Somehow Everyone Comes Out Looking Terrible In The Effort For Election Recounts

from the you're-not-helping dept

I didn’t quite think it was possible, but it seems that the fight over some potential election recounts has served to basically make everyone look petty and awful. American politics continues to be a dumpster fire. Here is the latest, in three acts.

Act One: Jill Stein to the rescue?

Last week, there was a bit of a fuss, starting with a mostly detail-free article from NY Mag suggesting that some well-respected voting researchers had found some abnormalities, and were suggesting that the Clinton campaign seek a full recount in three key states (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan). After that started to get some buzz, the key e-voting researcher named in the article, Alex Halderman clarified that he didn’t actually think there was any foul play, but that, since we all recognize there are security problems with e-voting machines, this could serve as a useful check. As we noted at the time, there was really no way for the Clinton campaign to take this on without much more realistic evidence of fraud, or else it would look incredibly petty and ridiculous — especially given the concerns the Clinton campaign raised about Donald Trump potentially contesting the election results.

But, into the breach stepped Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who set up a crowdfunding page to see if people would donate to pay for the recounts in those three states (if a candidate requests a recount, they have to fund it). Stein claimed that she wasn’t doing this to help Clinton, but as part of the Green Party’s support for “election integrity.” And, sure, yeah, we’re all for election integrity, but Stein’s crowdfunding campaign is a bit of a scam. She’s preying on false hopes of Clinton supporters to raise a ton of money — likely approximating twice as much as she raised during her actual campaign. And, for what? No one’s entirely sure. Yes, some of the money will go towards demanding recounts, but those recounts might not happen. Instead, the Stein campaign can put in an official request for one, but that’s no guarantee. And the Stein campaign just says that if it ends up with more money than it needs, it will “also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.” But, without details, it’s not at all clear what people are really donating to — other than building a massive list for the Green Party of potential people to hit up for money in the future.

On Friday, Stein filed the first of these recount requests in Wisconsin, in which her campaign alleges “evidence of voting irregularities” even though there really isn’t any. It’s basically a made-up request that tosses in a dose or two of conspiracy theory about “foreign interference” in the election. Again, while I’m all for election integrity and am concerned about e-voting machines, alleging fraud without any real evidence is just conspiracy theory mongering.

Act Two: Hillary Clinton: well, okay, if we must…

After the money started flowing to Stein, the Clinton campaign, in the form of a Medium post from the campaign’s top lawyer, Marc Elias, said that the campaign would somewhat reluctantly get involved in any recount effort. This is after admitting that the campaign found no evidence on its own of fraud and hadn’t intended to ask for such a recount at all, despite a multi-pronged approach to review voting information to see if anything looked fishy. But, now, Elias claims that since Stein got the ball rolling, the Clinton campaign will get involved “just to be represented” in any effort:

Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well. We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states???Michigan???well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.

Which, okay, fair enough, but it still looks a bit silly overall, and a waste of money since they don’t seem to think any recount effort will have any impact anyway.

Act Three: Donald Trump: meeeeeeeeee! this must be about meeeeeeeeee!

At this point, any reasonable President-elect in the same scenario would sit back, chuckle at the absurdity of the efforts discussed above and maybe focus on finishing up his planned cabinet appointments. But not Donald Trump. First, he mocked the Clinton campaign for joining in this effort. To some extent, you can understand this bit of gloating, after the lengths Clinton and her supporters went to in mocking Trump’s own claims that he might contest the results of the election:

Of course, this still looks kind of petty, especially given that Trump himself had made it quite clear that he would have actively contested the results had he lost. It’s a bit silly to then mock the Democrats for doing what he would have done, even if they played this silly game of pretending to get involved reluctantly.

But, in true Trump fashion, he just can’t leave things like this alone. The potential recount seemed to be getting too much attention, so he decided to roll out his bullshit “voter fraud against me” claims anyway, first arguing that he would have won the popular vote, if it weren’t for 3 million illegal votes for Clinton.

This seems partly in response to the fact that reporters are covering the fact that Clinton’s lead in the popular vote keeps growing, and surpassed 2 million votes. Of course, who won the popular vote is effectively meaningless, but it seems to make Trump antsy. The whole “millions of people who voted illegally” thing is conspiracy theory bullshit, pushed by a former Texas official based on absolutely nothing — but picked up by the crackpots at Infowars.

Let’s be clear here: the claim is absolutely hogwash, yet is being repeated by our President-elect, who already won but seems insecure with the fact that he lost the popular vote. I thought that in this effort, both Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton would come out of this process looking like sketchy sore losers. What I didn’t expect (though probably should have) is that Trump would come out of it looking even worse. Not only is he a sore winner, but he’s reinforced the fact that he’s willing to buy into complete crackpot conspiracy theories if they support his ego. That’s insane, and incredibly dangerous.

He followed that up with yet another tweet, claiming that the media is ignoring “serious voter fraud” in Virginia, New Hampshire and California:

This is also ridiculous. If there were any actual evidence of voter fraud, the press would be all over it — even those that people want to insist supported Clinton. Even if the mainstream media were hopelessly in the tank for Clinton, getting a big story like evidence of widespread “serious voter fraud” would overwhelm that. But the fact is that there’s no such evidence. Our President-elect is either making stuff up entirely, or repeating crackpot theories. Also, by falsely claiming that there’s widespread voter fraud, Trump seems to be undermining his own message that there shouldn’t be recounts going on. If he’s really so concerned about widespread voter fraud (again, which didn’t actually happen), why isn’t he embracing the calls for recounts too?

If you want some actual facts: there’s been almost no evidence of voter fraud, other than a few small attempts here or there. ProPublica has the best analysis of this, noting the many ways in which it has reviewed the data, looking for evidence of voter fraud and finding none at all. Here’s a sampling of what ProPublica had to say:

So, yeah. Everyone comes out of this looking absolutely terrible. Voting machines are terrible and prone to serious security problems, and should be done away with — especially in their current form. But even with the security concerns, the idea that there was serious voter fraud due to those machines, or from other factors, is complete hogwash, and everyone should just stop it.

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Comments on “Somehow Everyone Comes Out Looking Terrible In The Effort For Election Recounts”

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177 Comments
PaulT (profile) says:

Not totally serious, but...

“We had 1,100 people monitoring the vote on Election Day. We saw no evidence the election was “rigged” no matter what Stein or Trump say. /1”

Well… that just means they were in on it! Or, it just proves the levels of conspiracy by hiding it in plain sight!

“Thousands of election officials would need to have taken part.”

Unless those electronic machines are easily hacked, of course, in which case a lot less people would be required.

“And they all would have had to fail to understand the electoral college.”

Unless the idea is to undermine confidence in the electoral system by causing both the popular and EV results to be questionable in the minds of populace. Especially handy if you’re, say, a foreign power unhappy with the country’s attempts to “spread democracy” over the last few decades. At the very least, it seems to be deflecting attention quite nicely away from Trump’s TU settlement, his questionable cabinet picks and his tantrums over the exercise of free speech by actors and other citizens.

Now, I don’t necessarily agree with any of my above statements, but the problem with this kind of controversy is there will always be a perceived problem. If nothing else, it seems strange that Trump is stirring the pot to get supporters to believe that the result should not be believed in a contest he won.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not totally serious, but...

” If nothing else, it seems strange that Trump is stirring the pot to get supporters to believe that the result should not be believed in a contest he won.”

I find it strange as well. I’m thinking he’s implying that if they are going to do a recount, that they should somehow qualify the citizenship of the voters during the count?

I say this because in 2012 Elections Florida said that they had roughly 180K people that voted that “may” not be citizens of the U.S. As well as various “experts” suggesting illegals could impact the 2016 elections.

Of course your never going to get the Democrats to admit illegal voters are a problem, even if they are. At the same time, your never going to get the Republicans to admit they are not a problem, even if they are not.

The only way to be relatively sure, is to require a birth certificate and photo ID when voting. It won’t catch them all, but it should remove it as a hot topic and major issue. Good luck with that ever happening lol.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE84A1AF20120511?irpc=932

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/05/09/exclusive-florida-investigating-potential-non-citizen-voters/

http://watchdog.org/260524/illegal-immigrants-2016-election/

http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/cces/home

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Not totally serious, but...

VOTER ID?! THAT’S RACIST!!!

Seriously though, the rabid refusal to require voter ID is one of the reasons that I wonder about there being validity to the right’s claims about illegal voters.

The vast majority of folks can manage to get their hands on a state ID. If we make those IDs free, there’s no way it can be disadvantageous to the poor.

Heck, California (the bluest state of ’em all) doesn’t even require people to have a social security number to vote, much less an ID.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Not totally serious, but...

“If we make those IDs free, there’s no way it can be disadvantageous to the poor.”

Sure, so long as you also make it absolutely equally free to travel to where the free IDs are, make sure that everyone is equally able to take the time necessary to get one, and make certain that getting one isn’t tied to anything that requires money to acquire (such as a vehicle, an address, a utility bill, etc.). Good luck actually getting THAT done….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Not totally serious, but...

So we give up our right to a fair and honest election because some people can’t afford to get the proper ID? You need a photo ID in this day and age. Yes it’s a pain in the ass, yes it may set you back, even if your poor, but you need an ID. I can’t buy a gun without an ID, but by god I should be able to vote? I would argue voting is MORE dangerous! Case in point, look who the fuck we just elected! I’m starting to think we need fucking mental exam before they hand us a ballot.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Not totally serious, but...

Friend, the number of Americans without a state ID or drivers license is AT LEAST 1% (surveys of registered voters) and possibly as high as 10% (surveys of Americans generally, registered to vote or not). Even at the low end, you’re talking about MILLIONS of people.

If you want to suddenly make it illegal for millions of people to vote, you had better have a good fucking reason to do so, such as an equal number of millions committing voter fraud. Nothing like that even remotely exists….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Not totally serious, but...

“If you want to suddenly make it illegal for millions of people to vote, you had better have a good fucking reason to do so, such as an equal number of millions committing voter fraud. Nothing like that even remotely exists….”

I understand and appreciate your point, I do. I just don’t think allowing people to vote without ID is the answer. If we need to subsidize, or otherwise come up with ways to get ID into the hands of those who can’t afford it, then so be it. But simply doing without ID altogether will allow there to always be the specter of impropriety over elections, on both sides.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Not totally serious, but...

Better question to be asking: why do these MILLIONS of people not have valid ID? (Or, to put it another way, if 90-99% of Americans can do it, what’s stopping these guys?)

It’s not difficult to get a state ID or driver’s license. (If anything, it’s far too easy to get a driver’s license, as it theoretically requires demonstrating you’re capable of driving, but I think everyone here would agree that experience shows we hand those out far too easily. But that’s a debate for a different time.) It’s not some arduous task that a reasonable person would conclude acts as a credible barrier to enfranchisement.

If you do not comply with basic, simple prerequisites, you’re unable to perform actions that depend on those prerequisites. Why should voting be a special case? If it’s really that important–and I agree that it is–isn’t it really that important to put into place simple, common-sense measures that any legitimate citizen who cares enough can easily comply with, in order to ensure its integrity?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Not totally serious, but...

I can’t speak for millions of people but I can speak for me. I have a valid drivers license but after just losing my home of the past 6 years I’m in limbo. My drivers license has the address of the home I just lost, I don’t yet have a new home, and my new mailing address is a PO Box.

What is your solution for this Einstein? You think everything is a black and white, easy to solve situation?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Not totally serious, but...

Two things…

Give the address of where you are staying.
You ID is still valid, but depending on where you are you still have to registry first, but you can still get it done.

Don’t get stupid and just assume that all is now lost.
Additionally, if you are homeless, you have bigger fish to fry than getting a vote.

Voting is over rated, you would do better to serve as a fully informed juror if you really want to make a difference for your country!

So seek help, get back on your feet, and be a good juror for your fellow citizens, you have more power there than some dumbass you voted to sit in an oval office.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Not totally serious, but...

Let me see:
“address: Car parked mostly on bouleward street around number 64.”

Voting is overrated untill there is a systematic representation bias in who votes. Then non-voting groups get ignored by default… Be aware that you don’t address him in the situation he is in, but defines ways whereby he can work around it or feel better about ignoring the issues.

Ideally address should not be required to specifically identify a person as opposed to photo and/or biometrics. But I digress.
Make no mistake: I am all for voter ID as opposed to Masnicks argument here (The alt-right conspiracy argumentation? Really?), but it has to be implemented slowly (over at least 4 years), it has to be free of charge, nearby the citizen and have reasonable opening hours as well as some security against government abuse…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Not totally serious, but...

“It’s not difficult to get a state ID or driver’s license”

…or is it?

First off, not everybody drives. Especially in large cities with decent public transportation, lots of people simply don’t learn to drive or don’t keep a valid licence. State IDs vary, but they can also involve non-trivial effort (as an example I think I’ve heard before, a state where a person is resident needs them to get a form of ID they don’t possess from the state where they were born, and that takes further hoops to jump through). If I’m not mistaken, most voter ID laws demand specific forms of ID so, (for example, a student from out of state can’t use their in-state student ID, they have to get something else specifically to vote), so it’s not simply a case of having an ID you’d normally use day to day

Then, of course, there’s the efforts put in by certain districts to make getting these IDs more difficult. For example, making it necessary to go to a DMV office to get an ID but changing opening hours and locations to make it difficult for any non-driver with a full time job to get there without taking time off work. There’s numerous accusations that such things have been done by Republican state government to disproportionately affect poorer/minority districts (who are often more likely to vote Democrat). I won’t get into the conspiracy aspect of this, but getting ID is clearly a non-trivial thing to do in some places and it seems a great way of disenfranchising potential voters without specifically stating that as the purpose.

But, it all boils down to this – is the problem of voter fraud a bigger or smaller problem than the problem of disenfranchising voters or imposing a defacto poll tax? Most independent research seems to pretend that it is not a problem that demands this solution. So, why is voter ID specifically demanded despite its problems?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Not totally serious, but...

Yes you have to jump thru hoops, that’s part of what makes the ID valid. If you just walk up and stick a quarter in the machine and it spits out an ID, then it wouldn’t mean much.

I don’t hear anyone bitching about needing ID to buy a gun, or beer, or opening a bank account, why voting? I would argue the right to vote is more dangerous than all of those other things. I don’t hear anyone complaining about all the damn hoops I have to jump thru to get a concealed weapons permit, or back ground checks to get a security clearance, or joining the military, or getting a job. Are all those people picking on the poor too?

Do what you have to do to get an ID. No it’s not easy, yes it can be a pain in the ass, but it can be done. Some local church and small business have ID’s for the homeless drives here in the pan handle on occasion for those that can’t afford the $25. It can be done. Hell, even if it can’t, why aren’t people lobbying to make state ID’s free?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Not totally serious, but...

“Yes you have to jump thru hoops, that’s part of what makes the ID valid”

It’s also what disenfranchises voters unnecessarily. Are those hoops a) necessary and b) helpful in combating the actual levels of voter fraud happening? If the answer to either question is “no”, then criticism is valid. Remember, half the argument is that the number and expense of those hoops is tending to increase when these rules are enforced, not that the hoops exist in the first place.

“I don’t hear anyone bitching about needing ID to buy a gun, or beer, or opening a bank account, why voting?”

Beer and bank account aren’t constitutionally protected activities. Furthermore, none of those activities are time-restricted, whereas voting in an election is.

I won’t get into a 2nd amendment argument here, but comparing voting to buying a beer is rather dumb.

“Are all those people picking on the poor too? “

No. That’s a really stupid question if you understand the actual argument, so thanks for clarifying you don’t know what other people are actually complaining about.

“Some local church and small business have ID’s for the homeless drives here in the pan handle on occasion for those that can’t afford the $25”

Are the resulting IDs valid for voting? One of the major complaints is that states that are trying to pass these laws are also selecting rules that reject most IDs that are valid for other purposes. I would, however, note that the argument that IDs are OK because homeless people get help isn’t really good argument against the idea that the poor are disproportionately targeted.

“Hell, even if it can’t, why aren’t people lobbying to make state ID’s free?”

I believe they will, but many of the people demanding that IDs be used for voting also seem to be the people opposing taxes being used to pay for them. Given that, you might as well fight against the concept of mandatory IDs in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Not totally serious, but...

“I won’t get into a 2nd amendment argument here”

Damn right you wont, because you don’t have an argument.

Ok, you think comparing voting to buying beer or opening a bank account are just “dumb” (You’re such an arrogant ass) Why should I need an ID to buy a gun, and not to vote?

All your answers did, was dance around the issue and scatter the blame. It’s to expensive, it’s not convenient, it’s not necessary, it takes too long.. etc… All excuses, all weak.

The 26th amendment prohibits the denial of someone over 18 to vote. Aside from the people that are obvious, how the hell is one supposed to know if they are 18 or older if you can’t identify them?

“Given that, you might as well fight against the concept of mandatory IDs in the first place.”

How about fighting against discrimination? I have to have an ID to prove age and eligibility to buy a gun, but not to vote? Sounds to me like we are discriminating against people that exercise their 2nd amendment rights.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Not totally serious, but...

“Damn right you wont, because you don’t have an argument.”

On the 2nd amendment? No, I don’t. But, that’s not relevant to the actual discussion here.

“Ok, you think comparing voting to buying beer or opening a bank account are just “dumb””

Yes. If you don’t see why, you’re even more stupid than I thought. I already mentioned several reasons why above. Unless you honestly believe that your right to buy an alcoholic beverage is equal to your right to vote, in which case I’d note that numerous conservative states are already heavily infringing on that “right” with or without ID.

“All your answers did, was dance around the issue and scatter the blame. It’s to expensive, it’s not convenient, it’s not necessary, it takes too long.. etc… All excuses, all weak. “

I detailed the multiple, varied, sometimes complex reasons why there are issues with these kinds of rules, especially in light of the fact that no widespread voter fraud has been demonstrated. Unless you wish to demonstrate why these are false (which you haven’t, other than to wave them away or whine “whut about mah gunz”), these are the issues that prevent voter ID requirements from being acceptable, if they are indeed even needed.

This is what’s called reality, and it forms the basis of any real debate. If you’re the same AC who just threw a toddler tantrum in another thread because they couldn’t grasp basic facts, though, I understand you’re not familiar with the real world.

“Sounds to me like we are discriminating against people that exercise their 2nd amendment rights.”

Why are right wingers so fetishistic about that amendment at the expense of all others? I’ll just note that you’ve been arguing for restrictions to be added to voting and not that restrictions be removed from the exercising of other rights. That seems weird if you think that IDs for weapons is so wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Not totally serious, but...

Yes you have to jump thru hoops, that’s part of what makes the ID valid. If you just walk up and stick a quarter in the machine and it spits out an ID, then it wouldn’t mean much.

I don’t hear anyone bitching about needing ID to buy a gun, or beer, or opening a bank account, why voting? I would argue the right to vote is more dangerous than all of those other things. I don’t hear anyone complaining about all the damn hoops I have to jump thru to get a concealed weapons permit, or back ground checks to get a security clearance, or joining the military, or getting a job. Are all those people picking on the poor too?

Do what you have to do to get an ID. No it’s not easy, yes it can be a pain in the ass, but it can be done. Some local church and small business have ID’s for the homeless drives here in the pan handle on occasion for those that can’t afford the $25. It can be done. Hell, even if it can’t, why aren’t people lobbying to make state ID’s free?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Not totally serious, but...

Yes you have to jump thru hoops, that’s part of what makes the ID valid. If you just walk up and stick a quarter in the machine and it spits out an ID, then it wouldn’t mean much.

I don’t hear anyone complaining about needing ID to buy a firearm, or alcohol, or opening a bank account, why voting? I would argue the right to vote is more dangerous than all of those other things. I don’t hear anyone complaining about all the hoops I have to jump thru to get a concealed weapons permit, or back ground checks to get a security clearance, or joining the military, or getting a job. Are all those people picking on the poor too?

Do what you have to do to get an ID. No it’s not easy, yes it can be a pain,, but it can be done. Some local church and small business have ID’s for the homeless drives here in the pan handle on occasion for those that can’t afford the $25. It can be done. Even if it can’t, why aren’t people lobbying to make state ID’s free instead of being able to vote without one?

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Cry me a river.

This is more of a “lower the bar” problem. People just aren’t that motivated. They can’t be bothered. So give them special treatment. Yes, I said SPECIAL treatment. The rest of us that need to DRIVE to our JOBS put up with this crap.

If you care, you will bother. The affected just don’t give a d*mn.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Not totally serious, but...

The Democrats can solve the problem of voter ID themselves. All they have to do is set-up a registry where those who lack the required documentation can have a Democratic operative pick them up and help them through the process.

If the Democrats are not willing to assist those who have problems, then the Democrats have no right to complain.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not totally serious, but...

This kind of fear, uncertainty and doubt from an elected official about the election system is common in countries where democracy is less free.

Usually it is used as a pretence to weaken the democracy construct and personal rights on account of state, to prepare for a coup d’etat from the faction in charge or in the very least as a pretense for declaring martial law and do away with opposition.

Hearing such paranoia from a person representing a supposed free “democracy” is very surreal an extremely scary.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: zzzzz

To be fair, the person you’re replying to was replying not to the original article, but to a comment which did only mention Trump and not either of the other two.

(Also to be fair, the “repeat a lie often enough” thing does seem to fit Trump better than it does either of the other two. That’s a separate discussion, however.)

Steve R. (profile) says:

The Laughable Postion of Democrats on the Integrity of Voting

The Democrats have gone to great extremes to remove virtually all impediments to voting. Furthermore, the Democrats have advocated that voter fraud is inconsequential and would not have an adverse effect on voting. The Democrats have lost the election (in terms of the electoral college) and they are now outraged and want to “know the truth”. Well, if they where really concerned about the “truth” the Democrats would not be so adamantly opposed to the creation of paper trails that would document the eligibility of the voters.

In North Carolina the Democrats are attempting to frustrate a Republican attempt at a recount concerning the Governor’s election. If Democrats were really concerned about the truth, they would support the recount.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The Laughable Postion of Democrats on the Integrity of Voting

Wrong on North Carolina. The Republican governor has gotten votes recounted at various places, and ended up another thousand or two votes farther behind.

He’s also alleged all sorts of kinds of fraud, and had 3 person committees of 2 Republicans and 1 Democrat vote down his claims.

Also, if Democrats were really rigging the governor’s race in North Carolina, don’t you think they’d have rigged the presidential vote & senate vote to be for their candidate? The GOP governor lost because he pushed HB2 and lost the state over a hundred million dollars and counting from the boycotts it caused.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Re: The Laughable Postion of Democrats on the Integrity of Voting

From: http://www.journalnow.com/news/elections/state/voter-id-opponents-join-fray-over-nc-governor-ballots/article_528a8091-f950-57eb-9caa-62fa3d687769.html

“Lawyers from Southern Coalition for Social Justice asked a federal judge late Wednesday to reject a lawsuit questioning the verification of voters who used same-day registration to cast ballots. The filing was done by some of the same lawyers and advocates who successfully sued to overturn parts of a wide-ranging elections law enacted by Republicans in the General Assembly.

They’re opposing a lawsuit filed this week by the conservative Civitas Institute. Civitas says the state cannot finish counting votes until it verifies addresses of voters who used same-day registration. A hearing is scheduled next week.”

ShadowNinja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The Laughable Postion of Democrats on the Integrity of Voting

And your point?

North Carolina’s voter ID law was struck down as racially motivated. A federal appeals court that concluded that the state’s voting strictures “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”

Also your own article doesn’t make it clear if those votes in dispute are already counted or not already in the vote totals. If they aren’t being counted, then who’s suing shows that the GOP doesn’t expect those votes to help them. Also, given the complete lack of any evidence of voter fraud, the GOP’s lawsuit is pretty much a baseless attempt to disenfranchise voters who they think won’t vote the right way.

I.T. Guy says:

I fuking hate shitty reporting. Thats why I come here. But this “Gem:”
picked up by the crackpots at Infowars.
Lemme guess… you just read the headline? Didya actually read the article? (Rhetorical question, its obvious you didn’t.)

NOWHERE in that article did it purport to agree with the statements being reported on by Steve Watson and made by Greg Phillips of the VoteFraud.org organization.

That was just shitty “reporting” Mike.

But hey, its easier to make a claim for a “conspiracy theory” if you add Alex Jones to the mix.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, it is annoying and I am not even a Trump fan, but please don’t leave. Mike has seen the light a few times while I have been here. The Redskins trademark issue is proof that Mike can be objective about things.

It would be better for you to hang around and help keep Mike honest! It’s a team effort with Mike… just picking!

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Sod it, I’m going to start selling hooded robes with “Make America great again” printed on them for Trump worshipers to buy while they march around chanting, “Hail unto Trump, our glorious leader, he can do no wrong. Send Hillary to jail.”

From what I’m seeing in the comments here I’d make a bloody fortune if I did.

Seriously, give up the partisan nonsense. Neither side has any virtue worth splitting the nation over.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The little people don't count (!)

You must have something with which to occupy the masses. Human value the superficial more than anything else.

See a movie star? Worship it.
See a pile of cash? Kill for it.
See a destitute human? Turn a cold shoulder to it.
See an accused? Assume they are guilty!
Want to pacify the fools? Give them a vote!

John Snape (profile) says:

It's legal for noncitizens to vote in California

Maybe people are making this claim because it’s perfectly legal for non-citizens to vote illegally in California if you “believe” you voted legally.

Source: CA Election Code Section 2269. If a PERSON WHO IS INELIGIBLE TO VOTE becomes registered to vote pursuant to this chapter and votes or attempts to vote in an election held after the effective date of the person’s registration, that person shall be PRESUMED TO HAVE ACTED WITH OFFICIAL AUTHORIZATION and SHALL NOT BE GUILTY OF FRAUDULENTLY VOTING or attempting to vote pursuant to Section 18560, unless that person willfully votes or attempts to vote knowing that he or she is not entitled to vote.
(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 729, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2016.)

How many non-citizens voted in this last election that we can’t prosecute because they “believe” they voted legally? And why do you think they pushed through the driver’s license for non-citizens in California, while also supplying every newly-licensed driver with a voter registration form?

John Snape (profile) says:

Re: Re: perfectly legal for non-citizens to vote illegally in California

So your position is: if someone commits a crime and the government doesn’t stop them beforehand, they shouldn’t be prosecuted?

The previous section, 2268, addresses registration, by the way.
2268. If a person who is ineligible to vote becomes registered to vote pursuant to this chapter in the absence of a violation by that person of Section 18100, that person’s registration shall be presumed to have been effected with official authorization and not the fault of that person.
(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 729, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2016.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: perfectly legal for non-citizens to vote illegally in California

That is a silly non-argument.

The registrar has a responsibility to ensure that the information provided is correct. Thus, it is not on the voter, but the registrar if things go awry. Unless you think being a registrar is a Wild West job with zero oversight, what are you talking about?

John Snape (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 perfectly legal for non-citizens to vote illegally in California

"Unless you think being a registrar is a Wild West job with zero oversight, what are you talking about?"

I’m talking about registrars who don’t have unlimited funds to seek out and verify every single voter registration they have to process.

But if they "screw up" and don’t verify a non-citizen’s registration, the one who did the criminal act, the registrant, should be held accountable for their illegal act.

So my "silly non-argument" is relevant and appropriate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It's legal for noncitizens to vote in California

That is a conspiracy. Obama conspiring with non-citizens!

It could also be that the government cannot prevent states from allowing counties to allow non-citizen voting (see Maryland, which Trump suspiciously didn’t mention).

Screw it. I call conspiracy in spite of evidence against it!

Anonymous Coward says:

laughingstock of the world.

banana republics are pointing and laughing at us. as they should. as should the whole world. we’ve high-horsed for generations, but we’ve pulled back our own curtain, now, to show the world what buffoons really look like.

pity peter sellers isn’t here to play the role of the u.s. in a farce. he would be licking his chops.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Roll out the Barrel.

It’s like Bismarck and said. Government and sausages are two things you don’t want to see made. Government is an ugly business on a good day. Democracy makes things extra ugly. All sorts of “undesirable people” get their say.

That’s just the way it is. If you can’t handle that, then you’re basically advocating for something else.

People in banana republics don’t understand democracy.

timmaguire42 (profile) says:

“Millions of illegal votes would require a conspiracy larger than all previous conspiracy theories combined.”

Agreed that Trump does himself no favors when he wades into this scrum; however, this statement is obviously false. All that is required for millions of illegal voters to cast votes is a system that does not try very hard to stop them.

And guess what? We have such a system. We do virtually nothing to ensure all voters are legally entitled to vote. Your statement that the media would be all over it is a fantasy, you made it up. The president himself went on national television to encourage illegal voting. That’s not private information, it took no sleuthing to find it, it’s quite public and the media yawned.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Agreed. A media that was demonstrably in the back pocket of the DNC is supposed to be the watch dogs of an honest election? Wikileaks has exposed the corruption of the DNC and media and the genie will not go back in the bottle. That is why there is the new effort by the left to stop “fake” news. Fake being any news they don’t control and especially any news that helps conservatives get their voices heard.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It would be interesting that the reason that the Media would not report on it because in their mind, their side is the biggest voting fraudsters around and any attempt to uncover it would do far more damage to their side than a stupid Presidential victory.

And considering that Obama himself told illegals to vote… I mean how much more blatant get you get?

This is truly the Emperors New Clothes level of shit right there.

W. Vann Hall (profile) says:

Re: Re:

We do virtually nothing to ensure all voters are legally entitled to vote.

Tens of thousands of county registrars would respectfully disagree with that assessment.

Especially as you also reference such nonsense as

The president himself went on national television to encourage illegal voting. That’s not private information, it took no sleuthing to find it, it’s quite public and the media yawned.

True, it takes very little sleuthing to find this claim, which speaks mainly to the obscene amount of influence Fox News has in this country — and the lavish and simple-minded propensity of right-wing websites to parrot whatever garbage rubs their tummies without even the least pretense of fact-checking. (Personally, before I quoted a source with so well-known a history of spreading bullshit and lies as Fox News, I’d double- or triple-check it, rather than risk damaging my credibility. Of course, if I was, say, breitbart or WND or similar rot and had no credibility left to sully, I guess I wouldn’t worry.)

However, it takes just as little sleuthing to discover this claim was based on a misleadingly edited video aired by Fox. (And, admittedly, to an atypically convoluted reply Obama made to a nearly incoherent question posed by an ‘actress and rapper’ on an extremely fringe cable channel.) Watching all of the interview — as it was aired, not as it was hacked to death by Fox — makes it clear Obama is speaking to U.S. citizens of Latin-American origin.

John85851 (profile) says:

Let's assume there's voter fraud

If we assume that there’s actual voter fraud going on, what’s the result?
Would the “millions of voters” (as Trump claimed) really change the result? Or would those millions of votes basically match the distribution as the real votes?
In other words, how can any party say the fraudulent votes will only help the other party?

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Let's assume there's voter fraud

Generally, the fewer people that vote the more favorable it is to Republican candidates.

This would seem to not hold up against the facts: the 2016 election had the highest voter turnout in recent memory, and across the board–not just in the Presidential vote–the Republican party won in a landslide.

As I’ve said before on here, it was pretty much inevitable, as it’s the Republicans’ turn to screw things up now. It’s a clear pattern that’s been going on for decades in American politics: we didn’t like Bush Sr. raising taxes after saying "read my lips, no new taxes," so we threw him and his party out and elected Clinton, who was even worse. We got sick of his endless scandals, so we threw him and his party out and elected W, who was even worse. We got sick of his moronic antics and endless wars, so we threw him and his party out and elected Obama, who was even worse. (Are you seeing a pattern yet?) Then we got sick of him and his party causing trouble for us with health care, race relations, civil rights, and oh-by-the-way not doing anything to put an end to the endless wars he campaigned on opposing, so we threw him and his party out and elected Trump, who is almost guaranteed to be even worse.

Anyone who was surprised by Trump’s victory is simply not paying attention.

W. Vann Hall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Let's assume there's voter fraud

the Republican party won in a landslide.

Yes, if by ‘in a landslide’ you mean ‘lost the popular vote by over 2 million’ or ‘[presumably] won the Electoral College by the third-smallest margin in 40 years | the smallest margin in any election not involving George W. Bush in 40 years | the fifth-smallest margin in 100 years.’

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Let's assume there's voter fraud

No, I specifically and quite clearly meant "the Republican party and not simply the Republican presidential candidate." Please look over what I wrote again, with a bit more reading comprehension this time, as I was clearly referring to all the elections rather than simply the one that you’re focusing on.

Claire Rand says:

Anything you can do...

Us in the UK can also do, in a halfway incompetent way.

Look up ‘Tower Hamlets’, mayor banned for electoral fiddling, only ended up in the courts after private citizens brought the action when the authorities were firmly turning a blind eye.

And are now trying to bankrupt the ones who brought the case to deter others trying.

As soon as you have an election someone, somewhere is on the fiddle

Anonymous Coward says:

Dear Mike,

Mike,

Apologies in advance if I’ve misunderstood you, but you seem to be implying we make the logical leap from “there is no evidence of serious voter fraud” to “there is no serious voter fraud” – and that would be terrible reasoning. The furthest “there is no evidence” takes us is “there is no proof”.

I also find your condescending tone and dismissiveness towards the possibility of serious voter fraud (and to those calling into question the official narrative) to be a tad arrogant. Please consider toning it down a bit.

I hope you’ll also consider the following…

1) There can be many reasons for the lack of evidence other than the lack of crime.
2) If the voter fraud is performed properly, it wouldn’t necessarily need to be significant in scale to have a “serious” impact and tip the results one way or the other.

I build and audit financial systems for a living. Trust me when I say, whether a given system (e.g., voting) has actually been criminally manipulated or not is absolutely beside the point. Our primary concern should be whether or not it COULD BE criminally manipulated. Period. End of discussion. Because if there is value to be had in gaming a system – you can be certain – it will be gamed.

AC

Anonymous Coward says:

Pedal error?

“All claims that election machines were rigged were because of poorly calibrated machines or ***user error.***”

“Unintended acceleration” was caused by “pedal error”, rather than by the nut behind the wheel.

The law doesn’t allow discrimination against low IQ voting, but there are de facto limits on low IQ voting due to pencil error, location error, name error, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

Your criticism of people for requesting recounts as being “sore losers” is too emotional, even playgroundish. It’s too much fake drama. As security researchers have urged, there should be recounts in close races simply to verify and audit the system. This should be supported routinely by both sides. Making it depend on a smoking gun, questioning people’s motivations, or getting too tense about the cost are a distraction from what’s important.

Now, what the cutoff should be — I don’t know. I’ve read that 0.5% is the cutoff for a legally mandated recount in some states. That covers only Michigan among the three. Given the acrimony, a higher cutoff seems sensible to me. Inspection is a good thing.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Recount

What about “the coach of the winning team has been claiming that the games were rigged both before and after it was played, is insisting that his team scored more runs despite the recorded scoreline and some of the live footage wasn’t correctly broadcast”?

Wouldn’t that make a review of the recordings of the more questionable innings at least something worth considering?

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