May 19, 2010
Democrats and Vote Fraud: On the Road to Rigged Elections
Lest we forget, Democrats were not given a mandate in 2008 to nationalize General Motors, the insurance industry, and health care. Most Americans want government to be less expensive, less intrusive, and more accountable. Yet despite the looming prospect of electoral dismemberment in November, the Democrats continue pushing a radical agenda: piling up debt and creating new entitlements, with crushing tax increases inevitably to follow. Why the evident lack of concern?
Perhaps they intend to cheat.
Examples of vote fraud by Democrats have not been widely publicized, thanks to the symbiotic relationship between the party and most of the media. In 2000, major TV networks wrongly projected Al Gore as the winner in Florida before the polls even closed in the state's heavily Republican Panhandle. Many prospective voters stepped out of line and went home. Later studies estimated that the error had reduced President Bush's margin by 8,000 to 11,500 votes.
In his book Stealing Elections, writer John Fund suggests that another 15,000+ Bush votes were destroyed in Democrat-controlled Palm Beach County. Palm Beach reported 19,120 "over votes" -- ballots marked for more than one candidate -- representing nearly ten times the error rate for the rest of the state. Former law enforcement officials told Fund that stacks of paper ballots had been altered by pushing a thin prod through the Gore column, invalidating votes for Bush while leaving those for Gore intact. National Democrats hired a telemarketing firm to make thousands of calls to Palm Beach County on Election Day, urging residents to say they were "confused" by the ballot.
Statistician John Lott and others asked for the suspect Palm Beach ballots to be examined when media teams conducted their own Florida recount the following year. The request was ignored.
Motor Voter: opening the door to fraud
In 1993, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, better known as the "Motor Voter" law, which requires motor vehicle departments, welfare offices, and other government agencies to provide forms and register voters. Motor Voter made it illegal to check the IDs of applicants and ordered the states to allow registration by mail.
Motor Voter opened the door to a massive increase in fraudulent registrations. For example, the number of registered voters in Philadelphia increased by 24% from 1995 to 2004, even as the city's population declined by 13%. By 2009, an independent study estimated that America's voter registration rolls included more than 16 million invalid voters. This provides fertile ground for ACORN and other groups that seek to turn phony registrations into votes.
Democrats have consistently attacked anti-fraud proposals, claiming that they violate voters' civil rights. In particular, they oppose requiring voters to show identification. A recent poll found that 82% of Americans think a photo ID should be required to vote. However, only 25 states check any form of voter identification, and a photo ID is required by just seven.
A PowerPoint presentation available at ElectionCenter.org describes new election legislation proposed by congressional Democrats. They intend to nationalize voter registration and force the states to eliminate voter ID checks, provide absentee ballots to all voters, register voters on Election Day, and permit felons (who overwhelmingly support Democrats) to vote. Each of these measures would create new opportunities for fraud.
Voting early and often -- the risks of early and absentee voting
In 2001, the bipartisan National Commission on Election Reform reported that the increasing use of absentee ballots and early voting is inconsistent with five key objectives of fair elections:
- 1. Assure the privacy of the secret ballot and protection against coerced voting
- 2. Verify that only duly registered voters cast ballots
- 3. Safeguard ballots against loss or alteration
- 4. Assure their prompt counting
- 5. Foster the communal aspects of citizens voting together
Nevertheless, these trends have continued unabated. "No excuses" early voting (voting early without having to provide a reason) is now allowed by 36 states, starting as early as 45 days before the actual election. Large-scale absentee voting also creates delays in deciding elections -- delays that offer additional opportunities for fraud.
Non-citizens who vote
Many non-citizens use easily-obtained voter registrations to acquire other documents identifying them as U.S. citizens, along with other benefits such as Social Security and even government jobs. According to a recent Heritage Foundation study,
There is no systematic review of voter registration rolls by states to find non-citizens, and the relevant federal agencies -- in direct violation of federal law -- refuse to cooperate with state election officials seeking to verify the citizenship status of registered voters.
Local officials in several states who tried to remove felons and non-citizens from the registration rolls have also been sued by leftist groups alleging civil rights violations.
SEIU International Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina advocates amnesty for non-citizens ("immigration reform") as a way of adding 8 million new Democratic voters.
Manufacturing an election crisis
The changes that have made our election system less manageable, less accountable, and more vulnerable to fraud did not come about by accident. They are entirely consistent with the Cloward/Piven strategy, which seeks to undermine government institutions by overwhelming them with demands for services. The goal is to achieve a socialist state that will redistribute the nation's wealth. ACORN was specifically created to execute this strategy, targeting U.S. elections through its voter mobilization arm, Project Vote. Cloward and Piven themselves were longtime proponents of the Motor Voter Act, and they appeared on the podium with President Clinton for the signing ceremony. Earlier this year, Frances Fox Piven joined the Board of Project Vote.
Author Richard Poe writes:
The stated purpose of Project Vote is to ... secure the rights of minority and low-income voters under the U.S. Constitution. However, Project Vote's actions suggest that its true agenda is more radical. Its activities appear to be aimed at overwhelming, paralyzing and discrediting the voting system through fraud, protests, propaganda and vexatious litigation.
ACORN and Project Vote have been repeatedly cited and investigated for abuses that include turning in fraudulent registrations and destroying applications by Republicans. Nevertheless, ACORN may be slated to receive as much as $4 billion in Obama's fiscal 2011 budget.
Barack Obama ran the Chicago branch of Project Vote in the early 1990s, an effort credited with electing leftist radical Carole Moseley-Braun to the Senate. Multiple scandals and charges of corruption followed, and Moseley-Braun served only one term.
Buying the referee
The Secretary of State Project was created in 2006 by the Democracy Alliance, a 527 non-profit funded by anti-capitalist billionaire George Soros. SOSP seeks to place Democrats in crucial Secretary of State jobs that oversee elections in swing states. SOSP cash played a key role in electing Democrats in Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio in 2006 and in Missouri, Montana, Oregon, and West Virginia two years later.
Minnesota's fraudulent senator
Years of leftist planning and effort came together in Minnesota in 2008, where the nation's closest statewide contest pitted Democrat Al Franken against Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman. Presiding over the election was SOSP Secretary Mark Ritchie, whose extensive ties to ACORN were predictably ignored by the media. Shortly before the election, Ritchie was asked to investigate serious problems with the registration rolls, including 261,000 duplicates and 63,000 voters who had listed non-existent addresses. He dismissed the request as an attempt "to create a cloud over an election so people don't accept the outcome." After the polls closed, Secretary Ritchie reported that his office "received no reports whatsoever" of fraudulent voting.
The final tally showed Coleman with a narrow 725-vote victory. It wasn't enough. Over the next four days, his lead fell to 221 as officials "discovered" errors in the vote. Most came from three small precincts controlled by Democrats. Other irregularities included "misplaced" ballots turning up in an official's trunk, and vote total adjustments that affected only the Senate race. The manipulation continued during the official recount, as the Minnesota Canvassing Board detected just enough "ballot errors" to put Franken over the top. John Lott later analyzed the Board's inconsistent decisions, nearly all of which favored the Democratic candidate.
Some 17,000 more ballots were counted in the Minnesota Senate election than there were recorded voters. Mark Ritchie had dismantled the state's ballot reconciliation program, which previously required voting districts to validate the number of votes cast against the number of ballots issued. Outside investigators also found that 1,400 convicted felons had voted illegally.
The Secretary of State Project is supporting Ritchie once again in 2010, pleased with what the organization refers to as "a scrupulously fair and transparent election recount."
A spark in Houston
Last fall, 35 tea party members in Houston signed up to monitor the off-year Texas elections. The new poll watchers came back appalled at the abuses they saw. Precinct judges regularly failed to check voter IDs, and some even filled out ballots to "help" people vote. Investigating further, they made a second unpleasant discovery: Voting violation reports submitted to the District Attorney's office after the 2008 elections had yet to be processed or even reviewed. They resolved to make stopping vote fraud a top priority for 2010.
Now rebranded as the King Street Patriots, the group is greatly expanding its efforts to recruit and train election monitors. With more than 350 already signed up, KSP is well on the way to meeting an ambitious goal -- placing volunteers in each of Harris County's 874 precincts.
Other tea party and patriot groups might consider following suit. Eternal vigilance is often described as the price of freedom, and that promises to be especially true on November 2.
Scott Swett is the author of To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry and webmaster for TrueTheVote.org, SwiftVets.com, and WinterSoldier.com.