Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Glaring Omission in EAC Roundtable on the 2012 Election

Yesterday's day-long discussion of the 2012 election at the Election Assistance Commission Roundtable featured dozens of speakers and lots of anecdotal stories, but there was one very important topic that no one mentioned at all:  vote fraud.

The League of Women Voters’ President Elisabeth MacNamara criticized voter ID as being assumed to solve many election problems.  But she failed to mention how the League of Women Voters doesn’t even recognize the problems it does solve.  MacNamara ironically declared at the roundtable that “we are an organization based on facts.”  The facts are that when the Indiana voter ID law was challenged, the League of Women Voters filed a brief with a serious factual error.  They claimed that a woman was avictim of disenfranchisement, but she actually attempted commit vote fraud.  Florida resident Faye Buis-Ewing tried to vote in Indiana with her Florida’s driver’s license.  She was not permitted to do so, and rightfully so.  This is an example of the voter ID actually solving a problem of vote fraud.

Community activist Dorothy Brizill of D.C. Watch could have butdid not mention the petition fraud she uncovered in a D.C. council election in 2012.  Brizill alleged that 2,000 signatures wereduplicates, were from unregistered voters or were gathered by people unauthorized to circulate petitions.   They assert that if investigated, more are probably forgeries.  Due to D.C. Watch’s efforts, election officials eliminated 1,300 of those signatures challenged.

Jim Dickson, from the American Association of People with Disabilities, lamented the difficulties of access of disabled persons to cast ballots.  He failed to mention how vote fraudsters take advantage of blind, mentally challenged and other disabled voters.  Absentee ballots were cast in the name of the unsuspecting disabled individuals in Florida by Daisy Cabrera,and in mental disabled and nursing homes in North Carolina.  Readmore here.

The election law researchers at the roundtable never identified vote fraud as one of the areas of research in need of academic focus.  It is. The RNLA website is still the only resource that regularly documents instances of vote fraud.  That website is project of one staffer who searches the internet to uncover local news media reports of vote fraud.  There are many stories out there and a topi cin need of scientific data aggregation.  How come no professor is cataloguing local court dockets of election crimes and interviewing prosecutors for a more accurate assessment of vote fraudprosecution?    

At the roundtable, there was a lot of discussion about how long polling lines could have affected voter confidence.  Voter confidence in elections is gravely impacted by vote fraud, as the majority of Americans think vote fraud is a serious problem.  A serious problem deserves recognition and serious research. 

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