Trump supporters don’t believe in democracy

Well now, isn’t this comforting:

Nearly half of Republicans (47 percent) believe that Trump won the popular vote, which is similar to this finding. Larger fractions believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted (68 percent) and that voter fraud happens somewhat or very often (73 percent).

Moreover, 52 percent said that they would support postponing the 2020 election, and 56 percent said they would do so if both Trump and Republicans in Congress were behind this.

This was in response to this question:

If Donald Trump were to say that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote, would you support or oppose postponing the election?

Now it seems that they were primed to say this by being asked if they thought there was a lot of voter fraud (I’d be curious how much this would change if they only asked this one question), but it’s still stunning. More than half of Republicans would be ok with postponing the election if Trump said there was a possible problem (I wonder how long they would be willing to postpone the vote). That’s more than a little scary.

Chutzpah

There are two quotations in this story about Trump’s voting commission that pretty much define chutzpah:

‘‘Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?,’’ Trump said in a tweet Saturday.

This from a man who refused to release his tax returns as Presidents have for the past 40 plus years. What does he have to hide?

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted the decision by some governors and secretaries of state not to comply.

‘‘I think that that’s mostly about a political stunt,’’ she told reporters at a White House briefing Friday

Given that there is no evidence of the type of in person voter fraud that this commission has been charged with investigating, it’s obvious that the whole thing is a political stunt.

And Trump who tweets about ‘Fake News’ lies more than any person I’ve ever known.

Really, Trump’s administration lives on chutzpah.

Republicans don’t care about the integrity of the voting booth

The Washington Post has a major article on Russia’s attempt to influence the election:

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race. But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

Russians had hacked into multiple political organizations (the DNC and RNC among others), had distributed fake news stories, and had tried breaking in to multiple states’ election systems. Here is the Republican response:

On Aug. 15, Johnson arranged a conference call with dozens of state officials, hoping to enlist their support. He ran into a wall of resistance. The reaction “ranged from neutral to negative,” Johnson said in congressional testimony Wednesday. Brian Kemp, the Republican secretary of state of Georgia, used the call to denounce Johnson’s proposal as an assault on state rights. “I think it was a politically calculated move by the previous administration,” Kemp said in a recent interview, adding that he remains unconvinced that Russia waged a campaign to disrupt the 2016 race. “I don’t necessarily believe that,” he said.

But Republicans resisted, arguing that to warn the public that the election was under attack would further Russia’s aim of sapping confidence in the system. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went further, officials said, voicing skepticism that the underlying intelligence truly supported the White House’s claims.

Donald Trump, of course, continues to doubt that the Russians were behind anything

But let’s go back to look at Brian Kemp, here’s a story about him:

In the weeks leading up to the 2012 election, Helen Ho, an attorney who has worked to register newly naturalized immigrants to vote in the Southeast, made an alarming discovery. Some new citizens that her group, then known as the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, had tried to register in Georgia were still not on the rolls. Early voting had begun and polling places were challenging and even turning away new citizens seeking to vote for the first time.

After more than a week of seeking answers from the office of Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, which oversees elections, AALAC issued a sharply worded open letter on October 31 demanding that Georgia take immediate action to ensure the new citizens could vote.

Two days later Ho received her response. In a letter, Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, offered few specific assurances about the new voters in question and informed Ho that his office was launching an investigation into how AALAC registered these would-be voters. Kemp’s office asked that AALAC turn over certain records of its registration efforts, citing “potential legal concerns surrounding AALAC’s photocopying and public disclosure of voter registration applications.”

The investigation targeted her group not for any voter fraud, per se, but for more technical issues, such as whether canvassers had people’s explicit, written consent to photocopy their registration forms before mailing the originals to the elections office. Kemp’s investigation into AALAC lasted nearly two-and-a-half years. This past March 12th, it ended with no finding of violations.

In 2010—for the first time in the county’s history—the county elected a majority-black school board. This upset victory followed a sudden surge in local black voting that was catalyzed by a group of get-out-the-vote activists.

For weeks after the historic primary, Kemp’s armed investigators, along with officials from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, went door-to-door in Quitman’s black neighborhoods. Without evidence of actual voter fraud in Quitman, the state’s case against the town’s voting activists came to rely on allegations of less glaring breaches of absentee ballot procedure.

State agents arrested a dozen voting organizers, three of whom had won seats on the county school board. With the charges pending, Georgia’s Republican governor, Nathan Deal, issued an executive order temporarily removing those women from their posts, reinstating the county’s white-majority school board.

A Quitman resident named Lula Smart faced 32 felony counts that could have carried more than a hundred years in prison, largely for charges of carrying envelopes containing completed absentee ballots to the mailbox for voters. Smart told me that in the first year of the prosecution she contemplated taking her life.

Another Quitman resident, Debra Dennard, faced two felony charges of voter fraud for helping her father fill out his absentee ballot. Her father, David Dennard, is missing both legs and is partially blind. Mr. Dennard says that with his daughter’s assistance he voted for just who he wanted to without any coercion or meddling. “All she did was help me—just as she helps me with almost everything,” the father told me last year. “I knew who I wanted to vote for, and I signed the ballot myself.”

Last September—four years after the election in question—a jury in Quitman cleared Lula Smart on every count against her. This past December, the state dropped all of its remaining charges against the group. A dozen arrests netted not a single conviction or plea deal in Quitman. (One member of the group died in 2012.)

Kemp sure seems to want to make sure there is no voter fraud …. when it might help Democrats. On the other hand, he’s not going to allow a Democrat to investigate possible problems–not because he has a problem with an investigation he just is for local control. Well, unless he wants to overturn the voters’ will in a town.

If it isn’t obvious, Republicans don’t care about voter fraud they care about people voting for Democrats.

That’s why I love this story:

Two members of a presidential commission charged with investigating alleged voter fraud want the panel to focus on what could be the biggest fraudulent scheme of all: attempted Russian hacking of numerous state election systems.

The call, by the secretaries of state in New Hampshire and Maine, presents a potential change in direction for a special commission that has widely been seen as a political smoke screen to justify the president’s unfounded claims about widespread fraud by individual voters in such places as New Hampshire and California.

That’s funny, Trump set up a panel to investigate ‘voter fraud’ because he didn’t like all the stories saying that Clinton won the popular vote by more than 3 million votes. Now it very well might be investigating Russian voter fraud that helped him win. Tee hee.

Why do Republicans worry about in person voter fraud?

Given that there’s little evidence of in person voter fraud, it’s always been a little curious how much time Republicans spend talking about it (ok, it’s really pretty obvious why they do). But I’m starting to get it (via here):

Republican Kathy Myalls is urging voters to elect her to a seat in the Illinois State Legislature.

But will she vote for herself?

It’s a fair question, since records show Myalls has voted in both Illinois and Wisconsin in recent years.

In one case, she cast a vote in a primary election in Illinois. Then just three months later, records show she voted in Wisconsin to cast a ballot in the state’s recall election. The effort was aimed largely at recalling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — someone with whom Myalls is pictured on her Facebook page. Myalls then voted in Wisconsin’s presidential general election in 2012 before returning to Illinois to vote the following spring.

It seems that Republican politicians seem to have a habit of voter fraud (ok, that last one is about Ann Coulter). Perhaps they’re worried about voter fraud because they assume others are like them? I’m just asking.

Voter fraud show

This (via here):

I’ve been tracking allegations of fraudfor years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop. In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the Court. And since then, I’ve been following reports wherever they crop up.

To be clear, I’m not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix.

So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below.

Second, the court said that ID laws can help stop fraud. It then cited an example of recent fraud … that ID laws aren’t designed to stop.

This sort of misdirection is pretty common, actually. Election fraud happens. But ID laws are not aimed at the fraud you’ll actually hear about. Most current ID laws (Wisconsin is a rare exception) aren’t designed to stop fraud with absentee ballots (indeed, laws requiring ID at the polls push more people into the absentee system, where there are plenty of real dangers). Or vote buying. Or coercion. Or fake registration forms. Or voting from the wrong address. Or ballot box stuffing by officials in on the scam. In the 243-page document that Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel filed on Monday with evidence of allegedly illegal votes in the Mississippi Republican primary, there were no allegations of the kind of fraud that ID can stop.

gives me another chance to link to this:

U.S. District Court Judge Danny C. Reeves sentenced Cletus Maricle, 67, to 320 months in prison for conspiring with other county officials in schemes that involved racketeering, money laundering and voter fraud. He was also sentenced for obstruction of justice.

At the sentencing, Stephen Smith, a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Maricle helped create a culture of lawlessness in the county that existed for three decades.

Smith estimated that Maricle led a scheme that used $400,000 to bribe 8,000 voters during the course of the conspiracy. In addition, Smith added that 150 voters had their votes stolen.

That’s how it’s done: you get a person in charge of voting who can directly buy votes (and see that the person votes correctly) , change someone’s vote, … Voter ID laws do nothing to stop this.

 

Voter rights

Rick Hasen (he gives a fuller argument here) notes a new way to fight the efforts to make voting more difficult (under the guise of ‘voter fraud’):

I suggest a claim under the Equal Protection Clause against those states which have made voting harder for no good reason.  It is not a racially based claim, nor a partisan gerrymandering claim, nor a Bush v. Gore claim. Instead I am advocating something like Burdick-Anderson balancing with teeth, where the state must prove with actual evidence that there is a problem which a strict voting law is reasonably tailored to solve.

The reason this is important is that in past rulings have not required that there actually is any fraud:

Democrats say that voter ID laws are not needed and can lead to voter suppression, while Republicans say voter ID laws are needed to prevent voter fraud, but that’s not what the courts have ruled on. They have ruled on whether the law is constitutional, in Indiana they only talked about one case of in-person voter fraud and Republicans didn’t bother trying to show any in-person voting fraud in Pennsylvania (as this link notes, the initial ruling in Pennsylvania was based on an old court case that was blatantly bigoted and endorsed the possible effect of making it more difficult for some people to vote).

If courts make it so actual fraud has to be shown to make it harder, then many of the new laws will fail since many of them actual actually make fraud easier … for voters who tend to vote Republican.

We want voter fraud that helps us

The Republicans have succeeded in shutting down the federal government, but their work in the states goes on. In North Carolina, they are preparing to defend a law on voter fraud. Let’s see what that entails:

North Carolina’s new law cuts early voting by a week, ends same-day voter registration, and includes a stringent photo ID requirement. The measure also eliminated a popular high school civics program that encouraged students to register to vote in advance of their 18th birthdays.

Ok, I’m not sure what early voting or encouraging students to vote has to do with voter fraud. Let’s learn some more:

More than 70 percent of African-Americans who cast a ballot in North Carolina during the past two presidential elections voted early. Studies show minority voters are also more likely to lack a driver’s license.

I assume it’s a coincidence that they’re more likely to vote for Democrats. Let’s continue:

As in those other states, North Carolina Republicans have said that voter ID requirements are needed to combat in-person voter fraud, which they claim is endemic.

Records show most criminal prosecutions for voter fraud in the state involve absentee ballots, which the new GOP-backed law actually makes easier to obtain and which do not require any sort of ID. State statistics show Republican voters are more likely to cast absentee ballots than Democrats.

Holder specifically pointed to the lack of evidence showing voter fraud is a big problem in North Carolina as an indication the real goal is partisan gain.

That’s some pretty impressive chutzpah there–claim the law is to prevent voter fraud and actually loosen the standards where most fraud occurs (it is, again, a coincidence that these are people who are more likely to vote for Republicans).

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