Liars and frauds: America's Republican election officials

Liars and frauds: America's Republican election officials

by digby

I wish I knew why more people weren't incensed by this, but I guess they figure it won't make any difference in the outcome so let them have their fun. I think it's appalling:

“Some 1,500 people voted under dead people’s and prisoners’ names from 2008-11, according to Michigan’s auditor general. Many might be clerical errors, but this illustrates the need to ensure accurate voter rolls.”

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson wrote this in a July 2 Times-Herald column, and she lied.

Johnson is a member of a fifteen-state consortium of right-wing elections officials that’s hellbent on purging voters. And her dishonest jousting in Michigan this week offers a window into how that consortium works—playing fast and loose with facts in order to create the impression of a problem that would justify their hardline solutions, and flouting the law themselves when necessary...

Despite Johnson’s constant refrain on dead people voting, her own Bureau of Elections has already established that there was no actual voter fraud in the auditor general’s report she referenced in her July 2 column.

While it’s true that the auditor general initially found close to 1,500 cases in which a dead or imprisoned person appeared to vote, the Department of State’s Bureau of Elections (BOE) said the auditor general was mistaken on all 1,500 counts (pdf; page 17). The auditor general reports that BOE informed investigators “that in every instance where it appears a deceased person or incarcerated person voted and local records were available, a clerical error was established as the reason for the situation. In addition, the Department [BOE] informed [the auditor general] that in some cases, voters submitted absent voter ballots shortly before they died. The Department informed us that the examples provided did not result in a single verified case that an ineligible person voted.” (My emphasis.)

Despite this, Johnson is determined to press forward with her original intentions. And regardless of Governor Snyder’s veto of the citizenship reaffirmation bill, Johnson said she will require that ballot application forms have a citizenship checkbox anyway.

Johnson will also continue this work through membership in the Interstate Cross Check Project. The architect of that consortium is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who gained notoriety when he led a national movement to copycat Arizona’s immigrant profiling law. The consortium allows member states to share voter registration information in a database to find ineligible voters.

Kansas has the most restrictive, active voter ID law in the nation. That law, which is also called the Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act, is the model for what Kobach would like to see happen around the country, where state cabinet officials are sent on missions looking for dead people, dogs and “illegals” attempting to vote. The project claims it has discovered people who are registered in multiple states, and who may have even voted in multiple states during one election.

If there is nothing else that can convince thinking people that the Republicans are a malevolent, anti-democratic Party, this should. There is no evidence, none, that there is any ,election voter fraud, much less a systemic enough problem to turn elections, but there is ample evidence that if you make people go through ridiculous hoops to vote, a lot of them will give up. That's the point, that's what they're trying to do, everyone knows it.

Now maybe it's true that vote suppression doesn't amount to anything and we needn't worry. But we can prove that "vote fraud" doesn't --- the evidence is clear --- so there's no reason to take that chance.