15 October 2008

How to steal an election

The question about ACORN registering not only dead people, but fictional characters and collections of letters as voters has come up as a question as to why this matters.  I responded to this at the Hot Air site and will then add a few thoughts at the end.  As always all problems of spelling, syntax and logic are left for the amusement of the reading public.

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How to turn these phony registratants into votes?

As the ‘activist organizations’ flood the system close to or at the deadline for registration, they swamp the internal controls to verify applications. Those then get put on the rolls as voters. Someone shows up with some form of ID that will pass muster and votes.

As mentioned many of the voter rolls are out and names crossed off as people show up. If you have a database of individuals you have registered or a block of addresses from which phony voters applications were put in, you can then have either a real voter or an ‘observer’ contact someone on the outside to then do a database look-up. If there is not a strict accounting of the actual photo ID, such as taking the driver’s license number or other identifier off of the ID, then you can have someone show up with an ID that looks valid. The cost of cardstock and laminating equipment is low in such a large operation and we have already seen fake ‘press passes’ derived from original source ones via this methodology.

This allows a small number of individuals to then do this Chicago phenomenon of ‘vote early, vote often’.

By the time the actual verification gets to an individual on the rolls, it may be weeks or months after the election, with the latter more likely due to the approaching holiday season.

This could be negated by a requirment for a valid State ID, such as driver’s license or other ID in which the polling station has a read-out for that block of individuals who live in that district. Enter the number, get the name, hand verify the name on the paper rolls, initial and time stamp it. But then you get ‘civil libertarians’ crying about how such databases can be abused, and that cross-checking is, somehow, a nefarious activity. And yet the public’s need for clean elections should have massive criminal penalties in place when such databases are compromised to undermine local democracy…. unfortunately that is not the case.

Thus criminal activity gets a slap on the wrist, civil libertarians decry cross-checking databases, organizations push in a mass of late registrations that can’t be checked and small numbers of individuals ‘vote early, vote often’ because they do not show up at the same polling places but drive from place to place. “Small” being anywhere from a handful to a few tens of people… and if the election doesn’t come out as wanted, then those individuals are sacrificed to call the election into question and claim it was ’stolen’. How many individuals in a given area would it take to convince *you* that this would represent a larger number doing this activity? Two? Three? Ten? Twenty State-wide? Fifty? And just how will you be able to discriminate between just a few individuals doing this and a larger push of which these would be a ‘representative sample’?

There is also, of course, taking a large number of blank ballots, and filling them in and crossing the names off of the rolls after the election, but that ham-handed way usually shows up due to the block of ballots involved. That is if you have a paper-trail ballot.

Really, one can be inventive with this to get to a desired result… which is undermining representative democracy.

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The problem is not just the registration and a few 'bad votes' getting through: it is creating an atmosphere of suspect elections that then seek to disenfranchise the voting public by creating the appearance of fraud in the election process.  The tactic of 'flooding' voting administration offices in the last day or two of the registration cycle is one that is well known, and documented:  it is done to over-tax the registration system and get unaccountable names on the voting rolls and to get absentee ballots for those that would not normally deserve them.

Beyond that, this can be used in an area where a favored politician such organizations like ACORN are *losing* so as to create turmoil, call the ballot process into question and attempt to eliminate strong opposition districts from the vote count via appearances of impropriety.

In strong districts this is used to push up the 'win' so as to get a larger tally so that people can point to: well this candidate got the most votes, why wasn't he elected?  That was in the year 2000, in case anyone has forgotten, and it is an attempt to undermine the system of representative democracy and fairness to all citizens so that they have representative say by region and area.  Thus 'winning big' can be used as a bludgeon to try and overturn a result that is one that expresses the diverse will of the people, not just the majority.

Even if the actual votes that are fraudulent are slight, the number to turn public opinion against the process is paper thin.  Eroding that crumbles the faith in the election system, representative democracy and our respect for each other as citizens as some try to impose results via ideology and ill-means.  By undermining the system of voting and call it into question via such means, we see a direct authoritarian attempt to delegitimize representative democracy and force the will of a minority by disenfranchising voters by calling legitimate votes into question by those activities.

When politicians move money to such organizations from the public treasury, as seen with ACORN and other such groups, the entire process becomes corrosive to the freedom of the ballot and the franchise right.  That is an established right that is protected by the US Constitution and those seeking to undermine it are not only breaking the civil rights of citizens but eroding societal trust in the election process in an attempt to impose ends from unelected organizations supporting non-democratic means to impose their will on the whole of society.


Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

One or two people doing voter fraud is unfortunate but to be expected. However, with ACORN, it's a consistent pattern with scores of their workers. I don't understand why the Lib media isn't more troubled about this. (That was rhetorical!)

A Jacksonian said...

This is far beyond the Chicago Phenomena of 'I see dead people voting'... it is a coordinated attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the ballot and representative democracy. You have to get to the 1920's or 1930's in Italy, Germany and Spain to start reaching this sort of thing... or modern tyrants in authoritarian States.

This is suicidal to a representative democracy in a Republic. That no one in office is willing to counter it speaks ill of the entire two party system: is it culpability or fear? Either way it is horrific.

There is no good end by not countering this, as that is tacit encouragement. That is when you get 'political parties' running assassination squads in the streets... and the end of a system that promotes liberty and freedom. That is where this has ended before, and unchecked it will end there again.