Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vote Fraud! It's real -- but not the way the Republicans expected.

Whoopsy daisy! While there are all these stories going down about the new statutes various states are enacting the try to stamp out supposed voting fraud (see the Republican National Lawyers' website about voter fraud -- but be sure to read the little headlines carefully, because they are not scaring up much news about the sort of voter fraud these statutes are designed for).

Voter fraud involving individual voters seems to be pretty ephemeral and rare (just 10 cases in the last 12 years, nationwide).


There was vote fraud going on right here in my Massachusetts backyard.


It's true. (Another story from local station WGBH) with more detail.

But this vote fraud shoe is on the other foot. An employee in the town clerk's office for the little town of East Longmeadow appears to have changed hundreds of residents' voter registrations from Democrat to Republican, without their request or any notice to them. Then, he issued forged ballots in these folks' names, trying to throw the Republican primary in his own favor.

This story link does not explain, but the whole sorry mess came out when the excellent staff for this clerk's opponent did some investigation after the primary ran. They were surprised at the outcome (though she did not lose, it was closer than expected). So they did some careful exploring, and found enough suspicious stuff to call in the Secretary of State. There were die-hard Democrats, members of the local party apparatus, whose voter registration was switched to Republican. When the individual voters were contacted, they had certainly not requested a switch and knew nothing about, and had not voted in the Republican primary.

Meantime, here is a helpful database about voter fraud put up and maintained by a large group of independent reporters, who have tried to verify the thousands of reports of voter fraud, and only found 10 that were actual, verifiable fraud by voters. They also include lots more great info, tracking cases, and allowing you to sort by type of fraud, or search by name.

Gary Trudeau, in his Doonesbury comic
, has been riding this voter fraud/vote suppression activity hard, lampooning it and drawing devastating parallels to the Jim Crow laws we thought we had left behind with his character Jimmy Crow

Cartoon courtesy of Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury at

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