by Darryl, 12/19/2013, 12:00 PM

FAUX News’ Eric Shawn engages in a bit of fraud about voter fraud yesterday in an article headlined Non-citizens caught voting in 2012 presidential election in key swing state.

The article points out that Ohio’s SOS found that “17 non-citizens illegally cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election,” and then claims that “[t]he alleged crime would be a notable case of voter fraud in a key swing state.”

Oooohhh…17 votes in a key swing state! That must be bad.

Or not. First, calling isolated cases of illegal votes by individuals “voter fraud” is bullshit.

The term “fraud” suggests an illegal act designed to ensure a particular election result. An individual has almost no chance of ever changing the outcome of an election with an illegal vote. Doing so requires: (1) a perfect 50-50 “legitimate” election outcome, (2) casting an illegal (and, therefore, decisive) vote, and (3) not getting caught. The first is exceedingly unlikely in any election, the last becomes decreasingly likely as the outcome approaches a tie—because of recounts and the scrutiny that comes with legal challenges to a close election.

The term “election fraud” should be limited to cases where multiple illegal votes are cast, and unless it is an election official manipulating the election machinery, election fraud by illegal votes would typically require cooperation among a fairly large group of people. With a large enough conspiracy, an election could, potentially, be swayed—but the chances of the conspiracy being uncovered also goes up with the number of people involved.

The FAUX News article goes on to state, “President Obama beat Mitt Romney in Ohio by just 2 percentage points in November 2012.” Oh. My. God. Clearly, those 17 votes were important.

Slate’s David Weigel points out the REAL fraud going on here:

Did you catch that, how Shawn pivoted from the number of total votes to the percentage of votes? Why would he do that? Without reading his mind, I’d guess it’s because the actual Ohio margin between Obama and Romney last year was 166,272 votes, and Shawn wants to keep his readers as ignorant as posssible. Seventeen votes represents 0.0003 percent of the total of ballots cast for either Obama or Romney in the state, and 0.01 percent of the margin.

Reporters who are brighter and less dishonest than Shawn have come away from the Husted data with a different take. There was, according to [Ohio SOS Jon] Husted, no plot to steal votes or fake votes in the 2012 election. The noncitizens who voted had driver’s licenses, so basic voter ID laws wouldn’t have stopped them.

The voter fraud illusion continues with a favorite slight of hand used by the voter fraud alarmists: a switch away from illegal or fraudulent votes to messiness in the voter rolls.

Husted also found that 274 non-citizens remain on the voting rolls.

As part of Ohio’s efforts to clean up the voting rolls, election officials discovered that more than 257,000 dead people were still listed as active voters.

In addition, election authorities note they have drastically reduced the number of duplicate registrations, from 340,000 in 2011 to just four this past November — and that more than 370,000 Ohio voters who have moved have been contacted to update their voting information.

It doesn’t seem like much of a conspiracy that 257,000 dead people have failed to remove themselves from the voter rolls. What about the duplicate registrations and the ones where voters have moved and not updated their registration?

Here is a relevant anecdote. Some of you may remember “Mr. Cynical” who dumped his little nuggets of wisdom in the HA comment threads for many years. Mr. Cynical was deeply “concerned” about voter fraud in Washington. I know who Mr. Cynical is and where he used to live in Washington state. Even two years ago—several years after he moved out of state—Mr. Cynical was still listed on the voter roll in the Washington county in which he no longer resided. Apparently HA’s own voter fraud concern troll was engaging in a little election FRAUD!!!11!1!!

Or maybe not. I used to check his registration periodically to see if he actually voted. He didn’t. It seems he simply forgot to cancel his registration in Washington until he became an “inactive voter” and was eventually purged.

I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of those duplicate and “moved” registrations result from the “nefarious” act of people forgetting to cancel their registration when moving.

If only there was some way of automating the process of transferring voter registration for voters who move. In fact, there is.

The National Voter Registration Act, enacted in 1993, has a provision that requires state’s license registration agencies to forward license address changes to county election boards in order to keep their voter roles clean. So, at least, moves within the state should be cleaned quickly.

Ohio was a bit sluggish in compliance with the law:

This month [May, 2013], the [Ohio] secretary of state’s office began distributing change of address information from driving records to county boards of elections at least twice a week. That information can then be used by the county boards to update addresses for registered voters.

Effectively sharing that data is a component of the voter registration act. Despite being law since 1993, Ohio was not in compliance with that requirement.

Much of the messiness in the Ohio voter roles is a consequence of taking 20 years to comply with the National Voter Registration Act.

Rather than pointing this out, FAUX News uses the numbers to insinuate a sense of chaos in our electoral process. To my mind, that make them co-conspirators in Karl Rove’s voter fraud fraud.

20 Responses to “FAUX News and voter fraud fraud”

1. Pete spews:

And of course, the National Voter Registration Act was enacted under a Democratic president, and not enforced in Ohio for years under a succession of Republican governors. So there’s that.

2. Deathfrogg spews:

Bear in mind that Ohio was the State that pretty much handed the 2004 election over to George dubbya Bush by a little over 11,000 votes, while excluding military votes, student votes and provisional ballots. When the Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell refused to allow those military votes to be counted and he refused to allow the Diebold voting computers that were used across the State to be audited, nothing was done except a lawsuit filed by the FEC against the State of Ohio and the Secretary’s office.

When he was ordered by the Court to archive the data and the ballots and preserve them for a future audit, Blackwell instead ordered all the ballots to be destroyed and the computer data be erased in direct violation of Federal law. Nothing was done about that, and he resigned a year or so after that, with a fat taxpayer supported pension well into six figures.

A true Fascist hero.

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

“slight of hand”

Do you mean sleight of hand?

4. Roger Rabbit spews:

Speaking of fraud, kudos for the federal bankruptcy judge who’s refusing to let Detroit’s GOP-appointed bankruptcy administrator get away with just-disclosed secret deals favoring banks at the expense of pensioners.

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

Faux is a propaganda organ of the Republican Party, not a legitimate news outlet, so why should anyone expect honest reporting from them? But someone has to debunk their bullshit, otherwise it might be taken seriously by gullible ignorati, and Darryl
is doing yeoman’s work here.

6. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 Bush “won” both of his elections by a single state with serious shenanigans in the decisive state both times. Unlike looney birther claims, there is merit to claims that Bush was an unelected and illegitimate president. I don’t know if we should forgive Kerry for giving the GOP a pass on their Ohio shenanigans. That still bothers me.

7. Deathfrogg spews:

@ 6 RR

My folks had expressed the same sentiment at the time. They thought for sure that Gee, DUBBYA! had stolen the election as he had in Florida in 2000. There was way too much shenanigans going on during the counts in several States and the news broadcasting that was going on at the time.

I have a theory about that. It is, that the Democrats ran Kerry because he was a rather weak candidate and they knew that shit was going to hit the fan with the banks, probably long before anyone else knew it. As it is not impossible to see that, in the light of the massive Gerrymandering that had just happened in Texas and the other old slave States, they would also be looking at the polls for congressional races at the same time. It would likely follow that the Democrats saw no purpose in trying to gain the White House for all the bullshit the GOP had gotten the Nation into.

As Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” You saw that during the last round of Presidential debates; “Please continue, Governor.” While Mittens was telling a baldfaced lie with a completely straight face on national television, for everyone to see.

8. Roger Rabbit spews:

@7 I can’t visualize any Democratic strategist knowingly throwing an election to the likes of Bush. I don’t think there was any intention of picking a losing candidate to run against him. In fact, Kerry damn near won despite the theft of Ohio’s electoral votes.

9. Puddybud - Back to the Original! spews:

[Deleted -- see HA Comment Policy]

10. Puddybud - Back to the Original! spews:

Still looking for that Ohio Military Vote Supression… And OWS RACIST Fraggy don’t offer left wrong sites. And it seems your left wrong sites don’t want to discuss the reality of the Courts when they go against their putrid lawsuits!

A federal appeals court ruled Saturday that provisional ballots Ohio voters cast outside their own precincts should not be counted, throwing out a lower-court decision that said such ballots are valid as long as they are cast in the correct county.

The ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals supports an order issued by Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. Democrats contend the Republican official’s rules are too restrictive and allege they are intended to suppress the vote.

Sux to be a racist like Fraggy!

11. Ten Years After - Roger Rabbit is just a liberal progressive troll. spews:

Look on the bright side, liberal progressive trolls: you still have MSNBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and many others who are absolutely supportive of the entire progressive agenda and are aiding you mightily. That’s something good to think about!

12. Roger Rabbit spews:

Democrats don’t need to steal elections, given Republicans’ talent for offending voting blocs en masse.

Roger Rabbit Commentary: This is what I don’t understand. The First Rule of Politics is, “Never piss off someone unless you get votes by doing it.” But Republicans seem to do it gratuitously. Maybe what’s going on here is their grip on their own base is so shaky they have to say shit like this to hang onto the few voters they have left. Otherwise, Jindal looks like he’s being an asshole just to show everybody he’s an asshole, for whatever purpose that’s supposed to accomplish.

13. SJ spews:

What Darryl misunderstands is that voting is a sacrament. When you vote without the blessing of the Registrar, you are as guilty as a Jew slipping up to the rail for a bite of the host.

I propose a solution … branding. Anyone caught with an illegal ballot should receive a Hackenkreutz burned into his or her forehead. No anesthesia allowed.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

@9 Oh my. Puddy was a bad boy!

16. Ekim spews:

11. Ten Years After – Roger Rabbit is just a liberal progressive troll. spews:

Look on the bright side, liberal progressive trolls…

Eh Ten,

You should really spend a moment to Google troll.

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

@16 “Ten Years After” thinks he’s a hockey stock but in fact he’s the puck.

I think this is the same idiot who smacked me down for posting that it’s easy to make 8% a year in the stock market.

As we approach the final trading days of 2013, the S&P is closing in on +30% for the year. I don’t want to post how obscenely well I did this year, because if you’re still working for wages, it’d make you weep.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

The rich own most of the stock (gasp! I’m shocked), and they’re making so fucking much money, if we raise their taxes they probably won’t even notice.

But even without a tax increase, when investors start taking profits after Jan. 1 and filing quarterly taxes and paying capital gains taxes in late March, so much fucking much money will flood into the IRS the deficit will almost disappear.

Then wingnuts will have to find something else to whiiiiine about.

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

Wingnut World is falling apart. We didn’t adopt austerity. We didn’t return to the gold standard. We didn’t choke off Federal Reserve “money printing.” We not only bailed out banks, we bailed out auto and insurance companies, too!

And it’s working! Unemployment is coming down. Deficits are disappearing. GDP growth is accelerating. Stocks, housing, and car sales are booming. People are going back to work. Wages are still depressed, but consumer spending is picking up anyway. And there’s no inflation!

Not only that, but despite Obamacare and the socialist takeover of America, investors are getting rich, Manhattan penthouses and expensive art are selling for record prices, personal jet makers have backlogs again, and oil is flowing like honey out of American rocks.

About the only assets that aren’t appreciating are guns, ammo, survival food, and gold.

It sucks to be a Randian.

20. No Time for Fascists spews:

@19. Not only that, but every austerity scheme we do implement, like cutting military pensions or ending unemployment insurance extensions or cutting food stamps for poor people is linked to republicans.
Hungry? thank a republican
Homeless? thank a republican
Working at 70? thank a republican