November 08, 2006
Here are some of the many links on various voting problems during yesterday's election. Here is more on ACORN. Voting Glitches. Voting issues. No receipt. New Jersey Crime. Link roundup. And here is a preelection dirty trick from the O.C..
Although I have never had a problem with electronic voting personally, I think I am now in the anti-electronic voting camp for several reasons. Mainly it is because it lacks a paper trail. While this does not mean any elections have been rigged via electronic voting, it does diminish the appearance of fair elections and unnecessarily reduces people's faith in the elections process. The other minor reason is that the computers can always have glitches in a way that paper ballots do not partly because poll workers have to be trained to use them and for some poll workers the machines are too complicated. Partly this is because with electronic devises they can always not work right when you need them. I have voted with punch cards, scantron sheets, and electronically and the scantron sheets seem to make the most sense since they are quick to count and made of paper.
Why is it that more states do not use early voting? You will notice that Texas is not mentioned as a state with voting problems partly because the voting is strecthed out over three weeks. (except for this one and here I agree with Lawrence Simon) I waited in line only five minutes to vote two weeks ago and have never had any trouble voting before in the elections and have never waited in line more than five minutes. The two arguments I have heard against early voting are that it costs more money (true, but unpursausive for me) and that it forces voters to make their choices too early, to which I say no one forces you to vote early if you want to wait for the last minute and how many races are last minute decsions really an issue for voters who have done their homework?
October 26, 2006
More Voter Registration Fraud Part 2
The FBI is now investigating ACORN voting registration tactics in St. Louis that I mentioned here. Gateway Pundit has more on the scandal here and here. Here is a video of ACORN workers who were hired by ACORN weeks ago to register new voters and who apparently still have not been paid for their work, which is ironic since they were hired to register people to vote for a state minimum wage increase! The workers claim that many of the registrations they got were fraudulent.
Some of the most recent allegations include hundreds of false address changes for voter registration being filed including at least one dead person. Here is the UPI report:
Hundreds of bogus address changes have surfaced near St. Louis and the election board is warning voters to make sure they get a polling-place notification card.
If the card does not show up, a voter's address may have been fraudulently changed, the county elections director said.
October 24, 2006
I went to vote today and boy was I disappointed. I thought the Republicans had nominated someone for congress in my district, but it turns out my only choice for Representative was some libertarian guy and Democrat Charlie Gonzalez, so once again some random Libertarian guy with no chance of winning got my vote for congress. Same basic vote (Lib over Dem) for state rep. I left the US Senate vote blank, voted for Rick Perry very reluctantly for governor, and for the other races voted Republican if one was in the race, Libertarian if no Republican was running, and left blank every other race where no Republican or Libertarian was running, except for one Democrat judge I am ok with who was running unopposed. My vote for Senate does not matter (Hutchinson is almost 30 points ahead in the poll I checked this morning before voting) and my vote for governor did not matter much. I was tempted to vote for Kinky just to help put the Democrat Bell in third place since Perry is going to win by over ten points probably, even though less than half the state likes him.
There was not a single candidate in any top ticket race that I liked. Sigh. I am pretty sure this was the worst set of major candidates that I have ever had to chose from.
October 12, 2006
More Voter Registration Fraud
I suppose that there could be legitimate reasons for voter registration drives, but are they really that necessary? You can already get voter restration cards everywhere from the DMV to your local public library plus the fact that you can always call up the local registrar and ask for one. Except for the very immobile like the elderly, it really does not take much of an effort to register to vote. Yet there are constant attempts to get millions of people to registar who showed no previous amount of civic duty to take five minutes to do it on their own. Are people unwilling to take five minutes to register to vote on their own even going to make well reasoned votes? As someone who thinks that you should only vote if you can make an informed choice (note that is a moral not a legal proscription) I always find these get more people to register/vote drives rather off base.
Anyways, one of these voter registration drives in St. Louis has once again been caught signing up thousands of fraudulent registrations, including registering children, dead people, multiple registrations, and using forged signatures. Hopefully there will be some people going to jail over this. The AP reports:
ST. LOUIS - Election officials say hundreds of potentially bogus registration cards, including ones for dead and underage people, were submitted by a branch of a national group that has been criticized in the past for similar offenses.
At least 1,500 potentially fraudulent registration cards were turned in by the St. Louis branch of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, leading up to Wednesday's registration deadline for the Nov. 7 election, said Kim Mathis, chairwoman of the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners.
July 11, 2006
Fund on Voting ID
John Fund has a good column on election reform and how in some ways even Mexico has tighter controls to prevent fraud than the US does. He spends a good ammount of time talking about ID requirements:
Photo ID laws are considered one of the most basic and necessary election safeguards by a host of countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Britain, India and South Africa. But less than half of U.S. states have any kind of photo ID laws. Opponents continue to claim they are discriminatory. Just last week, a federal judge in Georgia blocked that state's new photo ID law from taking effect.
Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador, doesn't see what all the fuss over photo ID is about. In an era when people have to show ID to rent a DVD at Blockbuster or cash a check he told me "requiring ID can help poor people." He noted that Georgia is deploying a mobile bus to issue voter IDs and allowing groups like the NAACP to arrange for it to go to specific sites such as nursing homes.
Last year, the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform headed by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker proposed a national photo ID requirement. They noted the importance of clean election rolls and the usefulness a photo ID law could provide in ensuring that the person arriving at a polling site is the same one that is named on the registration list. They also proposed that all states use their best efforts to obtain proof of citizenship before registering voters.
I need to go outside and check to see if pigs are flying because I actually agree with both Jimmy Carter and James Baker on this one. I have yet to hear to a good argument on why we should not require a photo ID to vote as long the ID's are free and easily attainable.
May 03, 2006
Examples of Voting Problems
Here are some voting stories from the last few weeks. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is doing everything in his power to make sure Pennsylvania does not have clean elections, including vetoing common sense non-partisan reforms that I advocate like requiring picture ID and having non-partisan voting locations. It seems that Rendell is as fine with corruption now as when he was Philadelphia's mayor. John Fund writes:
Take the bill the GOP-controlled Legislature passed, which would require voters show a form of official ID or a utility bill; another bill would end Philadelphia's bizarre practice of locating over 900 polling places in private venues, including bars, abandoned buildings and even the office of a local state senator. City officials admit their voter rolls are stuffed with phantoms. The city has about as many registered voters as it has adults, and is thus a rich breeding ground for fraud.
But Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell vetoed both bills last month, saying that in a time of voter apathy 'the government should be doing everything it can to encourage greater participation.' He warned that requiring an ID could disenfranchise the homeless, nursing-home residents and the poor. Mr. Rendell says there is no evidence people routinely impersonate others to vote. He also says requiring an ID at the polls doesn't combat absentee ballot fraud. True enough; election officials properly worry that some 25% of voters now don't show their face when voting. In 1998, Austin Murphy, a former Democratic congressman, pleaded guilty to fraudulently voting absentee ballots for nursing-home residents near Pittsburgh.
But Mr. Rendell's history doesn't inspire confidence that he takes fraud of any kind seriously. In 1994, Philadelphia Democrat Bill Stinson was booted from office as a state senator by a federal judge who found his campaign had rounded up 250 tainted absentee ballots. Mr. Rendell, then Philadelphia's mayor, had this reaction to the Stinson scandal: 'I don't think it's anything that's immoral or grievous, but it clearly violates the election code.' In 1997, Mr. Rendell admitted to the Journal's editorial board that Philadelphia judges had 'a rich history of corruption' that called into question how fairly city laws are enforced.
What people like Rendell either do not realize or do not care is that letting someone vote more than once is just as disenfranchising as not letting a legitimate voter vote once. If someone's extra vote cancels out mine than I might as well been denied the vote.
To drive this point home a little more here is a picture from a recent pro-illegal immigration rally in Seattle. According to the photographer people were getting illegal immigrants to register to vote at the rally. Requiring a state ID would limit the people voting if they are not here legally.
For an example of how to handle a corrupted election process properly see this example in Tennessee where the Senate kicked out recently eleceted state senator Ophelia Ford when it became clear that the special election decided by only 13 votes was fraudulent. For instance one poll worker who was out of town had their initials forged on election paperwork and several dead people and felons voted as well. There was a special election because Ford's brother, the previous senator, is currently under indictment for bribery. The Tennessean reports:
Sen. Ophelia Ford was ousted from the state Senate yesterday after members voted 26-6 to void the results of the special election that put her in office.
After the vote, Sen. Ron Ramsey, a Blountville Republican who led the opposition to Ford, said, 'We did what we had to do to restore the integrity of the ballot box.'
April 07, 2006
First the Maryland Democrats in a desperate attempt to get more votes decided to let all felons out of prison vote before they have paid all their fines or made restitution to their victims. Now they are tampering with the election by making sure that Democrat dominated areas get extra time to vote, but not Republican dominated areas. They also did not allow any Republican legislators on the committee to draft the bill. Even the liberal Washington Post editorial page thinks this is too much.
In the sanctified name of expanding the popular vote and widening access to the polls, Maryland Democrats have sacrificed fairness to partisan advantage. The Democrats, who dominate the state legislature in Annapolis, pushed through a bill allowing voting to take place for five days before Election Day -- but mostly at polling stations in Democratic strongholds.
March 16, 2006
Another poll worker in Ohio was indicted for misconduct. Here is the Cleveland Plain Dealer story:
A third employee at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has been indicted as part of an investigation into the mishandling of ballots during the 2004 presidential recount.
Jacqueline Maiden, who was Elections Division director during the December 2004 recount, has been charged with six counts - three misdemeanors and three felonies - of failing to follow Ohio laws on how ballots are selected and reviewed during a recount. Maiden is the third highest ranking board employee.
The most serious charges carry a maximum of 18 months in prison.
February 23, 2006
Rendell Vetoes Voting ID Bill
Ed Rendell announced the other day he will veto a bill that would require people to show ID to vote. Although I do not know the specifics of the bill, I am generally in favor of any procedure that prevents people form voting more than once per election and picture IDs are one of the best ways to do that. From the story below, it looks like Pennsylvania voters are already required to show picture ID the first time they vote at a polling place and that may be enough to prevent some multiple votes fraud. Indelible ink might be more effective and although I have heard reasonable objections to photo ID requirements (that I disagree with) I have not heard any good arguments against indelible ink if voting occurs on only one day. Here is the story:
On Presidents' Day at the National Constitution Center, Gov. Rendell announced his veto of a bill that would have required all voters to show identification when they go to the polls.
Rendell said that the bill, which passed the legislature last week on largely parti-line votes, would have the effect of disenfranchising those without easy access to identification, including nursing-home residents, displaced families, the very poor and those without a driver's license.
In addition, he said that the identification requirement, which now applies only to people voting at a polling place for the first time, would slow the voting process on election days, likely causing some would-be voters who are pressed for time to leave without casting ballots.
Here is my full list of suggestions.
Update 2/24/06: Jeff asks What are the arguments against having to show ID to vote?
The first argument is that it amounts to a poll tax, but this only applies if you require a fee for state issued ID cards. Make the ID free and that argument goes away. I think state ID cards should be free anyways or at least free to people below the poverty line because they are a basic requirement of not being poor in today's world.
The second tougher argument I have heard is that it is too difficult for people without transportation such as the poor and the elderly to get an ID. Although the vast majority of Americans use government photo IDs all the time (for instance, I just used mine on Wednesday when applying for a loan and on Thursday when I went to the bank to cash a check) I can see someone in an old folks home letting their ID expire and it being a big deal for them to go out and get a new one. I think the solution to this is to make it convenient to get IDs by having things like mobile ID stations. Georgia's plan for requiring a photo ID was struck down by a judge a few months ago because it was too hard for many people to get a photo ID in Georgia.
If you read a blog like sound politics you can see how easy it is for voter fraud to get out of hand. Picture IDs help to stop people registering when not eligible to vote in some situations (underage, not a person, non-resident, etc.), help to prevent people from voting under false names or addresses, and help to prevent people registering multiple times. Almost more important than picture Ids is the need to clean up voting roles and make sure that people are only registered once and are registered legally. A big problem with this debate is that there are some people who are really concerned with poor and old people getting to vote and other people who are against clean elections if it causes their side to lose, but only claim to be protecting the weak and it is sometimes hard to tell who is in which group.
January 30, 2006
Georgia Voting Reform
The Georgia house has passed one of my proposed reforms. The new bill will fix the problems of the last bill, which required a non-free ID card and which did nt make the ID card easy enough to get. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
The bill, which is expected to be challenged by the ACLU and other groups, now goes to the governor to be signed into law.
GOP leaders introduced the bill, in hopes of appeasing a federal court judge who barred the state from enforcing a similar measure passed last year on grounds that it was tantamount to a poll tax.
The new bill mandates that all 159 county voter registration offices be available to make picture IDs for voters who dont have a valid drivers license or state-issued ID card.
November 11, 2005
I Voted Part 2
So it looks like all the things I voted against passed and most, but not all, of what I voted for passed. Oh well. Except for slightly higher local taxes this will not effect me much.
November 08, 2005
I voted two weeks ago, but never got around to blogging about it. Why everyone does not early vote is beyond me. Most of the people I talked to waited until today or planned on voting today, but did not get around to it. Voting the day of the election means worrying about going to the right polling place and having to wait in line. When I went two weeks ago I went to a convenient place and there were four poll workers with me as the only voter.
The biggest issue in Texas was the new gay marriage ban (proposition 2), which looks like it passed by a wide margin. This was a particularly ugly campaign with dishonest advertising. There were many reports of the Proposition 2 opponents resorting to misleading push polling shortly before the election as well reports from people I spoke to about the No on Proposition 2 posters being made in the same font, size, and color of the preexisting Yes on Proposition 2 posters.
Other local items on the ballot involved raising taxes for more community colleges and more police in San Antonio. I voted for the police and against the college funding. I voted no on most of the nine other propositions on the ballot since they were mainly giveaways to special interest groups. It looks like seven of these will pass as of this writing, including the railroad one which is still close and which I voted against.
I need to read up on how Texas law works since most of the items on the ballot seemed like they should be decided by representative government, not ballots. The only ones that seemed like they should be before the voters were the local tax/college/police issues. I am against most state propositions and in general against using the ballot box to make policy decisions. I think using propositions makes sense are in rare instances like California's redistricting proposition, but only because that is a major restructuring of how the state government will work, not what it will do. In California it seems like the propositions have removed any incentive for the state legislature to tackle tough policy issues, so the problems just get worse until propositions are the only way to fix them. This is not a good cycle.
October 21, 2005
Gateway Pundit has an update on the convictions of 16 Democrats in East St. Louis for crimes dealing with last year's election. The worst of the crimes was a plot to murder a government witness. Gateway Pundit writes:
The St. Louis area has seen 16 Democrat election workers convicted of voter fraud or similar charges this past year. This past week an obstruction of justice and plotting to murder a government voter fraud witness can be added to that list of Democrat convictions
According to Captain's Quarters, in a related story Congress is going to investigate the vote fraud in Wisconson in 2004 that gave the state to Kerry. Unfortunately it looks like one of the congressional reps doing the questioning should probably be a witness herself. The Captain writes:
The inclusion of Rep. Gwen Moore has some people scratching their heads. After all, the Democratic Congresswoman has a significant connection to these allegations. Her son Sowande Omokunde, also known by the memorable name of Supreme Solar Allah, got charged with felonious vandalism in an Election Day tire-slashing incident meant to keep Republicans from going to the polls:
The investigation into the Great Tire-Slashing Caper will end Monday with felony charges against the adult sons of two prominent Milwaukee politicians - U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt.
Here is the Climate of Fear post about the tire slashing.
September 21, 2005
Instapundit links to a couple of good posts on the need for photo ID's when voting. Reynolds points out that it is earier to vote without an ID than it is to buy a beer without an ID. Considering that people have an incentive to lie about who they are in order to either illegally buy beer or to illegally vote in someone else's name I think it is obviously why photo ID's are necesarry for clean elecections. Reynold's notes that Jimmy Carter is in favor of photo ID requirements and Carter isn't even that good about making sure the elections he monitors are honest.
Will Wilkinson makes the case for why illegal votes are as bad as legal votes not getting counted:
The strange thing is that the press seems to treat illegitimate votes as a kind of noise, a kind of tolerable if unfortunate democratic static, while intimidated no-shows are a travesty against all that is holy. Yet, and this should be obvious, in terms of the aggregative democratic procedure, an unnoticed illegal vote for one guy (in a two horse race) is EXACTLY EQUIVALENT to scaring off a voter for the other guy.
If somebody's dog manages to vote for John Kerry, then, in effect, Velma Thompson (or whomever) failed to vote for that nice man, George W. Bush, even though she tried. Whiskers cancels out Velma. Here's another way to make the same point. Each Bush vote is paired with a Kerry vote and they're both thrown away. The winner is the one who has votes left on the table after all the other guy's votes have been chucked. Pairing legitimate voters with voting felons, dogs, corpses, and Frenchmen has precisely the same effect on the outcome as shooting legitimate voters before they can get in the door of the high school gym.
And because I have not linked to it in a while, here is my updated list of voting reforms. I am thinking about following what has happened in Iraqi voting by adding the requirement that all voters get their finger marked with indellible ink so that they can not vote more than once, although I am not sure how that would work with early voting.
August 05, 2005
Here is a link to the American Center for Voter Rights report on voting problems for the last election. It notes a lot of the incidents that I recorded in the climate of fear and voting sections of this blog, like the Republican campaign worker who had their arm broken by trespassers and the Republican rented vehicles that had their tires slashed on election day by Democrats, but there are a couple of incidents against Democrats as well. It seems that it is a non-partisan group and I hope that it is because all people should be able to vote without having to suffer intimidation or violence because of their party affiliation. There is a need for groups like this that try to make sure this sort of intimidation and violence is monitered and prevented in as non-partisan way as possible.
July 29, 2005
Can this be grounds for impeachment? Sound politics linked to a report about a federal judge appointed by Jimmy Carter who provided false information when registering to vote. She has been illegally voting in the wrong district for years and claimed her place of work as a residency. This is a felony in Washintgton.
Here is an excerpt from the story:
The Fletchers claim their residence is the King County Administration Building and that their mailing address is 1010 5th Ave. in Seattle, which is an United States Courthouse Building. Providing false registration application information is a Class C felony.
'This is not a trivial matter,' said Bob Edelman, election reform project manager at EFF who filed the complaints. 'Apparently she registered with a false address for privacy reasons, but that is no excuse for breaking the law. She could have applied for address confidentiality, but she chose to ignore the law instead.
'What this also means is that the Fletchers have been casting illegal votes because their true residence is in a different legislative district,' he said.
Judge Fletcher was appointed to the 9th Circuit by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
July 01, 2005
Multiple Votes and Vote Buying Part 2
June 22, 2005
Multiple Votes and Vote Buying
Sound Politics writes about six people charged with voting multiple times in Washinsgton State. Gateway pundit has updates on the East St Louis vote bribery trial and a West Virgina vote buying investigation that involved Democratic primaries that I had not heard of before. The same West Virginia county where this investigation is going on has more registered voters than residents old enough to vote, but it is not as bad as Milwaukee which had more votes than it does actual people eligible to vote.
June 13, 2005
St. Louis Update
Gateway pundit has another roundup of news in the East St. Louis voting fraud trial story. Here is a good quote about the bribery involved:
One undercover tape played for the jury had McIntosh talking to party leader Charles Powell. McIntosh said "Five dollars a vote ain't gonna get it." Powell responded, "I know what you're saying. Give them five dollars...ten dollars a vote."
June 06, 2005
A judge in Washington ruled that Washington's governor's race will stand. Even though it looks like there were 1,678 illegally cast votes in a race that was decided by 167 votes, the judge held that because the plaintives could not prove who the illegal votes were cast for the elcetion had to stand. This did not mean the judge agreed with how the elcetion turned out as he thought it was a very poorly run election, but it was up to the voters to fix this. I kind of see how the judge reached his decision even though it is pretty obvious that Gregoire did not get more legal votes than Rossi. When you have voting officials as corrupt and incompetent as those in Washington then it is impossible to know who really won. The catch 22 in this situation is that the judge wants the voters to fix the problem of crooked elections, but the crooked elections prevent the voters from fixing the problem. For more see Michelle Malkin who included this quote:
"It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes!" - Josef Stalin
Sound Politics has more as well with Jim Miller predicting more distributed vote fraud:
And that's the most infuriating thing about distributed vote fraud. That it has changed the results of some elections is certain, but it is almost impossible to prove that it did so in any given election. By disconnecting the people who commit the fraud (mostly individual voters) from those who benefit from it, distributed vote fraud makes it almost risk free to both groups. For that reason, I expect it to increase in future elections, unless we change our laws and our election officials — beginning with King County executive Ron Sims.
June 02, 2005
St. Louis Fraud Update
Back in January I linked to a gateway pundit post about voting fraud committed by several Democratic officials in East St. Louis. Gateway pundit has a new post about the federal trial that has resulted from this fraud. The prosecution claims to have tapes of the defendents admitting to paying voters:
He said the defendants, led by Powell, carried out a citywide scheme to pay voters to vote Democratic, including, "Finding alcoholics to take a 10- or 15-minute break and pay them to vote, so they can go back to drinking."
At one point, Carr said that defendant Thomas will be heard on a tape stating that, "She had to pay everybody in her district because the people in her district were not for Mr. Kern because Mr. Kern was a racist."
The defendent Kelvin Ellis is also charged with attempted murder for his plan to kill a witness to his voting crimes.
May 23, 2005
Over 100% Turnout!
I have been meaning to an elections fraud update for a while and with the trial to overturn the fraudulent election of former Washington attorney general Gregoire beginning today it seemed like now is a good time to post. First let do the Washington state posts, which are all from Sound Politics. Recently the Republicans went on a disposition spree where their lawyers deposed many elections officials about how they improperly certified the election. The big problem addressed in the dispositions is the discrepancy between the total number of votes and the total number of voters.
The second problem has to do with provisional ballots, which are ballots cast by people who are not on the voting rolls. Provisional ballots are not supposed to be counted until the voter has proved they were eligible to vote, but in King County over 400 ballots were counted in violation of the law before it was proven that the voters were eligible. These ballots are now mixed with the others and we will never know if they were legitimate votes. Remember that the governors race was decided by less than 200 votes so these votes alone could have swung the election.
The second case of voting fraud has to do with Wisconsin. While in the end no overall elections were decided by this fraud it is likely that George Bush won Wisconsin, but fraudulent votes gave the states electoral votes to Kerry. Thankfully Bush had enough electoral votes in other states that this did not really matter this time. Officially Kerry won Wisconsin by around 11,000 votes, but with the fraud that occurred in Milwaukee it is likely that if only honest votes are counted, then Bush should have won. Milwaukee gave Kerry 71% of its 277,000 votes, but that is with 70,000 people registering on Election Day. If only a sixth of those votes were fraudulently cast for Kerry, then Bush should have won Wisconsin. Assuming a more realistic turnout of lets say 65% percent as opposed to the official turnout of 100% and being very, very generous in assuming that Kerry still got 71% of the vote, then Kerrys total Milwaukee votes drop from 197,000 votes to around 125,000 (a loss of around 72,000 votes). While Bushs 77,600 votes (assumes 28% went for Bush) would drop to 50,400 (A loss of 27,000 votes). This math would give Bush 34,000 more Wisconsin votes than Kerry.
The first problem with Wisconsin is that were 4,609 more cast ballots than voters. Here is the Milwaukee Journal Inquirer story:
Investigators said Tuesday they found clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee, including more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses or voted in the name of a dead person.
Officials said charges will be filed in coming weeks, as individual cases are reviewed and more evidence is gathered.
One of the main problems in Wisconsin is same day registration which allowed 70,000 people to register on Election Day, which led to an extremely suspicious turnout of over 100%. As Ed at Captains Quarters writes:
Barrett wants this entire embarssment to go away, and the spin is designed for the national media to go back into silence mode. Having 4,500 more ballots than registered voters doesnt mean that 4500 extra votes were cast. It means many more thousands of extra votes were cast, unless Milwaukee normally gets 100% turnout for every election. Milwaukee had over 277,000 ballots cast in the election, and even if that accounted for 90% of the registered voters in the city, it would still mean 30,000 extra ballots before you even get to an overage.
Even with all of this fairly obvious fraud, Wisconsins Democrat governor vetoed a bill requiring voters to show a photo ID.
April 27, 2005
Georgia Voting Part 2
The most embarrassing (not to mention juvenile) behavior of these politicians is this:[S]everal black elected officials sang protest songs, wept and wrapped themselves in shackles; many Republicans responded with puzzlement at their colleagues reactions. (Emphasis added)
Good grief. These people should be ashamed. Instead of taking a leadership role and helping the poor acquire ID cards, they stage ignorant protests like this. In 2005. Some of you may not know this, but slavery is over, and Jim Crow is dead.
If your reaction to reasonable voting requirements is to whine about disenfranchisement and act like buffoons, perhaps you shouldnt be voting anyway. Your sense of history is warped if you think this is reminiscent of an era where your grandparents and great-grandparents had to jump through unfair yet legal hoops to vote.
As long as the state makes it reasonable to get an ID and does not charge you for it, then I can think of no reasonable objections to requiring a picture ID for people to vote. (according to this story from the Macon Telegraph state IDs will be free for people who request them so they can vote) Without picture IDs it is far more likely that people will vote multiple times or vote when they are ineligible to vote (non-residents for instance). This is just as bad as not allowing an eligible voter to vote because a multiple vote can cancel out the vote of an eligible voter. There are plenty of recent incidents in places like Wisconsin, Washington, and Minnesota where people were able to vote multiple times or voted when they were not eligible to because the was no photo ID requirement. In the case of Washington this changed the outcome of the state's governors race and in the case of Minnesota and Wisconsin it may have changed who the state's electors voted for president. These are not minor glitches.
April 22, 2005
Unlike Wisconson's governor, Georgia's governor is opposed to voting fraud. Despite heavy opposition from the state's Democrats, Georgia's legislature has passed a law that requires voters to show a picture ID before they can vote and Governor Sunny Perdue has signed this into law. The U.S. Department of Justice must review the law before it will take effect. Requiring picture ID of voters is porbably the most important step in my voting reforms proposal.
The AP reports:
Gov. Sonny Perdue on Friday signed into law a requirement that voters show photo identification before casting ballots, legislation that had prompted most black lawmakers to walk out of the state Capitol.
Previously, registered voters could present a Social Security card or other non-photo ID when they arrived to vote. Republicans, who control both legislative chambers, pushed the plan as a way to crack down on voter fraud.
April 14, 2005
Wisconsin Governor To Veto ID Requirement
One of the most obvious ways to prevent voter fraud is to require that people who want to vote prove who they are and that they are eligible to vote in the precinct they are trying to vote in. This is especially true in cases of same day registration. The easiest way for voters to prove that they are who they claim to be is to require voters to have a government issued photo ID like a drivers license or state ID card. Pretty much everyone has one already and those that do not have them can easily get them. State governments could even get rid of the fees for state ID cards to help out poor people.
In recent presidential elections in Wisconsin the same day registration rate has been over 30%. This creates ample opportunity for fraud. The legislature has passed a bill that would require voters to have this sort of identification. The Democratic governor Jim Doyle has promised to veto this bill.
After the ongoing debacle in Milwaukee's past election in November, when for the second straight presidential cycle more than 30% of the voters registered at the polls and instigated a federal investigation into fraud, one would assume that adding a requirement for photo identification would be seen as a reasonable response. The only one who appears to reject that notion in Wisconsin is the Democratic governor, Jim Doyle, who threatened to veto the bill passed by the legislature today
This is probably the most important and simplest of all my voting reforms, but Doyle seems to be fine with massive voter fraud.
April 11, 2005
Paying for Paper
Dangerous Dan points out a story that has good news and bad news. The good news is that many election officials are moving to add paper trails to electronic ballots. The bad news is that voting machine companies are charging around $1000 a machine to do this, which Dan thinks is price gouging.
Responding to the increasing demand for paper trails, three leading manufacturers of DREs now offer printers as an optional add-on to new or existing machines. The printers create a running vote-by-vote record that the electronic tally can be checked against. Alfie Charles, vice president for business development at Sequoia Voting Systems Inc., said a printer attachment adds about $1,000 to the cost of his company's machines, which is typically $3,000 to $3,500.
This is overall a good thing as paper trails are one of my reforms, but it looks like the machine companies are charging a bit much.
March 31, 2005
There is a good post over at sound politics about the failure of the Washington State government to prosecute admitted fraudulent voters:
For example, when non-citizens came to the elections office post-election and asked to have their registrations canceled, the elections office canceled their registrations and put the matter to rest. Never mind that two of these non-citizens actually voted, one of them 4 times. Even though it is a felony to register to vote (not to mention actually vote) when you know you are ineligible, the elections office didn't bother to inform the prosecutor of the non-citizen voters, as required by law.
In related news, several state legislatures are trying to enact one of my proposed reforms: requiring photo IDs for people to vote.
Legislation that would require voters to show photo identification before casting ballots has touched off fierce debate in three states, with opponents complaining the measures represent a return to the days of poll taxes and Jim Crow.
Opponents of the reform are comparing it to Jim Crow laws because some people do not have photo IDs because they are poor. There is an amazingly simple remedy for this: make state ID cards free. Or else we can go the Lamar Alexander route and have free national photo IDs which would also solve this problem.
Ed at Captain's Quarters has more related thoughts:
Excuse me for injecting a little common sense into this argument, but voting has its responsibilities as well as its rights. The voter should be responsible for properly registering in advance for an election. People who want to ensure that their votes count properly should welcome better polling security. After all, voter fraud dilutes the impact of legitimate votes. Just ask the people of Milwaukee, or the non-felons in Washington.
Getting a photo ID in advance of an election should not present a difficult task for anyone with an address. For the homeless, a serious question of eligibility exists. If they do not have a residence, in which precinct and district should they vote? That isn't just a flippant question. Often, local initiatives are decided by a handful of votes in a community, and having transients vote with no stake in the result skews the democratic process. If states want to offer the homeless an option for voting by having them register using government buildings for addresses, why not simply allow them to get state photo IDs (not drivers' licenses) at those same addresses?
March 28, 2005
Stephen Sharanksy starts to wonder aloud whether it was fraud or gross incompetence that played a bigger part in the problems with Washington State's funky voter reconciliation numbers,
Clearly, whichever of Dean Logan's employees created the November reconciliation report EITHER had no idea what they were doing OR they were deliberately trying to pull a snow job on the canvassing board. The canvassing board, for its part, went ahead and certified the election without bothering to do even minimal due diligence on the staff reports they were handed.
March 25, 2005
Vote Buying Scheme
According to ABC News four Illinois Democrats have pleaded guilty on vote buying charges and five more Democrats have been charged by Federal prosecutors,
An undetermined number of voters were paid $5 or $10 to cast a Democratic ballot in the Nov. 2 election, court records said. The money allegedly came from the St. Clair County Democratic Committee, though there was no indication the county committee knew how the funds would be used.
Captain's Quarters writes
It sounds like their co-conspirators cut a deal in order to reduced their jail time, which means they're looking to find bigger fish to fry. The seven committee members fit that bill, but it wouldn't surprise me if the investigation doesn't stop there.
March 18, 2005
Lots of Voting Problems in Washington
Lots of links to Sound Politics today. Sharkansky is suing the secretary of state of Washington to get access to voters birth dates. He writes
I'd rather not spend my nights and weekends identifying illegal voters, but somebody has to, and our famous election officials are refusing to do so, saying it's the electorate's job. That's fine, but at least they can share the data that they possess, but are refusing to use, with the public so we can do the jobs that we thought we were paying them to do.
There are also absentee ballot problems with around 500 more absentee ballots than absentee voters.
I'll post more details later about how absentee ballots are processed. But what seems to have happened (if it wasn't outright ballot stuffing) is that somebody who was canvassing absentee ballots permitted (presumably in error) large numbers of rejected ballots to go into the do-count pile. Ouch.
And finally the unverified provisional ballots
As best as I can tell, the number of unverified provisional ballots that went through the Accuvote machines in King County was about 927.
Provisional votes should not be counted until after it is confirmed that they are from a valid voter (verified),
March 12, 2005
Election Post of the Day
Sound Politics has multiple posts (here and here with more to come later on) on how messed up provisional voting was in Seattle. Provisional votes are not supposed to be counted until election officials are sure that the people voting are allowed to vote. Hundreds of provisional ballots were not certified this way before they were counted. The governor's race was decided by 129 votes.
And Buddy Dyer, the mayor of Orlando, "was charged with violating state absentee ballot law during last year's mayor's race" Governor Jeb Bush has suspended him.
March 09, 2005
More Seattle Vote Fraud
Possible Response to Felon Frenchise
Frank J has a reasonable proposition for those in favor of giving felons the right to vote: If Felons Can Vote, Then I Should Be Able to Carry at Polling Places. I am personally against allowing felons to vote although some prominent politicians think having more rapists and murderers voting is a good thing. I might accept a proposal to restore voting rights after a certain length of time (say ten years after their parole has ended) for non-violent/fraudulent felons.
Here is how Frank J sees his proposal working out, It ain't gonna work on me, bub. I say we lobby for us permit holders to now carry into polling places. Alarmists will worry about me running into the room with two guns blazing, but, while I will have two .45s pointed out in front of me, safeties off, fingers on the triggers, shouting, "I'm voting Republican! And, if any of you have a problem with it, make your move!" I will not be firing any rounds unless someone mistakenly thinks I'm bluffing. Yes, it could end in a violent shootout, but that's true democracy for you. If you don't like it, go to some country that doesn't have democracy and we currently don't have any immediate plans to invade (I can't think of any off-hand, but I know there are some). So, Democrats, go ahead and get felons the vote. Just expect me to come reasonably prepared... and I don't just mean having read up on the issues. And, if one of your new voters causes me any trouble, he'll end up with more holes in him than a punch card ballot.
March 07, 2005
Count Each Vote Cast By Eligible Voters Only Once
Hilary Clinton does not seem to like my proposed voting reforms. George Will would probably agree with them. Clinton is pretty much in favor of the exact opposite of what I propose. She would make same day registration mandatory, which as Will points out, “is an invitation to fraud.” I would eliminate same day registration. I would also do this on a state by state basis and not make it a federal requirement as Clinton proposes because states should control the voting process. She does not propose that people who register on the same day be able to prove they live in the precinct by requiring a government produced photo ID for instance. I fail to see how anyone who is favor of each person only voting once in each election can be in favor of same day registration when there is no way to prevent people from voting multiple times in different precincts. Clinton’s bill is called the “Count Every Vote Act”. Counting every vote is a ridiculous idea if people are voting multiple times. A good name for my reform bill would be the “Count Each Vote Cast By Eligible Voters Only Once Act.”
Clinton’s proposed changes would also give the franchise to convicted felons. This is a violation of the 14th amendment to the constitution which allows states to remove the voting rights of criminals. The exact wording of that part of the 14th amendment is, “But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.” The key words there are “except for participation in rebellion, or other crime“. That part of the fourteenth amendment would seem to override Clinton’s proposed law.
John Fund has more on restoring voting rights to felons. He asks an interesting question to liberals, “This is not to say that some states don't take laws against felon voting too far. Some have overly cumbersome procedures for restoring such rights. One could certainly distinguish between nonviolent felons and murderers and rapists. If I sat in a legislature in a state with a lifetime ban, I would probably support restoring the right to vote to those who had completed jail time and parole. I wonder if liberals would similarly back restoration of the right to own a gun to felons who had similarly done their time and finished parole.”
Clinton’s proposed law would also make election day a federal holiday. I doubt that this would increase fraud, but people do not need a holiday to vote. Early voting would fix this problem along with several others just as easily and without giving government employees another unneeded holiday, but I suspect Clinton is primarily in favor of this because so many government employees are Democrats and the holiday might increase Democrat turnout.
March 04, 2005
2,148 Extra Ballots
There is a good post at soundpolitics that shows how fishy the recounts were that gave Gregoire the Washington governorship. The fact that thousands of ballots (including several hundred that only came into existence after the first recount) were counted that do not correlate to voters should by itself be enough to call for a new election. All of those people who complained about Florida in 2000 seem awfully quiet about this obvious case of election fraud. These reforms would help.
Here is Sharanksky's conclusion to the post, "Conclusion: The election was stolen by somebody, we'll probably never know who. But there's a lot that King County Elections could have done to prevent or at least detect and report what was probably distributed fraud. Dean Logan has a lot of explaining to do why his office failed to protect the integrity of the election. Especially, I think, when it comes to explaining the 2,000 or so voterless ballots and among them the 395 brand new ballots that materialized out of thin air in the recounts. Isn't there a binder with precinct-by-precinct reconciliation reports that they're stonewalling us on? Hello? Hello?"
March 02, 2005
Resignation in Milwaukee
It has been a month since I last posted on Milwaukee voting problems. The FBI is involved so it is starting to get interesting. Captain's Quarters has a link to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about the resignation of the executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission . The Journal reports, “Under a blitz of criticism over the city's handling of the Nov. 2 presidential election, Lisa Artison resigned Tuesday as executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission after four weeks off the job on sick time.”
Captain Ed comments, “Her mysterious resignation probably has to do with the independent investigation launched by a combination of the state legislature, the local DA, and the FBI. Artison started taking her assigned sick days shortly after the mayor's committee on the Election Day fiasco -- on which Artison inexplicably got to sit -- got superceded by the new independent panel. City officials get 30 days of sick leave and earn more as the year progresses, based on service, and it's pretty apparent that Artison saw the writing on the wall after she and her patron, Mayor Tom Barrett, lost control of the investigation.”
My common sense voting reforms would solve Milwaukee’s problems of having more votes than voters.
February 07, 2005
John Fund has a column in the Wall Street Journal today about gerrymandering reform in California. I am in favor of the general type of solution that Governor Schwarzenegger advocates. His proposal takes it out of the hands of the state government and lets a bipartisan three judge panel decide what the legislature distrcit boundaries will look like. I have mentioned Iowa doing something similar before and the above column mentions that Arizona and Washington also have standing committees that decide the issue.
February 04, 2005
King County Update
Sound Politics has details on the discrepency between the number of voters vs. number of votes in both the 2004 presidential election and the 2000 election in King County, Washington. In the 2004 elections there are at least 3,700 ballotless voters and voterless ballots. in 2000 there were only 17. In contrast to this, Jefferson County in Washington has no discepency. This is why I included having audits to make sure the number of voters and ballots match as a part of voting reform.
February 02, 2005
Yet Again More Voting Problems in Wisconcon
Milwaukee had thousands of more votes than actual voters. This is from Captain's Quarters who specualtes that it was more likely gross incompetance on the part of election officials than fraud, "Greg Borowski reports in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that an analysis of voting records done by the newspaper reveals that seventeen precincts in the city showed at least 100 more votes than the number of registered voters, even counting the already-problematic same-day registrants. Four precincts, or wards, had more than 500 extra votes"
The Republican Party in Wisconson is trying to add a requirment that people must show ID when they vote party because 30% of the vote in Milwaukee was from same day registration the last two presidetial elections. Naturally the Democratic Party is opposed to this common sense reform as is the ACLU.
Previous Wisconson post.
Gorbachev Thinks Iraq Elections Fake
Gorbachev does not like Iraq's last Sunday elections. These elections are so much more fake when compared to the time when Gorbachev was elected in .... what's that you say? Gorbachev was never elected?!? Gorbachev was an unelected dictator who had his secret police murder and imprison thousands of people trying to free themselves from the tyrannical iron grip of the Soviet Union? Who knew?
Gorbachev also had this to say, "Democracy cannot be imposed or strengthened with guns and tanks." But death and tyranny can be imposed on innocent Lithuanians that way, can't they Gorbachev? Gorbachev started caring about honest elections and national determination about 17 years to late for me to care what he thinks.
February 01, 2005
Who Did Your Neighbors Donate To?
Use this site to find out which political campaigns people donated to. People with my name are only recorded donated to Howard Dean and John Kerry last year, so my $25 to Bush did not get recorded (all donations over $200 were recorded and only some under $200 were). I looked up George Bush and it turns out that George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush each donated $2000 dollars to George W. Bush's campaign. George W. Bush did not donate to anyone.
January 31, 2005
Iraqi Election Links
Iraqis voting in Manchester England drove off around 200 non-Iraqis protesting the Iraq election. David Kahrmann (who is from the Iraq Election Team in Manchester) asked "Why are these people who are not even from Iraq protesting against these elections?" Normblog hopes "this could prefigure something wider."
Jeff Jarvis, a very reasonable liberal, has a description of "The Eeyore Analysis of Iraq". Jarvis voted for Kerry, but does not hate Bush. He wants Iraq to succeed far more than he wants Bush to fail and probably does not really want Bush to fail at all. He just wants the war on terror won and Iraq to be free. He says "Democracy isn't a right-or-left thing, folks. It's a right-and-left thing, remember?"
Scrappleface sums up the feelings of many in the media with this headline: Iraqi Voting Disrupts News Reports of Bombings.
January 27, 2005
FBI Investigates Milwaukee Elections
Found this story through Powerline: "Citing a Journal Sentinel review that found more than 1,200 votes cast from invalid addresses in Milwaukee, local and federal law enforcement officials launched a joint investigation Wednesday into potential voter fraud in the Nov. 2 election."
Also in the article:
"The number of people listed on the city's voter rolls as having voted in the Nov. 2 election is about 8,300 fewer than the number of ballots cast. This appears to be because the city was unable to process thousands of same-day registration cards because they contained illegible or missing information, such as a signature or date of birth. Milwaukee officials are unsure exactly how many cards have not been processed, and the number could be as high as 10,000. A Journal Sentinel computer analysis of voting records uncovered more than 1,200 ballots cast from invalid addresses in the city. At least 186 of those ballots were cast from addresses that were among those challenged as non-existent by the state Republican Party days before the election."
Remember that Kerry only won Wisonson by 11,384 votes. Previous Wisconson post.
January 26, 2005
More East St. Louis Voting Fraud
Here are some more examples of East St. Louis voting fraud from Gateway Pundit. Half of the 44 Democratic precinct committeemen in East St. Louis have at least three people with different last names claiming the committemen's homes as residences. In one of these cases "30 registered voters, most with different last names, are purported to live at 1232 Cleveland Ave. in East St. Louis. The address is registered to Oliver Hamilton, a Democrat and 20th precinct committeeman." Also some of the addresses claimed as residences by voters are illigitimate with one case where someone used a riverboar casino as their address.
These are my favorite two quotes from the post:
"I don't have any concerns about voter fraud in East St. Louis," said Charlie Powell, East St. Louis Democratic Committee chairman and 9th precinct committeeman. "The Republicans are raising all this fuss to stymie the black voter in the black communities."
"At Powell's home, 1714 Bond Ave., 17 voters are registered. Of those, 14 cast ballots in the March primary election."
January 25, 2005
Updated List of Voting Reforms
A few months ago I did this list of voting reforms and I think it is time for an update. So here is the revised list:
1. Make sure the person voting is allowed to vote (non-felon where relevant, citizen, at least 18, not dead or a cat, etc.) and only allow them to vote once per election. To do this you need to eliminate practices like same day registration, make sure all states coordinate their voting registrations so that people are not registered to vote in more than one state, and require a state issued photo ID to vote. Related to this, make sure that the addresses people use to register are real residential addresses (not PO boxes, non-existent addresses, vacant lots, baseball parks, etc.) and if possible determine if they live there. The state ID address needs to match the address they use register to vote. Update 1/26/05: Also have voters marked with indelible UV ink so that they can't vote multiple times in one election.
2. Have non-partisan third party observers/inspectors. These people will have the tricky job of making sure there is no intimidation and that there are no symbols of any candidate or any other form of campaigning near the poling place. Who will these people be? Maybe people from big accounting firms or some other relatively neutral place.
3. Make sure the number of voters matches the number of ballots. Allow for a very small margin of error, but if the election could be decided by the amount of missing votes or voters, then the election should not be certified.
4. Have a paper trail. When electronic voting is used the machine should spit out a paper receipt like an ATM spits out that then goes into a sealed box. This allows for manual recounts when needed and lowers the incidents of conspiracy theories when one side loses.
5. For really important elections (like president) have a sheet of paper with big print for the name of the candidates with big boxes right next to each name. Then give everyone voting a pencil. (note this last reform is a fantasy and will never happen).
More Wisconson Fraud
Captain's Quarters reports that there were 1,242 votes in Milwaukee that came from invalid addresses. The number of invalid address voters was four percent of the total vote in Milwaukee. 75% of these bad addresses came from same day registrations and same day registrations made up almost a third of the vote in Milwaukee. We have got to get rid of same day registration. It is a huge invitation to fraud and it looks like many people are accepting that invitation in places like Milwaukee and Minnesotta.
Previous Wisconson Fraud post.
Do You Think Elections Matter?
Some liberals do understand how the general public views wacked out leftists. For instance most Americans like democracy and think elections matter. Here is Tom Frank from the New Republic (you have to register to read it):
"To begin with, there were the posters on the wall: MONEY FOR JOBS AND EDUCATION, NOT FOR WAR AND OCCUPATION. Let’s leave aside that the meter is somehow dissatisfying (nine syllables followed by eight—no flow at all). The main point is, if the shallowness of this statement bothers you, to what party do you look for comfort? To the Democrats, many of whom condemn building firehouses in Baghdad and closing firehouses at home? Or do you say to yourself, in that moment, “I don’t much care for Newt Gingrich—nor does anyone else—but I bet he hates that goddamn poster as much as I do”? I know where I was leaning.
Then there was the pooh-poohing of elections—any elections. Former soldier Stan Goff (supposedly of the Delta Force, Rangers, and Special Forces) spoke at length about the evils of capitalism and declared, “We ain’t never resolved nothing through an election.” This drew loud, sustained applause. Nothing to get worked up about, I thought; just a leftist speaker spouting lunacy. But today it seemed particularly bad. It wasn’t just that I was missing what might be lovely canapés (or perhaps spring rolls being brought about on trays with delectable dipping sauce); rather, it was the thought that the speaker was dismissing something that Afghanis of all ages had recently risked their lives to participate in, something Iraq’s insurgents view as so transformative that they are murdering scores of Iraqis to prevent it. No, what I needed to counter this speaker was not a Democrat like me who might argue that elections were, in fact, important. What I needed was a Republican like Arnold who would walk up to him and punch him in the face."
January 24, 2005
East St. Louis Voting Fraud
Some scary voting fraud in East St. Louis. (via powerline) This is not just stealing elections, it is stealing elections and plotting to dispose of people who catch you doing it. In this case the FBI raided the office of Kelvin Ellis, a Democratic precinct committeeman, and took boxes of files, his briefcase, and his hard drive in investigating an election fraud case against Ellis. After this happened Ellis conspired to plant cocaine on the witness who had tipped off the FBI and then decided to hatch a plan to have her murdered. The thing that most surprised me in this story is that Ellis has pleaded guilty to extortion while he was serving in another elected office and was sentenced to 21 months in prison several years ago. Yet the Democrats still made him a precinct committeeman. No word yet on if this incident made Barbara Boxer cry.
January 19, 2005
More Washington Fraud
Stefan Sharkansky of sound politics has a good column today in the Seattle Times about the fraud that happened in the Washington governor election and points out evidence of fraud I did not realize existed: There were several thousand more ballots than there were voters.
The basic story of the election is that the original count and the first several recounts showed that the Republican won the race. They did a final recount after discovering serveral thousand new ballots from pro-Gregoire King County that put Gregoire ahead by 129 votes. This put the total number of ballots counted at several thousand more than the total number of people who actually voted. Many of the votes also included, "double voters, felon voters, cemetery voters and unidentified voters".
Sharansky also includes his sample list of reforms: "requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration; requiring every voter to show both a photo ID and a pulse; and requiring that an election can be certified only if the number of votes equals the number of voters." I agree with reqiring a photo ID and a pulse. I agree in theory about the proof of citizenship, but without having a national ID card this may be asking too much. Pretty much everyone eligible to vote has a drivers license or state picture ID card, but many people do not have a passport or other readily available proof of citizenship.
His final recommendation of only certifying an election if the number of voters equals the number of ballots is one that I will add to my list of voting reforms everyone who wants honest elections should support. I may allow for a small margin of error in this category if it does not effect the result of the election. For instance in an election with 1,000,000 voters and 1,000,010 ballots where the winner has over 200,000 more votes, then the extra 10 ballots would fall within the allowable margin of error. In the case of Washington the 129 vote margin of victory with 2,000 extra ballots would not fall within the margin of error and would not be certified.
January 17, 2005
Wisconsin Vote Fraud
It looks like Bush may have won Wisconsin if Wisonsin voting officials had only counted legitimate votes. Here is the key passage from a long post at Boots & Sabres:
All told, it looks like there were a minimum of 36,000 votes cast in the City of Milwaukee for which no voter can be produced.
The election in Wisconsin was decided by 11,384 votes.
In the City of Milwaukee, there were 198, 907 votes cast for Kerry/Edwards and 75,746 votes cast for Bush/Cheney. As you can see, the City of Milwaukee came out strong for Kerry/Edwards.
You can do the math, but if these numbers are accurate, then Bush probably won Wisconsin if you only count the votes that were honestly cast. No word yet on whether Senator Boxer cried or not when she heard the news. Of course eliminating same day registration and requiring a valid form of picture ID would have eliminated most of this fraud.
January 13, 2005
Voting Reform of the Day
According to the New York Daily News "Some 46,000 New Yorkers are registered to vote in both the city and Florida". That means they get to vote twice if they want to and election officials do not bother to try to stop them. Why isn't Barbara Boxer crying about this? Maybe it is because 68% of these people are Democrats and only 12% are Republicans. It is unclear how many of these people vote in multiple elections, but it is clear that some do and this is a crime that goes unprosecuted.
When I was in college I lived in Texas for most of the year, but voted in California. I did not register to vote here in Texas until after I graduated and when I did register I recall the county voter registration office in California sending me a card making sure I was off their voting rolls now.
Powerline wonders why this is not a scandal and why we have more checks in place to make sure minors do not buy alcohol than we do to prevent massive voter fraud. At least buying alcohol requires a valid picture ID. Sound Politics has more as well and the Shark is doing a good job covering the rampant voter fraud that resulted in dead and non existent people electing the current governor.
January 07, 2005
In Washington state the governor's race went to the Democrat after a recount where several thousand extra ballots were miraculously found that happened t benefit the Democrat candidate. Of course the number of votes cast in some Democrat dominated precincts was higher than the total population of the precinct, but whatever. Today in the Seattle Post Intelligencer you have people admitting to committing vote fraud by voting for and signing their name in place of their dead spouses on absentee ballots. During the 2004 and previous elections Democrats in Minnesota went from poling place to poling place and registered and voted at each place. In Minnesota you do not have to have any proof you live in the precinct other than a witness who says you do. This same witness can act as a witness for multiple people and this year they had badges identifying them as such so strangers would know who could vouch for them at each precinct. Than there was the questionable election in 2002 during the South Dakota Senate race where Republican John Thune lost a very close race likely due to fraud that was even investigated by the F.B.I..
Senator Barbara Boxer did not cry over any of these cases and yesterday did not object to either Minnesota's or Washington's electoral votes being certified even though there is good evidence of widespread voting fraud in these states. Coincidentally John Kerry won both of these states electoral votes (except for one Minnesota vote which went to John Edwards). But Boxer did cry over Ohio getting its votes certified even though there are no serious allegations of fraud and Bush won Ohio by over a hundred thousand votes. The Democrats probably will not push hard for real voting reforms like this suggestion from Best of the Web:
Those who objected to the election result insisted they knew their effort would not succeed and their purpose was merely to urge Congress to reform the election system. Bring it on, says reader Dave Clark:
I hope the Republicans will respond to the grandstanding of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus. This is a great opportunity to advance comprehensive election reforms that include some kind of uniform voter ID in every state. Election reforms could eliminate the huge advantage Democrats have in urban areas where there are more voters than the adult census population, like Philadelphia, Milwaukee and St. Louis. It could also track voters who use the absentee ballot provision to vote twice in different states. Could the Democrats win Pennsylvania if voting was cleaned up in Philadelphia?
My basic ideas on what serious voting reform would look like are here. I doubt Senator Boxer will introduce any legislation that comes anywhere near advocating these reforms. Unless she does introduce or at least vote for serious voting reform legislation it will show she is crying because her candidate lost not because she cares about legitimate elections.
January 06, 2005
Schwartzenegger and Gerrymandering
Governor Schwarzenegger is advocating one of my pet reform issues: redistricting. He wants a panel of retired judges to draw up the congressional and state legislature districts in California to make the races more competetive. Iowa already uses a third party to do this.
The New York Times reports: Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, noted that of the 153 seats in the California Congressional delegation and Legislature that were on the ballot in November, not one changed party hands.
"What kind of a democracy is that?" he asked in his address.
January 01, 2005
Stories like this make the need for paper trails for electronic voting seem obvious. North Carolina is having a do over for the election of state agriculture commissioner because some electronic voting machines lost votes in a very close election. Here are some reforms I suggested a while ago.
December 10, 2004
It looks like the Democrats may try to get another state to hold its primary before Iowa does its caucus. I have never understood 1) why people still put up with having a caucus instead of a primary 2) why every four years the primaries are first held in the same few states and 3) why they are help so early. A primary vote takes a few minutes out of your time which is something a normal person will do. For a caucus there are all day events, which normal people are reluctant to go participate in. The same states going first each time means tens of millions of people like me never get a real say in who is nominated. I have now been eligible to vote for the past three presidential primaries and not once has my vote (first in California in 1996 and the next two in Texas) had a chance to make a difference. And why are they so early in the year? Maybe that made sense years ago, but lets make the earliest one in March and shorten pu the campaign season by a few months.
December 07, 2004
Al Gore’s contribution to the democratic process continues as Washington state Democrats demand a hand recount in the state’s governor’s race. This is after already losing the first count and a recount. Then there is this from the Seattle Times, “Democratic Party asks the state high court to make it more than just a new count of votes tabulated in the recent machine recount. Democrats want a fresh look at disqualified ballots, including provisional and absentee ballots that were rejected.” I wish Nixon was still alive to give these Democrats lessons on how to lose a close election with class and dignity.
November 18, 2004
Gerrymandering and Scalia
A while ago I blogged that it might take the Supreme court to fix the gerrymandering problem. According to this liveblogging report by Letters of Marque, Scalia does not sound like he is to eager to step in. Here is the relevant part:
"Q: Comment on court's role in protecting integrity of political process. E.g. Vlieth. About gerrymandering.
Scalia says: "that's not corruption; that's good old politics." It's nothing new. Not unconstitutional. Fighting corruption is okay if there's a law against it. Nobody thinks that all gerrymanders are bad. Ct. never has a majority to say what criterion of too much gerrymandering is. Nobody willing to say that any political influence is too much. Can't pick a line. Kennedy said, "don't know what the line is, but there should be one." People are "wandering in the wilderness with a lamp" looking for a standard. If there's no discernible intellectual line, this is almost the definition of non-justiciable. If you can come up with a line, he'll sign on."
November 11, 2004
Voting Reforms I Like
If I were a national or state legislator one of my pet issues would be voting reform. Although I am not particularly bothered by the example in this article about a house candidate who won without being on the ballot, I am bothered by gerrymandering and other voting problems. It is one of those situations where it is fairly obvious to me what the solution is, but no one wants to fix all the problems, just the problems that their political opponents are guilty of so nothing gets fixed.
Here is my list of reforms that I think everyone should support no matter your politics.
1. Eliminate gerrymandering and make all congressional districts based primarily on geography. It may take the Supreme Court to enforce this since it seems that neither party is too interested in doing this. Maybe we could double the number of representatives while we are at it to make the races more competetive.
2. Make sure the person voting is allowed to vote (non-felon where relevant, citizen, at least 18, not dead or a cat, etc.) and only allow them to vote once per election. To do this you need to eliminate the practices like same day registration, make sure all states coordinate their voting registrations so that people are not registered to vote in more than one place, and require a state or federal issued photo ID to vote.
3. Have non-partisan third party observers/inspectors. These people will have the tricky job of making sure there is no intimidation and that there are no symbols of any candidate or any other form of campaigning near the poling place. Who will these people be? Maybe people from big accounting firms or some other neutral place.
4. Paper trail. Each electronic vote spits out an encripted (update: see comments) receipt like an ATM that goes into a sealed box. This allows for recounts and lowers the incidents of conspiracy theories when one side loses.
5. For really important elections (like president) just have a sheet of paper with big print for the name of the candidates with huge boxes next to each name. Then give everyone voting a pencil.
This last reform will never happen.
Update: Iowa has solved problem #1 by having a third party do its redistricting. Instapundit thinks this is a big issue now because right now gerrymandering benefits Republicans more than Democrats. I think this could be a winning issue for centrist Democrats and Republicans and do not care who it benefits in the short term. I care more about the long term health of our democracy than I do about who wins any particular election.
November 03, 2004
As much as I am glad that the Republicans picked up 5 seats in the house, I am not glad that they did it through Gerrymandering.
Time for Bed?
It looks like a lot of other bloggers from Dangerous Dan to the Kerry Spot are giving up for the night. Wusses. Arnold is on Fox! How can you go to bed! This election is like digital crack for people like me and there is a good chance our supply will be pretty low for the next few months. Better smoke it while you can.
November 02, 2004
Long Voting Lines
This corner entry by Jonah Goldberg got me to thinking that maybe making people vote after waiting in long lines is a good idea. If you have to wait all day to vote you can only vote once or twice, thus lowering the chance of fraud by people going from precinct to precinct and voting in each one, which is not difficult to do in states like Minnesota.
This year was my longest wait to vote ever and I only had to wait about ten or fifteen minutes so I might disagree if it happened to me.
October 27, 2004
Democrats Exploiting School Children
If this story I just saw on Instapundit is true, every teacher and administrator involved should be fired. They are getting public school children to participate in get out the vote campaigns in heavily Democrat areas of Wisconsin during the school day. They are using tax dollars and not teaching kids to help elect Democrats.
I was part of a legitimate civics event when I was in high school. It was voluntary and occurred after school hours and only involved doing manual labor at the place they counted all the votes at. I stuck the punch cards into the machine that counted them for a few hours. No party or candidate benefited from my and my fellow students actions. And it did not take any time away from school.
Update: Other bloggers had pointed this out before, but Kerry has a history of wanting to force teenagers into involuntary servitude. Although Bush has always been opposed to required national "service", Kerry at one time supported it and may still today. He has removed this mention of support from his web page and does not talk about it anymore, but here is the relevant archived excerpt: As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service.
October 22, 2004
Make Every Properly Cast Vote Count
Dangerous Dan makes a point I agree with:
I’ve made the point several times that the electorate’s confidence in the overall elections process is paramount. Nobody, though, is going to trust a bunch of potentially hackable 1’s and 0’s in a close election. You’ve GOT to have a paper trail. It’s only a matter of time before the lack of one is going to turn into a huge scandal and then everyone will be asking why such an obvious measure was taken in the first place. And it will a darn good question to ask.
That is very obvious and no more difficult to create than a bank ATM receipt.
You would think that both sides would want to make sure every properly cast ballot was counted and that they would want the person with the most properly casts votes to win, but that is not so. From this quote in a recent John Goldberg column about voter responsibility it seems not every one is interested in making sure that who people vote for even matters:
"You heard it right here," Holder responded coldly. "If every vote is allowed to be cast and every vote is counted, John Kerry will be president." That means it is irrelevant who people actually vote for. It is assumed they voted for Kerry until proven otherwise.
Maybe some years it will be Republicans acting this dirty, but this year it is Democrats who seem not to care how they win as long as they win the Presidency. I hope that whoever wins, wins by a wide margin so we do not have another Florida 2000 or that whoever loses if it is close has as much class as Nixon and accepts it. Unfortunately, I doubt Kerry has as much class as Nixon.
October 21, 2004
George Will has a good column on voter responsibilities today. He thinks tha voters are responisble for filing out their ballot correctly. He talks a lot about the problems with assuming people do not mean to leave votes blank. I have intentionally left votes blank before when i did not like any of my choices.
I loved his conclusion: Imagine that: Voters are responsible for proving who they are and knowing where they are supposed to vote. There will be charges that both rulings permit "intimidation," which in today's liberal lexicon is a synonym for linking rights to responsibilities
October 19, 2004
More Voters Than People
According to this story form the Kerry Spot there are now more registered voters in Philadelphia than there are actual people eligible to vote. For all people talk about fixing what happened in Florida in 2000 not many people seem to want to do the things that would actually fix it and other voting problems. My two quick solutions: require photo ID for people voting and if a person has not voted in the past 5 years they have to reregister or else their name is purged from the voting roles.
Update: Accoring to the Kerry Spot again in a rare showing of common sense, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that voters who do not show up to the right poling place do not get to vote there. Also in Colorado a judge ruled that voters have to show ID and show up at the right poling place to vote.
Early voting solves a lot of the poling place problems because you can early vote at any location, at least in my county. But it is not much work to figure out where you are supposed to vote and it is not too much to expect of voters that they figure this out.
October 18, 2004
Don't Get Out the Vote Part 3
Now people working for the NAACP are trading crack cocaine for false voter registrations. When you pay someone a fee in crack to do something for you, there are likely to be bad consequences.
Legitimacy Part 2
This story from the Kerry spot is disturbing. When I registered to vote in Texas, the elections officals in California notified me a few weeks later that they were removing me from the voter rolls there. It seems that Democrat lawmakers in New York prevented reforms that would have done the same thing between New York and Florida and stopped around 46,000 people from voting in both states. That is dangerous and, like the actions in this previous post, mess with the foundations of our democratic republic. If no one believes that the elections are fair, then the system will stop working. No election is important enough to warrant this corruption.
As the Kerry spot says: Keep at it, small-minded politicians seeking to maximize voter fraud and double voting. Go ahead. See how much power any official has when nobody believes the results on Election Day. The political officials seeking to enable voter fraud have no idea how much they're playing with fire.
I have not liked most of the differences between voting in California and voting in Texas, but I liked early voting a lot. In California I was mailed a sample ballot a few weeks before the election and at least in my part of Texas the election officials do not do that.
I got to vote this morning and it is only October 18. This was the first time I had to wait in line for more than a minute or so since I started voting and even today I only had to wait about fifteen minutes and the place I was at is an art studio so they had lots of paintings to look at while you waited. The electronic machines are easy to use and I had used them about a year ago for another local election. I wish they had paper receipts. There was an instructor if you needed one and it was fast voting once you got going, but even though there was a line of about twenty people about half the booths were constantly empty because it took so long to get each person started up and they only had one guy doing that job. My favorite part of today was the lady who looked to be about 85 asking how to vote straight party Republican and then saying that was all she needed to do. I did a straight party Republican vote for the first time ever, but I voted for all the Democrat judges who ran unopposed and voted on the sales tax hike as well.
October 14, 2004
What the Democrats are doing now according to this Drudge Report article and other recent stories goes beyond trying to win an election and into the territory of threatening the very fabric and legitimacy of our democractic republic. I think it is very important that Bush is reelected. I think it is even more important that whoever wins this election does so in an open and honest way and that the loser accepts this and moves on to the next election. The Democrats do not seem to understand that it is sometimes less important to win a particular election than it is for the legitimacy of the government to remain intact:
VodkaPundit says it well: I don't mean to say that Republicans haven't used dirty tricks, or won't in the future. But I have yet to see them pull anything as crass as replacing a losing candidate with a more-popular one just weeks before election day, and in violation of state law. I have yet to see Republicans calling on the world's most corrupt international organization, run largely by apparatchiks from the world's most brutal dictatorships, to pass judgment on how we run our elections. I have yet to see the Republicans encouraging their own to commit fraud by shouting "Fraud!" where none yet exists, putting at risk everything we've built here in the last 228 years. Because, in the end, that's what the national Democrats are doing: They're trying, however inadvertently, to destroy the Republic in order to rule it.
October 13, 2004
Don't Get Out The Vote Part 2
One more example of the problems that occur when people do not register themselves to vote and the flaws of get out the vote efforts. The Volokh Conspiracy has two stories on how Repulicans in a Nevada voter registration effort threw out Democrat registration cards and Democratics in a Florida voter registration effort threw out Rebublican registration cards.
Previous Don't Get Out The Vote post.
October 12, 2004
Don't get out the Vote
Stories like this (via the Kerry spot) remind me why I do not like get out the vote campaigns. People in this story were getting paid to register voters and were paid by the voter registered, so they got people to register multiple times to get a bigger pay check. I am not opposed to helping people register when they need help, but I am opposed to registering people just for the sake of registering them. If you do not have what it takes to make the minor effort it takes to register to vote on your own, I doubt you will make the effort to make an informed vote. And if you are not making an informed vote, then you are ruining democracy. Democracy is only better than other systems when people are making an informed choice. Otherwise we might as well just pick our leaders by lottery.
Australia is even worse than the United States in this case because they make everyone vote there no matter their level of ignorance about the candidates or issues. Making people vote when they are ignorant of what they are voting for is even worse than registering lazy people.
This all reminds of me my high school civics class. We discussed each day how the government worked and focused on various current political debates. The big issue at the time was prop 187 in California which would ban illegal immigrants from certain state government services. On your eighteenth birthday my teacher would give you a voter registration card. That was good because everyone in the class had received a basic civics education, knew what the current election issues were, and having never registered before, needed the help. But even the people who I disagreed with had informed opinions, which is not the case with the multiple registrations story above.
October 08, 2004
Mickey Kaus (scroll down a little to read the relevant part) seems to agree with me that gerrymandering is a big problem and thinks the press will start covering it more now that it is going to help Republicans more than Democrats this election. The best quote from Kaus: Incumbents have become even more sheltered from defeat in recent years. In fact, since 1998 only 16 incumbents have lost.
That is not how American democracy is supposed to work.
October 05, 2004
In an earlier post I linked to electoral calculators and predictors. Here is a new site that measures current poles that puts it today at Bush 321/Kerry 200. I suspect it will be slightly closer than that, more like Bush 310/Kerry 228. And here is a site with a contest that lets you guess on which way states will go and that has a prize for a best guess.
And now for something completely different, here is a US archives site that has a collection of WWII pictures. Your tax dollars at work!
October 04, 2004
Dangerous Dan has a long post about felons and voting rights, where he does a good job of laying out the argumments for and against this issue. I think he comes down slightly against felons having voting rights.
I am against felons having the right to vote as well, but I am rare in that I think too many people vote as it is right now. This presidential election, like many others, is probably going to be decided by swing voters, who have the least well thought out opinions and votes.
I also think it is too easy to vote. Besides practical problems like being able to vote without showing any picture ID and fraudulent absentee voters, voters are often ignorant about what and who they are voting for. I would even be in favor of a test of basic civics knowledge that people would have to pass before being allowed to vote if it could be administered fairly. Democracy is only better than other systems of governments if the voters are well informed. Jonah Goldberg had a recent column about this issue that I liked.
October 01, 2004
Keep the 17th Amendment
According to this report from the Harvard Crimson (scroll down to see this point, ignore the part about orgies) Supreme Court Justice Scalia said that he thought the 17th Amendment was a bad idea. I agree that it was a bad idea at the time, but do think that it is a necessary amendment today and we should keep it. Originally senators were supposed to represent states and house members were supposed to represent the people. Now that has been reversed with senators more likely to represent the people and respond to their ideas. The vast majority of house races, most estimates put it around 95%, are not competitive and many times the Democrats and Republicans do not even run candidates. I had to vote libertarian in the last district I lived in because my only choices were Democrat, Green, Socialist, and Libertarian.
Gerrymandering has made the races that way and it is unlikely that this situation is going to change short of multiple Supreme Court decisions. In an ideal world we would go back to how it originally was designed: no gerrymandered districts and state legislators picking senators. But we do not live in a perfect world and Senate races now are competitive a lot if not most of the time. Almost half of the Senate races this year are competitive. And for the people to be properly represented some of our representatives need to know that we can kick them out if we do not like them anymore.