Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Long lines, yes; widespread fraud, no

By
From page A6 | November 08, 2012 |

The issue: Election fears turn out to be unfounded

It was an article of faith in the George W. Bush administration and among its congressional allies that voter fraud, presumably in aid of Democrats, was widespread.

DESPITE A FIVE-YEAR investigation and the firing of eight U.S. attorneys for showing insufficient zeal in pursuit of that probe, little or no evidence of widespread, let alone systematic, voter fraud surfaced. While there were incidents of irregularities, they often turned out to be due to incompetence, confusing state regulations and underfunded election boards.

Many of these charges of fraud were made in anticipation of a close election, and the same thing has happened in this voting cycle where, in theory, a few hundred votes could hand the White House to one party or another.

The operative phrase this time was “voter suppression” rather than fraud, the charge being that because Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was trailing badly among certain ethnic and racial groups, his electoral chances would be helped immensely if large numbers of people in those groups could be prevented from voting through onerous voter-ID laws or tricked or frightened into staying home.

For example, a billboard in Cleveland in a predominantly black, low-income neighborhood warned of jail terms and fines for voter fraud. Robocalls in targeted neighborhoods maliciously informed voters that they didn’t have to vote Tuesday, but could wait until Wednesday or Thursday.

There were reports that black neighborhoods in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, all battleground states, had been receiving calls saying that the recipient of the call was eligible to vote by phone. Certain Florida Republicans were targeted with fraudulent letters on official-looking letterhead saying they had to provide proof of citizenship to vote.

AS ELECTION DAY wore on, there were accounts of a voting machine in central Pennsylvania that automatically recorded all presidential ballots cast, except curiously for one minor-party candidate, as a vote for Romney. That glitch was quickly corrected.

Reports of Black Panther intimidation of voters in a Philadelphia precinct, a rerun of a 2008 charge there, turned out to be overblown. And so far, fears of hacking into the computers that tabulate electronic voting have not proved out.

The most effective form of voter suppression — although the courts largely have blocked it — are laws demanding a special form of photo voter ID that is often difficult and inconvenient to obtain.

Allegations of voter fraud, however ill-founded, have resulted in both major parties deploying platoons of lawyers on standby to react instantly to any charges of irregularities.

That is not to say the election will not have its rough patches. Ohio has such a complicated process for counting challenged or irregular ballots that the outcome of a genuinely close election could be weeks in coming.

THE BIGGEST THREAT to a smoothly running election with quickly available and widely accepted results more likely will be bureaucracy than fraud.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Fire damages South Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    George Miller Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5