Sorry, I can't tell you who is cheating right now and where, though if news reports are any guide, we all have good reason to suspect voter fraud has once again reared its corrupt little head in election 2012.
In preparation for the days ahead, when this election is over and we again turn our attention to the best way to design election procedures to keep them fair and fraud-free, allow me to strongly recommend one of the more informative and valuable books of 2012, "Who's Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk," by John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky.
Chapter seven, on corruption in the Justice Department, is worth more than the purchase price by itself, but there's plenty in every chapter to keep the reader saying "wow."
Some things I learned from "Who's Counting," especially about the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota that seated Al Franken, without whom ObamaCare would not have passed the Senate:
- The "highest levels" of concern about voter fraud come from three groups: Africans-Americans, conservatives, and people earning less than $20,000 a year.
- To vote in Mexico, a Mexican citizen "must present a photo, write a signature, and give a thumbprint. To guard against tampering, the voter card includes a picture with a hologram covering it, a magnetic strip, and a serial number. To cast a ballot, voters must present the card and be certified by a thumbprint scanner."
- Voter fraud in Illinois in the 1960 presidential election was not limited to supporters of Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy. Says the book, "Earl Mazo, the journalist who exhaustively documented the election fraud in Richard Daley's Chicago that may have handed Illinois to John F. Kennedy in the photo-finish 1960 election, says there was 'definitely fraud' in downstate Republican counties, 'but they didn't have the votes to counterbalance Chicago.'"
- Says "Who's Counting," "Minnesota Majority, a conservative watchdog group, has come up with compelling evidence that at least 1,099 ineligible felons voted illegally" when challenger and now-Senator Al Franken (D-MN) ran against incumbent Senator Norman Coleman (R-MN) in 2008. That's more than three times the victory margin Franken eventually achieved through litigation."
- The 2008 Senate race in Minnestota was open to voters who were dead (but still voted), mentally-incapacited voters (who still voted), non-citizens (who still voted), voters with non-existent addresses (who still voted) and nearly 2,000 people under 18 (who still voted).
- In Minnesota's 2008 Senate race, "several thousand" voters over age 108 voted -- coming late to their citizenship responsibilities, apparently, as none of them registered to vote before they were 90.
- Minnesota's election board creatively applied the rules when counting the ballots: "It has been reported that on some ballots where voters had completely filled in the oval for Coleman and then put an 'x' through the oval, the board determined that there was no vote for Coleman. On other ballots where the exact same type of markings were made for Franken, the board determined that they were valid votes for Franken." The book cites other, equally brazen, examples.
- Illinois and Minnesota aren't alone. Says "Who's Counting," "In April 2012, the Richmond Times-Dispatch printed a remarkable editorial that began: 'We'd like our helping of crow medium rare, please.'" It acknowledged that it had recently trashed a bill in the Virginia legislature requiring ID at the polls as "a solution in search of a problem,' while there was "not even apocryphal evidence" supporting the sponsors of the bill. 'Oops,' it went on to say, noting that a Richmond grand jury had indicted 10 convicted felons of lying on voter registration forms."
- And then there's Pennsylvania. The book says, "MSNBC's Chris Matthews [is] a former Tip O'Neill staffer and reliable liberal cheerleader in most circumstances. When the topic came up on Hardball, Matthews admitted that this type of impersonation fraud has 'gone on since the Fifties.' He explained the scheme: Someone calls to enquire whether you voted or are going to vote, and 'then all of a sudden somebody does come and vote for you.' Matthews says this is an old strategy in big-city politics: 'I know all about it in North Philly - it's what went on, and I believe it still goes on.'"
Anyone watching the news today knows Philadelphia, for example, still has some explaining to do.
There's lots more in this book that all voters need to know. Read it and be part of the informed discussion moving forward about how we stamp out voter fraud.