GOP fraud on voter ID

Maverick philosopher, who probably wisely does not entertain comments at his blog, posted this today:

If the Dead and the Undocumented Voted Conservative . . .

. . . liberals would be screaming for voter ID.

Implication — is the guy chicken to support the charge directly? — is that dead people and undocumented non-citizens vote for liberals in elections, and, therefore, liberals are complicit in voter fraud.  It’s a crude smear.

Seriously?  If the dead and undocumented voted much at all I’d be screaming for better procedures at the polls, and so would most liberals.  It was liberals, including “Republican” Martin Luther King, Jr., and Medgar Evers, and John Lewis and others who fought to eradicate practices that unfairly skewed voting in the southern U.S.  It was liberals who fought for the Voting Rights Act, which makes shenanigans like voter fraud federal crimes.

Voter ID laws do not attempt to mend any great unfairness in voting.   Voter ID laws have been litigated in Indiana, Wisconsin, Texas and Pennsylvania that I know.  In no case in any of those states has anyone presented any evidence that there is any serious problem with votes from the dead, nor any serious problem from undocumented people voting, if any problem at all.

The dead and the undocumented rarely, if ever, vote, anywhere in America.  They don’t vote liberal, they don’t vote conservative, they don’t vote in significant numbers — rarely do they vote at all.

So why are the conservatives screaming for voter ID, since neither the dead nor undocumented vote liberal? 

What could cause such hallucinations?  Bigotry?  Racism?  Who knows?  We can be certain, however, that conservative love of voter ID laws is not driven by voting by dead people, or undocumented aliens, and the conservative desire to make things fair.

A very wet tip of the old scrub brush to Pseudo Polymath, for pointing out this lunatic post.

Much more information:

14 Responses to GOP fraud on voter ID

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    No, not a “tempest in a teapot.” Romney’s a Mormon — “cyclone in a pot of hot chocolate.” No caffeinated beverages.


  2. jsojourner says:

    Wait. Romney’s tax returns are a “tempest in a teapot”? How do you figure?



  3. JamesK says:

    And yet, Erasmus, how many times have we asked you to show evidence of this wide spread voter fraud and you and no other Republican has ever been able to do so. Hell the entire state government of Pennsylvania admitted they have no evidence and wouldn’t even attempt to do so. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to implement this Voter ID bulldrek.

    Meanwhile in Ohio your party continues to attempt to shorten the number of hours that the voting places are open in urban (ie Democrat) areas while expanding the hours that voting places are open in suburban and rural areas (ie Republican areas)

    And in Florida they continue to purge off the voting rolls millions of legal voters who just happen to tend to vote Democrat.

    What? Your party can’t win without cheating? If your party can’t win without suppressing the vote and cheating then why does your party deserve to be in power?


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    23% of working Americans don’t have a bank account of any kind. Hence, no credit cards, no need to cash checks. Don’t need ID to buy alcohol at the corner store — or cigarettes. If you’re over 30, and obviously so, you don’t get ID’d in most states. About 40% of Americans don’t fly, so no need for credit cards or photo IDs there.

    In Texas, you don’t need an ID to buy a gun from an individual, nor from a dealer at a gun show (too often).

    But, in Texas, to register to vote, you must have photo ID or other documents to vouch for your eligibility to vote. Then each voter is issued a voter ID card, so signatures can be matched (it’s not a photo ID). We have about a million people in the state known to be eligible to vote who lack one of the voter ID cards required by the new state law — overwhelmingly black and Latino. Since our decade-long quest to find voter fraud turned up no ID fraud, what do you think the law is intended to do, especially considering that Democratic voter registration drives have added a million voters to the rolls in the last decade, turning Houston, San Antonio and Dallas blue?


  5. Eramus says:

    You know there are two false memes out there, not just one. The first is that there is some sort of massive voting fraud out there that ID checks will stop. There (probably) isn’t. The second is that many (any?) people without IDs bother to vote.

    Let us discuss people without IDs. They have no cars, and can’t drive. They have no checking account or credit cards. Can’t even cash a check. Can’t buy alcohol or cigarettes (at least legally) in most states. Can’t purchase a gun. Can’t rent an apartment. Can’t get married. The only people I can think of that fit that description are the homeless who don’t vote and illegals who aren’t supposed to.

    My take – typical tempest in a teapot. Both sides love this issue because it defines the politics of today – the gnashing of teeth over inconsequential issues to avoid addressing serious problems. I’d file it right next to birtherism and Romney’s tax returns.


  6. Jim says:


    I have long heard about the dead voting in Chicago. It’s a meme with eternal legs. I think there was some truth to it once. Same with Rizzo’s Philly and Tammany Hall’s New York.

    And not just the dead. Dad used to tell the story of being driven out to a little town outside Cleveland on election day. He was 14. He and his Dad voted there. A sheriff’s election or maybe they called it Constable or something. Yep — anyone could vote if you owed money to the boss. Who, curiously enough, was up for re-election. Grandpa — who I never knew — had some issues with gambling, you see.

    But of course, my Dad was 14 in 1927.

    I very much doubt this sort of thing is going on. I have heard all kinds of bizarre stories from both sides. One of my favorites was out of Tennessee in 2000. Republicans claimed Democrats were paying homeless people to vote (or giving them bottles of alcohol). Democrats claimed the GOP was handing out raffle tickets for shotguns and hunting rifles to anyone who voted.

    Probably, both are lies.

    The GOP proposals are nothing more than a naked attempt to keep the elderly, the poor, minorities and college students from voting. Now, if they want to allow ID’s like AARP cards, student IDs and union membership cards…then I might be willing to listen to their arguments for allowing gun permits and NRA membership cards.

    What I want to know is — why is a gun owner any less likely to engage in voter fraud than a union member or a college student?



  7. JamesK says:

    To quote:
    I’m certainly not doing any such thing. All I’m suggesting is that voter fraud is a refined art, polished by decades of practice and kept sharp by opposing parties out to catch one another. In Philly, dead people were kept alive on voter registration lists for as long as possible

    And what makes you think that if someone wants to masquerade as a dead person and vote that they won’t be able to get a fake ID with that dead person’s name?

    No, voter fraud isn’t a refined art becuase there’s so little of it. \The fraud that actually does take place is election fraud. Like, just for example, when Republicans send out flyers in poor areas saying that they have to pay parking/speeding tickets before they vote. Or when republicans shorten the hours of voting in democrat areas but expand the hours of voting in republican areas.

    So perhaps it’s time to stop concentrating on the fake problem and actually deal with the real problem?


  8. JamesK says:

    And there is the fact that W’s DOJ spent 5 years looking for mass amounts of voter fraud and in that 5 years found less then 100 cases…most of which was former felons voting when they shouldn’t have.

    Which Voter ID won’t stop.

    Since there are organizations that monitor elections and try to snoop out voter fraud and yet there barely is any…..

    …why are we trying to make voting more difficult? Unless of course the reason is to make voting more difficult and therefor suppress the number of voters.

    And then perhaps the Voter ID supporters can answer this question. If this isn’t about suppressing the votes of people that vote Democrat then why is the Ohio state government shortening the number of days for early voting and the number of hours that polling places are open in Democrat counties but expanding the number of days of early voting and expanding the hours of polling places in Republican counties?


  9. Ed Darrell says:

    No, I didn’t get the idea you were defending vote ID — but I did get the idea that you’re defending the idea that there might be a lot of voter fraud out there that a well-crafted voter ID law might prevent, or catch.

    Dead people on the voting rolls? Most states don’t purge a voter registration for being dormant for 4 years. Let me see if I can find my earlier calculations (at Pseudo Polymath) . . . ah, here it is:

    CDC says 2,437,163 people died in the U.S. in 2010. Assuming about 30% of those to be registered voters, that would be 731,349 (I rounded up a tenth).

    States keep voter registrations valid if a person votes once every four years (a couple of states used to have six-year rules, but for the purposes of calculation, let’s assume four years). So, in any given year, we should have at least 2,924,596 dead people still on the voter rolls, assuming no one bothered to send a death notice to the county voting registrar.

    That’s nationwide. Tell me there are 3 million dead people registered to vote, and I gotta tell you, that’s what we should have in the normal course of affairs. That simply is an operation of demographics, a simple statistical operation.

    GOP cage rattlers want you to believe that means there is voter fraud. Don’t believe them. Go see Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” instead. It’s normal — and unless they vote, it’s not fraud.

    Can you show me more than 3 million dead people on the rolls, and significantly more? Can you show me that any significant number of them are listed as having voted?

    We had a case in Texas in the last ten years where fraud was alleged. In the March primary, the guy was shown as having voted. But, the AG’s office argued, he had died in late February, as was discovered when a poll judge noticed the name of the guy on the rolls, but knew him, and knew he was dead. Fraud?

    Turned out one of the last things he did was vote absentee, turning in his ballot a couple weeks ahead of the election, and then he dropped dead.

    Fraud, or life? How many Mexican-Americans, their families here on this land since 1680, must give up their votes to make up for this one guy who died after he voted early? The Texas AG says 200,000.

    I am grateful not to stand next to the man with a cloud in the sky, nor even on a cloudless day. I think that sort of sin invites a bolt from God.

    So, yeah, there should be about three million dead voters on the rolls, without any hint of fraud.

    Now, were the dead voting in Philadelphia? First, the State of Pennsylvania did not argue that as a problem for voter ID, nor did they put that up as evidence in the trial on the voter ID law. Second, if the dead are voting, is it because someone is walking into the polling place and claiming to be the dead person, and voting their vote? That’s unlikely. That’s too much rigamarole for a good fraud scheme that wishes to be undetected. Dead voters generally show up to vote after the polls close, and only in enough numbers to change that precinct, or in a well-coordinated scheme (that has rarely been alleged, let alone proven), enough to push a political entity in one direction, illegally.

    Voter ID, in other words, can do nothing to stop it, and can do nothing to detect it.

    Yeah, I hear the stories of dead voting. Pennsylvania’s GOP had a chance to prove that in court, to make their case, and did not do it. Are they stupid? Or, more likely, is it no longer a big problem? Or is it a problem they’d like to hide, by having the courts and prosecutors focus on voter ID, which has almost no chance of catching voter fraud?


  10. Squathole says:

    Wait — I see the problem. You suspect I’m arguing in favor of PA’s (or any state’s) voter ID law. I’m certainly not doing any such thing. All I’m suggesting is that voter fraud is a refined art, polished by decades of practice and kept sharp by opposing parties out to catch one another. In Philly, dead people were kept alive on voter registration lists for as long as possible — usually until somebody caught up to the scam. Here’s just one story (toward the end of the article).

    No big deal. It’s a competitive sport. You do what you have to. “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat,” as Jesse “The Body” Ventura used to say.


  11. Ed Darrell says:

    Can you explain to me how a voter ID law prevents or catches such voter fraud?

    Obviously the dead were not showing up to vote. Are you alleging someone showed up to vote for each dead person? Any evidence? Again, I would think that if it were still a problem, someone would have done something about it — the other party, for example. It’s against state law in most places, and you could make a good case for a federal crime even in Philadelphia under the Voting Rights Act.


  12. Squathole says:

    My tales of Philadelphia voting derive from working on a voter registration drive in 1971. I was part of a local group recruited to register voters in minority neighborhoods with the hope we would generate sufficient numbers to defeat Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo’s bid for mayor. We discovered that the city had systematically “cleansed” registration rolls (sound familiar?) for two years leading up to Rizzo’s bid. We also learned that entire generations of voters, many deceased, remained on the rolls in pro-Rizzo neighborhoods.

    That’s the best I can do to show you the data — anecdotal evidence based on real-lifer experience from (good god) 40+ years ago. But it was enlightening then, and informative now. Very little in politics changes. Sometimes not even death has an impact!


  13. Ed Darrell says:

    Urban legend, perhaps? In any case, the State of Pennsylvania (which contains Philadelphia) did not find any significant voter fraud, especially of the sort of dead people voting, that legend claims, to defend Pennsylvania’s voter ID law. Do dead people vote in Philadelphia? Show me the ballots — Pennsylvania can’t.

    Such fraud requires the complicity of the poll judges, by the way, and cannot be stopped by voter ID laws. So once again, the voter ID laws are completely worthless for their stated purpose — and I don’t really believe Republican legislators are too stupid to realize that. They know exactly what’s going on, plus they stick to the daily faxed talking points, which say “don’t talk about real voter fraud.”

    Have you ever been a poll judge, or watched them at any length? One of the best ways to make voting safe for fraud is to get the poll judges something to do that distracts them from watching for voter fraud — like another poll judge voting a list of dead voters. Voter ID laws appear custom-designed to enable real voter fraud.

    And so they probably will. Farewell, democracy? Let’s hope not. But it’s an assault on America, Mom (and especially her right to vote), baseball and apple pie (and your right to vote for baseball and apple pie). The book about the fall of the U.S. may be titled, “While Patriots Slept,” eh?


  14. Squathole says:

    Where I grew up — Philadelphia, the City of Bodily Harm — dead people voted in every election. In South Philly especially, the dead were kept alive on voter registration rolls for years, faithfully supporting the Democratic machine candidates in every election. I’m told the same phenomenon is evident in Chicago, and I suspect every major metropolis has a similar scam working.

    It’s not a party thing, it’s a power thing. Bidness is bidness, and keeping control is the primary bidness of whoever has it.


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