For ages, election officials and elected representatives have struggled with a major flaw in the electoral system: Some American citizens are black or Hispanic.
Each solution to this seemingly intractable problem was met with new obstacles. Forbid blacks from voting outright? Here comes the 15th Amendment to ruin the white supremacist fun.
Institute poll taxes and literacy tests? The 24th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act now stand in the way.
Create voter identification requirements that make it somewhat more onerous for poor people to get ballots? Somehow, those people make it to the DMV and get themselves an ID.
Mississippi has the solution. Under the state's newly enacted voter
suppressionidentification law, voters must present an approved form of identification in order to vote. In order to obtain a state-approved ID, voters must present a birth certificate. However, in order to get a birth certificate, which many citizens have lost, applicants must show a valid photo ID.
Pamela Weaver, spokeswoman of the Mississippi Secretary of State's office, confirmed the existence of this problem, as thousands of Mississippi voters asked, "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?"
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Tags: Mississippi, Voter Fraud, Voter Suppression
Over the last several years, dozens of state legislatures have moved to strengthen voter ID laws, potentially disenfranchising millions of Americans in the process. For example, nearly 10 percent of Pennsylvania's registered voters do not have photo identification cards from the DMV and could be ineligible to vote in November under the state's new Republican-backed voter ID law.
As noted by Mother Jones, actual instances of voter fraud are remarkably rare, with "13 credible cases of in-person voter impersonation" occurring between 2000 and 2010, compared to 47,000 reported UFO sighting.
As it turns out, many more Americans are impersonating Elvis than illicitly pretending to be a voter. Here are 10 other occurrences more common than voter impersonation…
1. Babies named Unique (228 during the 1990s alone)
2. Shark attacks in the US (36 in 2011)
3. People Jack Bauer personally killed in one season of the TV show 24 (38)
4. Americans crushed to death by their furniture or televisions (about 15 per year)
5. Flushmate toilets that exploded on unsuspecting Americans before being recalled by the manufacturer ("304 reports of the product bursting, resulting in property damage and 14 impact or laceration injuries")
6. Being SET ON FIRE by your doctors during surgery (at least 100 surgical fires per year)
7. People claiming "Elvis Impersonator" as their primary occupation (84,000)
8. Americans killed by lightning (441)
9. Lemonade and other child-run snack stands shut down by government officials (dozens)
10. Americans who have a favorable view of North Korea (13%)
Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: Voter Fraud, Voter Suppression
Mitt Romney is famously enthusiastic about firing people who do a poor job delivering services to him. Among the most important service providers are American voters, whose job it is to deliver electoral mandates to Republican politicians so the latter can cut taxes and handout college scholarships to fetuses. (Valid while in the womb only.)
But sometimes, voters fall down on the job by registering as Democrats. Which leaves Romney little choice but to fire them.
To that end, the Romney campaign has hired Nathan Sproul, a Republican operative with a long history of destroying Democratic registration forms. Hired by the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign to perform voter registration work, Sproul's firm boosted Republican enrollment in Oregon and Nevada by failing to submit Democratic registration forms to the Boards of Election. During the 2006 midterm elections, Wal-Mart banned Sproul's "for partisan voter registration efforts in Tennessee" after the Republican National Committee had hired the firm.
Sproul's performance highlights a key difference between fraud perpetuated by ACORN-affiliated registration drives and those associated with GOP enrollment initiatives: Right wing voter fraud is just more competent. ACORN submitted illegitimate signatures from people who didn't exist and therefore would never cast votes, which defrauded ACORN itself (they paid their canvassers by the signature) but made no difference to electoral process. By failing to submit all registration forms, Sproul actually disenfranchised legal voters.
According to FEC reports, Sproul's consulting agency, the Lincoln Strategy Group, has received about $71,391 in payments from the Romney for President Inc. committee from November 30th through March 2nd of this year, but even if firing unworthy registrants is an effective campaign tool, you wonder why Romney would go to such lengths.
After all, Democrat, Republican or independent, the overwhelming majority of ballots in 2012 will be cast on electronic voting machines. If push comes to shove, would those machines really vote against their favorite cousin?
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Tags: Mitt Romney, Voter Fraud, Voter Suppression
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but that was before we started genetically engineering plants and animals to our specifications. Some day in humanity's future, when politics finally begins to bore us, we'll need to breed an intelligent, loving animal to take over our civic duties.
Enter Buddy the dog…
An Albuquerque man says he successfully registered his dog to vote in Bernalillo County.
The dog owner said he saw a voter registration booth on the University of New Mexico's campus a few weeks ago and decided to see how easy it would be to register his dog to vote.
He said he was trying to expose the problems with the registration system. He said he just received the dog's voter registration card in the mail Wednesday, and it was way too easy.
Buddy's owner, who remains unnamed, was alarmed that it had been so easy to commit voter fraud. State officials retaliated by saying they are under no law to confirm every application they receive, which immediately restored everyone's belief in the integrity of bureaucrats.
Although Buddy's owner has no intention of voting with his dog's registration card, Buddy has made no such promises. If it was this easy for one dog to register, many more may try. Be afraid, Mitt Romney. Be very afraid.
Photo by JHill Street Studios/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Animals, New Mexico, Puppies!, Voter Fraud
When it comes to the tail-risks of catastrophic climate change or the social instability brought about by burgeoning economic inequality, state Republican lawmakers are not really the people you turn to. But when it comes to the zombie menace, they are all over it.
As explained by State Representative Alan Clemmons of South Carolina, "The bottom line is we must have certainty in South Carolina that zombies aren't voting," which would not be my first priority when faced with the undead, but you have to admire the man's commitment to the democratic process/desire to enforce a voter ID law that may disenfranchise thousands of citizens who lack state-issued identification.
At issue is an accusation by the South Carolina DMV director — always the most reliable agency in any state government! — that 950 deceased voters cast ballots in the state's elections. Except when the South Carolina attorney general's office gave the State Election Commission six names off the alleged dead voters list, it turned out the threat of zombies was greatly exaggerated. Which makes sense, since it's unclear why creatures who feast on brains would ever think a South Carolina Election Commission was fertile munching grounds…
* One was an absentee ballot cast by a voter who died before election day.
* One was the result of an error by a poll worker who mistakenly marked the voter as "John Doe III" when he was really "Joe Doe Jr."
* Two were the result of clerical errors — stray marks on the voter registration list detected by the scanner that counts votes.
* Two were the result of poll managers incorrectly marking the name of a deceased voter instead of the actual voter who was listed either above or below the deceased voter on the list.
Since the existence of voter fraud is itself, mostly a fraud, I'm going to assume James O'Keefe killed that first voter to prove a point. It's totally his M.O.
Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Tags: Primaries, Republicans, South Carolina, Voter Fraud, Voter Suppression