Voter fraud: how it works and why it’s an issue

In the twilight of this election, as known blowhards like the president try to tell us all that voter fraud doesn’t exist and unrepentant jerks like groups suing to block voter ID laws or the “Stop the Steal” project, it’s important for people to understand and realize just how voter fraud works and why telling people about how infrequently it happens is a massively disingenuous lie.

Let’s begin with a scenario.  In a particular election, Bob versus Betty, let’s say that 195 votes are cast.  Betty receives 100 of those votes and Bob gets 95, so Betty is declared the winner.  A short time later, it is discovered and proven that 20 of Betty’s votes were fraudulent, meaning the actual vote totals were 95 Bob, 80 for Betty, and what looked like a slim win for Betty was actually a comfortable margin for Bob when the fraud was taken out.  Most people look at this and think “okay, so once the fraud is discovered, Betty gets removed from office and Bob gets the job, no big deal.”

The problem is that this is not what happens.  What most people do not understand is that a short time after the election takes place there is a date on which the election is certified, meaning the officials in charge of the election officially declare the winner on that date.  Once that’s done, there are no takebacks.  I know it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but that is how it works in most if not all cases–otherwise elections can be tied up for months or years in endless recounts.  A court can issue an injunction to delay the certification date but they’ll only do this for so long if they do it at all.

What this means is that in order to smoke out voter fraud, you have a very slim window in which to do it–a few weeks at most.  Not only that, but in order to prove to a legal standard that fraud took place, you will generally need to get access to the physical election records themselves, and to do that you generally need a court order.  So, in a very short timeframe, if you’re investigating voter fraud, you have to get enough evidence together (without having access to the bulk of the evidence you’re going to need) in order to get a court’s order that will allow you to even start the real investigation, and all the while the clock is still ticking.

So let’s say you manage to get your evidence together, you manage to get on the court docket and find a judge who isn’t either corrupt (i.e. in favor of the rigged result) or who doesn’t think this is worth his time, you convince him to give you access to the election records and maybe you even get him to issue an injunction against certifying the election for a few weeks more.  Then let’s say that between your search, your human limitations, the stonewalling you get from uncooperative officials and people who don’t want you to succeed, and of course fending off constant motions for summary judgment and other flak from the lawyers for the side that wants the rigged result to stand, you don’t get a legally convincing case together until after the held-over certification date.  Most people think “well, I guess the election results stand but Betty would be prosecuted, or there would be some kind of record that the election was fraudulent.”

Once again, wrong.  Once the date of certification passes, if your case hasn’t commenced then the matter is rendered “moot,” a legal term meaning more or less that it doesn’t matter anymore.  Chances are, candidate Betty kept herself at arm’s length from the actual fraud, so what you’d be trying to do is demonstrate that the election result is illegitimate.  Problem is, at that point, it doesn’t matter anymore.  Courts don’t issue what are called “advisory opinions” except in extremely rare circumstances so the case would almost definitely end up dismissed since there’s nothing the court can do about it now.  You might be able to prosecute one of Betty’s goons for mucking with the election, but there’s always another goon and Betty will neither notice nor care.  There’s a far outside chance you could get enough dirt on Betty to pressure her into stepping down or even connect her to the criminal conduct that got her into office, but the best you get then is she resigns and then most likely her political party appoints her replacement.  Bob and his supporters, who legitimately won the election and are not likely to be any happier with Betty’s chosen successor than they were with Betty, are just out of luck.

All of this presumes of course that you can get your case crammed into a court’s crowded docket, and that you can find a judge who is not in favor of the rigged result and is also willing to stick his neck out on what will likely be slim evidence to let you get started in the first place.  From there, finding the actual fraud is a monumental task if it’s possible at all–a computer voting specialist testified before Congress not long ago that for electronic voting, the best computer minds at MIT might be able to detect if a voting machine had been tampered with to influence the vote…if they knew exactly what to look for and had direct access to the hardware.

It is rare to find an act of election fraud so brazen as Melowese Richardson, the poll worker in Ohio who voted for Obama SIX TIMES and then bragged about it because it was “his right to be President.”  But when precincts in Philadelphia came back 100% for Obama without a single error or dissenting vote, no third party, no Mickey Mouse, and certainly no Mitt Romney, when other precincts returned total votes of 140% to 170% of the eligible voters in those precincts (and guess who won them), when dozens if not hundreds of people reported voting machines switching their vote from Romney to Obama or machines pre-set with the Democratic candidates names, when the West/Murphy Congressional race in Florida was recounted multiple times and each time the total was different (and Murphy’s went up each time)…it’s beyond obvious that this happens.  The reason you don’t hear much about it is because there’s so little time to do anything about it, therefore there’s no point in doing investigations past the certification date and very few perpetrators end up being found out and prosecuted for it, and many people in law enforcement and the legal system just aren’t willing to subject themselves to the criticism they’ll receive for either allowing or pursuing these kinds of cases (if they aren’t part of the coverup to begin with).  Voter fraud is like an iceberg, if you can see it at all, there’s a HUGE amount you cannot see, and just because it’s out of sight and well hidden does not mean it’s not there.  This is why you have to stop it before it happens.

And if you think it’s “suppressing minority voters” to require voter ID…I’m sorry you think minorities are too stupid and/or lazy to figure out how to get free identification cards, that’s really racist of you you know.

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