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Life after birtherism: Sharon Meroni

Sharon Meroni (aka Chalice Jackson) was an early birther who through lawsuits in Illinois and her Patriots Heart Network, challenged Obama’s eligibility. Even back then, Meroni claimed massive vote fraud in Illinois in the 2008 election.

These days, she runs the web site “DEFENDtheVOTE.com” that focuses on election fraud issues, and again invokes the legal process, most recently a complaint under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Her latest article is “SUCCESS! New Early Voting Procedures in Chicago.”

The integrity of elections is an important issue, and proper audit trails (which Meroni says were not in place for early voted ballots) are essential to public confidence in the voting process.

I had a haircut today, and my barber thanked me for serving as a poll manager in his precinct during the November 4 election. He expressed concern about whether his votes were counted properly, and I was able to tell him how the audit trails worked in our state and I think he was assured after that—but the other barber then said, “so we really elected Obama twice?” That was a landmine I didn’t want to step on, so I just replied: “not in South Carolina.” This anecdote reinforces the idea that some segment of the population doesn’t trust vote tabulation.

I only scanned the Defend the Vote site quickly, and wouldn’t want to characterize it, but some of the things I did see were what I would describe as “unscientific.” While I share concerns over the integrity of voting systems, I think that those concerns will not be answered by the level of expertise we see in the birthers. I think the best minds can solve the problems, but the worst minds can foul it up if they get to make the laws.

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7 Responses to Life after birtherism: Sharon Meroni

  1. avatar
    Arthur November 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    “but the other barber then said, “so we really elected Obama twice?” That was a landmine I didn’t want to step on, so I just replied: “not in South Carolina.” This anecdote reinforces the idea that some segment of the population doesn’t trust vote tabulation.”

    I can guarantee that if his candidate had won he wouldn’t have any problem trusting vote tabulation.

  2. avatar
    Hermitian November 21, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Mr. C

    “I think the best minds can solve the problems, but the worst minds can foul it up if they get to make the laws.”

    Obviously Mr. C prefers a form of government where not all citizens have a voice in making the laws.

    The beauty of America is that both the best and worst minds have the same voice in the making of our laws.

  3. avatar
    Crustacean November 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    The 2004 presidential election provides a good example of your point. In January of 2005, John Conyers released a report called “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.” This report cites “massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies” that occurred in that state. “In many cases,” the report says, “these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.”

    http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/files/Conyersreport.pdf

    In this case we have pretty damning evidence of actual misconduct. Not made-up stories of dead people voting, or a wave of illegal immigrants casting ballots, or false claims of more votes being cast in a county than there were eligible voters. No, there were real problems in Ohio in 2004.

    So where were the right-wing conspiracy nuts then? Apparently their tinfoil hats were on the blink, because they explained away the statistically improbable gap between the exit polls and the official results by saying the exit polls were bad. They were taken in the morning, you see, but Bush voters like to sleep in, don’t you know.

    OK, that’s not fair. It was the Republicans who made that excuse. The tinfoil crowd were probably too busy going over the Book of Revelations with a magnifying glass to notice what happened in Ohio.

    Arthur: I can guarantee that if his candidate had won he wouldn’t have any problem trusting vote tabulation.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    From my point of view, the people who know what they are talking about are drowned out by demagogues and nut jobs. I don’t mean that that nut jobs should be excluded from the political process, but just observe that letting them run things can lead to disaster, with climate change being the prime example.

    Hermitian: Obviously Mr. C prefers a form of government where not all citizens have a voice in making the laws.

  5. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Every so often Doc, lets Hermitian out of his box, and every time Hermitian squanders his chance to say something intelligent.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    To be fair, prior to our present Glasnost policy, I was somewhat selective in what appeared from Hermitian, so one cannot rightly characterize everything he said by what I published. This time, he truly blew it all by himself.

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: Every so often Doc, lets Hermitian out of his box, and every time Hermitian squanders his chance to say something intelligent.

  7. avatar
    Dave November 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    It’s good when citizens get off their butts and work at improving public policy — something I do far too rarely — but it isn’t all that helpful when people pursue laudable goals by pushing BS and misinformation.

    Example: a local school system, to help raise education funding, has started negotiating contracts with cell phone companies to build towers on school grounds. A citizens group has sprung up to oppose this — and there are certainly good reasons to oppose the policy, but this group has made the centerpiece of its argument a bunch of pseudoscientific BS about cellphones and cancer.