CBS News: Early voter fraud largely rhetoric, not reality

With all the talk of potential voter fraud coming from both parties, you’d think the whole thing was tainted. Well CBS News did a thorough study of 17 states by speaking with local election officials in several areas.

Here’s the report from CBS News:

To separate fact from fiction, CBS News conducted a detailed survey of 17 states that allow early voting – in person. What we found is that charges of widespread voter fraud or suppression are far more rhetoric than reality.

As of Friday, nearly 7 million people had voted early in those 17 states. CBS News made dozens of calls to top election officials, state party leaders from both sides, and watchdog groups, asking for clear cut examples of Americans being denied the right to vote, or voting improperly.

In virtually all of those 17 states the response was: No problems. No issues. No complaints.

“We’re taking aggressive action to stop suppression,” says Bob Bauer, general counsel for the Obama campaign.

“As yet, have you seen any evidence of people who wanted to vote, who were eligible to vote, that were turned away from voting?” Keteyian asked.

“No,” Bauer said.

In Ohio, Colorado and Florida political squabbles have sparked questions over the eligibility of hundreds of thousands of voters. Yet officials there could only point to a handful of people who were denied the right to vote or have committed voter fraud.

“It’s hard to put an actual number on voter fraud and say it’s ‘this big’ or ‘that big,'” says Brian Jones, an advisor to the McCain campaign on voter issues. “I think to just discount voting irregularities and say, ‘Well, it’s just a small number,’ is a very slippery slope.”

It’s a big part of an election battle that looks right now to be, little more than a high-stakes war of words.

The rhetoric, from both sides, has been heated whether it be about ACORN’s fraudulent registrations or claims that electronic voting machines are changing votes from Obama to McCain.

Sure, in such a large country with so many millions of votes, there will be some isolated issues. It seems that small, local stories usually seem bigger than they really are and local election officials, usually made up of a plurality of both parties, deal with and correct issues as they arise.

The only issue which seems to arise every year is long lines, sometimes people forced to wait hours to vote.

That being said, post any important stories you find the comments section and I’ll update this as warranted. Most vote fraud stories come out of local news outlets which is difficult for me to gather. I’ll rely on you loyal readers to alert us to stories from around the country if they arise.

  • Normally you have the blame game after the election, seems there’s a blame game using so-called ‘voter fraud’ before the election just in case whoever doesn’t win.

  • Nate

    I am sooooooo glad you posted this. I knew all of this was so minuscule. I remember reading somewhere that and average of 3 million votes end up not getting counted just because of the system. Now all you have to do is look some of the flaws in the system, count those small instances then misrepresent the errors as partisan in nature and you can have a made up voter fraud in your favor.

    Here’s the Acorn Director giving the numbers of the actual small number of errors.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAkRj6w-07Y

    And here is an Acorn Employee making the case that there is actually a REAL person who is registered to vote named MICKEY MOUSE!! LOL!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi5wvxSItxU

  • Babs

    The CBS story is interesting, but unless there’s more of it somewhere it’s useless. They don’t say who they talked to in any one instance or what state. The only quotes given are from the respective campaigns.

    I posted 2 other articles on another thread – one was locally in Mississippi where one county reported more voter registrations than there were citizens, and 486 people were registered that were over the age of 105 – in one country alone.

    These are the types of incidents that have already tainted this election, and history will make sad note of it.

    I heard on Fox News this morning there is a “whistle blower” from ACORN stepping up for interviews. Should be interesting.

  • Orion

    What people don’t seem to understand is that, in most states, ACORN is obliged to turn in every registration card that they receive. If they didn’t, they could root through them and only turn in the ones that served their interest. Would you like them to do that?

    Not only that, but they have a strict quality control procedure for the registration forms they submit to make it easier for the board of elections to weed out suspect forms. What more can they do?

    (http://tinyurl.com/acornregistration)

  • JD

    Babs – “486 people were registered that were over the age of 105”

    This does not mean they are going to vote. The problem is that Mississippi does not perge thier voter registrations well and so this kind of situation can occur.

    Your complaint should be with the state of Mississippi. Not to mention that they also don’t require ID to vote in some areas, I believe. That is a horrible way to run your elections in a state and I hope that the state fixes this as fast as they can.

    I don’t know if you have ever been to mississippi but they have some funny laws.

    Here are two of them.

    Vagrancy is punishable by either 30 days in prison or a $201 fine. -Sec. 97-35-37

    Cattle rustling is punishable by hanging.

  • There are stories, some of which we’ve reported on, from around the country which are blatant voter fraud. One example was the mentally challenged guy in George who had his vote stolen. Another was those machines in West Virginia which were allegedly switching votes, though it was resolved.

    The fear with the fraudulent ACORN registrations is more a fear that we really won’t know if there is voter fraud on Election Day and to what extent. I personally believe ACORN needs to be investigated simply for the fact that they have people turning in literally thousands of faulty applications clogging up county election boards trying to find the valid ones. The fear then is that some valid applications by ACORN may be tossed as well if there are any discrepancies.

    I think the bottom line is that registering people to vote 27 times by offering cigarettes and cash probably is a strategy ACORN should advise against for it’s volunteers, and it should take a more active role in fighting it.

    I can tell if you, if ACORN had stepped up, acknowledged the problem, then could show they were doing everything in their power to stop it, this wouldn’t be an issue. The problem is that their lawyer said that people are trying to suppress votes, he didn’t acknowledge all the faulty registrations. Plus, the same type of fraud is under investigation in 13 states, so it isn’t isolated by any means.

    The real fraud from ACORN’s registrations has more to do with their over-inflated numbers. They might claim they signed up 10,000 people to vote in a certain area, but how many are fraudulent, a few thousand? We don’t know but it screws with a lot of things.

    It’s not vote suppression when people want an honest election. Plus, the thing about it is that I know, or at least I hope, nobody here would consider being so dishonest as to knowingly register someone multiple times and turn it in without question. We shouldn’t expect anything less from ACORN volunteers.

    Where’s the integrity?

    And JD, watch yourself, I have heard rumors about your midnight cattle rustling and I am very close to alerting the Mississippi authorities.

  • JD

    In Texas Cattle Rustling is punishable by leathal injection. 🙂 No hangings for me.

    As for what you are saying Nate. I am not for voter fruad but The mississippi thing is not voter fraud. It is a problem in the Mississippi laws and the lack of purging they have done.

    Not saying that fruad isn’t occuring but the 486 registered 105 year olds are not newly registered… it is because they have not been purged from the registration system in Mississippi. ACORN has nothing to do with this paticular case of 105 year olds.

    So I guess we could say that the State of Mississippi is doing voter fruad but in reality this situation is just out dated laws that need to be updated.

    What is real scary is that in Mississippi “Combined with the fact that they don’t have voter ID in Mississippi, anybody can show up at any poll that happens to know the people who have left town or died — and go vote for them”

    This is a horrible state election laws.

  • Babs

    Nate, this came out today, testimony from an ACORN employee, I thought it was interesting.

    “HARRISBURG — A former staffer for an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now testified today that the organization was provided a “donor list” from the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in late 2007 for fundraising efforts.

    Anita Moncrief, a former Washington, D.C. staffer for Project Vote, which she described as a sister organization of ACORN, said her supervisor told her the list of campaign contributors came from the Obama campaign. Moncrief said she has a copy of a “development plan” that outlines how Obama contributors who had “maxed out” under federal contribution limits would be targeted to give to Project Vote, and that it was her job to identify such contributors.”

    She’s testifying in Va. during the voter fraud hearings there.

  • The sooner all parties from all states can sit down and work out a universal plan for voting the better.

  • I sure hope that we don’t have huge voter fraud this year. I’d like to see the choice go to the House, where there’s a chance of picking someone besides Obama or McCain.

    This election has been rigged and masterminded. But if the American people stand up and oppose the Republocrat Party, we have a chance at saving our nation. Our prayers are vital.

  • bdjnk

    Taken from http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-complete-guide-to-acorn-voter-fraud/

    “Here is a complete list of the ongoing investigations:

    North Carolina — State Board of Elections officials have found at least 100 voter registration forms with the same names over and over again. The forms were turned in by ACORN. Officials sent about 30 applications to the state Board of Elections for possible fraud investigation.

    Ohio — The New York Post reported that a Cleveland man said he was given cash and cigarettes by aggressive ACORN activists in exchange for registering an astonishing 72 times. The complaints have sparked an investigation by election officials into the organization, whose political wing has supported Barack Obama. Witnesses have already been subpoenaed to testify against the organization.

    Nevada — Authorities raided the headquarters of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now on Tuesday October 7, 2008, after a month-long investigation. The fraudulent voter registrations included the Dallas Cowboys starting line-up.

    Indiana — More than 2,000 voter registration forms filed in northern Indiana’s Lake County filled out by ACORN employees turned out to be bogus. Officials also stopped processing a stack of about 5,000 applications delivered just before the October 6 registration deadline after the first 2,100 turned out to be phony.

    Connecticut — Officials are looking into a complaint alleging ACORN submitted fraudulent voter registration cards in Bridgeport. In one instance, an official said a card was filled out for a 7-year-old girl, whose age was listed as 27. 8,000 cards were submitted in Bridgeport.

    Missouri — The Kansas City election board is reporting 100 duplicate applications and 280 with fake information. Acorn officials agreed that at least 4% of their registrations were bogus. Governor Matt Blunt condemned the attempts by ACORN to commit voter fraud.

    Pennsylvania — Officials are investigating suspicious or incomplete registration forms submitted by ACORN. 252,595 voter registrations were submitted in Philadelphia. Remarkably, 57,435 were rejected — most of them submitted by ACORN.

    Wisconsin — In Milwaukee ACORN improperly used felons as registration workers. Additionally, its workers are among 49 cases of bad registrations sent to authorities for possible charges, as first reported by the Journal Sentinel.

    Florida — The Pinellas County Elections supervisor says his office has received around 35 voter registrations that appear to be bogus. There is also a question of 30,000 felons who are registered illegally to vote. Their connections with ACORN are not yet clear.

    Texas — Of the 30,000 registration cards ACORN turned in, Harris County tax assessor Paul Bettencourt says just more than 20,000 are valid. And just look at some of the places ACORN was finding those voters. A church just next door is the address for around 150 people. More than 250 people claim a homeless outreach center as their home address. Some listed a county mental health facility as their home and one person even wrote down the Harris County jail at the sheriff’s office.

    Michigan — ACORN in Detroit is being investigated after several municipal clerks reported fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications coming through. The clerk interviewed said the fraud appears to be widespread.

    New Mexico – The Bernalillo County clerk has notified prosecutors that some 1,100 fraudulent voter registration cards were turned in by ACORN.”

    Seems like a big deal to me.

  • Babs

    You might also add to Ohio’s the number of Obama volunteers withdrawing their fraudulent votes in Ohio after being exposed by palestra.net:

    http://www.palestra.net/blogs/read/17979

  • Bill Hedges

    Babs–Don’t forget the ,,vote from home in Ohio,, group to. Can find on internet using that tittle

  • Babs

    Bill, the Vote from Home is one of the things that was exposed by palestra.net, so that’s on that link as well.