll both have about 50% of the vote.
posted by miyabo at 7:42 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


As the country changes the party will change with them -- probably to a pure focus on conservative social values so as to attract a substantial percentage of Hispanics.
The problem with that is that Hispanic voters aren't hugely socially conservative and are very rarely single-minded social issue voters anyway. I have no doubt that the Republicans will find a way to expand their appeal beyond white folks, because they aren't stupid and their survival depends on it, but emphasizing social conservatism isn't going to be the way they do it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:26 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: "but emphasizing social conservatism isn't going to be the way they do it."

Shhhhh! don't let them know that latinos aren't all identical to a stereotype!

Or, as someone more smooth than I put it, "Please proceed, Governor."
posted by notsnot at 8:53 PM on October 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


HOW THE FUCK IS THIS EVEN CONSTITUTIONAL?!?!?!?!?!?

Sorry for the caps but this is just appalling.
posted by wuwei at 9:28 PM on October 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


They really just don't even have to pretend to give a shit about the constitutionality of it, because even if lawsuits come out of this and they get all the way up to the Supreme Court and they find in favor of the plaintiffs, the election has loooong since come and gone and can't be overturned and these dickholes will just be on to the next awful tactic.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:50 PM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


During the Bush2 era, there were articles around all the time about the Diebold voting machines and their lack security and shady political dealings. Are these things still around?
posted by dr_dank at 5:15 AM on October 31, 2014


The voter can still cast a provisional ballot. Please stop spreading misinformation.

Ex poll official here. Provisional ballots are, by and large, wasted votes. In my state, elections are on Tuesday. If you cast a provisional ballot on Tuesday, you have until Friday to present any necessary or missing information to the registrar. Any validated provisional ballots are counted after the close of business on Friday. Any provisional ballots that haven't been validated are tossed.

The problem is the election was already decided three days ago. Provisional ballots aren't the correct answer to anything.
Seconding, though in my state it is two days, ie 5pm Thursday.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 6:10 AM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Diebold decided that rigging elections was bad for their reputation so they sold that division to another company. Hacking Democracy was a documentary about how terrible the security of their machines were. They even went down to Florida to check things out there. The film is really scary if you care at all about democracy. Perfect for Halloween!
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:14 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm going to repeat myself for clarity on this, "Your vote doesn't count because the system is rigged at the servers. Prove otherwise. Show all work."
posted by mikelieman at 6:19 AM on October 31, 2014


Show all work

I think the fact that there is no systematic discrepancy between exit polling (and other polling) and the returns provided by electronic votin machines is pretty conclusive that they have not been used for systematic voter fraud.

If we're going to say to the Republicans (rightly) "there's no persuasive evidence of in-person voter fraud at a level where it could plausibly affect election outcomes, and therefore it is illegitimate to institute legal and other policy changes in order to combat this nonexistent problem" it would probably behoove us to be equally wedded to the evidence when it comes to allegations of voter fraud which run the other way.
posted by yoink at 9:40 AM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think the fact that there is no systematic discrepancy between exit polling (and other polling) and the returns provided by electronic votin machines is pretty conclusive that they have not been used for systematic voter fraud.

Systematic discrepencies were reported in Bush/Gore and every election in Ohio, IIRC...

We don't manage risk by working backwards. For each identified risk, ( servers running untrusted code ) one or more policies mandate procedures that ensure adequate controls. ( of which there are none ).

When the links in that chain fail. the risk is unmanaged. Like the risk of elections being stolen by tampering with the server.

I'm biased. Back when I did government specialty banking, we counted 3,000,000,000 cents all the time, with a variation of less than a tenth of a cent. So, I'm not buying the 'we can't do it right' excuse when it comes to counting only 300,000,000 votes.

There's no point in worrying about a risk with clearly adequate controls ( voter fraud ) when unmanaged risks with no controls at all exist ( untrusted servers and networks ) , and are much more vulnerable and valuable as targets.
posted by mikelieman at 10:40 AM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


I think the fact that there is no systematic discrepancy between exit polling (and other polling) and the returns provided by electronic votin machines is pretty conclusive that they have not been used for systematic voter fraud.

Except that polls aren't governed by any law whatsoever and are usually sponsored and carried out by politically connected and interested parties. The same polling outfits the media uses also take money from political operatives. Exit polling/routine campaign polling isn't really transparent or legally accountable in any way. And there have been known examples of pollsters deliberately skewing results, so why should we trust an even less accountable system as our backstop for one that's supposed to be more accountable?
posted by saulgoodman at 11:16 AM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


In the context of all of human history, I think the impossibility of auditing the results of electronic voting machines is pretty conclusive that even if they haven't yet been used for fraud, it's only a matter of time.
posted by Zed at 12:50 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


In the context of all of human history, I think the impossibility of auditing the results of electronic voting machines is pretty conclusive that even if they haven't yet been used for fraud, it's only a matter of time.

Just like paper ballots have been.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:04 PM on October 31, 2014


Paper ballots are easy to audit. Being physical artifacts. Then it's more like "boxes of ballots end up in the Hudson River"...
posted by mikelieman at 2:19 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just want to mention about the voting in two states meme. The people that are most likely to fall into that category are those well off enough financially to have homes in multiple states.
You know. Summer home in Fl./Hi/Ariz. and winter homes in Vail and wherever.

Those pesky brown skinned Democrats.
posted by notreally at 4:39 PM on October 31, 2014


Yeah something I find funny here is that Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President, committed voter fraud, relating to residency requirements in Massachussetts.

Any Republicans or voter-ID apologists care to comment?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:52 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


And frankly, even if someone votes in two states so the fuck what? At no point could their vote count twice for one candidate. I don't even see the ethical objection to it as valid. If you have a home and community in two states, why shouldn't you be able to vote in both?

Republicans are such cowards.
posted by spitbull at 7:40 PM on October 31, 2014


spitbull: Republicans are such cowards.

eeeyup.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:42 PM on November 1, 2014


This is a good article. Thanks for posting it, Atom Eyes. I thought this passage was particularly good:
Butler invited Al Jazeera America to join a group of elderly African-Americans taking a van to Adamsville Recreation Center in Atlanta on Oct. 13, the first day of early voting. All were from a senior home next to Ebenezer Baptist Church, from where, six decades ago, King, Jr. led the movement for voting rights for African-Americans.

It is also, according to Crosscheck, a hive of suspected double voters, 10 at that single address. One of them, Joseph Naylor, 62, told Al Jazeera America that to save his vote he had to file a sworn and witnessed affidavit that he had not voted in both Georgia and Louisiana.“That is just total voter suppression,” Butler says. According to her, the idea of hundreds of thousands of Georgians illegally voting twice is “crazy. That is totally crazy, for someone to vote in two places. That’s kind of odd because we have a hard time getting them to vote [in] one place.”
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:35 PM on November 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's SO SIMPLE to do right, I'm -- I can't articulate it -- at the amount of effort to fuck the system up.
posted by mikelieman at 8:00 PM on November 1, 2014


It's SO SIMPLE to do right, I'm -- I can't articulate it -- at the amount of effort to fuck the system up.

It kind of depends on your definition of "right" though.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:40 AM on November 6, 2014


Yeah, I freely acknowledge that my background in risk management, audit, and remediation in the insurance, finance, and government banking biases my thinking towards "accurate" and "honest".
posted by mikelieman at 6:36 AM on November 6, 2014


my background...biases my thinking towards "accurate" and "honest".

I'm sure many Republicans feel that blocking 100s of 1000s of legitimate voters in order to prevent a single double or illegal vote is "accurate" and "honest," but I sure don't.

I agree with your larger point. It would be so easy to do voting in a secure and bulletproof way, but the patchwork of laws, special interests, and laziness leads to so many windows for corruption that we are essentially operating on blind faith.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:06 AM on November 6, 2014


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