John Fund on voter fraud

Posted by: ST on July 30, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Several readers have sent me this link to a column author and columnist John Fund wrote for the WSJ in which he states, in essence, that just because Democrats are no longer crying “voter fraud” doesn’t mean it’s magically gone away:

When Republicans win elections, liberals are quick to cry fraud. But when actual fraud is found, they are just as quick to deny it, if Democrats are the ones who benefit.

Just before the 2004 election, the influential blog DailyKos.com warned of a “nationwide” wave of voter fraud against John Kerry. After the election, liberal blogger Josh Marshall urged Mr. Kerry not to concede because the election had been “too marred with voter suppression, dirty tricks and other unspeakable antics not to press every last possibility” of changing the outcome. When Congress met in January 2005 to certify the election results, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D., Ohio) challenged Mr. Bush’s victory and forced Congress to debate the issue. Months later, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean maintained that blacks had been the victims of “massive voter suppression” in Ohio.

But now liberals are accusing the Bush Justice Department of cooking up spurious claims of voter fraud in the 2006 elections and creating what the New York Times calls a “fantasy” that voter fraud is a problem. Last week Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, claimed that the administration fired eight U.S. attorneys last year in order to pressure prosecutors “to bring cases of voter fraud to try to influence elections.” He said one replacement U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo., was a “partisan operative” sent “to file charges on the eve of an election in violation of Justice Department guidelines.” But the Kansas City prosecution was approved by career Justice lawyers, and the guidelines in question have since been rewritten by career lawyers in the Public Integrity section of Justice.

But last week also brought fresh evidence that voter fraud is a real problem and could even branch out into cyberspace:

• California’s Secretary of State Debra Bowen, a Democrat, reported that state-approved hackers had been “able to bypass physical and software security in every [voting] machine they tested,” although she admitted that the hackers had access to internal security information and source codes that vote thieves wouldn’t normally have.

• The Florida secretary of state’s office reported it had found “legally sufficient” evidence that some 60 people in Palm Beach County had committed voter fraud by voting both there and in New York state. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has launched a formal probe. In 2004, New York’s Daily News found that 46,000 people were illegally registered to vote in both New York and Florida.

• Prosecutors in Hoboken, N.J., last week announced they are investigating a vagrant who was part of a group of voters observed to be acting suspiciously outside a polling place in an election last month. After he signed a voting register in the name of another man, he was confronted by a campaign worker and fled the scene. He later admitted to cops that he had been paid $10 to vote.

• Last week the U.S. Department of Justice recommended that an outside party be appointed to oversee Democratic primary elections in Noxubee County, Miss. In June, federal district judge Tom Lee found that Ike Brown, the Democratic political boss of Noxubee, had paid notaries public to visit voters and illegally mark their absentee ballots, imported illegal candidates to run for county office and manipulated the registration rolls.

This was especially interesting – and infuriating (emphasis added):

But the [Washington state] Acorn case points up just how difficult it is to convince prosecutors to bring voter fraud cases. Donald Washington, a former U.S. attorney for northern Louisiana, admits that “most of the time, we can’t do much of anything [about fraud] until the election is over. And the closer we get to the election, the less willing we are to get involved because of just the appearance of impropriety, just the appearance of the federal government somehow shading how this election ought to occur.” Several prosecutors told me they feared charges of racism or of a return to Jim Crow voter suppression tactics if they pursued touchy voter fraud cases–as indeed is now happening as part of the reaction to the U.S. attorney firings.

Take Washington state, where former U.S. attorney John McKay declined to pursue allegations of voter fraud after that state’s hotly contested 2004 governor’s race was decided in favor of Democrat Christine Gregoire by 133 votes on a third recount. As the Seattle media widely reported, some “voters” were deceased, others were registered in storage lockers, and still others were ineligible felons. Extra ballots were “found” and declared valid 10 times during the vote count and recount. In some precincts, more votes were cast than voters showed up at the polls.

Mr. McKay insists he left “no stone unturned” in investigating allegations of fraud in the governor’s race but found no evidence of a crime. But in an interview with Stefan Sharkansky of SoundPolitics.com in May, Mr. McKay admitted that he “didn’t like the way the election was handled” and that it had “smelled really, really bad.” His decision not to prosecute was apparently based on the threshold of evidence he insisted be met before he would even deploy FBI agents to investigate: a firsthand account of a conspiracy to alter the outcome of the election.

But Mr. McKay is incorrect in saying that he had to find a conspiracy in order to reach the federal threshold for election crimes. In Milwaukee, after the 2004 election U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic investigated many of the same problems that were found in Seattle: felons voting, double-voting and more votes cast than voters who signed poll books. In 2005 Mr. Biskupic concluded that he had found nothing that “has shown a plot to try to tip an election,” but he nonetheless prosecuted and won six convictions for felon voting and double-voting.

Are you paying attention, David “prosecuting even a few cases sends a very strong message and could actually result in suppressing minority voting” Igelsias?

PrairiePundit smells a conspiracy:

It is a serious problem and it is behind the Democrats’ non scandal on the US Attorney firing. They are pushing that matter to make it impossible for their voter fraud efforts to be prosecuted by US attorneys. That is the real scandal that is taking place and they have the NY Times and other media sources aiding and abetting that scandal. Republicans have been too timid in making the counter charge. That is a mistake. They should seize the opportunity to expose the Democrat voter fraud cover up effort and those in Congress who are responsible for it. Chuck Shumer has taken the led along with Sen Leahy.

Hmm. I don’t really think it’s a conspiracy, but it sure as heck smells like one, doesn’t it? I honestly wouldn’t put anything past the power hungry Democrats, who hated being out of power after 1994.

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One Response to “John Fund on voter fraud”

Comments

  1. Leslie says:

    Yes, voter fraud is a problem. And it’s a problem for America, not merely for the political party you support.

    Each party will do what it can to gets its supporters to the polls and bar the voters who are likely to vote for the other party.

    Vote manipulation has been going on forever and I don’t think it’s going to stop any time soon. And it matters not whether the voters use touch screens, paper ballots that are optically scanned, or mechanical machines. Each system has its flaws, and the bad guys will find them. (Memo to the people who prefer to mail in absentee ballots rather than use touch screen machines: “Dear Folks, are you kidding me??!!”)

    And this cannot be said too often. The Florida vote in 2000, and the Washington State vote of 2004 produced results that were within the statistical margin of error for an accurate count. There is simply no accurate way to determine which candidate actually won, and it’s time for the Democrats to stop whining about the “stolen” election of 2000, and for the GOP to stop whining about what happened to them in Washington State in 2004.

    As for registration: I really, really don’t think it’s so burdensome to ask a prospective voter to produce some form of identification better than a courtesy card from their local drugstore chain in order to be legally registered.

    :-?