The Embarrassed Republican: Voter Fraud or Intimidation?

If the commission of "Voter fraud" is less likely than death by lightning, why does everyone suddenly need a voter ID?

With less than 100 cases of voter fraud prosecuted in the last 10 years, it wouldn’t seem to be a problem.   So why are giant ClearChannel billboards in poorer and mixed community neighborhoods, typically Democratic neighborhoods, in swing states, suddenly festooned with threatening images promising huge fines and years of jail time for voter fraud?

ClearChannel was called out on this and after they spoke to the parties that paid for the signs, have begun to take them down.  It was either that or reveal the identity of the “private family foundation.”  Was it community-mindedness that put up those signs, or just a hope of intimidation?  We’ll never know for sure, but when the the people who paid for them would rather not be identified, it makes us suspicious of their motives.  When we look at where the signs were posted, it gets embarrassing for Republicans.  Like we really needed more of that.

According to statical evidence death by lightning is more frequent that actual voter fraud. However, it seems to be part of the current mantra in the party to charge Democrats with thousands of illegal voter registrations.   We are asked to assume that hordes of illegal immigrants and poor people are voting two and three times.  The problem is that there is no proof of that, none whatsoever.  Are there Election violations, sure.  Are voting records sometimes inaccurate, sure.  Do people routinely impersonate others in order to vote or vote multiple times, nope. 

This assumption of fraud has been largely due to the concerted efforts of organizations like a group out of Texas called “True the Vote.”  These “do-gooders” are mostly responsible for new voter ID laws in over 30 states.  Voter ID sounds like a good idea, until you look at the details.  If the state asks for a “government issued ID” then that usually means a driver’s license or a passport.  As it turns out 11% of the legal voters in the US don’t have one.  Among the over 65‘s it about 15%, with African Americans that figure rises to 25%.  It’s not surprising if you live in a big city, you don’t have to drive.  If you’re older you may well have let your license lapse. if you're a college student you may well only have your college ID.

This is what happened to my mother in law, and now that’s she’s in physical therapy after a hip operation, she’s probably not going to trot down to motor vehicles to get one.  Imagine voting for 40 years and suddenly not being allowed to.  There’s several other problems with the “government ID requirement.”

The first is Government IDs always cost money, effectively making it cost money to vote.  Federal judges have ruled that that amounts to an illegal poll tax.  If we really wanted to crack down on “Voter fraud” then why aren’t voter id’s free?

Second, since the passage of the National Voter registration act states are supposed to make voter registration much easier.  Such as allowing citizens to register when they get their drivers licenses or by mail.  Requiring an additional ID requirement at voting time seems to counter that idea.  We want every legal voter to register and vote don’t we?

Third, elections are handled locally in the US.  Voter rolls are local and kept to a manageably small size.  Around here we sign the books at the polls every time we vote and the election people recognize just about everyone as far as I can tell.  Do we need them to check IDs as well?  What would that cost?

Moreover, If we really don’t have a problem with Voter fraud then why the big push for Voter ID’s?  Do we really think an election of millions of votes can be swayed by several people trying to imitate someone else?  Keep the voter rolls up to date, definitely, and do it accurately, sure.  But why suffer the expense and intimidation of Voter ID laws for a problem that only exists in the imaginations of a very few conspiracy theorists? Why put the party behind that?

It is intimidating and inconvenient to be questioned or asked to present an ID.  Recently the Pennsylvania Voter ID law was suspended because it was an undue burden on that state’s voters.  The same thing happened in South Carolina.  Both of these new laws were drafted and passed through the efforts of Republican legislators.  The suspension probably vastly disappointed Pennsylvania’s Republican House leader Mike Turzai who had announced that the law would allow Romney to win the state. That’s not going to work out by the way, all the big campaign money gave up Pennsylvania in August.  It’s definitely leaning Obama.

Over and over, it’s our party who is driving these suspicious practices.  The Democrats may be complicit as well, but our party is the one we’re responsible for.  More often than not it’s clearly Republicans who sue to have third candidates removed from the ballot, and enact restrictive voting laws such as requiring special ID’s, trying to shorten voting times or eliminate early voting.  And all of these practices target traditionally Democratic voters like Hispanics, African Americans, students and older Americans.   

No one knows who’s responsible for the signs, but we all have our suspicions.  The question is, when we’re asking voters to hand us the reins of cities, States and the Federal government shouldn’t we start by letting them vote?  If we really believe in Democracy, we should.

It’s important to note here that ClearChannel removed the signs after many complaints because they “violated our own internal policy standards.”  Does ClearChannel sound familiar?  It also owns the biggest Radio network in the US.  They're owned by Bain capital and employ conservative radio hosts like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.  They also own FOX news radio. 

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Terry October 26, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Then there was former Republican Party chairman Jim Greer who stated that "some GOP leaders were meeting to discuss ways they could suppress black votes". http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/jim-greer-denounces-florida-republican-party-officials-as-liars-right-wing/1242157
Prentiss Gray October 26, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Yup, and I left out Strategic Allied Consulting which the party is quicly distancing themselves from. Interesting story on that in the Miami Herald http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/02/v-fullstory/3031585/botched-voter-registration-forms.html
Edward Doyle October 27, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Did I miss your article on The New Black Panther Party standing outside the polls in Philadelphia armed with clubs menacing "white crackers" as they entered to vote? Of course in BHO/Eric HOLDER's world no problem there. You are so predictable. Stir up the class warfare/race baiting in the face of defeat for this failed administration. Republican.....stop with the rlidicous self-description. Laughable. Mitt next POTUS
Joseph Kennedy October 27, 2012 at 05:54 PM
The poll tax is a valid argument - intimidating and inconvenient is nonsense. Americans traveled miles to vote before motor vehicles and still managed to cast their ballot. I need to show ID every day I enter the building at work, show my pass every day on NJ transit, and young people are asked to show ID every time they buy a beer. To ask someone to show an ID once a year for 30 seconds in order to vote is intimidating?
J October 27, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Not to put words in the author's mouth, but I suspect the reason he left your Black Panther anecdote out of the article is because it never happened.
Dan Grant October 27, 2012 at 09:34 PM
You mean all two of them? That is what has you shivering? There are jokers like that in every election some white and some black. It isn't cause for a Federal eleclect but when the Secretary of State os a particular state says tha tthe purpose is to hold down voter turnout in order to help a candidate win as was the case in Pa. that is a whole different matter.
Pierre Truthe October 29, 2012 at 01:49 AM
I am a victim of voter fraud. I went to vote and wasn't allowed to because someone had voted in my name. I pulled out a state issued driver’s license to prove who I was but that didn’t matter. I was not allowed to vote. The signature in the registration book wasn't even close! That didn’t matter either. I wasn’t allowed to vote. The FBI called me on the phone and asked a few cursory questions and that's the last I heard about it. Obviously a high priority for them HA! It all could have been avoided if an ID was required. My right to vote was violated in the name of protecting someone else’s right to vote. BTW, that someone, who doesn’t have an ID in today’s world is probably so marginalized that they wouldn’t have a clue about the issues or candidates anyway. In my opinion, the voter suppression argument is an excuse to keep the system open to fraud so the system can continue to be abused by corrupt politicians and their political machines. James Michael Curley is alive and well!
Terry October 29, 2012 at 07:55 AM
Prentiss Gray October 29, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Pierre Truthe?
Pierre Truthe October 29, 2012 at 05:06 PM
That's right Prentiss - yep that's my name. Nancy Duggan - just dismissing something as "Balderdash" does not mean it didn't happen. Why not just call me a liar and be done with it?
Prentiss Gray October 29, 2012 at 05:10 PM
It's a great name, what's the lineage?
Prentiss Gray October 29, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Where and when did this happen?
Prentiss Gray October 29, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Quite unique, did you know that there is no record of anyone in the US with the last name "Truthe," very special. That's OK there's not ver many "Prentiss's" either.
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Ryan Miller November 01, 2012 at 01:24 PM
This statement that voter fraud occurs less often that fatal lightning strikes is MORONIC. It is difficult to prosecute, often difficult to detect, but that doesn't mean it does not happen. Furthermore, this is hardly a republican/democrat issue. Positive support for Voter ID laws is 75-80% in most polls... learn some facts. Also, your snide postscript about Clear Channel is ridiculous. Clear Channel is the 800 pound gorilla in radio. It owns about 900 radio stations, and is by far the largest in program syndication. To own that much in radio and not be involved with conservative talk, considering its huge number or listeners, would be poor business strategy. And to say they are owned by Bain Capital is misleading; Bain is one of their many private owners. Is this what stands for research and honesty on the patch?
Prentiss Gray November 01, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The point is it doesn't happen nearly enough to put all the effort and scare tactics that the party is putting behind it. It's obvious that this is just voter intimidation wrapped in the "justice flag." It's just these kinds of misleading shenanigans that are making our party the least trusted. I think were going to lose a lot of elections next week due to that and a lot more in the future if we don't put these things right. As for "75-80%" support for voter id's in most polls, let me know which polls those are. Too often we let people get away without quoting sources, and we shouldn't. I think knowing who the owners of major media outlets are is important information. It doesn't mean there is bias, but connections are connections. In politics it's particularly important to know "who you are in bed with."
LeCo November 02, 2012 at 04:45 PM
The righteous have nothing to fear. No one has yet to make a cogent argument against having to show ID to vote. As for backing up those statistics, here ya go. http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012/09/poll-overwhelming-public-support-for-photo-identification-laws/
Joe Noory November 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM
For a Republican, you sound an awful lot like someone familiar with little more than the canned talking points and the trope of a garden variety leftist. Interestingly enough, you seem to be on every DNC coordinated issue drive on the weeks they are rolled out. Who do you think you're fooling?
Prentiss Gray November 02, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Thanks, that's what I like backing up claims with facts, or in this case stats. I don't think anyone should have a problem with using IDs in the voting process, so long as they are free, are easy to get and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to process them. My problem is conditions like the ones called out in the article you cited, accepting hand gun carry permits but not student IDs, purposefully targeting the other parties strength zones with intimidating advertising, spending this much time and effort on something that almost never occurs.
Prentiss Gray November 02, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Can you grow "Leftists" in the garden? What's "leftist" about objecting to voter suppression? I will admit, in fact I'm proud of my more liberal stances on many positions but that's nothing new for the party. According to Gallup in 2009 one out of every three Republicans was a liberal. Not everything is a communist conspiracy, you know.
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VietNam Vet December 29, 2012 at 08:19 AM
We need voter ID to prove that we are alive because so many of the demoncraps keep coming back to life to vote again and again and again, and then they bring their dogs and cats to vote as well.
Sick of the trolls December 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM
"Vet", I don't really have the time right now to spend on you that I would like, but know this: I'm so glad you're back. "clyde donovan" has been my whipping boy the last few months, but he is nowhere near as fun as you, especially because I know who you are. We are going to have so much fun! Ok, well, I am anyway. You may not like what's coming, but you can thank your neighbor Mike Strumolo for it.
VietNam Vet January 01, 2013 at 08:27 AM
sick, I have no idea what your talking about.
Sick of the trolls January 02, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Yeah, I bet you don't. But you will.


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