- Feb 15, 2012
- Reaction score
I don't buy it. The voter IDs are supposedly there to prevent poor minorities from voting. However, these same poor minorities need IDs to get their gubmint benefits. Voter ID laws are necessary.
53,000 Dead Registered Voters in Florida, Millions Nationwide
The Cutting Edge News
We already have E-Verify for employers.
The evidence is simply not there so it's boils down to faith. You have faith that there is no ulterior motive and that there is widespread voter fraud. They repeat it because they want you to believe. They don't cite numbers because they don't want you to question. It has worked beautifully for them so far. Why change? They know the flock.
Madison -- The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Wednesday GOP candidates have to perform 1 or 2 percentage points better than they otherwise would to overcome voter fraud -- claiming that voter fraud is far more pervasive than what official reports have shown.
About 2.1 million votes were cast in the 2010 race for governor, and 1 to 2 percent would equate to 21,000 to 42,000 votes. Some law enforcement officials have raised concerns about isolated incidents of voter fraud, but never suggested it approached a scale like that.
Im always concerned about voter fraud, you know, being from Kenosha, and quite frankly having lived through seeing some of it happen, said Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman and former state Republican Party chairman. Certainly in Milwaukee we have seen some of it and I think its been documented. Any notion thats not the case, it certainly is in Wisconsin. Im always concerned about it which is why I think we need to do a point or two better than where we think we need to be to overcome it.
Richard Saks, an attorney who has successfully challenged Wisconsins new voter ID law, said Priebus cant back up that claim.
They have zero, zero evidence to substantiate it, Saks said. Its simply demagoguery to whip up fear.
He noted that a 2008 investigation in Milwaukee County by Democratic District Attorney John Chisholm and Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen resulted in 20 prosecutions, mostly for voting by felons who were not qualified to vote.
The notion theres any kind of large scale fraud is simply not borne out by the facts, Saks said. Its a scare tactic thats used to try to claim that primarily vulnerable people shouldnt have a full opportunity to vote.
Lester Pines, an attorney involved in a separate legal challenge to the voter ID law, also denounced Priebus' comments, saying they were baseless.
"His statement that Republicans need to outperform Democrats by one to two percent to account for vote fraud is an absolute, total 100% lie," Pines said. "It is a fantasy. And Reince Priebus and his ilk are saying this and theyre saying it over and over and over because theyre using the well known propaganda tool called the big lie. If you say it enough times, people will believe it. Theres no other way to characterize this except that Reince Priebus is a liar."
Says his Texas election fraud investigations have resulted in 50 convictions.
Greg Abbott on Monday, March 12th, 2012 in a press release
Greg Abbott claims 50 election fraud convictions since 2002
Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, says he needs the states stalled voter identification mandate to ward off fraud at the polls.
When the U.S. Justice Department rejected the Texas voter ID law March 12, 2012, preventing it from taking effect, Abbott issued a press release saying: "Since 2002 ... election fraud investigations by the Texas Attorney General's Office have resulted in 50 convictions."
We asked Abbotts office for backup on his statement, and spokesman Jerry Strickland sent a list of 57 election fraud prosecutions, as well as documents showing how the cases were resolved.
We also asked how many election fraud cases had been referred to the attorney generals office since 2002. Abbotts list shows 311 accusations of election fraud spanning 2002-12. The 57 investigations were checking represent only those cases that were both prosecuted and resolved.
Six of the prosecutions ended in dismissal or acquittal, Strickland told us by telephone, leaving 51 prosecutions that resulted in convictions.
By our analysis, three-quarters of the cases involved election code violations classified as "illegal voting" -- which includes acts such as voting more than once, impersonating a voter or voting despite ineligibility -- and "method of returning marked ballot," often meaning the defendant was accused of having someone elses ballot.
Only two cases are described as "voter impersonation" on the list. Whether voter impersonation is a standing problem has been a hot button in the states legislative debates over proposed voter ID laws in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011; Austin American-Statesman news stories say legislators mostly split along party lines, with Democrats claiming impersonation is rare and Republicans claiming the problem is significant. Abbott drew criticism in 2006 for creating a special unit to target voter fraud that by mid-2008 had yielded, according to a May 19, 2008, Associated Press news story, only 26 prosecutions.
Looking at all 57 election fraud prosecutions from 2002 to 2012, we tallied up the resolutions (some had multiple outcomes, when charges were pursued as separate cases):
- Specified as convictions: 26
- Guilty plea resulting in conviction: 2
- Deferred adjudication: 19
- Pre-trial diversion: 10
- Acquitted: 2
- Dismissed: 4
For clarification of the middle two categories, we turned to the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, an Austin-based nonprofit that provides continuing legal education and technical assistance to prosecutors.
The groups executive director, Rob Kepple, told us in an interview that although deferred adjudication falls short of a conviction, he would not consider it a stretch to classify it with the convictions.
In deferred adjudication, Kepple said, the defendant pleads guilty, and then "the court defers any finding of guilt and places you on probation or community supervision." If the terms are met, the case is dismissed -- but it remains on the defendants record, he said.
This means it can carry the weight of a conviction in later cases, Kepple said. For example, if a person is given deferred adjudication in a domestic violence case and then later is charged again with domestic violence, he said, the adjudication counts as the first offense, making the new charge a second offense.
But a pre-trial diversion is not a conviction, he said. Theres not even necessarily a guilty plea or admission of guilt.
"Basically, they sat down with the defendant and say, Heres whats going to happen. You agree not to mess up for 12 months and well just dismiss the case. So in no common parlance can this be considered a conviction," Kepple said. The case can even be expunged from the defendants record, he said.
"Theres no way you can mistake a pre-trial diversion for a conviction, I dont think."
We also consulted the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a group that provides support and education for its members.
Like Kepple, the associations capital assistance attorney, Rick Wardroup, pointed out via email that the final outcome of a pre-trial diversion or deferred adjudication depends on whether the defendant meets the terms of their probation or supervision.
Abbott spokeswoman Lauren Bean told us by telephone that the attorney general counts pre-trial diversions as a successful outcome for two main reasons: First, although the defendants do not plead guilty, such agreements are made in order to avoid an expected criminal trial, and second, because the defendant receives a punishment.
After we shared our findings with her, Bean sent us another bit of backup: a section of Texas local government code on court costs that classes deferred adjudication and pre-trial diversions with convictions.
University of Texas law school assistant professor Jennifer Laurin told us via email that clauses like this in state laws indicate the reverse -- they illustrate that these two outcomes are not normally considered convictions. And Kepple said, "That section is the definition of conviction for the purpose of collecting fines and fees. But in common parlance, a deferred prosecution and deferred adjudications simply are not criminal convictions."
Abbotts statement refers to 50 "convictions," which he might better have termed "satisfactory results."
It looks to us like 60 percent of his cited "convictions" were not convictions.
We recognize, though, that our analysis presumes that all the non-convicted defendants fulfilled or will fulfill all terms of the agreements they made to avoid going to trial. That may not be so.
On balance, we rate Abbotts claim Half True.
and in florida
Florida 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
Shark Attacks 28 19 14 11 72
Voter Fraud Cases 16 9 10 14 49
I smell a banana republic in the making.....