Inappropriate election practices have long been an unfortunate part of American history. During the period between the end of the civil war and the adoption of the voting rights act of 1965, various schemes were utilized to deprive African-Americans access to the ballot box. Once again, the degree of concern expressed by many over the fairness of national elections has reached a crescendo.
In a recent study, the Pew Center on the States found “millions of voter registration records nationwide that are either inaccurate or no longer valid…based on data [indicating] a voter died, moved, or had been inactive from 2004 to March 2011.” The study revealed that 2,758,578 individuals were registered to vote in more than one state. In addition, “12.7 million records nationwide…appear to be out of date and no longer reflect the voter’s current information, more than 1.8 million records for people who are no longer living, but have active registrations on voter rolls, and 12 million records with incorrect addresses…once duplicates among categories are eliminated, approximately 24 million registration records, or nearly 13% of the national total, are estimated to be inaccurate or no longer valid.” There are further concerns that “motor voter” registrations and similar efforts to expand participation in elections may open the door to massive voting fraud. Interestingly, liberal media sources such as The New York Times, despite the hard evidence, have sought to minimize or deny the crisis.
Will fraudulent voting practices, as well as inaccurate voter registration, have an impact on the upcoming presidential election? Numerous studies from across the nation document brazen attempts to destroy or misplace ballots, and allow ineligible individuals to vote, or register to vote. Americans are increasingly concerned. The refusal of the Justice Department to prosecute a clear case of voter intimidation in the city of Philadelphia by the New Black Panther Party in the last presidential election has been partially responsible.
John Fund, who has extensively studied election fraud, reports that “nearly 10% of Americans…believe that the election system doesn’t count their votes accurately.” He documents significant misdeeds from the 2000 presidential election, in which over 15,000 ballots in Florida’s Palm Beach County were warped in an attempt to invalidate Bush votes. Also in the 2000 elections, Philadelphia had more registered voters than actual citizens. Similarly, in 2007, Indianapolis/Marion County had more registered voters than adult citizens. According to published reports, an internal Wikileaks memo documents abuses in the 2008 election including foreign contributions from Russia going to the Obama campaign, as well as accounts of ballot box stuffing in Pennsylvania and Ohio also on behalf of the Obama campaign.
Presidential election fraud is not restricted to the general election. Last December, the chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party resigned in the wake of a scandal involving the 2008 Democrat presidential primary, in which claims of unlawful practices by the Obama campaign continue to surface.
What differentiates traditional—but still illegal–election misdeeds from current concerns is both the involvement of the Department of Justice and the impact of legislation such as motor voter.
“Motor voter” is actually the popular name of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. The legislation mandated state motor vehicle departments as well as other state agencies to offer voter registration forms and register those who came to their offices. Inexplicably, it forbade employees of those offices from checking IDs of those it registered. This not only made fraud possible; it essentially invited it.
Jack Kelly, writing in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, notes that there have been recent investigations, indictments, or convictions for vote fraud in California, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland.
Hans Spakovsky, writing in the Free Speech & Election Law Practices publication, emphasizes the problem of noncitizens registering to vote. He reports that in a random sampling of 3,000 registrations in California’s 39th Assembly District, 10% contained phony addresses or were not U.S. citizens.
A number of states have attempted to attack fraudulent registrations by passing legislation requiring a valid ID to vote. To the dismay of those dedicated to honest balloting, The Obama Justice Department has responded with significant hostility to this common sense measure. Although almost all the reported fraud has aided hard-left Democrats, Kelly reports, even liberal United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens stated “There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of state’s interest in counting only eligible voters’ votes” in a 2008 case that upheld Indiana’s stringent ID law following a challenge by the Democrat Party and its allies.
In testimony before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Rules ad Administration, John Samples, The Cato Institute’s Director of the Center for Representative Government stated that the Motor Voter Act “has made it difficult if not impossible to maintain clean registration rolls…the inaccuracy in the rolls caused by the Act has thrown into doubt the integrity of our electoral system.”
The Judicial Watch organization, in response to its August 9, 2011 Freedom of Information Act filing, has received records which they describe as detailing friendly communications between the Justice Department and a former ACORN attorney now serving as Director of Advocacy for Project Vote. The ACORN connection is ominous. 70 ACORN staff throughout 12 states were convicted of voter registration fraud; more than one third of the registrations that group submitted were found to be invalid.
Project Vote is described by Judicial Watch as a group that actively threatened lawsuits under the Motor Voter law in an effort to force election officials to increase the registration of individuals receiving public assistance—a prime source of Democrat support. According to Judicial Watch, “Project Vote was besieged with charges of corruption and fraud.” Despite that checkered reputation, Judicial Watch found that Project Vote and the Justice Department worked in tandem, producing results that contained heavy amounts of invalid voter registration forms. Project vote also sought to allow individuals without any state identification to register to vote online. The Judicial Watch investigation indicates that “it becomes clear that Project Vote and the Justice Department have implemented a ‘joint litigation strategy’ in the run-up to the 2012 elections.
J. Christian Adams is an attorney who served five years in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice. He has documented extensive accounts of that agency’s improprieties and partisanship in matters relating not only to its refusal to prosecute illegal election activities, but to actually encourage and abet such unlawful practices.
Citing little or no evidence, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. defends the Department of Justice actions by maintaining that attempts to properly identify voters is somehow discriminatory against minorities. Jack Kelly’s research indicates otherwise. He cites the work of researchers at the universities of Delaware and Nebraska , who found no chilling effect of ID requirements on minorities. In fact, in Georgia, following the passage of a photo ID requirement, African American participation in elections increased from 42.9% to 50.4%. Similar results were noted in Indiana and Mississippi.
The tolerance of unlawful election practices, and the complicity of government agencies in those practices, is a truly existential threat to American freedom.