Today in voter suppression

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wack wack
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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby wack wack » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:52 am

Bludgeon wrote:If I had a research firm I would investigate how much of the senior vote is Dem/Republican outside of nursing homes and compare that with how much of the senior vote is Dem/Republican inside of nursing homes. I would lay money on the bet that - mysteriously - a significantly higher percentage of institutionalized seniors "vote" Democrat than what we see on the outside.


Generally speaking, if you're in a nursing home it's because you've endured multiple failures: financial, familial and social. You are necessarily going to be more reliant on welfare and the kindness of others. You will have greater exposure to, and understanding of the need for social services and "safety net." OF COURSE you are going to have a greater tendency to lean to the party of compassion, understanding and REAL fairness.

IF there is a higher percentage of Dem elderly in homes than in private life, there's nothing mysterious about it. Your implication that there must be something nefarious about this once again points to the depth of your ignorance.

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby AaronTheSnob » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:07 am

Bludgeon wrote:
ilikebeans wrote:
Bludgeon wrote:It takes a special kind of low to walk into the room of someone who is about to die and waste precious moments of the last part of their lives on being manipulated for cheap political gain.

Seriously. That kind of systematic behavior is egregious enough that it would make the news.

So let's see it.

Let's not see it - in 2012 when we take Herb Kohl's seat and the white house. Feingold nobly refused support from the national party - that will help him in 2014 when he makes a run for governor. 2012's Democrat is not going to have the option to turn down help - national Democrats trying to hold the senate aren't going to be able to spare too many months of funding for what they're already starting to call a lost cause.

None of us here own a research firm - alas, none of you will be able to dig into reliable numbers on how much the vote was or was not disenfranchised when it is all said and done.

If I had a research firm I would investigate how much of the senior vote is Dem/Republican outside of nursing homes and compare that with how much of the senior vote is Dem/Republican inside of nursing homes. I would lay money on the bet that - mysteriously - a significantly higher percentage of institutionalized seniors "vote" Democrat than what we see on the outside.

But neither one of us is going to find out. In the end the most reliable evidence pertaining to voter fraud will be the results of next year's election, though some may say the results of this year's recall failure ought to give you a hint.


With what Rick Perry and the baggers are proposing in the way of the destruction of both Social Security and Medicare for the elderly, I would be quite surprised if you see millions of seniors stampeding to the polls to vote for the Republican agenda. If they do, then they deserve what they get.

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby snoqueen » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:21 am

I can tell you when I assisted seniors at a Madison assisted living with voting in the last presidential election, they voted both ways. I can't tell you it was exactly 50-50, but it was close enough that I couldn't say which side received the majority of their votes.

Pretty much like the rest of the general population, in other words.

And by the way, these people were informed and quite capable of forming their own opinions. If social security and medicare are threatened, they won't like it.

I don't think disenfranchising seniors will predictably benefit either side unless you factor in the ss/medicare thing. That may be the overall plan, of course.

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby ilikebeans » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:36 am

Bludgeon wrote:If I had a research firm I would investigate how much of the senior vote is Dem/Republican outside of nursing homes and compare that with how much of the senior vote is Dem/Republican inside of nursing homes. I would lay money on the bet that - mysteriously - a significantly higher percentage of institutionalized seniors "vote" Democrat than what we see on the outside.

Ah, I see, so it really is a huge hunch on your part.

Yes, I agree that if workers from any organization that were helping assisted living residents to register were also influencing them toward a particular candidate or party, that would be, in your words, "egregious - an attrocity [sic]".

However, I guarantee that someone would complain, whether a resident, their relatives, or staff of the center, and if systematic, it would eventually make it to the local news.

I'm not even asking for scientific statistics on this one. I can't find a single news article suggesting this happened. Can you?

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby Bludgeon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:14 am

ilikebeans wrote:
Bludgeon wrote:If I had a research firm I would investigate how much of the senior vote is Dem/Republican outside of nursing homes and compare that with how much of the senior vote is Dem/Republican inside of nursing homes. I would lay money on the bet that - mysteriously - a significantly higher percentage of institutionalized seniors "vote" Democrat than what we see on the outside.

Ah, I see, so it really is a huge hunch on your part.

Yes, I agree that if workers from any organization that were helping assisted living residents to register were also influencing them toward a particular candidate or party, that would be, in your words, "egregious - an attrocity [sic]".

However, I guarantee that someone would complain, whether a resident, their relatives, or staff of the center, and if systematic, it would eventually make it to the local news.

I'm not even asking for scientific statistics on this one. I can't find a single news article suggesting this happened. Can you?


What I'm telling you is there's no single all-encompassing compendium documenting the total history or even the collective history of voter fraud in America. It's not a crime addressed in something even so comprehensive as a class action lawsuit. What there are are an endless supply of individual incidents all prosecuted separately and the nature of the crime - individual fraud perpetrators - is one of the things that makes it so hard to do anything about voter fraud as a crime. Even with fraud artists working in tandem with an organizational mandate that encourages fraud (with a pay system that encourages maximum 'output' and a policy of non-oversight), law enforcement is pretty much relegated to prosecuting individuals, which makes investigating and prosecuting every single instance into a Herculean task that would cost more than the election itself. There seems to be no lack of individual cases, many of which I posted earlier, but people tend to (falsely) think of an individual case in the face of so many votes as something too insignificant to tally (or remember), thus get out the vote operations exploit an institutional weakness in elections - 'the ends justify the means'; 'what the people don't know won't hurt them'. After all most city voters are happy with the results when that effort is successful. I very much doubt that most people in Madison wouldn't accept a little more voter fraud if it got them a Governor Tom Barrett.

The state's judicial system is no place to solve institutional voter fraud. There's no way to stop it on a case to case basis. What you can do is change the laws making it harder for people to commit. I'll even give you an example from a Democrat's perspective:

Miami Herald wrote:Absentee ballots still source of election fraud
Fannin County, Georgia, was poor, rural and — when I was there in 1985 — downright backward. But there was something decidedly Miami-esque about that little mountain community, at least when it came to fixing elections.
“Why, I reckon vote buying has been going on forever in Fannin County,” Junior Cornett told me. Junior, the county road superintendent, had been convicted of swapping $20 bills for absentee ballots marked to his liking.

Two months later, I was down in the Alabama black belt covering another federal election fraud case. Different culture, same contraband: absentee ballots.

In 1993, after the Hialeah city election was tainted by illicit commerce in absentee votes, a Miami Herald editorial warned, “Florida’s absentee ballot guidelines are among the nation’s most lenient. Indeed, the laws encourage ‘ballot brokers’ who exchange blocs of absentee ballots for money. The Legislature needs to adopt tighter regulations for obtaining absentee ballots. The Florida Senate wisely voted down a bill this year that would have made the code even looser.”

That bit of wisdom did not hold. In 2004, the Legislature relaxed absentee ballot rules. And ballot brokers are still deciding elections. (The Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections mailed out 126,372 absentee ballots for Tuesday’s county mayoral election.) If the rules were any looser, my dog Jasper could vote absentee.

You would have thought that legislators might have been sobered by the infamous 1997 Miami mayoral race. After those results were tossed, a Miami-Dade grand jury reported, “We find that absentee-ballot fraud clearly played an important part in the recent city of Miami elections.’’ But under the standards adopted in 2004, the vote brokers who subverted the 1997 election would have escaped prosecution.

The state attorney’s office found “ample evidence of illegal or improper activity in connection with the handling of absentee ballots” in a 2008 Miami congressional race, but decided our election laws were too tepid to support a prosecution.

Yet this spring, when Florida lawmakers took on election fraud, early voting was curtailed and tough new regulations were imposed voting registration. But absentee voting went unremarked. It was if the Republican-controlled Legislature had been guided by a 2010 state Senate report noting that more Democrats, particularly black voters, took advantage of early voting while “voters casting absentee ballots casting ballots in the 2006 election were predominantly Republican, with 55.5% voting absentee while only 33.3% of Democrats voted absentee.”

So Florida’s new election fraud law, rather conveniently for the ruling party, ignores the main source of election fraud. Poor Junior Cornett. The old crook was fixing elections at the wrong time in the wrong state.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/27/2 ... k=misearch#ixzz1YVb3jnLM

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby wack wack » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:49 am

Bludgeon wrote:What I'm telling you is there's no single all-encompassing compendium documenting the total history or even the collective history of voter fraud in America. It's not a crime addressed in something even so comprehensive as a class action lawsuit... The state's judicial system is no place to solve institutional voter fraud.


There is no compendium because there is no measurable institutional voter fraud. It is not systemic or endemic in any sense, for any segment of the population. The political inconvenience this causes for you does not change the facts. "Mountain out of a molehill" is an understatement for the conclusions you're trying to draw.

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby Bludgeon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:59 am

WSJ wrote: The Case for Voter ID
You can't cash a check, board a plane, or even buy full-strength Sudafed over the counter without ID. Why should voting be different?


Immediately after the Kansas law was signed in April, critics cried foul. They argued that voter fraud isn't significant enough to warrant such steps, that large numbers of Americans don't possess photo IDs, and that such laws will depress turnout among the poor and among minorities. They are wrong on all three counts.

Voter fraud is a well-documented reality in American elections. To offer a few examples, a 2010 state representative race in Kansas City, Mo. was stolen when one candidate, J.J. Rizzo, allegedly received more than 50 votes illegally cast by citizens of Somalia. The Somalis, who didn't speak English, were coached to vote for Mr. Rizzo by an interpreter at the polling place. The margin of victory? One vote.

In Kansas, 221 incidents of voter fraud were reported between 1997 and 2010. The crimes included absentee-ballot fraud, impersonation of another voter, and a host of other violations. Because voter fraud is extremely difficult to detect and is usually not reported, the cases that we know about likely represent a small fraction of the total.

My office already has found 67 aliens illegally registered to vote in Kansas, but when the total number is calculated, it will likely be in the hundreds. In Colorado, the Secretary of State's office recently identified 11,805 aliens illegally registered to vote in the state, of whom 4,947 cast a ballot in the 2010 elections. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 90480.html


UsaToday wrote:High court upholds voter ID law

WASHINGTON — By a 6-3 vote in a closely watched election-year case, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld Indiana's strict voter-identification law, rejecting the claims of Democratic and civil-rights challengers that the law infringes on the right to vote.
The decision by Justice John Paul Stevens, one of the most liberal members of the court, emphasized that the challengers had not presented sufficient evidence that voters were kept from the polls or otherwise hurt by the law Indiana says prevents fraud. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington ... r-id_N.htm

USAToday wrote:Mayor, judge charged with paying for collection of absentee ballots
ORLANDO (AP) — The mayor and a circuit court judge surrendered Friday on a felony charge that they paid a campaign worker to collect absentee ballots, and the mayor was suspended from his post.

A defense attorney denied charges against Mayor Buddy Dyer (former leader of the state Senate's Democrats), Circuit Court Judge Alan Apte and two others who also turned themselves in on similar indictments — Dyer campaign manager Patti Sharp and Ezzie Thomas, a campaign consultant to Dyer and Apte.

The indictments were issued a day earlier by a grand jury looking at whether Thomas illegally collected absentee ballots in predominantly black neighborhoods for Dyer's and Apte's campaigns a year ago in this city of 186,000 residents.

The mayoral race, in which Dyer avoided a runoff by only 234 votes, drew accusations of fraud, and the runner-up has gone to court to try to have the results thrown out.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/200 ... ayor_x.htm


WSJ wrote: It All Starts with Vote Fraud
The Bell city pay scandal has its roots in absentee voter fraud.
The explosive scandal that saw officials in the lower-income city of Bell, California (population 40,000) purged last month due to outrageous salaries and pensions may have had its roots in voter fraud.

City Manager Robert Rizzo, who stood to collect a $600,000-a-year pension, and police chief Randy Adams, who was due a $411,300-a-year pension, were just two of the officials forced to resign after their platinum parachutes were uncovered. Now it turns out that they had been hired and kept in their jobs by elected officials who allegedly took advantage of Bell's traditionally low voter turnout to commit ballot fraud.

In 2005, fewer than 400 voters cast ballots in a special election that cleared the way for City Council members to dramatically boost their own salaries. In that election, more than half the votes cast were absentee ballots, the method of voting most susceptible to fraud. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 86472.html

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby ilikebeans » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:09 pm

Bludgeon wrote:What I'm telling you is there's no single all-encompassing compendium documenting the total history or even the collective history of voter fraud in America.

That's not what I asked.

You have alleged over several posts that vote registration workers (ACORN, el al.) have been influencing assisted living residents to vote a certain direction.

Do you believe this has systematically been happening without gaining ANY notice of the press?

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby Bludgeon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:21 pm

WSJ wrote:Justice and Vote Fraud
Vote fraud is real and can affect elections. In 2001, the Palm Beach Post reported that more than 5,600 people who voted in Florida in the 2000 Presidential election had names and data that perfectly matched a statewide list of suspected felons who were barred from voting. Florida was decided by about 500 votes.

In 2003, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned the result of a mayor's race because of absentee ballot fraud -- a case that led to a stricter Indiana ID law recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. A 2005 Tennessee state Senate race was voided after evidence of voting by felons, nonresidents and the deceased. A Washington State Superior Court judge found that the state's 2004 gubernatorial race, which Democrat Christine Gregoire won by 133 votes, had included at least 1,678 illegal votes. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=us


John Fund wrote:Milwaukee Puts a Vote-Fraud Cop Out of Business
Last week Mike Sandvick, head of the Milwaukee Police Department's five-man Special Investigative Unit, was told by superiors not to send anyone to polling places on Election Day. He was also told his unit -- which wrote the book on how fraud could subvert the vote in his hometown -- would be disbanded.

"We know what to look for," he told me, "and that scares some people." In disgust, Mr. Sandvick plans to retire. (A police spokeswoman claims the unit isn't being disbanded and that any changes to the unit "aren't significant.")

In February, Mr. Sandvick's unit released a 67-page report on what it called an "illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome of (the 2004) election in the state of Wisconsin" -- a swing state whose last two presidential races were decided by less than 12,000 votes.

The report found that between 4,600 and 5,300 more votes were counted in Milwaukee than the number of voters recorded as having cast ballots. Absentee ballots were cast by people living elsewhere; ineligible felons not only voted but worked at the polls; transient college students cast improper votes; and homeless voters possibly voted more than once.

Much of the problem resulted from Wisconsin's same-day voter law, which allows anyone to show up at the polls, register and then cast a ballot. ID requirements are minimal. If someone lacks any ID, he can vote so long as someone who lives in the same city vouches for him. The report found that in 2004 a total of 1,305 "same day" voters gave information that was declared "un-enterable" or invalid by election officials. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122576113489495571.html


WSJ wrote:During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6,500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933. The three judges then finally defined what constituted a "legal" absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied these standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional absentees that the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed only about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now "illegal" according to the panel's own ex-post definition. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124000875842430603.html

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby Bludgeon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:25 pm

ilikebeans wrote:
Bludgeon wrote:What I'm telling you is there's no single all-encompassing compendium documenting the total history or even the collective history of voter fraud in America.

That's not what I asked.

You have alleged over several posts that vote registration workers (ACORN, el al.) have been influencing assisted living residents to vote a certain direction.

Do you believe this has systematically been happening without gaining ANY notice of the press?


Nursing homes are where people go when they get to that stage when they escape almost everybody's notice, however here is one example that was noticed by the press.

WSJ wrote:Vote Early and . . .
Absentee voting also clearly increases the potential for fraud. "The lack of in-person, at-the-polls accountability makes absentee ballots the tool of choice for those inclined to commit fraud," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded in 1998, after a mayoral election in Miami was thrown out when it was learned "vote brokers" had signed hundreds of phony absentee ballots. It was after that scandal that Florida tightened its absentee ballot laws, changes that proved very helpful to Mr. Gore during the recount.

Also in 1998, former Democratic Congressman Austin Murphy of Pennsylvania was convicted of absentee ballot fraud. "In this area there's a pattern of nursing-home administrators frequently forging ballots under residents' names," says Sean Cavanagh, a Democratic county supervisor who uncovered the scandal and was so disowned by his party that he turned independent. CBS's "60 Minutes" created a stir in 1999 when it found people in California using mail-in forms to register fictitious people, or pets, and then obtaining absentee ballots in their names. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122418968067541917.html

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby wack wack » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:32 pm

49 states all agree that Florida is the most fucked-up state in the nation. How about providing some evidence that doesn't come from Florida?

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby Bludgeon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:33 pm

ilikebeans wrote:You have alleged over several posts that vote registration workers (ACORN, el al.) have been influencing assisted living residents to vote a certain direction.

Do you believe this has systematically been happening without gaining ANY notice of the press?


More details...

Jewish World View wrote:In southwest Pennsylvania, Democratic former congressman Austin Murphy was convicted in 1998 of visiting nursing homes and improperly "assisting" the filling out of absentee ballots. "In this area there's a pattern of nursing-home administrators frequently forging ballots under residents' names," says Sean Cavanagh, a Democratic former county supervisor who uncovered the scandal. In 2005, Detroit's city clerk, Jackie Currie, hired people to assist patients in hospitals and nursing homes in voting by absentee ballot. State election officials believe many of those hired violated rules on the extent to which anyone can help the disabled or elderly in marking ballots. http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/f ... r_friendly

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby Bludgeon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:43 pm

Wack Wack wrote:49 states all agree that Florida is the most fucked-up state in the nation. How about providing some evidence that doesn't come from Florida?


Florida is also one of the top five most important swing states in the nation - to be fixed, not dismissed. Though here is one from Alabama.

Montgomery Advertiser wrote:Nursing homes are another prime source of legitimate voter names that can be manipulated... In Alabama, the Montgomery Advertiser discloses:

Sadly, the use of absentee ballots to commit voting fraud has been well documented in Alabama in past elections. While many people used absentee ballots legitimately, past court cases have disclosed numerous instances where the outcomes of elections have been skewed by people who manipulate absentee ballots in one way or another…. Residents of nursing homes have legitimately filed for absentee ballots only to find that someone else had already filed in their name….
http://www.democraticunderground.com/di ... _id=504747

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby Bludgeon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:05 pm

Take it from Herb Kohl:

Pittsburgh Tribune wrote:Senior citizens are among the most active voting blocs in American politics, but many elderly people are having that right taken away.

A hearing was held last week before the U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging to address election problems in nursing homes. Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., plan to petition the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to create nationwide voting guidelines for state election officials and nursing home staffs.

Among those testifying at the hearing was Jason Karlawish, a professor of medicine and medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

In the process of election research he conducted in Philadelphia and Virginia, Mr. Karlawish discovered that many residents of long-term care facilities had no way to vote. He said voting in some facilities was controlled by staff, not election officials.

"Elderly voters who live in long-term care settings are really suffering doubly," he said. "First, people decided whether they can vote, and second, people steal their votes."

Karlawish noted that many residents rely on absentee ballots, which carry a high risk for fraud. He noted that mobile polls could help relieve the problem.

Our state is familiar with absentee ballot abuse. Ten years ago, U.S. Rep. Austin Murphy was implicated in a high-profile scandal involving absentee ballot fraud at a nursing home.

Senior citizens are an important -- and expanding -- group of voters, and many states with large elderly populations, such as Pennsylvania and Florida, are considered "swing states," close enough to go to either party in a typical election. So it is important that nursing home ballots be kept free from fraud. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailyco ... 51245.html

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Re: Today in voter suppression

Postby Bludgeon » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:05 pm

I have to say, I would rather not have a Democrat in his seat but as far as it goes, if I had to have one, I am glad it's been Herb Kohl.

Nationwide voting guidelines for nursing homes are a good idea. Mobile polling stations for nursing homes are a good idea - more honest than get out the vote operations and less expensive than fraud investigation. Nursing home fraud is part of voter fraud issues but in many ways distinct from other kinds of voter fraud. Addressing their problems should be about protecting the elderly - protecting their votes. Protecting them from criminals, basically, is the least that they deserve. I would actually really like to see these mobile polling stations and nationwide guidelines to protect them from fraud. (Edit: Ask and receive). Even so, they are more protected today than they were two years ago.

Edit: Cripes put all this work into satisfying somebody who "likes beans" and the bloke disappears. I guess some people only want proof if they don't think there really is any.


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