Voter ID fraud: Real or imagined?

I promised Steve, the proprietor of Citizen’s Call, a local news and community website based in Cheltenham Township, PA that I would address this issue here on Cranky Man’s Lawn because my take was a little too … let’s say … contrarian for his decidedly liberal website.  This despite Citizen’s Call‘s own claim that “… the reform of our system of elections are areas where we’re likely to tread.” Apparently that means treading with the Left foot only!

The issue surrounds the rather contentious passing of a Voter ID law by the Pennsylvania state legislator and signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett. Citizen’s Call addressed the issue several times over the past month.  The latest was on March 16 which is where this story begins.  The story relayed how Voting Rights Advocates (i.e. Democratic voting rights advocates …  One must assume that Republicans do not care about “voting rights”.  We only care about “voter suppression”; i.e. Democrat voter suppression.) have thrown down the gauntlet on the new Voter ID Law with the four words lawyers love to hear, “See you in Court!”  

Anyways, the article had but one comment – not made by Steve – when I stumbled upon it.  The commenter suggesting a common liberal Democrat theme, that “There is no evidence of voter fraud …”.

This is such a common refrain from those who oppose any attempt to control access to the polls.  They will call any such effort “voter suppression”, although – one could argue – Pennsylvania already suppresses voter accessibility by requiring one to register in a way that’s verifiable (card issuance and signature matching)  before one is allowed to vote.  Obviously at some point someone thought restricting access in such a way was a good idea in preserving the sanctity of the voting booth.

Frankly, I was luke warm over Voter ID proposals.  Is voting fraud a rampant problem?  Not really … Do current voter access requirements sufficiently protect voter rights and ensure that only qualified, registered voters get to cast ballots?  I had thought so.

But after hearing over and over again that no evidence existed of voter fraud, I decided to check for myself.  And what I found after a very simple Google search was a good number of cases not only investigated, but prosecuted and convicted!  So I decided to share my information with the good folks in Cheltenham, PA via a response comment to the article on Citizen’s Call.

Just keep in mind that Cheltenham is overwhelmingly Democrat, having voted upwards of 70-80% Democrat since the early 1990s.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

My own comment read thus:

Oh, but there is – not only evidence – but convictions on instances of voter fraud!

113 convictions in Minnesota ALONE for the 2008 general election:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/minnesota-leads-the-nation-in-voter-fraud-convictions-131782928.html

The NAACP itself was convicted in the mid-1990s for fraud in Green County, Alabama, which might explain why they vociferously fight voter protections that in MOST cases would protect their very constituents from vote robbers:
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/286557/yes-virginia-there-really-voter-fraud-hans-von-spakovsky

An 80-year-old man in Portland, OR was convicted in January 2011 of voting repetitively for his DECEASED son and brother:
http://oregoncapitolnews.com/blog/2011/01/19/man-sentenced-to-jail-for-casting-ballots-on-behalf-of-dead-relatives/

Even Republicans commit it, though this kind of fraud wouldn’t be solved by a photo ID …
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/us/indiana-secretary-of-state-convicted-in-voter-fraud-case.html

It happens everywhere, committed by all types of people …
http://www.rnla.org/votefraud.asp

So … can we drop the canard that voting fraud does not occur; hasn’t resulted in a conviction; or isn’t in some cases an organized political activity (http://rottenacorn.com/activityMap.html)???

It’s a fact! These are the results of a very simple Google search (voting fraud convictions). Don’t believe everything the main stream media feeds you!

So what does a Liberal do when their basic premise for opposing a piece of legislation that threatens their party’s ability to influence and win elections is challenged?  They simply rephrase the argument!  

This is what I experienced once I noted that my comment had been waylaid for “moderation”.  Steve attempted to re-phrase the argument by stating that my examples must cite “voter impersonation fraud” only and incidences of it specific to Pennsylvania!  In other words, “… how is something that may’ve (sic) happened in Minnesota … relevant to PA?”

Hmmmmm … I would have given him the first point about that examples should deal with voter impersonation specifically.  Of course Steve hadn’t bothered to check any of my examples.  Had he, he would have found several examples of direct voter impersonation, including my favorite – the individual caught submitting ballots for his dead relatives.  Always a crowd pleaser! 

The logic behind the “only incidents occurring in Pennsylvania relate to Pennsylvania” was a stunner that could only be characterized as a desperate attempt to cling to the Democrat lament of, “Voter fraud?!? What voter fraud?!?”  Apparently the borders of Pennsylvania are impermeable to voter impersonation and fraud committed in other states.  Amazing …

But that’s a sweet spot to be in, when you can re-write the question if you don’t like the answer!

In any case, I left Steve from Citizens Call off the hook by telling him to forget my comment, figuring it wasn’t worth trying to convince someone so intent on restricting the conversation in order to preserve their subjective storyline.  I had NEVER had to run a moderator’s gauntlet just to get a comment posted.  It’s usually something you run into only if there’s a danger of libel or a valueless ad hoc attack. 

So I decided to post my observations here, and tell the story of Democrats clinging desperately to a misleading talking point in an attempt to keep retail voter fraud a reality.  All that’s left now is for ACORN to be officially recognized as an official political arm of the Democratic Party!  

The moral of this story?

If you plan to make an argument that flies directly in the face of a Liberal’s view of an issue, anticipate that they will re-define the question.

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