Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stealing Votes Republican Style

With the McBush campaign going up in flames, buckets of this rancid, meaningless bilge is the only response they have left.

43 people in Lake County, Indiana, were charged and convicted of Voter Fraud—all Democrats. ACORN—a group with strong ties to Barack Obama, has registered thousands of illegal aliens as voters—Mickey Mouse has been registered more than 2,800 times, along with a 7-year-old girl in Connecticut, by ACORN workers.

Scary, right. Well that's what it has come to now that McBush is on the edge of losing the 2008 election--scare tactics.

The Republican strategy in regard to the boogey-man of voter fraud is as transparent as Sarah Palin returning her millionaire wardrobe to the fancy stores where the RNC regularly shops. One strategy, let’s call it The Issues , has failed miserably for McBush. So now it’s on to phase 2 of gutter politics. Ayers didn’t seem to have legs. Calling Obama a “socialist” who wants to “spread the wealth” didn’t catch on. (Partially thanks to the Palin/RNC luxury shopping spree with the wives of the rich and infamous and greedy.)

So that leaves Acorn and the exaggerated claims of vote fraud being wildly waved at the electorate. In pure Bush/Rove fashion (We all remember WMDs, right?), we have unsubstantiated fear mongering about how Acorn is stealing the election. This is the old Bush pre-emptive strike method, election style. The cynical design is to circulate and sow fear and trembling into the hearts and minds of all who support honest and fair elections. Mainly, keep down the voter turnout which, of course, translates into keeping the Democratic and swing voters from voting.

Here's a report you won't hear or see from the MSM on the very nervous, very desperate right. Perhaps some concerned voter would care to challenge the facts in this story.

Alexander Keyssar, a voting expert at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the author of “The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States,” suggested another possible strategic reason for Mr. McCain’s comments: an effort to “reinforce an image of the Democrats, or at least some Democrats, as the party that, A, will steal elections, and B, will steal elections by somehow mobilizing this threatening nameless mass of people who are ‘other,’ ” a reference to the mostly minority and low-income people registered in drives like Acorn’s.

Acorn said that of its faulty registrations, 20 percent to 25 percent were probably the result of duplications, 5 percent were incomplete and 1 percent to 1.5 percent were fraudulent.

Voting rights advocates say that there is no correlation between fraudulent registrations and fraudulent voting and that past elections have shown little evidence of actual voter fraud. While it does occur, they say, it is hardly rampant.

After the 2004 election in Ohio, for example, the Brennan Center found a voter fraud rate of .00004 of a percent, saying, “Americans are struck and killed by lightning about as often.”

So that’s the last ditch, in the ditch, McBush BS strategy to clog the polls and disenfranchise voters through intimidation, innuendo and, most of all, the creation of long-lines at the polls on election day. When ten voters decide they can’t wait in line 2, 3 or 4 hours while legal, registered voters, are hassled and forced to cast provisional ballots, six of those ten are Democrats.

It worked in Ohio in 2004. So McBush is trying it again. It’s all he has going for him.

Solution: Vote early. Be patient if you're in a line--it's worth it. Don't let these scare tactics scare you.


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