Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Fraud of "Voter Fraud"

I saw a letter-to-the-editor in today’s Baltimore Sun that got my shorts in a twist again.  It was in response to a solid Leonard Pitts column on Sunday that called the black community into question for their silence on the attempts to dump the poor, the elderly and the young from state voter rolls.

The letter writer believed that these transparent attempts at disqualifying Democratic voters were actually valid, because someone found a couple of dead people and pets (dead and otherwise) that were registered to vote.

He also claimed that asking for an ID is no big deal because sometimes retail stores ask for IDs when you charge a purchase.  You can read the full letter, here.

After the smoke cleared from around my ears, I submitted the following letter to the paper:

Leonard Pitts was spot on, in his column about how people are silently standing by while thousands of voters are being purged from the voter rolls by Republican administrations, under the guise of ferreting out voter fraud.

Letters like the one headlined “Voter ID no threat to black civil rights, July 17,” demonstrate how twisted the logic becomes, to justify this blatant attempt at voter suppression. 

As has been widely reported, Justice Department investigations prompted by the Bush Administration turned up scant evidence of voter fraud influencing any national elections.  Yet we are to believe that the goal of purging a handful of names from voting rolls should take precedence over erecting barriers that keep thousands of poor, elderly, or young voters from exercising their Constitutional right to vote?

Is purging voter rolls in Florida really more important than the resulting consequence, where thousands of valid, legal registrations were wiped out of the system without verification that they were indeed non-citizens?  And we’re to think that it’s all just a big coincidence that these registrations overwhelmingly came from people that traditionally vote Democratic?  Please…

Another red herring is the bit about being asked for an ID at the store.  When shopping, if you don’t like the policy, you can shop somewhere else.  There’s only one time and place to vote in a given election.  To interfere with that right is to go against a fundamental principle for which this country stands.

Apologists also love to bring up the Miami mayoral election of 1997, which was nullified due to rampant voter fraud.  What they don’t mention is that the fraud in that case was due to the mass filing of absentee ballots.  Obviously, none of the Voter ID bills affect absentee ballots, which makes the “Miami” argument nothing but a red herring.

Obviously, ineligible voters should be removed from voter rolls, but it should be done in a careful, systematic way and carefully verified.  It should NOT be done in an election year rush, in a partisan attempt to influence the outcome.  As for requiring voter IDs, Mr. Pitts is right, that it’s nothing but a sledgehammer solution to a mosquito-like problem.

Sez Me, Maryland

Because I was trying to keep it short, I didn’t mention how easy it is for others to sit back on their big, fat, white, asses and decide what extra steps that other people should take, in order to exercise the same privileges that they have. 

Sure, you people without cars, or who are too old to drive any more… all YOU have to do is catch a ride  or take the bus down to the DMV and stand around on your bad knees for a couple of hours, shuffle some papers, pay your fees, and get your new State ID.  Meanwhile if I have to wait for a cashier to change her register tape, I’ll lose my shit on her and puff like Rush Limbaugh walking a flight of stairs.”

I probably should have cut the bit on the Miami election, but I already saw someone mentioning it in the comments online, defending that letter.  People love to grab at that one exception to “prove” that the thousands of other instances are invalid.

I also wanted to really nail down how obvious this whole thing is, this effort to suppress Democratic voting, and highlight the consequent twisted logic that conservatives are forced to adopt (in public) in order to justify the practice.  It amazes me how easily it happens though… If Fox says it enough times, the sheep believe it.

I’ll let you know if my little rant gets any traction.

Oh, and the Baltimore Sun is a pay-site now… no pay, no commenting.  I couldn’t even submit my letter online; I had to email it.  But at least you can still view for free.

In other news, just to end on a lighter note, I saw an article online about how authorities found a couple of bodies that had washed up from the Detroit River.  The heads, hands and feet had been cut off.

If this happened in Arizona, people would be screaming about Mexican drug violence.  Who are they going to blame for this one?  The Canadians?  Right, like there’s a gang of plaid-shirted lumberjacks running amok.
He’s OK.

Actually, this tragedy was probably home grown, right there in Detroit.  I wonder how much it would take to pay Canada to take Detroit off our hands…

Late Update:
They haven’t run my letter online yet, but they did run one from someone else that takes issue with the original offending letter.

If only I could learn to make such powerful points in so few paragraphs.

Even Later Update: You can see Misty's post about our lunch, described in my previous post, by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

This is one of a long list of political issues that have annoyed the piss out of me lately. Voter fraud, SuperPacs, Romney's connection to Bain, etc etc. ... "It should NOT be done in an election year rush, in a partisan attempt to influence the outcome." That was the highlight of your letter, IMO. I'm glad there are people like you who take the time to do this; you're representing those of us who are equally frustrated but don't have the time or energy to fight it -- which is why my latest post seems so tame by comparison.

That said, if you do read it, know that I am holding back my partisanship *only* so as not to sound hypocritical or chase away some of my right-leaning (and open-minded) friends. I'm not nearly as centrist as I appear (shhh! don't tell anyone ;-)

Miley said...

The most disturbing thing about the "voter ID" situation here in Texas is that... uhm... Well, you don't have to give your PHOTOGRAPH to vote. They just want to make sure you're a real live person who has registered.

I think there's a lot of issues in between and our glorified media doesn't present either side truthfully.

bluzdude said...

Right, without a photograph, it could be seriously prejudicial to white guys named Rivera.

bluzdude said...

I'm always happy to go tilting a windmills. Hopeless causes are my favorite kind. And this is hopeless because it is impossible to shame people that have no shame.

This is a nuclear solution to a cap-gun problem and people are getting screwed over it.

I did read your post, but I read it from work, where I can't comment. I'm with ya, buddy. But here, I fly my lefty credentials up front, so no one should be surprised by my points of view.

Anonymous said...

Here, here, Bluz.

Also, they are limiting advance voting (hurts those blue collar workers who can't get time off work to vote) and Sunday voting (silencing the black churches. None of that has anything to do with fraud, but with tamping down opposition voting.

What does it say about your party that the best way to win is to keep the turnout down? Good ideas, indeed.

People with Voter ID cards who have voted in every election since Eisenhower are now being told to get a Drivers License, even if they don't drive!

And remember, in 2000, Bush won Florida (and hence, the election over Gore) by just 537 votes. And Florida just dumped 180,000 names from the rolls!

Mary Ann said...

"Our lives end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Martin Luther King
Bouquets of thanks to you and Leonard Pitts for speaking up, speaking out loud, clear and alive.

Mary Ann said...

Shame on Florida indeed. And Governor Conehead complains he is never invited in time to GOP affairs. Maybe he plans to run for king.

Unapologetically Mundane said...

Obviously, ineligible voters should be removed from voter rolls, but it should be done in a careful, systematic way and carefully verified. It should NOT be done in an election year rush, in a partisan attempt to influence the outcome.


Also, part of me loves the idea of pay-to-comment. I'll bet that really weeds out the barely-literate.

bluzdude said...

Florida is the main offender in all of this, where they basically purged the voter rolls from certain immigrant-heavy districts, knowing full well that they hadn’t cross-referenced their data sources. Thousands upon thousands of people were dumped with officials’ foreknowledge that these people would have to A) realize what happened and B) re-register as a voter, BEFORE Election Day.

The amount of fraudulent votes cast is statistically negligible, yet they pursue actions that deprive thousand of their right to vote? (Or set up considerable barriers.)

Remember that it was the Bush Justice Department that pulled their crew off things like discrimination or work safety issues, and directed them to find voter fraud; specifically Democratic voter fraud. And what did they find? Jack shit. These were people that were highly motivated to find vast conspiracies producing tainted (Democratic) election results and they came up with squat.

So this whole solution in search of a problem is nothing but a blatant attempt to end-run the Constitution and suppress opposition voter turnout. Anyone claiming otherwise is either lying through their teeth or gullible enough to believe every word that comes from Fox “News” or the Republican Party leadership.

Republicans realize that they are outnumbered, and growing more so every day, so cheating and State-sponsored dirty tricks are all they have left. They know that every day it becomes more obvious that the top of the party panders to a super-rich minority, so the only way to win is to stack the deck. This from the “values” party, the “moral” party, the “Real America” party…

Makes me want to hurl.

bluzdude said...

That line should be shouted from the rooftops. I’d do it myself, but I’d probably fall off.

bluzdude said...

You'd think they'd be giving him a medal. He pretty much hand-delivered his state to Romney.

bluzdude said...

You would think so, but in glancing through some of the existing comments, the dipshits have figured out how to use PayPal.

Judie said...

Just how many poor blacks and immigrants have credit cards or write checks that require verification by i.d., anyway? Incidentally, I was recently asked to verify my own voter registration.

Actually, I worry more about the absentee ballots. Who counts those, anyway? Does the post office ever "lose" ballots from certain districts? Just askin'!!!!

Headless bodies in the Arizona desert? Was it a Republican body or a Democrat body? Our redneck governor is soooooo pathetic! She is an embarrassment.


Mary Ann said...

Let Ms. Brewer, Gov. Conehead and Prick Perry be an ungodly trinity leading their states to unite as a separate country with FLAZTEX as their official language. After they declare war and attack us, we can defeat them, reject their appeals for foreign aid and refuse to let their people enter and live in our land.
Far fetched, maybe, but they wouldn't embarrass us any more.

bluzdude said...

Well, she won’t be your problem much longer. You’ll have a whole NEW redneck governor to worry about.

Absentee ballots are by far the bigger threat to election security. That’s exactly what threw the Miami mayoral election out the window. But these voter ID laws have never been about fair elections, they’re 100% about re-stacking the deck. All the “fairness” hysteria is just the cover for the political covert ops.

bluzdude said...

We don’t even have to go to war… just let them go away and get them off our books. The country’s collective IQ will rise accordingly.

injaynesworld said...

Damn. Now I've got the "Blame Canada" from Southpark: The Movie going through my brain. Hey -- good for you for writing that letter. So what if someone's dead dog is registered to vote. It's not like he's actually going to show up. It should be called registration fraud, not voter fraud.

bluzdude said...

"Blame Canada! Blame Canada!
With that hockey hullabaloo,
And that bitch Anne Murray too,
Blame Canada..."

Classic South Park.

Really, anyone that thinks that those scant few fraudulent votes are more important than the barriers thrown up in front of thousands of seniors and poor people, forfeits their right to claim to be a rational human being. And therefore forfeits their right to be taken seriously.

Judie said...

I have been so embarrassed to live in AZ, that I now tell people that I live in Oosontay. At least Brunswick isn't in the national news on a regular basis.

bluzdude said...

See? With you gone, Arizona's average IQ just took a hit.