Am I the Only One Who Wants To Talk About Voter Fraud?

Ok folks. Lets get serious.
19,000 messed up ballots in 2000. 15,000 messed up ballots in '96.

Both of these numbers are Waaaaaayyyyy out of line with the norm. Is this a mistake? Or is it voter fraud?

I am tired of the Gore people pushing for more recounts, and the Bush people alluding to challenging other places. They vaguely state there is no end to this. This will drag on forever and taint our process.

Spiritus Mundi makes the reasonable point that we should just resolve all the discrepencies. This seems reasonable, until you put it into context of what is happening. The problem is, if we look at all the discrepencies, the American public would realize how full of fraud and mistakes our process is.

In fact, as I type, they are talking about this on FoxNews. They are using a metaphor of nuclear weapons and Mutually assured destruction.
Is there anyone here, besides me, that thinks both sides are carefully stepping around the issue of voter fraud? The avoidance of any voter fraud issue is almost proof that both sides know it is prevelant on both sides, and all over the country.

They seem to be saying, both sides do it. The process is tainted, but our private rules dictate that the loser give up if he loses the first time around

Is this acceptable for this country?

They are saying “we hope all the voter frauds one way cancel out all the voter frauds the other way” :slight_smile:

Voter fraud is an old, old, old story. And yes, a lot of it is hidden and nobody who’s inside the political process would really want to talk about how much there is.

My favorite story about this comes from “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72”, by Hunter Thompson, about that year’s presidential race. During the Democratic primaries, McGovern & Hubert Humphrey were squaring off. In Ohio, the race was close. According to Thompson, the mayor of one of their big cities, I think it was Cleveland, delayed the counting of the votes until he had a pretty good idea of how many votes Humphrey was going to need (he was a pro-Humphrey man) and then basically gave him that number. The McGovern people went nuts, because the numbers were so obviously cooked, but they couldn’t stop him.
As Thompson relates, this story never made it out of the two campaigns, and there was no way to know what had really happened that day in Cleveland unless you were inside those campaigns, participating up close & personal.
How much of this goes on all the time? How much of this went on this time? Well, everyone was immediately suspicious that Florida was so close when Bush’s brother is the governor. (admittedly, I hang out with Democrats.) It looked & smelled, and still looks & smells, like his brother pulled out all the stops to ensure W carried the state. But will there ever be any conclusive proof? Fahgeddaboudit.

OK, so this is just slightly off topic, but did anyone see Cokie Roberts on Letterman? She had a joke about how in Louisiana they bury their dead above ground so they could get to the polls quicker.

Actually, you seem to be combining two of my points into something a bit different from what I have pu forth.

  1. The American people have a right to expect that valid ballots cast will be reliably counted.

  2. If discrepancies have been demonstrated in an election and teh magnitude of those discrepancies is sufficient to throw the result into doubt, then every effort should be made to obtain a reliable count of valid votes (per #1).

I have not said that every disrecpancy needs to be resolved before declaring a winner to the election. Frankly, a recount of Texas or California before declaring a winner would seem a collosal waste of time. There is no reasonable expectation that a recount would alter the results. However, if discrepancies are noted in those states, the process should be repaired so that the citizens’ right to have their votes accurately accounted is restored.

As noted, the scope of what I have proposed is far more limited than the context you seem to be implying.

Problem? Rather, I see that as a strength. I would love for the American people to open their eyes to the full extent of the fraud and manipulation that taints our elections. I think that election reform is long overdue. If enough people get upset at the irregularities of the present process, perhaps we will see some improvements in the process.

I think you are missing where I am coming from. I basically agree with you. My point is that both candidates would not respect the scope of what you have proposed. Each time one of them is on the losing side, they are going to want to challenge something new to tilt the count back in their favor. Since there are seemingly an infinite amount of places to challenge right now, this process could drag on forever.

I agree. I wasn’t trying to put my opinion forth in that thought, but rather as what the underlying thoughts in both campaigns were.

This is how I currently see the situation:

The election is always imperfect.

This includes mistakes and vote fraud(which is what I wanted this thread to be about)

There is an unwritten rule that if you lose the first time around, you concede. (fraud and all)

Since both sides know that there are discrepencies all over the friggin place, (mistakes AND fraud) once they start selectively challenging small areas, the other side will always be obliged to do the same in areas that will balance out the results.

This will undermine the PERCEPTION of clean elections in America. (they don’t care about the reality)
I am not happy about this. I think the blame is shared between both parties. I think it needs to be fixed. My point about your accurate counting point was that it really only held true in an honest election. It seems fairly reasonable on the surface that we have honest elections in America, but it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the process is corrupt to the core.
Do you really think that the 19,000 ballot problem in this particular county is not a major indicator of fraud? I do, and I’m getting pissed that neither side will address it. It is very Orwelian to me.

Unrelated thought:
I would also suggest that we start holding our elections in BANKS instead of schools and churches. There should be a person with the power to arrest people atr every polling place, and the ballots should be transported by professionals.

Cut out one of the new stealth fighters from the budget and pay for a secure election.

Fraud is a strong word…No, I don’t think it necessarily indicates fraud. It may indicate that the ballots confused a lot of people. But, I don’t see how it necessarily implies fraud.

I am also sort of surprised to see you endorsing this view, since if it is true as I have heard that 16000 of the 19000 were punched Gore+Buchanan (is this true?) then if you imagine fraud, you have to imagine it was perpetrated against Gore, don’t you. (By fraud, I imagine you are suggesting that someone besides the voter punched out a second hole.) I haven’t heard any evidence that would lead me to believe that this is what happened.

Not really. There are a finite number of precincts in a finite number of counties in a finite number os states. All of which could be (and ususally are) counted in parallel.

In fact, though, the relevant number is far smaller. Barring evidence of major fraud, which neither campaign has alledged, there are only a few states in play. Of these states, only one has had a second machine count. In that state, only a few counties have been called into question (due primarily to the number of “no selection” disqualifications, though the double selections in PBC have also been raised as a recount issue). In those counties, irregularities are often concentrated in a few precincts.

To call the potential for recount “neverending” seems quite an overstatement.

I do not. It seems to me, rather, to be a joint indicator of both the confusing (in effect, not intent) ballot design and perhaps an indication that the mechanical tools used to mark and record ballots in PBC are insufficient to the task.

As to the 15,000 disqualified ballots in 1996, that number represented both double punches and no punches. Taking the same sets from this election you arrive at more than 29,000’ disqualified ballots.

This number is offensively high, representing about 6% of teh total vote in PBC. It is also nearly twice the rate of disqualifications in 1996. The increase is evidence for ballot confusion. The baseline through 2 elections is evidence that the mechanical process is serioiusly flawed.