(By Fay Paxton, cross-posted at The Pragmatic Pundit)
When the Republicans started to echo concerns about voting fraud a few days before the election, I said to myself, “here they go again.” Then the underhanded robocalls started in an attempt to discourage Democrats from going to the polls. It was the preamble to a race they expected to lose and that old tired game they play, setting in place the idea that if the other guy wins, his victory is illegitimate. They were preparing the public, just in case the anticipated turnout was so huge, they couldn’t steal enough votes to save Walker’s seat.
Of course, I could be completely wrong, but when the race was called and people were still voting (so they’d go home) and there was a huge disparity between exit polls and actual results, my suspicions actually increased. Afterall, exit polls measure how people say they “actually” voted; the disparity between exit polls and the actual vote count should be minimal.
We’ll never know, because Wisconsin votes on mostly paper ballots that are tabulated by computer optical-scan systems like the ones which, in 2005, were hacked to entirely flip the results of a mock election. There is no way to know if the results reported by the computers reflect what the actual ballots say because in Wisconsin no hand verification is done, other than for Presidential elections, without both a recount request and an order from a judge.
I thought about what Mark Crispin Miller wrote in his book entitled: Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too:
“the Republican Party did whatever it could do….. to cut the Kerry vote and pad the Bush vote….like the various cyber-scams pulled off in a tight complicity with..corporate vendors of electoral infrastructure…. the disappearance of innumerable Democratic registration forms, countless absentee ballots and provisional ballots, as well as multitudes of would-be ‘felonies’ never committed or committed by somebody else, or for no given reason whatsoever….
Democratic precincts got far too few machines, and those machines kept breaking down, or turning Kerry votes into Bush votes, with long, long lines of would-be voters stuck for hours (or, as often happened, giving up and not voting); while pro-Bush precincts tended to have plenty of machines, all working well, so that voting there was quick and easy.
And then there were old-fashioned dirty tricks meant to scare people into staying home, or to send them to the wrong address, or to get them out to vote a day too late. There was also outright bullying, intimidation and harassment….the oldest methods of mass disenfranchisement, just as obvious in 2004 as they were in Dixie after Reconstruction…..”
I write about Dixie after Reconstruction. The tactics used today to gain control of the electorate are eerily similar to the Mississippi Plan adopted by Southern whites to reduce Black voting strength more than a century ago. One method was to place restrictions at the point of registration.
The Republicans are waging a campaign to control every facet of the government. In order to guarantee success, they lie, cheat and steal elections. Here’s a friendly wager…if the Republicans are successful in November, Citizens United will be overturned; they won’t need it anymore.
These are just a few of their hat tricks:
From The Brad Blog
The votes of more than ten million voters could be affected by a newly revealed failure in the voting systems set for use in Florida, Wisconsin, New York and Ohio in this year’s Presidential election, and in more than 50 different jurisdictions in Wisconsin during next month’s historic recall elections.
According to a report released by Election Systems & Software, Inc., the private company which manufactures, sells, services and programs the systems, their systems may overheat when used over several hours and that they then may miscount and/or incorrectly discard anywhere from 30% to 70% of votes scanned by the machines.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, February 27, 2012
In the September primary, the scanner processed 103 ballots and made errors on 69 of them, a failure rate approaching 70%. In the November general election, the scanner handled 289 ballots and misread votes on 156 of them, a 54% failure rate.
The Palm Beach Post
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
5/12 – TENNESSEE CAUGHT RED HANDED
Four hundred and eighty-eight voters….all but four lifelong Democrats, and nearly all Black, had their voting history erased by Shelby County election workers….
GOP in California hired “professional con artists” who turned in thousands of fraudulent voter registrations.
The Orange Country Register
April 16, 2010
This should be encouraging:
Last year, Mitt Romney began paying Nathan Sproul (Associates to Lincoln Strategies), a political consultant with a long history of destroying Democratic voter registration forms.
In Oregon and Nevada, Nathan Sproul’s company was investigated for destroying Democratic voter registration forms. The Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign paid Sproul $7.4 million for campaign work.
In Nevada, people who registered as Democrats with Sproul’s firm found their names absent from the voter registration rolls.
This list could go on and on, but you get the point. Besides, it’s nothing new:
The New York Times
September 15, 1905
Philadelphia assessors removed 52,493 from the registration list…. Their names were put on the lists by fraud in 1904. The action of the assessors substantiates the charge made by opponents of the Republican ring in Pennsylvania that there were at least 50,000 unlawful registrations a year ago.
The assessor’s lists show that in ten wards of Philadelphia the number of votes cast for Roosevelt Electors last November was 5,541 greater than the number of legal voters in those wards.
If Republicans are really concerned about “the sanctity of the vote”, why didn’t they enforce their new rules during their own primaries? Perhaps Romney wouldn’t have been able to steal Ron Paul’s votes. In fact, why didn’t they pass national voter’s registration when they held the House, Senate and Presidency from 2001 to 2007? Who would have balked, half the nation thought they’d stolen the White House for Bush anyway. How hard could it be? Everyone has a social security number and they count every American in the country. And why do we have to register anyway? And what difference does it make which party one aligns with?
If they were really concerned about “the sanctity of the vote”, they’d fix elections and promote access to the process, instead of suppressing it. They wouldn’t legislate against recounts, but would instead welcome them in order to assure accurate elections; but fairness and accuracy are not the goal.
Maybe, I’m just a cynic, but I won’t believe Walker really won until I can count the votes myself.