Does Voting Fraud Threaten 2012 Elections?

Mark Crispin MillerEmboldened by past success, voting fraud experts are poised once again to manipulate via electronic means key election results in the 2012 federal elections, including for the Presidency. That’s the view of Mark Crispin Miller, right, a communication professor at New York University who is one of the nation’s leaders in writing books, columns and newsletters on election fraud.

Colorado SoS wants to "relax security" around e-voting! was the headline of a Mother Jones article that Miller excerpted in his weekly News from Underground web news roundup Dec. 10. “Is that even possible?” Miller wryly asked his readers. The topic is in the news even more prominent because of allegations of voting fraud in last week's elections in Russia and because Attorney Gen. Eric Holder announced on Dec. 13 opposition to Republican plans to tighten election security, putting at risk what critics estimate as 5 million votes.

Michael ConnellI concur with Miller’s view after studying ten books, includin his Fooled Again and Loser Take All, and many articles on the topic over the summer to prepare a report in August, Cutting Through Hype, Hypocrisy of Vote Fraud Claims. It focused on the mysterious death of Republican electronic elections consultant Michael Connell, left, who died in a airplane crash in 2008. This was shortly after he testified in a still-pending lawsuit alleging that he helped enable allies to steal the 2004 Presidential election by manipulating results, especially in Ohio. Connell was an adverse witness called by the citizen groups pressing the suit. They considered his description of a set-up including real-time delivery of Ohio elecftion results on election day 2004 to SmartTech, a Republican high-tech firm based in Tennessee, to be so important they planned to use him as one of their main witnesses when the suit goes to trial. My report surveyed the extensive research on such claims, with an appendix of hot links attached to help other researchers. 

For today's update, let's first examine reports on Colorado's efforts to create less oversight of voting machines, not more. The Denver Post reported that Secretary of State Scott Gessler wants to end continuous video surveillance of voting stations. In Colorado Secretary of State: Ease Up On Voting Security, Mother Jones reporter Siddhartha Mahanta concludes, "It appears that Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler didn't get the memo about New York's recent voting machine troubles."

Eric HolderOn Dec. 13, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder made news by expressing concern about the voter-identification laws and a Texas redistricting plan before the Supreme Court that he said fails to take into account the state’s burgeoning Hispanic population. “We are a better nation now than we were because more people are involved in the electoral process,’’ Holder said in the interview with the Washington Post. “The beauty of this nation, the strength of this nation, is its diversity, and when we try to exclude people from being involved in the process . . . we weaken the fabric of this country.’’ The Post continued:

Some of the measures, most of which were enacted by Republican legislatures, also impose restrictions on early voting and make it harder for former felons to vote. Florida and Ohio, for example — both key battlegrounds — would cut nearly in half the number of days for early voting. The speech comes as debate is intensifying over whether the primary impact of the new laws will be to keep eligible voters away from the polls in the November 2012 election or deter election fraud. One study estimated that the changes could affect more than 5 million voters overall, potentially keeping them away from the polls in states that also include Wisconsin, Kansas and South Carolina.

When it comes to voting fraud, some conservatives have long argued that it is a serious problem, although others say the number of such cases is relatively low. Studies of the issue have reached different conclusions on the extent of the problem.

Those studying such issues will have the opportunity Dec. 14 to discuss them with author Greg Palast, author of path-breaking news reports in 2000 for the BBC and Guardian that Republican officials in Florida had systematically eliminated thousands of eligible voters from the rolls shortly before election, using criteria that especially targeted Democrats and African-Americans. For his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy in 2003, Palast upped his estimate to 91,000 eligible voters struck from the roles by DBT, a subdivision of ChoicePoint used by Florida officials. Palast is speaking at the National Press Club at 6:30 p.m. as part of his tour for his latest book, Vulture's Picnic.

 

 
 
Contact the author Andrew Kreig or comment
 
Update: New Book

Reuters via Huffington Post, Rick Scott Plans To Resume Voter Purge Effort In Florida, Aug. 5, 2013. Florida Governor Rick Scott is planning a new effort to purge non-U.S. citizens from the state's voter rolls, a move that last year prompted a series of legal challenges and claims from critics his administration was trying to intimidate minority voters. Voter protection groups identified a number of errors in the state's attempt to identify people who are not American citizens on Florida's voter lists months ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November 2012. The search also sparked several lawsuits, including one by the U.S. Justice Department, which claimed the effort violated federal law since it was conducted less than 90 days before the election. "We were recently informed that the State plans to continue their efforts to remove non-citizens from Florida's voter rolls," Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley said in a statement.

Worrall, Simon. Cybergate: Was The White House Stolen By Cyberfraud? Amazon Digital, 2012. Robert Kennedy Jr. calls it " more important than Watergate." In this gripping, investigative work, critically acclaimed author, Simon Worrall, follows the trail of evidence to show that the 2004 Ohio election, which put George Bush into the White House for the second time, may have been hacked. At the center of the drama is Karl Rove's, brilliant IT expert, Michael Connell, who died when his Piper Saratoga plane crashed mysteriously in 2010. Was Connell murdered to cover up the truth? Drawing on extensive, forensic evidence and candid testimonies, including an exclusive interview with Connell's widow, Worrall unravels the mystery of Connell's death. Previously unpublished, secret documents obtained by the author point towards a chilling, possible cause. The result is a dramatic, True Crime story underpinned by colorful characters and painstaking research, which takes the reader inside the shadowy world of electoral fraud. And with a Presidential election looming this year, Worrall's detailed exposure of the vulnerability of digital voting machines to abuse could not be more timely.
 
Listed here are excerpts of relevant columns
News 21, Comprehensive Database of U.S. Voter Fraud Uncovers No Evidence That Photo ID Is Needed, Natasha Khan and Corbin Carson, Aug. 12, 2012. A News21 analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent.  In an exhaustive public records search, News21 reporters sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states, asking for every case of fraudulent activity including registration fraud, absentee ballot fraud, vote buying, false election counts, campaign fraud, casting an ineligible vote, voting twice, voter impersonation fraud and intimidation. Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters. “Voter fraud at the polls is an insignificant aspect of American elections,” said elections expert David Schultz, professor of public policy at Hamline University School of Business in St. Paul, Minn.
 
Washington Post, Maryland robocall case spotlights GOP election scam, Robert McCartney, Dec. 15, 2011.  We have persuasive, recent evidence in our region of a deliberate, high-level GOP effort to use an illegal Election Day ruse to trick Democrats into not voting. Moreover, the case was just an extreme example of a national Republican strategy designed to make it harder for people to vote — and especially people who happen to be Democrats.
 
Brad Blog, ACLU's Federal Challenge to WI GOP's Photo ID Restrictions Could Reverse Similar Laws Nationwide, Ernest A. Canning, Dec. 15, 2011. It falls to non-governmental organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to take legal action in hopes of protecting Constitutional voting rights for Wisconsin. That's exactly what the organization did this week, in filing a 54-page federal complaint on behalf of some 17 named plaintiffs --- including elderly, student, minority and even veteran voters --- who may well be unable to cast their once-legal vote under the state's new voter suppression bill passed earlier this year by its GOP legislature and signed into law by its Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The lead plaintiff in Frank vs. Walker, the ACLU's class action lawsuit seeking to halt enforcement of the state's new photo ID voting restrictions is 84-year old Ruthelle Frank. Frank has been a lawful resident of Brokaw, WI since her home birth in 1927. Se has voted in every election since 1948. She learned that she may be barred from voting come February 2012 because she lacks one of the official photo IDs mandated by that state's new vote-suppressing photo ID law. She was born at home, without a birth certificate, and will be forced to pay $20 to get one in order to get her supposedly "free" ID to vote. But even that may not be enough. Frank recently learned she may not be able to comply with the state GOP's Photo ID restriction unless she coughs up upwards of $200 to amend the Register of Deeds record of her home, which had misspelled her maiden name.

Justice Integrity Project, Cutting Through Hype, Hypocrisy of Vote Fraud Claims, Andrew Kreig, Aug. 13, 2011. Recent events show why election theft deserves much more scrutiny than it receives from either government officials or news reporters. Most dramatically, a federal judge has released the 2008 testimony of GOP IT guru Michael Connell, as shown on a campaign website. The Ohio resident died in a mysterious plane crash that year after anonymous warnings he would be killed if he testified about his work with Karl Rove and others helping the Bush-Cheney ticket win in 2000 and 2004.

Mother Jones, Colorado Secretary of State: Ease Up On Voting Security, Siddhartha Mahanta, Dec. 9, 2011. The Denver Post reports: The Colorado Secretary of State's office is considering changes that would relax security around electronic voting machines, making the already-vulnerable equipment more susceptible to hacking, opponents of the equipment and the draft rules said today. Richard Coolidge, public information officer for Secretary of State Scott Gessler, said the aim is to provide more guidance and clarity to county clerks, thereby creating more uniformity in how rules are applied. Gessler wants to end "continuous" video surveillance of voting stations, and reduce the number of tamper-proof seals that must be placed on cases holding voting machine components. He also wants to eliminate a requirement that election officials report suspicions of election machine tampering to the secretary of state. Instead, he wants to delegate that authority to county officials, at their behest.

Washington Post, Eric Holder wades into debate over voting rights as presidential election nears, Jerry Markon and Krissah Thompson, Dec. 12, 2011. The Obama administration on Tuesday will wade into the increasingly divisive national debate over new voting laws in several states that could depress turnout among minorities and others who helped elect the president in 2008. A dozen states this year tightened rules requiring voters to present state-issued photo identification at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Although Democratic governors vetoed four of the measures, liberal and civil rights groups have been raising alarms about the remaining laws, calling them an “assault on democracy” and an attempt to depress minority voter turnout.

Judicial Watch, New Documents Show Department of Justice Coordination With ACORN-Connected Project Vote, Press Release, Dec. 14, 2011. Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it obtained records detailing communications between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Estelle Rogers, a former ACORN attorney currently serving as Director of Advocacy for the ACORN-connected organization Project Vote. (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 11-1497)). Judicial Watch is investigating the DOJ's partnering with Project Vote on a national campaign to use the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA) to register more individuals on public assistance, widely considered a key voting demographic.

Chicago Now, Austin: Successful Rally to Oppose AG Holder's Attack on Election Reforms, Warner Todd Huston, Dec. 15, 2011. On Tuesday, December 13 a rally was held near the LBJ Library at the University of Texas, Austin to highlight the attack on election reforms launched inside by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder went to Texas to denounce the Lone Star State's voter ID laws and claimed that simple voter ID laws were somehow discriminatory. Holder ominously claimed that he would use the power of his office to "enforce civil rights protections" during the upcoming 2012 elections. Outside the LBJ Library nearly 200 citizens gathered to hear a multi-racial panel of six speakers denounce Holder's partisan attempts to push the administration's agenda to turn a blind eye to continuing voter fraud that consistently favors candidates from the Democrat Party.

Huffington Post, Mikhail Prokhorov Challenges Vladimir Putin In Russian Election, Nataliya Vasilyeva, Dec. 12, 2011. Mikhail Prokhorov, one of Russia's richest tycoons and the owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, said Monday he will run against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the March presidential election. Prokhorov, whose wealth Forbes magazine has estimated at $18 billion, has been cautious not to cross Putin's path in the past. But the tycoon's candidacy may now pose a serious challenge to Putin, whose authority has been dented by his party's poor showing in Russia's Dec. 4 parliamentary election and allegations of widespread fraud during the balloting. Putin's party only won about 50 percent of that vote, compared to 64 percent four years ago, and the fraud allegations have allowed opposition parties to successfully mount massive anti-Putin protests in Russia.

 
Other News
OpEd News, My Advice to Lawyers and Judges, Mark Goldman, Dec. 12, 2011. I realize what I am about to say does not apply to all attorneys or judges, but it's pretty clear that it applies to most. Most citizens appear to be undereducated or misinformed about what their citizenship and professional responsibilities are to the rest of society. It is for this reason that our country now faces the greatest challenge it has ever faced -- the permanent loss of the Constitution and the sovereignty of its citizens. Every citizen has a job to do and you apparently do not know what your job is. You have failed to carry out your responsibilities and that failure has put every person you know and love at risk of losing everything that is precious to them.

Real Clear Markets, Exactly What Is Crony Capitalism, Anyway? Bill Frezza, Dec. 12, 2011. President Obama, progressive politicians, Occupy protestors, and leftist intellectuals are having a field day attacking what they call the failures and excesses of capitalism. They declare wealth to be prima facie evidence of perfidy, making no distinction as to how it was obtained. They preach equality, not just in opportunity but in economic outcome. In their eyes, all members of the 1% are already guilty, so economic justice demands that the rich be heavily taxed, not just to lift others up, but to bring them down. Some defenders of capitalism draw a sharp distinction between those who obtained their wealth through government favors and those who created their wealth by satisfying willing customers through free exchange. The former are called Crony Capitalists. The latter, interestingly enough, don't have a name. Let's call them Market Capitalists.

Bill JohnsonMobile Press Register / Al.Com, Alabama politician Bill Johnson caught in sperm donation scandal in New Zealand, George Talbot, DBob Rileyec. 11, 2011. Bill Johnson, left, a former top state official who made a failed bid for governor in 2010, has been living a secret life in New Zealand as a sperm donor for lesbian couples, a New Zealand newspaper reported today. Johnson, a Republican from Prattville, has spent much of the past year in Christchurch, New Zealand, as a contractor working on the recovery effort from a deadly earthquake that struck the city in February. The New Zealand Herald reported in its Sunday edition that Johnson, who is married, has been using an alias to meet women who want help getting pregnant. The newspaper said it confirmed at least nine women had received sperm donations from Johnson, and at least three were pregnant. Johnson formerly served as campaign manager and as a high-ranking administrator for two-term Republican governor Bob Riley, right, who left office earlier this year because of term limits.