Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Federal Panel On Election Fraud Manipulated Findings

From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON, April 10 — A federal panel responsible for conducting election research played down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation, according to a review of the original report obtained by The New York Times.

Instead, the panel, the Election Assistance Commission, issued a report that said the pervasiveness of fraud was open to debate.

The revised version echoes complaints made by Republican politicians, who have long suggested that voter fraud is widespread and justifies the voter identification laws that have been passed in at least two dozen states.

Democrats say the threat is overstated and have opposed voter identification laws, which they say disenfranchise the poor, members of minority groups and the elderly, who are less likely to have photo IDs and are more likely to be Democrats.

Though the original report said that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,” the final version of the report released to the public concluded in its executive summary that “there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.”

Experts from both the Republican and Democratic parties on the panel agreed that Republican allegations of widespread election/ballot box fraud are b.s.:

A number of election law experts, based on their own research, have concluded that the accusations regarding widespread fraud are unjustified. And in this case, one of the two experts hired to do the report was Job Serebrov, a Republican elections lawyers from Arkansas, who defended his research in an e-mail message obtained by The Times that was sent last October to Margaret Sims, a commission staff member.

“Tova and I worked hard to produce a correct, accurate and truthful report,” Mr. Serebrov wrote, referring to Tova Wang, a voting expert with liberal leanings from the Century Foundation and co-author of the report. “I could care less that the results are not what the more conservative members of my party wanted.”

He added: “Neither one of us was willing to conform results for political expediency.”

The original report from the panel also found “evidence of some continued outright intimidation and suppression” of voters by local officials, especially in some American Indian communities but the final report played down the problem: “intimidation is also a topic of some debate because there is little agreement concerning what constitutes actionable voter intimidation.”

So why is this manipulation of the election fraud panel findings important? Well, as Josh Marshall notes, Karl Rove and his Republican apparatchiks have used the phony "voter fraud" issue as one reason why U.S. attorneys were purged and as part of a larger election strategy to hold down opposition votes:

You have to put all these pieces together to see the whole picture. The Republican party is heavily invested in hyping and inventing claims of voter fraud which they then use to stymie legitimate voter registration drives and institute 'ballot integrity' efforts which have the actual goal of limiting voting by racial minorities and under-income voters. The truth can hurt but that's the unvarnished truth. And the backdrop to the US Attorney Purge was a concerted effort to enlist US Attorneys to put the power of the state criminal prosecution apparatus behind this partisan gambit.

The Democratic Congress needs to keep digging into these matters because there is more and more evidence to show that the White House and the Republican National Committee may be guilty of a massive election-rigging movement.

Tamping down votes of the opposition party by investigating false voter fraud charges and using U.S. attorneys who are "loyal Bushies" to do it (or firing those who are unwilling to play along) and purposely suppressing the votes of minorities and under-income people certainly counts as election-rigging and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Keep digging, Congress, keep digging. And ignore the charges from Republican concern trolls that Dems are overreaching in the oversight. The only overreaching was from Republicans breaking the law and/or acting in unethical ways to create a permanent Republican majority.

Voter fraud? Not in New York City. Not in the city where the only Republicans to win elections are stealth Democrats who've switched parties simply for the chance to run for office.

Rudy and Bloomberg are Democrats wrapped in Repubican banners.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn politics are so corrupt that even Brooklyn Democratic politicians admit they've almost eradicated the Republican Party from the borough.

Meanwhile, your post claims:

"Democrats say the threat is overstated and have opposed voter identification laws, which they say disenfranchise the poor, members of minority groups and the elderly, who are less likely to have photo IDs and are more likely to be Democrats."

In other words Democrats wouldn't object to the disenfranchisement of voters as long as they were Republicans.

Nevertheless, it's astonishing that Democrats support Social Security, which involves the possession of an ID card, Medicare and Medicaid, which require IDs, driving, which requires a photo ID, employment, which often includes a photo ID, school enrollment, which requires a photo ID, military service, which requires a photo ID, and other activities that require IDs.

Not the least of those other activities includes the release from prison. If you go to the motor vehicle department in New York City, prison-release papers are considered a higher form of ID than a passport.

This is hypocrisy at its best. You support the view that Democrats are too helpless to keep photo IDs in their wallets, but they should vote, despite their serious deficiencies. Yikes.
The Republican on the panel found GOP election fraud allegations were bullshit. The U.S. attorney in New Mexico (David Iglesias - a member of the republican Party) has also found GOP election fraud allegations to be bullshit. The U.S. attorney in Washington (David McKay - also a member of the Republican Party) was told he should investigate false claims of election fraud in the Washington Governor's race in 2004 made by the GOP establishment. When he refused to file criminal charges (since no fraud actually happened) he was fired from his job.

The election fraud allegations of the Karl Rove and the rest of the GOP establishment are bullshit, no slappz. They are part of an electoral strategy to suppress the opposition vote. Plain and simple and stated by members of the republican Party themselves (albeit the honest ones...)

If you want to see election fraud, check out Florida's 13th district where electronic voting machines "malfunctioned" and under-counted thousands of democratic voters in Sarasota County and threw the election to Republican Vern Buchanan by 373 votes.

Or how about Palm Beach County where all those nice Jewish ladies voted a straight Democratic ticket but somehow also voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000.

As for the I.D. issue, many old people and poor people do not have driver's licenses or passports. They do not need them, since they neither drive nor travel abroad. I.D. laws requiring old people and poor people to have these forms of I.D. is a voter-suppression technique to hold down Democratic votes (since many old and poor people vote Democratic)
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