I’ve made my position on the voter fraud thing very clear: 1) I think it does happen; 2) with the exception of close elections (e.g., Al Franken), I don’t think it happens enough to swing elections. Hypothesis number one keeps being confirmed:
FBI agents arrested a woman Friday in Las Vegas on charges that she tried to vote twice in the presidential election, Secretary of State Ross Miller said.
A criminal complaint accuses Roxanne Rubin of casting a ballot at an early voting location in Henderson on Oct. 29, then trying to vote again at a polling site in Las Vegas on the same day.
Miller said poll workers questioned Rubin when they found her name in a database that showed she had already cast a ballot, but she denied having voted and insisted she be allowed to vote.
The election workers did not allow Rubin to vote and reported the incident to the Clark County registrar, who notified the secretary of state.
One little quirk here: she’s a Republican. Yes, it’s possible that voter fraud takes place on both sides. It will be amazing to watch the Left twist themselves into a pretzel on this issue as they cry “Republicans are trying to steal the election!” while still trying to pretend that voter fraud doesn’t exist.
(The second part of that hypothesis — that voter fraud is not enough to decide all but the closest elections — comes from the same source as my lack of belief in 9/11, lunar landing or bigfoot conspiracy theories. Voter fraud on a massive scale — thousands or hundreds of thousands of votes — would involve hundreds if not thousands of conspirators, all of whom have maintained an amazing silence. It would also have to involve Republican poll watchers, poll workers and canvasing boards and likely several Republicans Secretaries of State. I just don’t see that kind of conspiratorial masterpiece emerging from the Cavalcade of Clods.
So why should worry about vote fraud if it doesn’t involve zillions of votes? Because it’s wrong and illegal. And because it could swing a very close election and probably has.)
The flip side of voter fraud allegations is voter surpression allegations levied by liberals. I’m not a big believer in those either. As with voter fraud, it’s not that voter surpression effort don’t exist; it’s that it’s a small effect. Over at Moorewatch, we repeatedly took apart the most famous claim of voter surpression: Michael Moore’s wild allegations about the 2000 election and Florida “strike list”.
Nevertheless, I wish Republicans wouldn’t do shit like this:
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose decision to try to restrict early voting was thrown out first by an Ohio judge, then a federal appeals court and denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court, will be back in court again this month after he issued a last-minute directive on provisional ballots that not only contradicts Ohio law but is also in violation of a recent court decision and the opposite of what Husted’s own lawyers said he would do.
As reported by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress, Husted ordered election officials not to fill out a section of the provisional ballot that verifies what form of identification that the voter produced and that, if it is incorrectly filled out, the ballot will automatically not be counted. However, under the law establishing the provisional balloting procedures, according to the lawsuit filed against Husted on Friday, it is election officials that are supposed to record the type of ID provided, not the voter — and that election officials are supposed to attempt to resolve any questions on the spot.
Husted, frankly, needs to shitcanned. He has provided immense fodder for liberal conspiracy theorists with crap like this. He narrowed early voting from five weekends to one, which is resulting in huge lines and chaos at Ohio polls this weekend, especially in Democrat-heavy inner cities. And it is absolutely unconscionable that he would give pollsters incorrect orders on how to deal with provisional ballots (of which there may be several hundred thousand). Filling out a provisional ballot form is not difficult — it’s a pretty simple form. But the appearance of impropriety is not something we can afford.
(It also contradicts what we said in 2000. You may remember that one of the things the GOP argued in Bush v. Gore was that it is unfair and illegal to make up the election rules as you go. The rules for running an election should be set months in advance and everyone should stick to those rules. Ad hoc changes — whether it’s counting hanging chads in a third recount or changing the rules on provisional ballots — are an open invitation for bullshit.)
One of the most aggravating things that could come out of Tuesday’s election would be the refusal of either side to accept the result if it’s close. Republicans might scream about voter fraud; Democrats might cry about surpression. There is little evidence that either of these is powerful enough to swing the election unless Ohio 2012 turns into Florida 2000. But these conspiracy theories are fed by Democrat refusals to countenance the reality of voter fraud and Republican efforts to monkey with election laws at literally the last minute.
We don’t need this.