Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Voter Fraud That Was Really Political Fraud

Two things have become clear in the past two months. Karl Rove was pushing and election strategy that played up "voter fraud." And there was no actual voter fraud for Rove to play up.

The voter fraud theme has even played itself out in the US Attorney scandal. It turns out that a majority of the attorneys fired were unwilling to prosecute bogus voter fraud cases and some attorneys, got their names of the list to be fired, by bringing voter fraud cases, even when they did not have real evidence. Two of these cases have been laughed out of court in the past month.

Digby has a theory on why Rove wanted to play up voter fraud:

The preoccupation with ballot fraud in Missouri was part of a wider national
effort that critics charge was aimed at protecting the Republican majority in
Congress by dampening Democratic turnout. That effort included stiffer voter-identification requirements, wholesale purges of names from lists of registered voters and tight policing of liberal get-out-the-vote drives.

With populations that don't necessarily trust the authorities to be impartial even when the stakes are huge, asking them to run a gauntlet of legal hurdles in order to vote pretty much assures that quite a few of them won't bother. In a cynical nation that can barely get a majority of its eligible citizens to vote anyway, you can potentially peel off a percentage or two just by making voting a pain in the neck.

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