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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Once Again, We Are Back To Voter "Fraud"

Category: Voting
Posted: 01/26/17 14:23

by Dave Mindeman

I can't believe that we have to rehash this voter fraud thing once more.

The Donald will not let an election he won go quietly. His ego will not let him accept that he lost the popular vote.

And he didn't lose it by a small margin - he lost it by 2.8 million votes. That is an historic fact that he can never escape. But he still wants to keep the issue going. No one can explain it.

What is even worse about this is that Trump barely won in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Each by less than 1% of the vote. If any one should be looking into voter irregularities, it should be Hillary Clinton.

If Trump is seriously worried about voter fraud, then why didn't he support the Jill Stein sponsored recounts? Why did he try to shut them down? Why did his lawyers insist then, that the vote was sound with no evidence of fraud?

At least Trump said publicly what Republicans keep private...and that is the belief or interpretive belief that only Democrats benefit from this so-called voter fraud. Which by itself is a disqualifying assertion.

It is hard to believe that a Party that has been so successful in electoral politics would question the very electoral system they have benefited from. But they do this over and over - with what seems to be the purpose of gaming the system even further via voter suppression.

Voter fraud is not the problem. The problem is gerrymandering, voter ID manipulations, breaking down the voting rights act, purging voter rolls, and targeting minorities to minimize their voting power.

That is the real fraud we should be discussing. Not some no evidence claims that are meant to undermine our voting system.

Here in Minnesota, the same ridiculous unsubstantiated criticism goes on as well. A Minnesota blog called "Power Line" (written by the guys that questioned the authenticity of CBS story on W.Bush's service in the National Guard) has been pushing the voter "fraud" issue.

John Hinderaker's latest treatise is entitled "Did Donald Trump Carry Minnesota?" Yeah, there you go. Trump will probably be quoting that one very soon.

Here is summation:

Voter fraud is concentrated among same-day registrants, and nearly all illegal ballots are cast for Democrats. Hillary Clinton reportedly won Minnesota by around 45,000 votes. This means that if 10% of those who same-day registered also voted illegally (non-citizens, convicted felons, already voted in another state, etc.), Donald Trump probably carried the state.

He states "nearly all illegal ballots are cast for Democrats." Really? You can say such a thing as just intuitively, factually true?

There are some ACTUAL facts out there about voter fraud.

First, it is extremely rare. Out of millions of votes, the voter fraud cases number less than a 100 - and even if you look for a broader case of challenged voting, you still don't get to more than a few thousand. Even if all of them WERE Democratic (which they are not), there is nothing involved here that can possibly affect an outcome.

Second, real and prosecuted voter fraud is not only rare, but far more prevalent among Republicans than Democrats. In 2016, there were 4 cases prosecuted. Three of them were Republicans. If you want a further list of GOP instances, go here. One study tracked voter impersonation fraud since the 2000 election - they found a total of 31 cases in all those years out of 1 BILLION votes cast.

Third, people can be registered in more than one state. This is not illegal. Voting in each state in the same election would be. People who have moved are not going to be removed from state rolls unless they report their move. How many people do that? Anybody? This is not some conspiracy (as Trump thinks)...and here is a factual report....

David Becker, the executive director for The Center for Election Innovation and Research, said after the November election that his group found millions of "out of date registration records, but no evidence that voter fraud resulted."

None. No evidence of anything wrong.

Fourth, regarding undocumented people voting. Our system is geared to preventing such an occurrence. You do not get registered without proof of residence. And if you do same day registration, you also have to have proof of residence. Sure, a few people might sneak through, but millions or even thousands or even hundreds? Seriously?

This ridiculous argument grows tiresome. And frankly, it is simply meant to be a distraction that will lead to more voter suppression. You watch the bills that pass through the legislatures regarding voting restrictions. And you watch the legislators use voter "fraud" as their reasoning. They believe that the American public doesn't need actual facts, they think they can scare them into thinking it exists. And often, it works.

Republicans do not win when there is an actual vote from the majority in this country. Trump isn't President because of a majority - he is there because of an outdated electoral system. And Congress is Republican, not because a majority of Americans are represented - no, it is because districts are carved out in such a way as to maximize benefit to the Party that can manipulate it the most. And Republicans in the Senate do not represent a majority of the population, because tiny population states get as much representation as the higher population states.

So for power to remain in Republican hands, they need to manipulate. They manipulate the system and manipulate how we think about the integrity of how we count the votes.

It is not voting fraud we should be worried about - it is the fraudulent way that Republicans talk about it that is the real problem.

Real Democracy protects one person = one vote. Right now we have a system that rewards certain votes over others.
comments (8) permalink

Democrats Lose In The Mechanics, Not The Vote

Category: Voting
Posted: 11/13/16 16:32

by Dave Mindeman

I want you to listen up for a moment.

Amidst all of the recriminations going on out there, I think there is something we should clearly understand about how the mechanism of this Republic works that Democrats continue to get beat at.

It isn't about a candidate or ideology or issues or even messaging. It is about mechanics.

Here are some facts. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Democratic Congressional candidates got more national votes than Republicans. The Senate Republican numbers have achieved a more solid base than the Democrats, but not in popular vote.

In a democracy the majority is supposed to rule right? Yet, that is not the case in this country because we have a republic, not a true democracy.

And while Democrats fight their internal pissing fights and argue about the right candidate or the right message or ideological purity, the Republicans ignore their electoral disadvantage and seize the reigns of power with mechanics.

Republicans control the Presidency, the Congressional House, and the US Senate.

And the bigger key is that Republicans control this:

State Governments

26 Complete control Republican state governments
6 Complete control Democratic state government
6 Dem Governor with Republican controlled legislatures
7 Republican Governor with Dem controlled legislatures
1 Independent Governor with Republican controlled leg (Alaska)
1 Republican Governor with Split legislature
3 Democratic Governor with Split legislature

Secretary of State in the States (controls voting mechanisms)

27 Republican Sec of State
20 Democratic Sec of State
3 Have duties in other positions.

Strict Photo ID requirement

New Hampshire

Strict ID requirement (but other than photo ID accepted)


Note: North Carolina would have had such a law, but it was struck down by the courts.

This year several Republican controlled states were able to put restrictions on early voting, decrease the number of polling places, and control the locations.

Also, several states purged the voter rolls prior to the election with little time to contest the voter's removal.

It's the mechanics of government, the details of operating an election that Democrats have ignored.

Local races that lead to control of state legislatures are so important. And Democrats who continue to sit at home during mid-term elections are putting more and more power in the hands of Republicans.

And that power comes with a minority of actual votes.

Complaining about it and getting mad about it does absolutely no good. You can try to argue that leadership is at fault, you can argue about the wrong candidate on the ballot. You can argue about not being progressive enough or a lack of issue focus.

Truth is, none of that matters. We can have the majority of votes for years to come, but until we pay attention to the mechanical details, we will always be losing where it counts.
comments (0) permalink

August 9th Primary - Lots Of Underlying Issues Surface

Category: Voting
Posted: 08/04/16 16:03, Edited: 08/04/16 18:48

by Dave Mindeman

Next Tuesday is our Minnesota Primary. There are a number of interesting races going on and MinnPost outlines a few of them.

Kurt Daudt has one that has been high profile. I think he should win fairly easily, but if the margin is at all close, it might affect negotiations for a special session.

Daudt looks like a guy who wants to run for governor. And in order to do that he has to placate a Tea Party base that is looking for fights. The Trump phenomena also complicates these elections. If Daudt is feeling even the slightest bit uncomfortable with all that, we could see some obstruction on how we get things done at the Capitol.

Senator Sean Nienow has a bit of a similar problem. His disastrous financial disclosure led a loss of his endorsement from his Senate district and the need to win in a primary. That is kind of an unknown a present.

Rep. Tom Hackbarth, on the other side of Daudt's district, also lost his endorsement to some rowdy local activists and after serving for years, needs to run in a primary as well.

In the Democratic Party there are some primary races that indicate a surge in racial representation. Phyllis Kahn is in the race of her life against two very good Somali-American opponents. Rep. Rena Moran is being challenged by a Black Lives Matter activist who feels she has not been forceful enough in her representation. Billy Joe Champion has received a similar challenge for the same reason, although the challenger didn't come out of BLM.

There are a lot of things roiling under the surface. Next Tuesday we will start to sort them out.


P.S. Remember to vote for Natalie Hudson on the Judges ballot.
comments (0) permalink
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