Washington Times' cornucopia of voter fraud misinformation

Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

It's election day, so the right-wing's fevered cries of "VOTER FRAUD" have reached their highest pitch. And, the Washington Times has admirably done their part by penning an entire editorial on voter fraud that does not contain one credible allegation of fraud.

Let's go down the list, shall we? First, the Washington Times claimed, "Nevada and North Carolina are among states where early voters reported trying to cast ballots for Republicans only to see their votes registered for Democrats instead." Nevermind that claims of voting irregularity in Nevada have been investigated and were determined to be unfounded, and in North Carolina, there were complaints from both Democrats and Republicans that their votes were cast for the opposite party but, according to the deputy director of the State Board of Elections, Johnnie Mclean has said that these were "isolated instances" that "were corrected." He added, "There is no hard evidence voters were not able to cast their vote as intended."

They go on to claim that "[t]he very idea that voting is the cornerstone of citizenship is under attack. Last week, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor provided the deciding vote in a 2-1 court decision telling Arizona it could not require proof of citizenship for voter registration." Yet, as we've noted, this ruling has no bearing on the current election.

Their other so-called evidence of voter fraud includes "counties in Texas and Arizona" that "caught and blocked thousands of improper attempts to register 'voters' who weren't eligible, if they even existed." Forgive me for asking, but isn't the fact that these counties caught the improper registration proof that the system works? The Washington Times follows up on this by also noting that "[a]t least 5,800 dead people were registered to vote in Ohio as of late August." While that may be true, that's certainly not evidence that any of these "dead people" will actually be voting! All it proves is that it takes time for counties to update their voting rolls to account for the deceased.

To cap it all off, they cite "election-law expert"/right-wing hack J. Christian Adams, who has made a name for himself by pushing completely baseless allegations that Obama's Justice Department has no interest in prosecuting voter intimidation charges in which white voters are intimidated. Of course, as Media Matters has extensively documented, Adams has absolutely no credibility, and he often relies on complete falsehoods to push his claims.

Call me a cynic, but all of this right-wing chest thumping about voter fraud seems more like a widespread effort on the part of conservatives to whip their tea party base into such a frenzy that they see any voter they presume to be a Democrat as someone who is attempting to vote illegally, and therefore, someone who should be stopped from voting. After all, it's not like there isn't evidence that the right's "voter-integrity squads" aren't targeting minority areas in Democratic-heavy precincts.

Or, equally likely, it could be just as Jon Ralston--dean of the Nevada press corps--argued: "Fraud" allegations are a "pre-emptive strike" so the GOP can "cry fraud" if their candidate loses.

Posted In
Elections, Voting Rights & Issues
Show/Publication
Big Government
Stories/Interests
2010 Elections
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