There’s a far better way to get into politics than simply delivering bundles of contributions – and that’s delivering the votes themselves. In a best of east meets west type story, a young desi precinct captain has been accused of facilitating the absentee votes of some older brownz to the benefit of Alderman Bernard Stone. [Thanks Taz!]
A ward superintendent handpicked by the City Council’s 80-year-old elder statesman, Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), was arrested Monday and charged–along with another man–with improperly steering primarily Indian and Pakistani voters toward absentee ballots for Stone.
Anish Eapen, a 37-year-old employee of the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation, “would target different people–primarily Indian and Pakistani voters–and suggest that they take absentee ballots. They would give them reasons why they should be taking absentee ballots–not necessarily valid reasons. They would be present when they filled out the application for the absentee ballot and, in some instances, they would bring the absentee ballot back to the people to vote.” [Link]
p>This, by the way, is utter genius. It’s like a supervillain team-up cooked up by some stoned teenagers. What would happen if we took the democratic cultures best at cooking elections, and combined them in a superteam? Oooooh, ooooh, and we did it at the same time as laws were making fraud easier around the country!
p>You see – while in-person voting has become harder to do, squeezing out the elderly and the poor who might not have drivers licenses, absentee balloting has become easier and more common, even though it is the source of much more fraud.
p>This is from an op-ed written five years ago in that leftist rag, the Wall Street journal:
Making voting easy is desirable, but only if legitimate voters don’t have their civil right cancelled out by those who shouldn’t vote. In 1980, only about 5% of voters nationwide cast absentee or early ballots. Now nearly 20% do. “Absentee voting is the preferred choice of those who commit voter fraud,” says Larry Sabato, a professor at the University of Virginia…Eric Mountain of the Dallas County district attorney’s office says some campaigns have paid vote brokers $10 to $15 a ballot. Many seniors are visited at home and persuaded to have someone mark an absentee ballot for them. Others have absentee ballots stolen from their mailboxes. [Link]
p>Laws since this op-ed piece have moved to combat vote fraud, but only in-person vote fraud. In 2006, GA passed a law (that was later struck down) demanding a photo ID from all in-person voters:
Perdue and other proponents of the law said it is needed to curtail fraud. They cited an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that said 5,000 dead people were listed as having voted in the eight elections preceding 2000. But the fraud happened primarily in absentee balloting, Barnes said. Under the new law, absentee voters are not required to show identification. [Link]
So why don’t legislators concerned with voter fraud try to make absentee voting more secure? It might have something to do with the fact that these are largely Republican legislators and absentee ballots favor many Republican groups while those discouraged from in-person voting by restrictions are traditional democratic voters. I honestly can’t think of another reason why the legislative response to growing absentee voter fraud is to make other forms of voting harder while doing nothing about fraudulent absentee ballots. It just doesn’t make sense unless you factor partisanship into it.