There is no such problem as voter fraud

Sometimes you just know things. As a blogger very familiar to me wrote in 2006:

Next federal Election Day, Vincentine is going to round up a bunch of illegal immigrants and commit voter fraud. As a member of the House of Representatives said yesterday, every illegal immigrant who votes is taking away the vote of a legal American. Because legal Americans fight and kill each other in the streets every Election Day over the right to cast one of a strictly limited number of allowable votes.

After that, Vincentine is going to refuse to buy health insurance and then go stand out in the rain.

In 2008, Jeffrey Toobin wrote in the New Yorker:

The latest and most extensive examination of electoral irregularities, released in November [2007] by the nonpartisan research institute Demos, determined that voter fraud was “very rare,” and every other respectable study has reached the same conclusion. This is certainly true in Indiana, where legislators said they were aiming to stop “voter impersonation,” which was already a crime in the state; in the entire history of Indiana, the number of prosecutions for this offense has been zero. Nationwide, despite an attempt by the Bush Justice Department to crack down on voter fraud, there were only a hundred and twenty federal prosecutions and eighty-six convictions between 2002 and 2006—a period in which close to four hundred million votes were cast.

So I felt vindicated. But this year it’s not funny anymore. First the Phoenix said this:

Voter ID laws are predicated on a big lie that Republicans have propagated with the passive assistance of the mainstream media: that there is massive voter fraud throughout the United States.

Then the Nation said this, in an article co-published with Colorlines:

An organization called Tampa Vote Fair has been besieging the county supervisor of elections with alarmist cries of ex-felon voter fraud. No such fraud has been found in the county, but the group has managed to cloud public opinion on its existence either way. . . .

“The people who are attacking voters don’t want people of color participating at the same rate and with the same ease as other voters,” said Advancement Project co-director Penda Hair in a June interview. “So they come up with one excuse after another, and they label it under voter fraud.”

Then Jane Mayer in the New Yorker said this :

Congressman John Lewis, the Democrat from Georgia, says of recent efforts to tighten voting requirements, “I thought we’d passed this long ago. But it seems we must fight this fight over and over.” In the nineteen-sixties, Lewis was beaten by police while demonstrating in support of civil-rights legislation, including the Voting Rights Act. He said of von Spakovsky, “He’s been the moving force behind photo I.D.s. . . . It’s like he goes to bed dreaming about this, and gets up in the morning wondering, What can I do today to make it more difficult for people to vote? When you pull back the covers, peel back the onion, he’s the one who’s gotten the Republican legislatures, and the Republican Party, to go along with this—even though there is no voter fraud to speak of. He’s trying to create a cure where there is no sickness.”

In the meantime, I read this—and I was forced to concede that voter fraud does exist. It’s called voter suppression, it’s a form of white cultural dominance, and Romney’s team is counting on it.

UPDATE: An up-to-the-minute overview of voter suppression efforts at Colorlines.

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