I feel I have to print a retraction. You may have heard about the Republican efforts to put in place restrictions to tighten voting laws, making voter fraud more difficult. Many states are requiring IDs at the polling place, and here in my home state of Ohio there was an attempt to curtail early voting for everyone except Military personnel which was struck down by the courts. Back in June I wrote a piece mocking Florida for their voter roll purges because they found fifty – fifty – cases of improper registration that might possibly have led to illegal voting. My contention has been that there is no danger of voter fraud, and if there were the incidence would be so small that there is no way it could affect the outcome of the election in any way. Guys, I was wrong and I stand before you a shamed man. The danger is real, the Republicans were right. Voter fraud is happening right under our very noses.
…but it’s the fucking Republicans who are committing it.
Exhibit A: We Don’t Like Your Kind Around Here
Watch this video. It’s only about a minute long, and I think it’s a great introduction to the very real threat of voter fraud.
Right here, right out in the open this girl admits that she is only signing up Republican voters. That’s not just shady and unethical, it’s completely fucking illegal in all fifty states. Yes, she’s young. And obviously pretty stupid if she’s willing to say the things she said while someone is obviously filming her a cell phone. And honestly, she’s not really the problem here. The problem is that someone told her to do this. Someone told her to go stand in front of Safeway and pretend she’s registering people to vote, but only if they’re registering for “a certain party”. This is fraud. This is a felony. And someone in Colorado is putting vapid morons out on the street to do it. Someone who wants them to vote Republican.
Exhibit B: “Strategic Alliance” Indeed
So back in 2004 a dude named Nathan Sproul got into some trouble. He was the chair of the Republican party in Arizona, a state known for being – you know, I was going to write something snide and ironic here, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Arizona is, politically speaking, one of the most fucked places in America. So Sproul was investigated for voter fraud in three separate states in 2004 for a registration initiative he headed. But despite this incredibly shady past, the Romney campaign hired his company Strategic Alliance to spearhead their efforts in the key swing state of Florida, a place that is also well known for election fuckery. Last week Strategic Alliance was dropped after a batch of fraudulent registration forms turned up. Some were forged, some altered, some (in Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado – all swing states) outright shredded. Again, all extremely illegal. And the Romney campaign knew this guy’s history before they hired him, which says to me that they approve of his tactics and were maybe at the least hoping he might use some of them to their benefit.
Guys, this is scary shit. This isn’t a few dopes showing up to cast extra votes under a dead person’s name, this is organized, apparently sanctioned efforts to lock real, honest citizens out of their vote because they want to punch the wrong side of the card. This is fucking voter fraud, and no amount of requiring IDs at the polling place is going to stop it. ID laws and shortened early voting hours target the poor, working parents and minorities. Fact. And those are all the demographics most likely to vote Democrat. Fact. As if the game weren’t already rigged enough, they want to make sure it’s impossible to lose. Lawmakers in both Ohio and Pennsylvania openly admitted that the restrictions were designed to benefit Romney. Openly admitted. Why aren’t people fucking rioting in the streets?
Add to all of this the ridiculous gerrymandering going on in states like Ohio and Texas. Look at this idiotic fucking map for a minute:
Look at Districts 1 and 3 – they literally drew those lines block by block to gerrymander Republican majorities. Now look at the top of the map, District 9. This is my new home district. It runs from the west side of Cleveland along Lake Erie all the way to Toledo. It is not contiguous. It makes no fucking sense at all other than a blatant attempt by the current, Republican-controlled statehouse to maximize the outcome for their party. This map was created in secret with no public knowledge whatsoever. It enraged Ohioans so much that we’ve managed to get an initiative put on the ballot this year that makes all future redistricting (which happens every ten years) the responsibility of a committee that is 1/3 Republican, 1/3 Democrat and 1/3 unaffiliated civilians. The Republican legislature, though, was in charge of writing the verbiage for the issue that would appear on the ballot. What they wrote was so vague and misleading that a court ordered them to rewrite it. In Texas the Republican statehouse managed to redraw the districts in such a ridiculously fucked up manner that a court has put the entire map on hold until after the election because they believe it violates the federal voting act. This is the fucking election fraud, people. This is what changes the course of voting, what deprives people of their voice and the only input most of us have left in the governance of our country since the Supreme Court decided that money is the same thing as free speech.
So I’m sorry, and I retract my earlier statements. I am worried about voter fraud now. I am dearly worried. If you live in Ohio, please be absolutely sure you get out to vote, and vote for Issue 2. No political party should ever have the power to redraw the lines to benefit themselves. That’s not democracy. That is, in fact, the polar opposite. And if things don’t start changing in this country, this slow slide into Banana Republic that we’ve been on for the past two decades or so is going to turn into a fucking avalanche.
EDIT: I was trying to find this video when I wrote the post but couldn’t remember where it was or who did it. It’s a great, funny take on Ohio’s gerrymandering problem. Totally SFW. Enjoy.