Don’t Count Your Ballots Before They Are Cast
The election is coming up fast. Pundits on both sides are predicting victory and defeat. Republicans are looking at a possible landslide victory; where a year ago they were hoping to gain a majority in the Senate, now many feel confident that they will not only pick up a bare majority, but might quite possibly do even better. Democrats are looking a bit hang-dog and even the mainstream media are conceding that it looks like a bad year for the Democrats. However I am not so sure. The Republicans might be in for a November surprise.
All things being equal, and assuming no voter fraud, the prognosis for Republicans looks good. In many of the races, they lead by substantial margins. However in certain key races, it is very tight. Anything could happen to upset the applecart, and election night may be a real nail biter. All it would take there would be for get-out-the-vote campaigns to manage to get large numbers of unenthusiastic disgruntled Democratic voters to the polls, or for complacent disgruntled Republicans to stay home to change the picture. And there are large numbers of disgruntled voters in both parties who are unhappy with politicians of all stripes; which is why an “independent” candidate in Kansas, in the absence of a Democratic candidate, is giving the Republican candidate for Senate a run for his money, and might well win.
Then there is the illegal vote. Despite assurances from leading Democrats that reports of voter fraud are just figments of the imagination of extreme right-wing whack jobs who are sore losers and simply do not like President Obama because they are hate-filled bigots who can’t stand the thought of a black man in the White House, or that even if some voter fraud has occurred that it is a vanishingly small percentage of the total votes cast and not enough to matter or swing an election, reports of voter fraud persist.
A recent study by two Old Dominion University professors, based on survey data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, revealed that during the national elections of 2008, 6.4% of all noncitizens voted illegally and 2.2% did so in the 2010 midterms. Now you might say, so what? That isn't very many. However many elections are decided by a very small number of votes - sometimes as few as one vote per precinct. Al Franken won his Senate seat in 2008 by 312 votes. Since surveys show that 80% of noncitizens would, if able to legally cast a ballot, vote Democrat, it is likely that those that actually are voting are predominately casting ballots for Democratic candidates. In all the cases cited in the study where there were tightly contested elections and non-citizen ballots were demonstrably cast, the Democrat eked out a victory. The study concludes that these illegal votes are “large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections.”
Is that “proof” that such is happening? No – as Democratic operatives will be quick to point out, citing this lack of “proof” as reasons why enhanced voter security is not necessary. Of course, cigarette companies claimed for years that there was no “proof” that cigarettes cause cancer either. Attempts to put more stringent voter identification laws into place have been fought tooth and nail by progressives, who claim, without substantiating proof, that such laws disenfranchise voters and suppress minority turnout. Would they, I wonder, be so quick to attack such laws were illegals demonstrated to be voting 80% for Republican candidates, or would they instead be leading the charge to “preserve the sanctity of our voting system” instead?
Reports of noncitizen voting fraud in one county in Maryland has led to a lawsuit by the Virginia Voters Alliance, an election integrity watchdog group, which compared how voters in Frederick County filled out jury duty statements compared with their voting records. They found that thousands of people in the county who stated that they are not U.S. citizens on jury duty forms, cast votes in the elections. Either they lied on their jury duty forms in order to get out of jury duty, or they voted illegally. Both are crimes, so take your pick. And because there really is nothing special about Frederick County, and the same laws apply statewide, it is likely that such is occurring in all counties and subdivisions across the state.
The group also discovered that about 40,000 people are registered to vote in both Virginia and Maryland. Does that mean that they are voting in both states? No as, once again, Democratic apologists are quick to point out; the ability to commit a crime is not proof that a crime is being committed. The fact remains however that they could do so if they were so inclined, and points to deficiencies in our voting systems which allow such behavior to pass undectected.
The Washington Post recently published on line a list of voter ID laws by state; which ones required ID, photo ID or no ID at all. La Raza, the pro-amnesty Hispanic activist organization was quick to promote the site to its followers. Why?
James O’Keefe, a so-called “guerilla filmmaker” has released a series of videos documenting potential voter fraud. In a hidden-camera video with three young Democratic organizers in Colorado, two agree with his suggestion that they fill out umarked ballots in order to help Democratic Senator Mark Udall hold on to his seat. Colorado is noteworthy because they no longer vote at the polls in November; all voting is done via absentee ballot. This year, in order to ensure that all voters have the ability to vote, Colorado mailed ballots to everyone in the state, and changed election laws to allow voters to register as late as Election Day. O’Keefe told the organizers that he had access to a large number of ballots that people had thrown away and suggested that they could be filled in and mailed to help Udall out. The organizers thought that a fine idea. “That’s not even lying and stealing,” said one. “If someone throws out the ballot, if you want to fill it out you should do it.” He did the same thing in North Carolina, where one of the closest Senate races in the nation is being played out between the incumbent Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger Thom Tillis, prompting the North Carolina Republican Party to file a formal complaint with the Attorney General and North Carolina Board of Elections.
But would anyone really do this, or is it just theoretical?
In New Mexico, the first case of voter fraud was documented in Rio Arriba County. A voter there, trying to cast a ballot in early voting, was informed by the voting clerk that he couldn’t vote because he had already voted three days previously. After informing the poll workers that he hadn’t voted, they produced the signature of the voter who had previously voted and the signature did not match that of the legal voter; someone had voted in his place.
Voter fraud is one of those things that goes unobserved – unless you start looking for it. Once you start looking, however, it seems to turn up everywhere. Our voting system at present depends on the “honor system” for voter validation. Unfortunately, there are many in our country who are apparently without honor. Or who believe that the ends justify the means.
Of course, the best way to win is to actually get legal votes from those who support you, and for those who oppose to stay home, and Democrats have been very busy with their “get out the vote” campaign.
Race baiting is a tried and true method of ensuring that blacks get to the polls to support their Democratic campaigns. Hence the recent spate of campaign fliers using images of lynchings, Jim Crow laws and the recent racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri to remind blacks that an election is coming up and if they don’t want to end up back on the plantation, they need to get to the polls and vote Democrat.
Charlie Rangel (D-NY) drove the point home at a campaign rally for Gov Andrew Cuomo, reminding his audience that Republicans don’t disagree with Democrats – they hate them. “They think if you didn’t come from Europe 30 years ago, you didn’t even make it,” he shouted. “Some of them believe that slavery isn’t over and they and think they won the Civil War!” The Democrat party on the other hand, Rangel said, is doing “God’s work” on issues important to the American people.
Or how about threats – a tried and true method of ensuring people vote as they are told. There is the usual sort of threats such as threatening old people that Republicans want to end their Social Security, or threatening workers that Republicans want to take away their jobs. Or how about just plain old intimidation? The New York State Democratic Committee sent letters to voters this week that said the following:
“Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record. We will be reviewing voting records…to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014.” It ends with the line “If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.” Voters, and even party members, were not amused. At a time where it seems that every three-letter agency in the government is listening in on everything we do, many found the letter chilling. One woman, who complained to a local Democratic leader said she also received a “report card” of her voting record, pointing out that she had failed to vote in two of the last four elections.
Then there is shame; a tactic is used by both parties to scrounge up last-minute cash right before the election. Republicans talk about how they are “disappointed – and worried” that various republican icons have contacted you and asked for your support – but you haven’t responded. Democrats talk about how if you don’t give you will have to accept defeat and the evil Koch Brothers will buy the election.
With the success of marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado, Democrats have seen pot as a means of getting otherwise unenthusiastic Democrat voters to the polls, getting marijuana referendums on the ballot in multiple states. What Democrat doesn’t like a good toke, the thinking goes, and if they are going to show up to get their drug of choice made legal then they may as well remember who got it on the ballot and vote straight Democratic Party ticket while they are there. That doesn’t seem to be going so well at this point, but it was worth a shot.
Finally, there is the blame game, angling for the sympathy vote. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana wants voters to know that why her and Obama are not popular in the south is because folks in the south are racist and sexist, because nothing will cause voters to flock to your banner faster than to insult them by calling them racist and sexist. This is particularly funny in Louisiana because not only is Mary Landrieu a former governor of that state, but she is running as the incumbent Senator from Louisiana meaning, I would presume, that she was in both cases, elected by the sexist people of Louisiana. Furthermore last time I looked, the current governor of Louisiana is Bobby Jindal, a man of Indian descent, who is as black as our current president. I am pretty sure the good people of Louisiana elected him as well though perhaps I am wrong and he was appointed by George Bush. Perhaps Senator Landrieu’s problem is that the people of Louisiana are fed up with her politics, and the politics of President Obama, and are simply looking for “hope and change.”
Then finally, if all else fails, there is the recount. The Democrats are lawyering up; getting ready to roll up their sleeves and do battle if the race is at all close after the vote is tallied. This tried and true tactic has worked well for Democrats in the past, the most notable failure being the 2000 presidential campaign between George W. Bush and Al Gore. But it worked very well in various races around the country, Al Franken’s 2008 race for Senate being one of the most widely publicized; a recount that lasted 8 months and resulted in Franken being the critical 60th Democratic vote for Obamacare.
So despite the press and the conventional wisdom, don’t count the Democrats out. As they say, “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” She may be warming up off stage, but she isn’t singing yet.