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Trump’s Election Fraud Fantasies and Public Policy

New presidential election integrity advisory commission might actually help despite the delusions on which it is based.

Vote2016YuliaGapeenkoDreamstimeYulia Gapeenko/DreamstimeBy now, we have all learned that President Trump never backs down or takes anything back. He lives in his own version of reality and alternative facts. Rather than try to disabuse their boss of his delusions, his minions scramble to bolster them. One result of the president's repeated insistence that there was massive voter fraud during the 2016 election is that he issued a Presidential Executive Order on the Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity a week ago.

The new bipartisan commission will be chaired by Vice-President Mike Pence. The vice chair of the commission is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. A long time advocate of stricter voting regulations, Kobach finally obtained in April his first conviction of a non-citizen who illegally voted in a Kansas election. This franchise felon was a caught when his earlier voter registration was uncovered when he signed up to vote at his naturalization ceremony. The Kansas City Star noted that 1,788,673 people are registered to vote in Kansas. The franchise is safe in the Sunflower State!

So on what delusions is the new commission based?

"Fourteen percent of non-citizens are registered to vote," claimed Donald Trump during a presidential campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio in October, 2016. White House press secretary Sean Spicer backed his boss' claim up on January 24, 2017 asserting, "There's one (study) that came out of Pew in 2008 that showed 14 percent of people who voted were noncitizens." On January 23, 2017, President Trump told Congressional leaders that between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes causing him to lose the popular vote. Is there any evidence for such widespread election fraud? No.

First, Spicer was both garbling and mischaracterizing the results of two different studies in his remarks. There was a 2008 Pew study that focused on the sloppiness of voter registration records, but did not say anything about voter fraud. "We found millions of out of date registration records due to people moving or dying, but found no evidence that voter fraud resulted," declared David Becker the author of the Pew study.

So what about the claim that 14 percent of non-citizens are registered to vote? That figure was derived from a 2014 study, "Do non-citizens vote in U.S. Elections?," published in the journal Election Studies. The figure was derived from trying to parse the replies of a survey sample of 828 non-citizens out of 88,200 respondents who checked a box saying they were registered to vote.

In a 2014 article for the Washington Post, one of the study's authors reported that perhaps 51 of those non-citizens who checked the box saying they were registered also checked a box saying they had voted. That's 51 people out of 88,200 who were surveyed. No one ever makes a mistake checking survey boxes, do they?

The researchers who actually ran the survey from which the data were taken in the 2014 Election Studies analysis challenged those results in 2015, arguing that it's very hard to reliably discern real trends based on such a small sample size. "The results, we show, are completely accounted for by very low frequency measurement error; further, the likely percent of non-citizen voters in recent US elections is 0," they concluded. Check out FiveThirtyEight for a nice and thorough analysis of how the initial non-citizen voting article went wrong.

In any case, the new electoral integrity advisory commission is charged with identifying "those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance [or undermine] the American people's confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections."

What sort of laws and rules does the President think would enhance voter confidence? "If the election is rigged, I would not be surprised," Donald Trump told The Washington Post on August 2 last year. "The voter ID situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. We may have people vote 10 times." In an August campaign speech, Trump strongly backed North Carolina's strict voter ID law.

Trump's insinuations about a rigged election were triggered by a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling a month earlier that had struck down the state's new voter ID laws. The court overruled North Carolina's new laws requiring, among other things, specific types of photo identification, a rollback of early voting to 10 days from 17, and the elimination of same-day registration amounted to unconstitutional restrictions on the franchise. In its decision, the court noted that the state's new voter ID restrictions "target African Americans with almost surgical precision" and that the new rules were clearly motivated by "discriminatory intent" of the Republican majorities in the state legislature to suppress voting by minority groups they feared were more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider overturning the appeals court ruling.

Most of the evidence shows that voter impersonation fraud is extremely rare, so it is not unreasonable to conclude that the proponents of strict voter ID rules may have some other motives for wanting to impose such regulations on the franchise. Contrary to the suspect aims of proponents, most research finds that imposing strict voter ID requirements end up suppressing white, Latino, and black voting about the same amount. Interestingly, a new study in Political Research Quarterly by University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientists finds that "early voting generally helps Republicans." In other words, efforts to rollback early voting actually suppress Republican voters.

While we are on the subject of voting regulations, it is worth considering the results of a recent working paper that looked at the electoral effects of denying ex-felons access to the franchise. It is generally assumed that felony disenfranchisement hurts Democratic candidates in elections, thus helping Republican candidates. For example, Republican legislators in Virginia motivated by just such fears tried unsuccessfully to block Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's broad restoration of the voting rights to ex-felons in 2016. In their working paper, the researchers find that had the franchise been restored to the one in forty adult U.S. citizens who have lost their right to vote as a result of a felony conviction, no House of Representative majority would have been reversed in any year between 1998 and 2012, had all states allowed ex-felons to vote.

Finally, even if in the face of the evidence to the contrary the president and his underlings nevertheless believe that voter fraud is prevalent, the new presidential advisory commission is largely redundant. As a result of the 2000 presidential election Florida fiasco, Congress established in 2002 the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission created to help states promulgate voting standards and improve election administration. It is a ready-made venue for studying and addressing concerns about voter fraud. For example, the EAC's 2006 Election Crimes report could be updated. Perplexingly, the House Administration Committee voted in February to terminate the EAC.

As the mischaracterized 2008 Pew Research study on the problems of properly maintaining voter rolls makes clear, there certainly are areas in which the policy and procedures of U.S. elections can be greatly improved. Perhaps the new election integrity commission will make progress in that regard despite the delusional bases on which it is founded. One can hope.

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  • Kivlor||

    You know Ron, folks freak out around here when John tells them what they're thinking. Can't imagine it's a good idea on your part. I don't know anyone who isn't for voter ID in my town. I also don't know a single person in favor of it that is interested in disenfranchising minorities from legally voting. They're just interested in disenfranchising illegal / fraudulent votes.

    Now, I don't know that ID would have fixed this, but if I recall correctly, Michigan's recount had reported enough discrepancies that by law they would have had to throw out most of Detroit last winter, before the recount was cancelled... So I don't know that it's very wise to claim there isn't any tomfoolery afoot here.

  • Ron Bailey||

    K: As the president might say, believe me, I know that the polls tell me that many Americans are worried about voter fraud - unfortunately, they have been spooked by dishonest interest groups into thinking it's a big problem. In other words, it's not much different from how interest groups manipulate and heighten fears with regard to genetically modified crops, nuclear power plants, etc.

    My job, as I see it, is to call bullshit on this kind of dishonesty.

    The Detroit 2016 voting fiasco is likely the result of just the sort mismanagement and stupidity that the Election Assistance Commission is set up to try to help.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Once, you would have pointed out that it is impossible to comment with any certainty about an issue that one is deliberately not collecting information on.

    Now you blather like any brainless SJW retard.

    What the hell is going on?

  • Ron Bailey||

    A: May I suggest that you click on some of the links in the article and follow them to the studies referenced? You will then find out that evidence has been collected. I find it persuasive, but you may not. FWIW, that is what the hell is going on.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The articles and studies you cite favorably are full of weasel words or are meta studies or self-selecting studies.

    You self reference endlessly.

    You accept explicitly leftist sources that have clearly worked backwards from the pre-determined conclusion.

    And you ignore basic procedures--how can we know impersonation fraud is happening or not in states without voter ID laws?

    How do we catch registration fraud in states with same day registration?

    Voter ID, more secure registration processes--these, logically, can help. Yet you--and many at reason argue against it.

    You accept any an all 'refutations' of studies you don't like even if those refutations are clearly coming from people who are simply upset that the data they gathered shows something they disagree with.

    This is why I ask, 'What the hell is going on?'

  • WakaWaka||

    Get thyself 'woke'

  • ||

    Election Assistance Commission

    It's around the bend on Newspeak.

    "Gee, sure is a nice election you got there, sure would be a shame if something happened to it. Here, let me assist you with it."

    A Commission founded by a man widely understood to be an autocrat and under suspicion of being under the influence of Russians.

    I love this planet and wouldn't ever choose to live on another.

  • Azathoth!!||

    A Commission founded by a man widely understood to be an autocrat and under suspicion of being under the influence of Russians.

    Thanklfully, such a person only exists in the diseased minds of leftists

  • ||

    Thanklfully, such a person only exists in the diseased minds of leftists

    I'm pretty sure that group includes diseased leftist minds like Massie, Amash, Cruz, Paul, and pretty much anyone and everyone to the left of Marco Rubio.

    You don't have to be a leftist to think he's an autocrat (or at least autocratic, maybe I should've said populist, w/e) nor do you have to be a leftist to acknowledge that he's under (largely unfounded) suspicion. Nor do you have to be a leftist to think Voter ID would be good but a Commission on Eelection Assistance nominally established at the behest of President Trump would be a bad idea.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Massie? As in Thomas Massie?

    You think he believes the web of lies woven around Trump since before he was elected?

    And Rand Paul?

    How sad.

    Both are well aware of Trump's shortcomings--as are most of us who wince in 'support', and both know that the autocrat/Russian collusion fantasy is a whole-cloth creation of the media and the left(but I repeat myself)

  • ||

    You think he believes the web of lies woven around Trump since before he was elected?

    Do you think they approve of Trump? Are you saying that they deny he's under suspicion?

    You're pretty plainly putting words in my mouth to support your position in favor of Trump when my position isn't exactly opposed to Trump. Or at least not Trump himself.

    He won. IMO, dwelling on the election voter fraud, especially in the absence of Voter ID legislation and/or a striking down of voter ID regulation only serves to protract or exacerbate the undermining of the election process and make him look more effective and just as unhinged as everyone else.

    He's reacting to a petty rumor in quid-pro-quo fashion. I didn't write nor read The Art Of The Deal but it sounds like a losing proposition to me.

  • damikesc||

    A Commission founded by a man widely understood to be an autocrat and under suspicion of being under the influence of Russians.

    Every investigation seems to specifically say there is precisely zero evidence.

    Obama was also "under suspicion" of being from Kenya, using this logic.

  • pan fried wylie||

  • ||

    Perplexingly, the House Administration Committee voted in February to terminate the EAC.

    If you think it won't be hung around his neck. Think again.

  • Brian||

    R:
    " In other words, it's not much different from how interest groups manipulate and heighten fears with regard to genetically modified crops, nuclear power plants, etc."

    And it kind of says something, that the usual suspects who freak out over everything, from GMOs to nuclear power, just don't have two fucks to give over voter fraud.

  • damikesc||

    K: As the president might say, believe me, I know that the polls tell me that many Americans are worried about voter fraud - unfortunately, they have been spooked by dishonest interest groups into thinking it's a big problem. In other words, it's not much different from how interest groups manipulate and heighten fears with regard to genetically modified crops, nuclear power plants, etc.

    ...man-made climate change...

  • Hugh Akston||

    Voter ID laws would not have fixed Michigan's discrepancies since they were caused by poll worker error rather than massive voter impersonation.

    Voter ID laws are a solution to a non-existent problem.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Bonus points if you get called "racist" for pointing out that, other issues aside, assuming minorities to be uniquely incapable of having a photo ID is pretty fucking racist.

  • BYODB||

    Well, y'know those people don't have agency and must be kept on the plantation at all costs. If they rise up through the economic ranks and end up middle-class, why, they might not vote Democrat any longer!

  • Agammamon||

    The issue is not whether or not its easy to for a minority to get a photo ID - for either side (because, yes, I know the anti-ID side loves to trot out the 'this guy has had so much trouble doing it' anecdotes - all of which are complete shite).

    The issue is (or at least should be) - do we *require* a government issued ID for this and if so, why? If fraud is not an issue, then there's no need for an ID no matter how easy to get. And if the problems we *are* seeing are do to poll worker incompetence - and so not amenable to being fixed by issuing ID - then what's the point?

    Are we willing to become a 'papiere bitte' society? Because we fight it for getting onto a plane, we fight REAL ID, but once this stuff is allowed *anywhere* then the door is opened to allow it *everywhere*.

    After all, its not like government ID's can't be faked anyway.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Here's an idea then. Rather than require IDs or even keeping voter rolls (since voting is a right) let anyone who shows up to a voting station in to vote. After they drop off their completed ballot, instead of giving them an 'I voted' sticker, write 'I voted' across their forehead with a Sharpie.

  • ||

    Don't some countries have you roll your thumb in indelible ink, or some such? Seems pretty effective in a brutally simplistic sort of way, and doesn't really strike me as that hard to implement, really.

  • TW||

    And if someone refuses to have their thumb rolled in ink, then what?

  • ||

    They don't get to vote?

  • DanO.||

    *
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  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    then what?

    Their ballot is torn up.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yes. When the Benevolent US Marines were running illictions f'r th' poor dissolute uncovered wretched haythins iv th' Banana Raypubliks, thim that voted dipped a finger in th' inkpot as inshoorance agin' repeaters.

  • Hank Phillips||

    We had something of the sort at Armadillo World Headquarters and Soap Creek Saloon. It was a stamp applied to the back of your hand saying something like: "This 'un's OK" or "Who is John Galt?"

  • ||

    They didn't even raise their pinkies when they drank tea!

  • BYODB||

    If you accept the concept of voting, and you accept the idea that only citizens of that nation should be allowed to vote as it is 'their' country, it necessarily follows that you need to make sure those two criteria are met.

    Or, to put it another way, why should somehow who is not a legal resident of the United States or a citizen have a say in our electoral system of governance?

    Or, to put it yet another way, why should Mexico or Russia get a say in American elections? Nothing would stop them from simply shipping over a boat-ton of their citizens to our shores to legally vote in our elections, and it would greatly benefit them to do so.

    Shrugging your shoulders and saying 'well an ID isn't a perfect deterrent' is a literal case example of the perfect being the enemy of the good.

  • Hugh Akston||

    How much would it cost for Russia or Mexico to surreptitiously send enough people to sway an election, somehow get them registered, and make sure they all vote the right way? What are the benefits of doing so? Are they worth the astronomical costs?

    I mean I don't want to accuse you of not having thought this through completely, but my budget is limited and your newsletter doesn't sound like it's worth the subscription fee.

  • damikesc||

    How much would it cost for Russia or Mexico to surreptitiously send enough people to sway an election, somehow get them registered, and make sure they all vote the right way? What are the benefits of doing so? Are they worth the astronomical costs?

    That'd be quite expensive.

    Having the dead vote, though, is not.

    Claiming to be somebody else and voting under their name (and since the opponents think a photo ID is unneeded, it'd be difficult to stop) would be easy.

    Given that few are punished, the risks are far outweighed by the benefits.

  • Hank Phillips||

    All the more reason to have honest--rather than secret--elections. The secret ballot is entirely waivable, and cellphone selfies may be the best protection democracy ever saw.

  • ||

    Democracy by mob is the best kind.

  • Galane||

    Especially when one must then wonder how they do any of the long list of things that aren't voting, which require positive identification.

  • Kivlor||

    I don't know that Snopes is very credible, but I'll take it. Like I said, I wasn't sure if ID would have fixed it there.

    Is it fair to call this "poll worker errors" when precincts were not only reporting more votes than registered voters (something ID would theoretically help fix) and there were shifts from 300 to 1 in favor of Hilary to ~70% in favor... That doesn't sound like an error, especially if it happens repeatedly. It sounds like the fraud Liberals are screaming doesn't happen.

  • Agammamon||

    But it also sounds like poll fraud and not voter fraud.

  • Tony||

    Oh the problem exists (black people and college students voting).

  • BYODB||

    It's nice to see that you consider black people and young people as less responsible than 'white people' (ignoring of course that young people can be white, of course). Obviously, no young people or black people are allowed to drive. You hardly ever see one in the drivers seat, and for good reason right?


    I thought you would never be honest about it.

  • Tony||

    Is it that you're trying to distract from your desperate partisan Republican water carrying with such ostentatious obtuseness or... well there really isn't an alternative.

    Some groups are less likely to have IDs, owing to poverty or whatever. If those groups did happen to have equal ease of access to IDs, Republicans would have found some other means of suppressing their vote.

    Since Republicans admit on tape that this is what they're trying to do, I don't know why you're denying it and defending them.

  • B.P.||

    Yeah, except for the fact that Republicans who sponsor bills in state legislatures requiring voter ID usually include provisions that require the state to cover the costs of such IDs for the impoverished.

  • Tony||

    How generous of them not to completely shit on the constitution the first go around.

  • BYODB||

    Huh, it is true that once a Democrat is no longer in office suddenly far leftists want to wrap themselves in the Constitution. Go figure!

  • damikesc||

    Some groups are less likely to have IDs, owing to poverty or whatever. If those groups did happen to have equal ease of access to IDs, Republicans would have found some other means of suppressing their vote.

    And their "champions" feel it's best to not help them get an ID which is required for virtually all transactions. That's a step too far.

    Since Republicans admit on tape that this is what they're trying to do, I don't know why you're denying it and defending them.

    Democrats BRAG about their fraud.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    the court noted that the state's new voter ID restrictions "target African Americans with almost surgical precision" and that the new rules were clearly motivated by "discriminatory intent" of the Republican majorities in the state legislature to suppress voting by minority groups they feared were more likely to vote for Democratic candidates

    So the Fourth Circuit is adjudicated by morons? Good to know.

  • Rhywun||

    I can buy the intent to favor Republicans. The little nastiness about "target[ing] African Americans with almost surgical precision" is uncalled for.

  • Homple||

    Driver licensing laws target blacks with surgical precision.

    Requirements to show ID to purchase alcohol target blacks with surgical precision.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    This is what makes it sound so stupid to hear cries of racism. Are black people really going to a DMV and being told that they can't have an ID because they're black?

    Is it because black people are sooooooooo poor that they can't even spare a couple hours to go to a DMV?

  • BYODB||


    "Is it because black people are sooooooooo poor that they can't even spare a couple hours to go to a DMV?"

    Yes, this is their argument. It is literally the soft racism of low expectations. The underlying assumption rests on the inferiority of black people, or their inability to follow the law.

  • Tony||

    Ah, "show me your papers please" libertarianism. You guys come in such variety..

  • BYODB||

    There's libertarianism, and then there's dumbfuckism. What you espouse is dumbfuckism, along with the libertarians who believe in absolutely open borders. It's a suicidal world view on a planet with people who are not libertarians (I.E. virtually everyone).

    Either you believe in only citizens voting, and have protections in place to make it that way, or you do not. I can see which camp you're in. Too bad you don't extend that theory to other area's of American life, like regulatory reform. I find it more likely you're a fan of Bill Ayers, though, considering you're following his methodology. Nice try.

  • Tony||

    Either you believe in defending the planet from Martians or you're a fucking retard.

    Now, if there were actually any Martians attacking earth, that might be a good point.

  • ||

    Like a lot of Team Blue faithful, Tony 1) doesn't understand the difference between libertarianism and anarchism, and 2) doesn't understand how people with a similar set of principles can disagree in good faith about how those principles should be implemented.

    That's why all he does is run around shrieking about how there are "no real libertarians" here when supposedly he hates libertarians and should see that as a good thing.

  • Tony||

    Each issue has a more or less libertarian position. "Err on the side of less government," let's call it.

    Since there is no in-person voter fraud problem in this country, there is no argument for ID laws in the first place, let along a libertarian one.

  • ||

    Each issue has a more or less libertarian position. "Err on the side of less government," let's call it.

    And . . . watch set! "Tony 1) doesn't understand the difference between libertarianism and anarchism"

    Since there is no in-person voter fraud problem in this country, there is no argument for ID laws in the first place, let along a libertarian one.

    Since you've demonstrated time and again your utter inability to understand libertarianism, I'm going to call you not qualified to make that last claim.

    But I invite you to notice that most people in this thread, contra your shrieking self-righteousness, are arguing against requiring voter IDs.

  • DanO.||

    *

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    The left isn't used to disagreement among people with similar principles. Look at the Bernie/Hillary split. They are used to complete ideological unity. Just watch the center-left accuse the Bernie supporters of getting Trump elected when they wouldn't get in line

    That's why they are unable to grasp that libertarianism is not a monolithic idea and that we debate ourselves to our own detriment all the damn time

  • ||

    Is it because black people are sooooooooo poor that they can't even spare a couple hours to go to a DMV?

    I think the thought, to the extent that there is one there, is that there's all those poor minorities who work three minimum wage jobs just to survive, and it's all they can do to squeeze the time to go vote, let alone to have to go get a driver's license.

    Because we all know that it's the people with three jobs who have no driver's licenses.

  • DanO.||

    *

  • Lester224||

    Well, it's possible to have 3 jobs and take the bus... In fact, wait..., some poor people can't afford to own a car.

  • Rhywun||

    I should clarify that the idea that these particular restrictions favor Republicans is laughable even if that was their intent.

  • Jerryskids||

    Alternative facts are just another way of knowing. Just because you're a white male, you're in favor of privileging Western math and science and things like facts over non-hegemonic oppressed minority and indigenous population's truthiness but that doesn't mean that the rest of us have to accept your opinions about the superiority of objective facts in determining the shape of subjective reality. You're an oppressor is what you are, oppressing us with your opinion that facts are not simply a matter of opinion.

  • WakaWaka||

    I would believe that there is no voter fraud, if it weren't for the fact that the usual suspects get upset whenever someone tries to investigate it. What harm could an investigation do?

  • Tony||

    RTFA.

  • WakaWaka||

    "The results, we show, are completely accounted for by very low frequency measurement error; further, the likely percent of non-citizen voters in recent US elections is 0,"

    How is that possible when you even note that someone was arrested for it? The notion that there are zero incidences of voter fraud is laughably naive

  • paranoid android||

    I think to most people 0.000000001% is close enough to 0 for these purposes.

  • Galane||

    The "There is zero voter fraud!" people always ignore the cases of small towns where there are records of elections with more votes cast than the population of the town.

    There was at least one where a candidate's margin of loss was greater than the population of the town. Of course the town government was corrupt to their last atom and refused to investigate because "there was no fraud".

    In some of those southeast towns, when they stuff a ballot box, they really stuff it to ridiculous extremes - and no Democrat cares how blatantly obvious their crime is.

  • ecian||

    I have seen many times in Reason that numerous studies say that voter fraud is not a problem. However, unlike other issues, I have not seen them dig in to the methodology of those studies. I often see stories hear and elsewhere that voter rolls are riddled with errors, especially with voters long deceased. I'm not sure where I stand on this issue because the evidence seems very underwhelming and amounts to: "We've looked at it and, trust us, voter fraud is not a problem." I'm continually hope that Reason will take a skeptical look at the evidence sometime.

  • BYODB||

    Legitimate question; how would you know if there was, or was not, a group of non-citizens voting in American elections? Honestly. How would you know? What would constitute 'proof'?

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, the only proof I voted is a checkmark next to my name in a book listing me and all my neighbors, probably stuffed away in a closet somewhere, if not tossed. Someone's going to cross-reference that with, what? Birth records??

  • ||

    Legitimate question; how would you know if there was, or was not, a group of non-citizens voting in American elections? Honestly. How would you know? What would constitute 'proof'?

    Just relax, the unpopular, autocratic Russian puppet POTUS is on the case!

    The only way it could get better is if we put Lieberman in charge of the FBI. Lieberman/Gore 2020!

  • Jason Bayz||

    Meanwhile, back in reality:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....fraud.html

  • Tony||

    Yet another controversial topic among ye lovers of small government. Do we insert completely unnecessary bureaucratic steps between people and their most fundamental rights or not? It's just so hard!

  • ||

    I know, right!

    I mean, people shouldn't even have to register. Why should you have to fill out that paperwork just to exercise your fundamental right? Why shouldn't you just show up and toss a chit into a bucket?

  • Tony||

    Conversely, why not just make them take this little quiz or pay this little tax before they can vote.

  • ||

    Are you once again showing your skill at not falling into the trap of binary thinking that you've been lecturing us all on all these years?

  • DanO.||

    *

  • ThomasD||

    "... just to exercise your fundamental right..."

    Voting is not a fundamental right.

    Not as a matter of natural law. Nature does not automatically provide for elections, nature only provides you with choices. Yes, voting is a specific subset of choice. But it is one that, by definition, requires an agreed upon process. Agreed upon processes are, by definition, not a right.

    It could be a positive 'right' provided by some sort of legal charter, but is not defined as such in our Constitution. Even if it were so defined that still would not make it 'fundamental.'

  • DanO.||

    There used to be a rather nasty anarcho-libertarian chatter here who loved to mock people who took voting seriously. "Your vote doesn't count!" he would repeat over and over. "It's statistically insignificant! You're assholes if you vote!" He was a programmer or something. A STEM guy. For all his genius, he couldn't figure out that the sum of individual votes could put a moron in the White House. Whatever happened to Epi?

  • ||

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  • Tony||

    I don't know but my imagination has come up with some good possible scenarios.

  • DanO.||

    In a just world it would be a case of auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong.

  • ||

    * =/= *

  • DanO.||

    *

  • Tony||

    That was my first thought, but it's not my favorite as it involves too much pleasure.

  • DanO.||

    That, or somebody finally murdered him.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    One can also hope that Donald Trump will stop lying his fat ass off 24/7 and that he will stop speaking with an outer-borough accent. One can hope that Jeff Sessions will realize that marijuana is harmless--even beneficial! One can hope that Mayor de Blasio will recognize that rent control is counter-productive. One can hope for a lot of things.

  • ||

    and that he will stop speaking with an outer-borough accent

    I know, right! So tacky.

    Probably doesn't even raise his pinky when he sips his tea.

  • DanO.||

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  • ||

  • damikesc||

    You're correct. The committee might dispel the assumptions about voter fraud (which have been helped, tremendously, by Democrats being on-camera admitting they commit it).

    If it does, I can certainly accept that. The opposition to simply finding out is a bit inexplicable.

    Now...what evidence would be required for you to assume global warming is a crock of shit?

  • ||

    If it does, I can certainly accept that. The opposition to simply finding out is a bit inexplicable.

    Despite seemingly irrefutable evidence that Democrats do it, Trump is doing so because of a relative lack of evidence, at one point, nominally hitched to illegal immigrants.

    I believe global warming to be a crock of shit and am pretty sure James Hansen is a lying disingenuous asshole. While he's not guilty of any crime, I do think he is incapable of conducting anything resembling and impartial investigation and is entirely capable of planting the seeds for all manner of nastiness down the road. Especially when he's claims to be looking into all the false data associated with anti-warming skepticism.

    Trump investigates, within 6 mos. it's discovered that millions of illegal immigrants voted... illegally, then what? Are you straightening out the system, putting the gun in your own mouth, handing your opponents ammunition to impeach and recall? I don't know. I suppose maybe the immigration issue gets solved, voter fraud, and (il)legitimately elected President issues all get solved at once, positively and definitively, but I'm pretty sure that's exceedingly optimistic.

    I mean, he ham-handedly dismissed Comey nominally or under the guise of mishandling the Clinton investigation. It's entirely within the realm of possibility/conceivability that he would dismiss illegal democratic voter electioneering if he discovered it ran counter to *his* narrative.

  • ||

    We already had an EAC, it appears to have brought us stricken down voter ID laws and a Special Counsel looking into Russian electioneering.

    Who will elect/choose the watchers who are watching the watchers?

  • DanO.||

    ✔@realDonaldTrump
    In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.
    12:30 PM - 27 Nov 2016

    Three lies in one tweet!
    It's a Trump Trifecta!

  • ||

    *
    *

  • DanO.||

    NIBBLE THAT CHEETO!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Is that you Bradley Manning?

  • chemjeff||

    I don't have a real problem with voter ID. It seems rather common-sense, to be honest. The way I look at it is, if one were to devise a brand new system from the ground up, without any baggage from current methods of conducting the vote, how would you do it? I can't imagine any reasonable system NOT having some form of identity verification.

    I do agree that the fears about voter fraud have been way overhyped, by the same usual suspects on the right who like to rely on anecdotal evidence to justify their basest fears (over illegal immigration, over trade, over voting, etc). But voter ID serves two purposes. The first purpose is to stop ineligible people from voting, yes. But the second purpose is to reassure the eligible voters that the voting process itself has integrity and that their vote is meaningful and will be counted. Even if there was zero voter fraud, if the voters don't believe that their vote will be counted fairly anyway because they DO believe there is rampant fraud, they won't even bother to show up and vote anyway, thereby undermining the legitimacy of the entire system.

  • Mark22||

    I don't have a real problem with voter ID. It seems rather common-sense, to be honest.

    It's also what those "civilized nations" that Obama and Hillary and Sanders and Warren keep referring to do.

    I do agree that the fears about voter fraud have been way overhyped,

    We don't know. There are 10-20 million illegal immigrants, and it seems quite plausible that 10% of them voted.

  • Mark22||

    I don't have a real problem with voter ID. It seems rather common-sense, to be honest.

    It's also what those "civilized nations" that Obama and Hillary and Sanders and Warren keep referring to do.

    I do agree that the fears about voter fraud have been way overhyped,

    We don't know. There are 10-20 million illegal immigrants, and it seems quite plausible that 10% of them voted.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    So basically, if we stopped taking reports of rapes and murders that means there are no rapes or murders. After all, if there were rapes and murders happening they would have been reported and they're not.

    That's about all this circular logic against voter ID amounts to. Willful stupidity.

  • TimothyLane||

    So what is the evidence that vote fraud by way of impersonation is rare? Note that it generally is detected only if someone tries to vote and finds out somebody already did that for him. If the impersonation is of someone who has died or moved away, or simply happens not to vote, it's very unlikely to be detected. Remember, absence of proof isn't proof of absence. And this commission can also deal with people voting in multiple states (some of whom might be impersonators, of course). Trump's estimates of millions of fraudulent votes seem doubtful, but fraud can make a difference in a very tight race.

  • RovingGrokster||

    There may be a little poetic license in Trump's depiction of the problem for dramatic impact, but those of us on the ground in swing states can tell you plenty of stories of same-day registration fraud, drive-in voting fraud, campaign staff who vote in multiple states, and more.

    Don't dismiss it all as fantasy, or you'll be playing straight into the hands of the party of REALLY big government, instead of the party of big government. There is a reason that Democrats fight tooth and nail to prevent any kind of voter ID check, or any house-cleaning of voter rolls, no matter how well run, and that reason is to avoid checks and balances of any kind.

  • Amogin||

    How can a commission be described as bi-partisan when the only 2 appointees announced to date are the Republican vice president and the Republican attorney general of Kansas? Don't you need at least a token Democrat? All the Minoirty President has created is the same type o Republican groupings that created the laws the Supreme Court felt were discriminatory.

  • Hank Phillips||

    If the Dems wanted to win with a white girl, Legalize It would have worked a lot better than Let's Ban Electricity!
    The LP got over 4 million votes. THAT--not failure to bring back Jim Crow laws--was what cost The Antichoice the popular vote. George Wallace spoiler votes caused the GOP to embrace the Klan, Tea and Consta2shun factions, and Ralph Nader got the Dems to double down on the full Econazi platform. But there's been a new spoiler vote Sheriff in town since 1972.

  • Hank Phillips||

    If the Dems wanted to win with a white girl, Legalize It would have worked a lot better than Let's Ban Electricity!
    The LP got over 4 million votes. THAT--not failure to bring back Jim Crow laws--was what cost The Antichoice the popular vote. George Wallace spoiler votes caused the GOP to embrace the Klan, Tea and Consta2shun factions, and Ralph Nader got the Dems to double down on the full Econazi platform. But there's been a new spoiler vote Sheriff in town since 1972.

  • henrykiller||

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  • kellygardner546||

  • ||

  • Mark22||

    Is there any evidence for such widespread election fraud? No.

    Neither is there any evidence against it. Which is why it's good to check.

    And the reason why we have this discussion in the first place is because Democrats have refused to require voters to prove their citizenship through identification, you know, like other civilized nations do.

  • Lester224||

    It can be difficult to get photo ID if you are old or sick or working 3 jobs. However, I'm all for voter ID simultaneous with steps to increase voter participation. Some examples are:

    1) Making federal election days a federal holiday. If it's important to vote, it's worth making it a holiday. Take President's day or MLK day away instead if you must.
    2) Make available voting locations proportional to population in the district

    There are lots of other ways to make it easier to register and vote.

    etc.. These districts which ask for voter ID along with restriction of days allowed for voting and other steps to decrease participation are just trying to figure out how to keep people they don't like from voting. It's very transparent.

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