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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


What are they going to complain about now?
The nearly yearlong investigation into voter fraud in 2004 has yielded no evidence of a broad conspiracy to try to steal an election, [Republican-appointed] U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic said Monday. He predicted that perhaps "a couple of dozen" isolated cases of suspected fraud might be charged, and he said that sloppy recordkeeping by election officials was a key impediment to proving such cases.

Nothing in the cases that his office has examined has shown a plot to try to tip an election, Biskupic said during a meeting with Journal Sentinel editors and reporters. Critics had raised such fears of partisan voter fraud schemes in the election aftermath. But Biskupic said, "I wouldn't say that at all."

He said, "We don't see a massive conspiracy to alter the election in Milwaukee, one way or another."
I said all along, I'm plugged in enough to the liberal activist community here in Wisconsin that I at least would have heard whispers about an orgainzed effort if there were one. There was not.

In fact, the only organized effort I've seen at all to create massive shifts in the outcome of Milwaukee's elections is the effort by Wisconsin Republicans to institute a draconian voter ID requirement. While that would not legally be fraud, I think it is plainly indicative of the difference in attitude toward elections and voting between the two parties. Democrats want higher voter turnout and greater participation in the franchise; Republicans want restrictions and impediments to such exercise. Republicans have used as their justification for such undemocratic desires the mess that was Milwaukee's 2004 election--a mess which is now clearly proven to have been clerical, not fraudulent. Besides, voter ID would probably have stopped not one of the 18 cases of fraud charged, cases of felons voting (the ID is not stamped "Felon"), double-voting (a fake ID or lax pollworker still leaves that possible--and 0 for 4 on convictions, anyway), and registration fraud (in which no one even voted improperly).

Perhaps this stickpin of reality is not enough to burst the Republican politicians' and bloggers' bubble of belief in Democratic malfeasance, but it should be enough to remind the general public who the alarmists are, and who is really trying to protect your vote.

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