The United States of fraud
HUSTON, TEXAS – October 31, 2018
With the 2018 midterm elections only a week away, more voter fraud is being discovered beforehand, and that is good news.
Electoral fraud has never been a significant thing in the history of American democracy. As for high-profile cases, some historians believe that Lyndon Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, became the first Senator from Texas in 1940 only thanks to a fraud: Alphabetized ballots almost entirely in support of Johnson came from a remote district at the last minute. There is also reason to believe that in the presidential election of 1960, the victory of John Kennedy in Chicago was provided by the "dead souls" donated to the candidate by the city Council.
In terms of intensity, this present campaign season is one of the first in U.S. history. And it certainly isn’t the cleanest in terms of voter fraud.
Think about the things we’ve seen nationally: This caravan coming through Mexico that can’t be stopped without cries of anti-humanitarianism; the “Kavanaugh Show” with its hearing and wild protests and Democratic attempts to besmirch the judge’s name; paid violent street protests, bombs in the mail sent to Trump critics, and a neo-Nazi attack on a synagogue that killed 11.
Of course, the media is blaming Trump for creating an “atmosphere of hatred,” which he said is ridiculous.
We are witnessing a fierce battle for the post of Governor in Florida and Georgia with mutual accusations of corruption, racism, and elections fraud.
So what kind of fraud are we talking about?
Among the most common violations are votes coming from those who have no right to vote, people casting multiple votes, voting at the wrong station, and most importantly—fraud associated with voting via absentee ballots.
Voting multiple times seems to be the most common fraud. At some places you show your ID, and at some your name is enough. It seems you can just move from one polling station to the next and vote again.
The second common method is called “dead souls,” when votes are cast on behalf of those who have died but are still alive on paper. 1.8 million dead citizens are on the electoral roll at every U.S. election.
Of course, people vote under false names too. For example, in Texas an undocumented Mexican immigrant who lives in a San Antonio suburb pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and identity theft, admitting he used a stolen identity to vote in several elections, according to the San Antonio Express News.
Also in Texas, a Forth Worth woman was recently indicted on voter fraud charges, having paid others involved in a scheme with funds provided by a former Tarrant County Democratic Party leader. Sanchez, 57, a teaching assistant at Como Elementary, was indicted last week on 17 counts in connection with the alleged voter fraud operation. Among the accusations were that she marked Deflino Garcia’s ballot without his consent and provided false information on applications for mail-in ballots for Dominicia “Minnie” Barela, a 76-year-old blind Fort Worth woman, and Garcia, who used to take her to the polls to vote.
Then, of course, there are modern hacking methods, using an optical ballot scanner. Registration databases can be hacked too, and this is where some real fraud goes down—they can remove or replace voters’ names. And if your name winds up not being there, then you can’t vote.
U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg in September cited "a mounting tide of evidence of the inadequacy and security risks" involved in Georgia's electronic voting system. She agreed with voting integrity advocates who sued last year and argued that the touchscreen voting machines Georgia has used since 2002 are vulnerable to hacking and provide no way to confirm that votes have been recorded correctly because there's no paper trail.
But she sided with Gov. Kemp in denying the advocates' request to force the statewide use of paper ballots for the 2018 midterms. Kemp, who has been Secretary of State since 2010, has recently joined calls to move to paper ballots but said it would have caused too much upheaval to make the change this year.
The system of early voting opens up a wide field for fraud. Usually, there are no observers during the preliminary voting, and in some states you can cast your vote, and then cancel it.
Another type of fraud is obstruction of voting. The most striking illustration of this type of fraud is the situation in Georgia.
U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May issued a 31-page ruling in response to a lawsuit filed by American Civil Liberties Union attorneys on behalf of the Georgia Muslim Voter Project and Asian-Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta.
The voting rights organizations sued Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp for his office’s attempts to reject several hundred absentee voter ballots and absentee voter registration applications over allegations that signatures on those applications were not an exact match for voter signatures on file. (This is a distinct and separate issue from Kemp’s office indefinitely suspending in excess of 53,000 regular–and predominantly African American–voter registration applications.). Making matters worse, a recent investigation found that at least 340,000 voter registrations were improperly canceled by Kemp after he wrongly claimed the voters had moved from their previous address.
Today, the electoral system in the United States remains one of the most closed in the world: International observers are allowed by the authorities only in a few states, so it is difficult to get reliable information about votes. This year, under the pretext of fighting external interference, both Democrats and Republicans are in favor of making the electoral system even more closed, and therefore less resistant to fraud.