If We Can’t Trust Our Elections…

A society that can’t run a fair election is not a democracy. We really should make it a priority to be a democracy.

This platitude is inspired by two sets of postings:

I should probably add in regard to the Eye on Miami series that while I think they have done extraordinary work documenting a huge problem, I think there is a fairly strong legal argument that any solution to the terrible local absentee ballot fraud issue will require something different from what they advocate. After Bush v. Gore, would not a solution — tighter rules on how ballots are cast and authenticated — have to be state-wide, not local, for equal protection reasons? And that runs into the problem of the same people who created the mess we’re in: the Republican legislature, some of whom are beneficiaries of the frauds if not actually paymasters and instigators of it.

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5 Responses to If We Can’t Trust Our Elections…

  1. “And that runs into the problem of the same people who created the mess we’re in: the Republican legislature, some of whom are beneficiaries of the frauds if not actually paymasters and instigators of it.”

    Right on Professor! Why can’t the entire nation conduct elections like the City of Chicago, where a long tradition of Democratic politicians running fair, open and honest balloting serves as a model for the nation, if not the world? Democrats never cook the ballot box, everybody knows that!

    Meanwhile, the Obama administration has turned a blind eye to all of the hanky-panky that got him elected. Just one example:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Black_Panther_Party_voter_intimidation_case
    If you *really* care about fair balloting, just wait and see what your beloved moveon.org and its minions and front groups has in store for us in 2012.

    • Thank you for your link to our posts. I advocated for a quick fix that the State Attorney’s Office suggested for them to do their job. It is not the end of what I want, only the beginning. The Task Force I also suggested is a second part. I think we have to do it in steps because the Legislature won’t change anything. Yes, my proposals are a bandaide on a gusher but it gives my readers a positive direction and just maybe we can get that Felony charge on the books.

    • Vic says:

      Don’t bother JM. I brought up the Black Panther Parties election antics a while back when he was accusing Republicans of something similar, and he’d never even heard of the controversy. I seriously doubt he’s bothered to learn about it since.

      Never mind that the REAL problem with election fraud could be largely solved by a simple measure the State and National Congressional Dems (the only Dems that matter outside of an election) oppose: Requiring voters to present ID and having a system in place to ensure one, and only one, vote per person, in the district of their residence. That measure alone would eliminate so much fraud that the absentees wouldn’t even matter for most elections. But it is opposed because of the long-standing Democratic Party principle that Black people are so afraid and so intimidated by authority that it would suppress their vote. A nice paternalistic view.

      And you can’t tell me that in this modern age NOBODY has a polling device that is trustworthy and that can’t be locally gamed for the purposes of one party or another?

      The only reason the election problems don’t get fixed is because it would mean an end to ALL election fraud. I seriously doubt ANYBODY that’s elected really wants that.

      • This sort of comment demonstrates why the Rovian strategy of preemptive projection (accuse your enemies of the things you are most guilty of) works so well.

        For a corrective on recent events regarding voter intimidation by Black Panthers, see Media Matters. As regards Chicago, I do believe it’s been quite some time since the first Mayor Daley held office?

        As for why I write about Florida’s problems more often than other states’, “you start where you are”. But the voting machine issue is potentially national.

        ID is not a solution to election fraud, for two reasons. First, it has nothing to do with absentee ballot fraud at all, since there’s no one to present it to. Second, the number of voter fraud cases involving a person going to the polls and pretending to be someone else is between zero an minimal. The real reason for requiring government ID is to disenfranchise the large number of people who do not have them, and for whom getting them would be a major hassle and expense (of getting to the right office during work hours, with the right documents). This has been amply documented multiple times, and the facts are available online to anyone who cares to make a cursory search. On the other hand, no amount of searching will turn up any appreciable number of lack-of-ID enabled fraud as the national number is quite tiny.

        • Vic says:

          Well, you might be interested in knowing that Justice Stevens disagrees with your obviously studied and careful assessment of the situation. (Take a look at Crawford v. Marion County Election Board from 2007).

          As for the Black Panthers, whatever the truths in that link, note that I didn’t say anything about what actually happened, I said that when I brought it up once before, as I recall, you claimed no knowledge of even the accusation being levied against the Panthers. It was news to you at a time when it was all over the national news. I don’t think I am misremembering or misstating that at all.

          I don’t think I said anything about how you tend to write locally, did I?

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