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Voter fraud (or the lack thereof)

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The “facts” depend on what side you’re on

My own opinion is that the stability of American society stems from a widespread belief that if we don’t like something, there are peaceful ways to effect change. Obviously not everything is fair and the playing field is not level, but folks think they have a chance. Some disagree and are all for storming the White House, at least they are when writing on the Internet, exemplified by such graphics as the one shown above.

These days birthers are among those who believe that elections are not fair, that there is massive voter fraud. Many birthers believe that Barack Obama didn’t really win his elections. Orly Taitz alleged a stunning number of fraudulent votes in her California Senate race in 2012, although she never identified anyone who voted illegally.

It is in the nature of the conspiracy theorist to suspect a conspiracy behind every unusual event, and we see that in a recent article from Orly Taitz about the Cochran/McDaniel runoff Senate race in Mississippi. Thad Cochran is the long-term incumbent US Senator from Mississippi who received 0.5% fewer votes than state Senator Chris McDaniel in the Republican Primary. (I wrote about this race briefly in my article, “Cloward and Piven were from Manchuria?”) In the runoff election, things were reversed with Cochran the winner by 6,693 votes out of almost 400,000 votes cast. The runoff election was marked by an unusually high voter turnout (20% more votes in the runoff than in the primary election). There is a detailed analysis of the election results in this paper, “Mississippi Primary Runoff Election, 2014: Republican Primary Election Runoff, Cochran (i) v. McDaniel” from the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development.

When one sees an unusual voter turnout, the normal explanation is that the race was interesting, or that there was a campaign to get out the vote. Orly Taitz sees it differently, writing June 27:

4700 fraudulent votes identified already in MS: By 10 AM they identified about 4700 duplicate votes. Looks like Cochran is gonna lose this election after all. And 5 years jail time for the people that commiteed (sic) election fraud. They will need to build a new jail.

What is Taitz’ source for this story? Commenter “Dee Dee.” :roll: Source aside, a little research explains the allegation, which is not unique to Taitz. In Mississippi, Democrats can vote in the Republican runoff election provided they didn’t vote in the Democratic primary. Tea Party activists claim to have found some number of people who voted in the Democratic Primary and the Republican runoff, which if proven might be grounds for challenging the election. The actual number of these illegal crossover voters varies widely in various reports but I haven’t found any source for the 4700 number (I think it is a state-wide extrapolation from Hinds County results.) McDaniel himself last Thursday put the number of illegal votes in the “hundreds.” According to Catherine Engelbrecht of the voting watchdog group True the Vote (who is helping McDaniel):

I think that the sanctity of the vote was, by all appearance, violated.

Hinds County GOP Chair Pete Perry says that most of the so-called duplicate voting was just an error on the part of poll workers checking the wrong column.

Perry pointed to one instance where a precinct that supposedly included 192 votes from people who had voted in the June 3 Democratic primary, but according to the certified election results, only 37 people had voted in the Democratic primary on June 3 for that precinct.

Matthew Boyle, Breitbart.com

On the other side, McDaniel’s supporters were attacked, for example, in the New York Times article: “Scaring away black voters in Mississippi.” That didn’t seem to work out very well.

Each side has their own version  the facts.

Articles on the Mississippi runoff:

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16 Responses to Voter fraud (or the lack thereof)

  1. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) June 30, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    These days birthers are among those who believe that elections are not fair, that there is massive voter fraud. Many birthers believe that Barack Obama didn’t really win his elections.

    BIrthers are likely to believe 101% of all common right-wing conspiracy theories.

    The real problem is that the number of right-wingers who believe Obama (or other Democrats, or non-TP’ers) “stole the election” is quite a bit larger than the (minuscule) number of birthers. It’s the mindset that is being cultivated by some to foment sedition – if you can’t win an election, convince enough bullies with guns that election fraud is rampant until they violently overthrow those who actually won the elections.

  2. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) June 30, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Gotta love the basis of the allegation:

    Tea Party activists compared the names of people who voted in the Democratic primary on June 3rd and then voted in the Republican runoff last Tuesday. […] The Tea Party identified approximately 800 voters in Hind County that voted in both.

    If taken literally, it means they may have found 800 John Smiths and Jack Johnsons who voted in both elections, yielding zilch in the sane world. (They probably found a single Kim Dong Woo and a single Vladimir Nyukechilevichowsky, too.)

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 30, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    I don’t think it’s that simplistic an error. They are probably looking at the polling documents that would indicate more identification than just a name. The Breitbart article has the best account of the exact nature of the controversy.

    The Magic M (not logged in): If taken literally, it means they may have found 800 John Smiths and Jack Johnsons who voted in both elections, yielding zilch in the sane world. (They probably found a single Kim Dong Woo and a single Vladimir Nyukechilevichowsky, too.)

  4. avatar
    Krosis June 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I wonder whether anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic image of the “American Revolution II” will appeal to the respectable and honorable Dr. Orly Taitz, esq.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    This story got a little more interesting as I dug into it. See the additional newspaper articles at the end.

  6. avatar
    Dave June 30, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    That picture says it’s from clifylq, whose several websites have long been among the craziest I have seen — and that’s saying a lot. As far as I know he hasn’t posted on any of them for over a year, which I hope means that his mental health has improved.

  7. avatar
    Crustacean June 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Dave: That picture says it’s from clifylq, whose several websites have long been among the craziest I have seen — and that’s saying a lot.

    And many of the offensive images posted at BR were created by Tom Francois, who has been visited by the Secret Service, and who seems to have a love of Iraq/Afghanistan War snuff videos.

    This is what we’re dealing with when we interact with these degenerates.

  8. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) July 1, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The Breitbart article has the best account of the exact nature of the controversy.

    Now that would be a first. *lol*

  9. avatar
    bovril July 1, 2014 at 6:10 am #

    Dave:
    That picture says it’s from clifylq, whose several websites have long been among the craziest I have seen — and that’s saying a lot. As far as I know he hasn’t posted on any of them for over a year, which I hope means that his mental health has improved.

    This is what our proxy filtering software says about it…. 8-)

    Reason
    Your request was denied because of its content categorization: “Adult/Mature Content;Violence/Hate/Racism”

    ——————————————————————————–
    Debug Information
    Error: “content_filter_denied”
    Reason: “Your request was denied because of its content categorization: “Adult/Mature Content;Violence/Hate/Racism””
    URL: “http://clifylq.livejournal.com/”

  10. avatar
    Lupin July 1, 2014 at 6:41 am #

    Crustacean: This is what we’re dealing with when we interact with these degenerates.

    Yesterday I tried to post a rather simple and non-antagonistic msg on BR to explain the difference between “Socialist States” and “Social Democracies”. I also briefly touched upon State support for various economic sectors in Europe and in the US. Hardly the stuff of virulent controversy. The msg got censored and never appeared.

  11. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) July 1, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    Lupin: to explain the difference between “Socialist States” and “Social Democracies”

    They’re about as interested in that as the Breitbart crowd is in the correct definition of “Islamic country” – whatever goes against their hatred is unspeak.

  12. avatar
    Smirk4Food July 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around that image. obama is a mooslim nazi jew???

  13. avatar
    Dave July 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    If you go to clifylq’s website and pick a random selection of articles, you’ll see that he has a habit of labelling anyone he doesn’t like as being both a Nazi and a Zionist. Not clear how he doesn’t see this as contradictory.

    Smirk4Food:
    I’m still trying to wrap my head around that image. obama is a mooslim nazi jew???

  14. avatar
    James M July 2, 2014 at 12:53 am #

    Dave:
    That picture says it’s from clifylq, whose several websites have long been among the craziest I have seen — and that’s saying a lot.

    I love kook sites and this one is new to me. Thanks!

  15. avatar
    RanTalbott July 2, 2014 at 2:49 am #

    bovril: Your request was denied because of its content categorization: “Adult/Mature Content;Violence/Hate/Racism”

    Interesting: I never thought of violence, hate, and racism as being “mature”…

  16. avatar
    The Magic M July 2, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    I guess they’re different criteria – one is “Adult/Mature Content”, the other “Violence/Hate/Racism”.