Friday, October 17, 2008

Voter Fraud

Much has been made of the ACORN controversy over false voter registration forms. Now Sen Obama has released a statement alleging that senior law enforcement officials are involved in a right wing plot to suppress voting.

Since I've been having an ongoing discussion with my favorite local lefty blog, The Cucking Stool, on this very issue, I thought it would be handy to remind folks of a few facts.

First, ACORN is being accused of submitting false voter registration forms. In order to encourage high participation in the voting process, nine states in the Union allow same-day voter registration. That means you go in to your polling place, register to vote and vote all at once. But the normal procedure used to streamline the voting process is for voters to register ahead of the election. By registering ahead of time, you allow the precinct to put your name into it's database, and print out a list of eligible voters. The deadline for registering to vote is usually several weeks ahead of the election day. That lets the election judges organize their voter rolls, but it also discourages voter fraud on election day.

But ACORN is, potentially anyway, subverting that process. Here's why. In order to qualify for same-day voting, you must show a photo ID or have someone in the precinct vouch for you as an eligible voter. But if you are already registered, the only thing you need to do on voting day is sign the voter roll, thereby certifying that you are who you say you are.

The brain trust at The Cucking Stool took exception to this fact-

Usually, when you register as Mickey Mouse, the people at the polling stations are smart enough to figure that one out. Voter fraud is a minor problem. The way the votes are counted disenfranchises more people per year than this sort of minuscule tomfoolery.

The flaw in this reasoning, is of course the stupidity in registering Mouse, Mickey as a voter. So I asked a simple question-
if voter fraud is nearly impossible, as you claim, then can you give a reasonable explanation why Jimmy Johns, among others, was registered to vote? If it is all useless int he end, why is ACORN spending so much time and effort to do it?

The brain responds-
Acorn hires people to register voters. Some of these people don't exactly do a wonderful job and they end up filling out registration forms for people that don't exist. Acorn has actually turned some of these people in. There's also the matter of these registrations having to pass through the registrar.

Acorn is spending time on this because many states have registration deadlines that many people miss. Their idea is that blanket coverage is the best way to combat this fact. The much easier remedy would be to nationalize same day registration.

Again, it's one thing to find voter registration fraud but over and over again this type of fraud has not been showed to be a significant problem on election day. We're talking an insignificant percentage of the overall votes cast; a percentage much lower than votes cancelled out by machine error.

I love the casual admission that 'some people don't exactly do a wonderful job' that covers up the fact that fraudulent voter registration is a FELONY. From Minnesota election law, sec 201.054-
Subd. 2. Prohibitions; penalty. No individual shall intentionally:
(a) Cause or attempt to cause the individual’s name to be registered in any precinct if the
individual is not eligible to vote;
(b) Cause or attempt to cause the individual’s name to be registered for the purpose of
voting in more than one precinct;
(c) Misrepresent the individual’s identity when attempting to register to vote; or
(d) Aid, abet, counsel, or procure any other individual to violate this subdivision.
A violation of this subdivision is a felony.

In fact, in Minnesota, ACORN's entire strategy of paying people by the number of voter registration cards they turn in is also illegal-
Subd. 3. Prohibited methods of compensation; penalty. (a) No individual
may be compensated for the solicitation, collection, or acceptance of voter registration
applications from voters for submission to the secretary of state, a county auditor, or other
local election official in a manner in which payment is calculated by multiplying (1)
either a set or variable payment rate, by (2) the number of voter registration applications
solicited, collected, or accepted.

So it is illegal in Minnesota to turn in a false voter registration form, just as it is illegal to pay someone based on the number of forms they turn in.

There still wasn't a good answer, in my mind, as to why ACORN was knowingly paying folks to falsify voter registration cards. But skipping over that, Mr Sponge asserted that falsifying a voter registration card was a completely innocent act, and in no way portended any further mischief. There was no way, he said, that the registration forms would be acted upon and turned into actual votes-
But perhaps most importantly, the idea of massive polling-place fraud (through the use of inflated voter rolls) is inherently incredible. Suppose I want to swing the Missouri election for my preferred presidential candidate. I would have to figure out who the fake, dead or missing people on the registration rolls are, then pay a lot of other individuals to go to the polling place and claim to be that person, without any return guarantee – thanks to the secret ballot – that any of them will cast a vote for my preferred candidate.

Those who do show up at the polls run the risk of being detected and charged with a felony. And for what – $10? Polling-place fraud, in short, makes no sense.

Then came the inevitable question-

Let's imagine that you, Dave Thul, wanted to commit voter fraud. How will you pull off this crime? Walk me through it. Will you find some homeless man named Mayor McCheese and personally vouch for him with a signed oath at your local polling place? Will you buy off some apathetic teen with a carton of smokes to pose as...who exactly? Please tell me how this scam works and how it's not already "virtually" impossible.

So I answered him. Please keep in mind that I am NOT advocating voter fraud here, I am just outlining how it might be done-

I live in Owatonna, which has 10 polling places. Having already had ACORN provide me with 9 voter registration cards for 9 phony addresses, I am now registered to vote 10 times in Owatonna.
A quick drive around town, or a look in the paper will find me 9 houses for sale or even foreclosed on (see how I bring in MNo's bogeyman here?).
I use this very computer and my all in one printer/copier to change the address on my utility bill from Owatonna public utilities, and I probably change the name on each to Sigmund Spot. 9 phony utility bills plus one real one is all that I need to show up at 10 different polling places on Nov 4th. I don't have to convince a judge, or a cop, or anyone like that as to who I am. I just have to convince the 85 year old election judge behind the table.

I'll probably go during the busy times; before or after the normal workday, or during the lunch rush. If they think I'm suspicious, or there's a question, they put my vote in a separate pile to be looked at later. Since I don't have to have a photo id, there is no way to disprove that I am Sigmund Spot. Worse case scenario, my vote is set aside and not counted.

Voila! Sigmund Spot has now voted 10 times in Owatonna alone. Since the folks at ACORN are paying people to falsify voter registration cards, there's no reason to assume they wouldn't pay people to complete the process, and cast extra votes.
Using my conservative number of 1 person voting 10 times, ACORN could cast over 3 million illegal votes, if all of their 335,000 members were in on it.

I don't see that happening. But look how few votes it took to decide the election in 2000. A few thousand people in Miami Beach were all it took.

Sponge's response?

I mean for crissakes, you can't even get the basic Secretary of State requirements f'ing right. You can't just hand over a utility bill without having a photo ID. My god, your plan has already fallen apart: page=204

You do have to have a photo id with a utility bill. My god, what a chucklehead.

Wow, he sure got me there, didn't he? Except that he is either delusional or lying through his teeth. Follow the link to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website, and you will find a wealth of info on required documentation needed in order to vote. But only if you are registering the same day.

In fact, Minnesota does not require photo ID for any voter who is already registered. My scenario of how to vote illegally was in fact terribly over-cautious. I would not even need the utility bill to vote. As long as my name has been registered ahead of time, and appears on the voter rolls at the polling place, the only thing I need to do is tell the election judge my name, and sign on the line.

Again, from Minnesota election law, sec 204c.10-

(a) An individual seeking to vote shall sign a polling place roster which states that the
individual is at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, has resided in Minnesota for
20 days immediately preceding the election, maintains residence at the address shown, is not
under a guardianship in which the court order revokes the individual’s right to vote, has not been
found by a court of law to be legally incompetent to vote or has the right to vote because, if the
individual was convicted of a felony, the felony sentence has expired or been completed or the
individual has been discharged from the sentence, is registered and has not already voted in the
election. The roster must also state: "I understand that deliberately providing false information
is a felony punishable by not more than five years imprisonment and a fine of not more than
$10,000, or both."
(b) A judge may, before the applicant signs the roster, confirm the applicant's name,
address, and date of birth.
(c) After the applicant signs the roster, the judge shall give the applicant a voter's receipt.
The voter shall deliver the voter's receipt to the judge in charge of ballots as proof of the voter's
right to vote, and thereupon the judge shall hand to the voter the ballot. The voters' receipts must be maintained during the time for notice of filing an election contest.

Think I'm wrong? Then check out the League of Women Voters website-
ID Needed for Voting
You only need ID to vote if you have not registered before arriving at the polling precinct

So it is entirely possible in Minnesota to register multiple times and then show up on election day and vote multiple times.

Only seven states in the country require a photo ID to vote, regardless of registration status. Another 17 require some proof if identity, but not with a photo. That means that 26 states do not require any proof of identity at all, in order to cast a vote for election.

Minnesota is one of those 26, which requires no identification to be displayed as long as you have registered ahead of time.

Which brings us back to ACORN and their massive voter registration fraud. Liberals will continue to tell us that there is no ongoing plans to commit voter fraud, it is just those people who 'don't do a wonderful job' in filling out their forms.

The irony here is that the Jimmy Johns, mentioned in a CNN report on ACORN, is the only phony voter I don't have to worry about. He was registered in Indiana, which requires photo ID to vote.

Oh, and did I mention yet that not only did Sen Obama give money to ACORN to get out the vote, they endorsed him for president. Imagine my shock.

I wonder if we are weeks away from such a massive outbreak of voter fraud that I will be explaining to my grandkids how we let it happen.


maxxdog said...

You're gonna end up with a HUGE slurpee headache hanging out over there.

RStar23 said...

you have far more patience with the kool aide drinking, wannabe hippies then I do ;>

RStar23 said...

you have far more patience with the kool aide drinking, wannabe hippies then I do ;>

SSG Thul said...

Heck, it's fun to stir the pot a little.

Anonymous said...

Dave is one spoon short of stirring any pot.

They like him at the Cucking Stool because he's so easy.