Voter fraud v. Voter intimidation (hint one of the two does not exist)
Despite all the false hoopla about voter fraud, it's (minority) voter intimidation that is really running rampant
The tea party have decided to go overt with their covert campaign against minorities. Backed largely by wealthy Republican operatives, several tea parties in contentious political battles today have sent out “guards” to patrol polling places to prevent voter fraud. Former House majority leader Dick Armey, who now heads the tea party funder Freedom Works, said falsely on Fox News that Democratic voting was up during early voting — because that’s when it’s easier to commit voter fraud. However, law enforcement statistics, reports from election officials and all the available research indicate that voter fraud is practically nonexistent. Where are these “poll watchers” being deployed? Minority communities. Who are the deploying? Tea party folks, largely white men. Who are they singling out? People, who they believe, don’t look like citizens. It’s already been reported in Houston that these “poll watchers” have reportedly been interfering with voters, following them as they vote and confronting them. If this happened, it is in direct violation of state law. But where is the outcry? Back during the presidential election one group, not affiliated with any recognized political party of movement, the New Black Panther party allegedly did the same. That one case has worked its way to the highest parts of federal government for a massive inquiry. But now, with the perpetrators white and the victims white? Not so much.
Emotions are running high this election, ripe ground for more baseless charges of voter fraud.
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One group in Michigan, Election Integrity Watch, is even offering a $500 bounty to anyone who provides tips about fraud -- providing a financial incentive for these so-called conservative activists to take things too far. Mark Kirk, the candidate in Illinois, was caught talking about a massive “voter fraud” campaign in minority communities in Chicago. In Boston a tea party person specifically mentioned Asians who trying to vote with their utility bills. Even McDonald’s has apparently jumped on the voter intimidation band wagon -- not necessarily the international corporation but at least one franchise owner. Employees at a Canton, Ohio McDonalds were apparently told they better vote Republican or they would not receive raises or benefits. The note ends with a list of candidates McDonald's believes "will help our business move forward." It names Republicans John Kasich for governor, Rob Portman for Senate, and Jim Renacci for Congress. With the letter was a biography of Renacci. "The handbill endorses candidates who have in essence pledged to roll back the minimum wage and eviscerate the safety net that protects the most vulnerable members of our workforce," said Attorney Allen Schulman of Canton law firm Schulman Zimmerman & Associates, which received the documents from an employer who stepped forward. "But it's more than that. When a corporation like McDonald's intimidates its employees into voting a specific way, it violates both state and federal election law. Are there charges pending in this case? Has Glenn Beck demanded that Eric Holder resign because he has not prosecuted this employer? Back in May Rand Paul supporters were also accused of voter intimidation. In Laurel County, someone claiming to represent the Paul campaign asked to "inspect" voting machines after polls opened. In Jackson County, there are reports that Paul supporters were harassing people who didn't say they voted for Paul. In Topeka, Ks, there have also been reported voter intimidation. There the Attorney General is currently investigating reports that voters received calls over the weekend reminding voters to“bring their voter registration card” and proof of homeownership to the polls on “Nov. 3” The Kansas Democratic Party said the calls came from a “robo-call from an as yet named Republican organization.” The calls apparently went out statewide. To be clear, the election is actually on Nov. 2 and you do not have to be a homeowner to vote. On election day, tea partiers were also allegedly intimidating black college students in South Carolina. Tea party-backed candidate Christine O'Donnell apparently has some supporters who were also (allegedly) intimidated voters at the polls. What else? A reported 90,000 black voters erroneously reclassified as ex-felons and therefore ineligible to vote in Florida. Think about Tom Tancredo’s infamous call for restoring a Jim Crow-era literacy test before voting. Or how about this, there’s a group of Arizona Sheriffs openly supporting a campaign called “Stop Latinos from stealing the vote.”
Voter fraud is a just a made up justification to actively engage in voter intimidation. There is no statistical proof that voter fraud exist, but there is a dearth of evidence that voter intimidation does and continues to be pervasive in minority communities. This year, it has gotten worse due to the vigilante nature of the tea party movement.