I love it when someone agrees with me. Is it great minds thinking alike or the answer being so obvious? -- Election fraud without the U.S. Supreme Ct.
You in a younger generation may not believe me about the dead voting, but you should. And the damnest thing that you didn't read in the title was that not only did the dead show up to vote, but somehow they worked it out among themselves so that they voted alphabetically.
This 8-22-04 post actually was a Part II to an earlier 8-03-04 post entitled "Bigger (and more) is not always better -- Early Voting."
This earlier post reviewed Georgia's new law allowing early voting based on an article by Dick Pettys, and concluded with something I think is worth repeating (in light of a New York Times article discussed below now discussing voter fraud, etc.). I noted in the 8-03-04 post:
Early voting -- sounds like a great idea doesn't it? It is in theory, but in practice it has the real possibility of becoming the bane of the election process.
As a kid growing up -- and with the rest of my Boy Scout troop -- during each election season I would work on Get Out the Vote campaigns with my mother who was a very active member of the League of Women Voters.
But having been involved in campaigns for years -- and what I am going to say is especially the case on local races -- absentee voting in Georgia has the potential and in many places is greatly abused. Twenty years ago I tried to no avail to get the ajc and former Attorney General Mike Bowers to review what was happening in Coffee County in the 1980's and take up the fight for me.
I know, it sounds a bit undemocratic; but in practice, 95% of it is legalized vote buying. By working absentee ballots, you can go into a primary or general election with a significant percentage of the vote already determined, and being that only some 30% vote anyway, the number that you need to turn out on election day becomes smaller. Again, this is mostly on the local level.
But now this ability to vote early is subject to the same abuse. I know many who voted during the week before the presidential preference primary and the week before July 20 did so for convenience and because they could, and this is what it was designed for. Absentee voting is for those who cannot vote on the applicable Tuesday.
But the Cynthia McKinney turnout in the week before July 20, as also happened in many local races this year, shows how the process can be abused. I hate to say it, but I predict that in large part this new way to cast our vote is going to come to reak of the same abuse as absentee voting in local elections.
But now the problem, or abuse, has gone from just being local to at least the congressional district (and hey, I know Ms. McKinney would have won anyway; she ran a controlled and effective campaign; her victory is not the issue).
(Lewis Massey and I are good friends, and when he was Secretary of State years ago, privately I used to give him hell for pushing the motor voter registration, etc. This is an entirely different issue, but if you don't care enough to go register, should you be allowed to register. Maybe so, maybe no, and another issue I admit.)
Bottom line -- as a Georgian I am not as interested in a high voter turnout as I am in an informed voter turnout.When people read my website and see my platform and where I stand on the issues, many conclude hey, he is a just a regular ole Democrat. Now you may see the moderate-to-conservative part.
In my 8-22-04 post I acknowledged that the above no doubt makes me swimming against the current in my thinking. But I also noted that a New York Times reviewed in the 8-24-04 made me feel a bit better about my rather caustic comments about the whole mess.
The New York Times article is best summarized in the thought that in the past Americans have come together as one on Election Day; now "[i]t's election month and a half."
Which led me to post the following question in my 8-24-04 post:
"Does the 8-22-04 N.Y. Times article vindicate my saying early voting has the real possibility of becoming the bane of the election process? Your call, but one thing is for sure, it is going to change things, and as suggested in the . . . article, probably not always for the best."
Well, a 9-13-04 article in the New York Times takes us closer to my expressed concern that although early and absentee voting might sound like great ideas in theory, in practice they have the real possibility of becoming the bane of the election process.
The summary of the story is "Officials are worried that the efforts of the political parties to promote absentee balloting could taint the general election," and the headline "Absentee Votes Worry Officials as Nov. 2 Nears."
As both major political parties intensify their efforts to promote absentee balloting as a way to lock up votes in the presidential race, election officials say they are struggling to cope with coercive tactics and fraudulent vote-gathering involving absentee ballots that have undermined local races across the country.
Some of those officials say they are worried that the brashness of the schemes and the extent to which critical swing states have allowed party operatives to involve themselves in absentee voting - from handling ballot applications to helping voters fill out their ballots - could taint the general election in November.
The increasing popularity of absentee voting is reshaping how and when the country votes. Since the last presidential election, a growing number of election officials and party operatives have been promoting absentee balloting as a way to make it easier for people to vote and alleviate the crush of Election Day. At least 26 states now let residents cast absentee ballots without needing the traditional excuse of not being able to make it to polling places. That is six more states than allowed the practice in 2000.
As a result, as many as one in four Americans are expected to vote by absentee ballot in the presidential race, a process that begins today, nearly two months before Election Day, as North Carolina becomes the first state to distribute ballots.
But some experts say that concerns about a repeat in problems with voting machines is overshadowing the more pressing issue of absentee ballot fraud.
Some operatives boast that this absentee electioneering lets them avoid the century-old anti-fraud rules that force them to stay out of polling places. But while acknowledging the value of legitimate get-out-the-vote campaigns, election officials say absentee voting is inherently more prone to fraud than voting in person since it has no direct oversight.
"Loosening the absentee balloting process, while maybe well intentioned, has some serious consequences for both local races and the general election," . . .
Campaign workers "tend to target people who are elderly, infirm, low-income, non-English-speaking," Mr. Garfield said. "So there is a psychology of almost fear and intimidation.''
"Absentee voting is one of the most abused things in the state [of West Virginia]," Mr. Slone said in an interview. And while it mostly surfaces in local elections, he said, the same culprits may be turning out votes in national races, too.