How big a role will fraud play in the election?

Inspired by a post in the “McCain forked” thread.

In what seems an unusual thing for an election, both sides are talking a lot about fraud: Democrats are talking about reports of electronic voting machines in several states switching votes from D to R in front of their eyes (can’t find the thread, sorry; it was either here or the Pit), and Republicans are talking about ACORN and other seemingly fraudulent registrations. Plus, you don’t have to go far on this board to see Democrats who are convinced that McCain and the company formerly known as Diebold will utterly steal this election.

How significant a role do you think fraud will play in the election for either side? Will it affect the outcome in any appreciable way? For the purposes of this thread, feel free to assume that any of what I mention above (or anything you like that you’ve read and can cite) is deliberate fraud, as opposed to inadvertent error.

I’ve thought voting computers with no paper trail was an incredibly careless and poorly thought out idea since I first heard about them. Anyone with just a smattering of computer experience knows that any computer can be hacked. I recently watched the DVD Hacking Democracy and they make a pretty clear case for paperless computerized voting being completely unreliable and easily corruptible.

Other than expense, there’s no reason not to have a computerized voting machine that prints out a paper ballot that can be double checked against computerized results. Perhaps that expense is daunting but isn’t protecting our democracy worth it?

The other huge problem is voter suppression. It’s a big mistake to have partisan state officials controlling the details of the election. The spirit of our democracy is that people’s voices are heard. No matter which party you support nobody should be engaging in activities that suppress the voice of their opponent.

People casting ballots under a phony identity is a minor issue compared to the those two. IMHO. Let’s not let’s misdirection fool us into surrendering our democracy.

We’ll know in about 8 days.

Democrats will say voter suppression will be a big deal. Republicans will say that fraudulent voting is a big deal. I agree with the Democrats, and disagree with the Republicans.

GD. Here it is.

I disagree with both. I think Obama will win big, regardless.


As far as actual voter fraud…it’s pretty insignificant. Mostly due to felons voting. Not very many people will go through to risk of a federal charge just to be able to vote twice. Not a big reward there. There have been only 5 convictions for multiple voting in the years 2002-2005. Not enough to impact an election.

Good article: In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud–New York Times

More than Osama bin Ladin, “voter fraud” and “stolen elections” is the biggest boogeyman to come out of Bush’s 8 years. Does it happen? Sure, I believe it does. But does it affect an election in any real way? Not a chance.

It won’t affect the results of the election. The hardcore Republican base will use it as a “we really won but were stabbed in the back” excuse to delegitimize the new administration.

About 50,000 mostly minority voters were prevented from voting in FLORIDA in 2000 because their names were similar to names on a list of felons.

A partisan state elections offical can effectively disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters with the stroke of a pen, but to sway an election with fraudulent votes requires tens of thousands of people to be in on the conspiracy. Rather more difficult.

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Bureaucrats are idiots and a large number of felons have “minority” sounding names.

I think this article by Robert Kennedy Jr. is pretty relevent:

Remember, this is the same Katherine Harris who blocked the FL recount for no other reason than that her favored candidate stood a better chance of winning that way.

Also by Kennedy, and Greg Palast.