Sunday, November 06, 2016

Election Rigging

A few weeks ago, Donald Trump said this.
They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths and believe me there’s a lot going on,” he told supporters at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “Do you ever hear these people? They say ‘there’s nothing going on.’ People that have died 10 years ago are still voting, illegal immigrants are voting -- I mean, where are the street smarts of some of these politicians?”
What's the response to this charge?
Now this is pretty easy to debunk because dead people can’t vote, because ... dead. Undocumented immigrants can’t vote because you have to be a citizen. What he’s talking about is fraudulent voters taking their spots, but the things is that this almost never happens, as comprehensive research has shown.
So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below.
To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period. 
So when conservatives are going on about election rigging and voter fraud, they're full of crap. Even so, in the name of voter fraud prevention, they've managed to erect obstacles to people voting all around the country. These obstacles include voter ID requirements, closing down polling places in minority districts, limiting early voting days and hours, and of course, that old favorite that's kept Republicans in power for decades, Gerrymandering election districts to their benefit.

Republicans have also resorted to the charming practice of voter caging. That's where they send out mass mailings to minority districts. Any mailings that are returned are taken as evidence that the intended recipient is dead or no longer in the district, so the Republicans purge them from the voter lists.
Just weeks before early voting began in North Carolina, Grace Bell Hardison, a 100-year-old African-American woman, was informed that her voter registration status was being challenged. If she didn’t appear at a county board of election meeting or return a notarized form she would be removed from the voting rolls. 
Hardison has lived in Belhaven, North Carolina, her entire life and voted regularly for the last twenty-four years, including in North Carolina’s presidential primary in March. “The first thing out of her mouth was ‘I can’t vote,’” her nephew Greg Sattherwaite said after she received the letter. “She loves to vote. She will not miss election time.”
Hardison’s registration was challenged by Shane Hubers, a Belhaven Republican, based on a mailing done last year by a candidate for Mayor. Mail that was returned as undeliverable in 2015 became the basis for the challenge list.  Link
And when this 100 year old woman complained, Republican Hubers didn't relent, he continued to fight to keep this woman from exercising her Constitutional right to vote.

Of course, all of these measures are an ACTUAL ATTEMPT at rigging the election. (Republicans are really good at projecting.)

The most fundamental of all American rights is the right to vote. It is the right of every person to have a voice in selecting who will lead us. Every single American of legal age should be able to exercise this right without hindrance, expense or intimidation. If you don't believe that certain people should vote because they disagree with you, then you are going against the fundamental beliefs on which this country was founded. We are a modern, technological society and there's no reason that registration and voting shouldn't be free, easy and quick. Access to voting is also a moral question. It is immoral to prevent others from voting.

Unless you believe that other Americans shouldn't have the same rights you do.
When is making it easier for people to vote doing a disservice to the civil rights heroes who fought for that very right? 
When you’re Republican John Merrill, of course!
As Alabama’s secretary of state, Merrill is responsible for all the ballots cast by his constituents. And as a dedicated public servant, you’d probably expect him to be in favor of lowering the bar to electoral participation, right? Wrong! According to Merrill, efforts to automatically register Alabamans to vote when they turn 18 aren’t just “sorry” and a “lazy way out,” they’re actively insulting to people like Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks.  Link
Let's send these assholes a message on Tuesday.

No comments: