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Who’s Really Committing Voter Fraud? (Video)

Who’s Really Committing Voter Fraud? (Video)

The conviction of a Republican operative has thrown the spotlight onto who is really committing voter fraud in the US.

Right-wing news outlets have been claiming for years that liberal groups such as ACORN are behind ‘massive’ voter fraud operations. Despite investigations by the Justice Department only showing a tiny number of proven cases (86) over the past decade, Republican legislators in twelve states have passed legislation, on the basis of supposed fraud, restricting voting.

Paul Schurick, an aide to former Maryland Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., was convicted last week of attempted voter suppression.

During the 2006 gubernatorial election, Schurick tried to use robocalls to suppress the black vote. 112,000 voters were called a few hours before polls had closed in Baltimore and Prince George’s County. The recorded message told African American residents to “relax” because Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) had already won the race.

Wrote York Van Nixon III:

The conviction … reminds those old enough to remember [of] the days when African Americans were required to count the number of jelly beans in a jar before they were given a ballot.

The Washington Post’s Robert McCartney points out that this was not a minor official — Schurick was Ehrlich Jr.’s campaign manager in the 2010 race and had been his communications director for the four years that he was governor.

Will Crossly, Director of Voter Protection for the Democratic National Committee, told MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton that the Schurick case was not an isolated example of Republican voter suppression:

“Oh, there’s no question, we saw other efforts in 2010″ he said. “We’ve seen the misinformation campaigns. We’ve also seen voter caging, a process in which they send out post cards to people. If you don’t return the postcard, then they question your residency and add you to a list when you show up at the polls, question whether or not you’re actually qualified to vote. That happened in 1982 in New Jersey. We’ve seen it in Louisiana, 1987. We’ve seen it 1990 in North Carolina. We prosecuted 2004 in Ohio as well as in 2008 in the state of Michigan.”

“They created these lists from people’s names who had been placed on foreclosure and challenged their residency. We went to court over that as well. and so the important thing, we want voters to know that we were watching in the past this verdict today and will continue to watch in the future for these kinds of activities.”

Democrats claim that there is a coordinated voter suppression effort behind the state laws. They point to the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council – funded in part by David and Charles Koch. Last week they held hearings in Congress.

Congress heard from retired Tennessee teacher Lee Campbell and his wife who said they had to fight for their right to a promised free photo ID under a Republican law demanding ID in order to vote. He went to Capitol Hill to complain about what he called a “poll tax” after the DMV tried to charge him $8.

He told the panel about how he and his wife had “experienced first-hand the harmful impact of all these voting changes that are springing up across America.”

Bill Clinton told a group of student activists in July:

One of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time.

Why is all of this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate.

The Justice Department has come under pressure to investigate whether the new state laws violate the Voting Rights Act.

The department has found that Texas’s new redistricting maps for the state house and US House of Representatives are illegal and it is investigating Texas and South Carolina.

In Ohio, it looks likely that voters will toss out a law that shortens the state’s early voting period, bans in-person early voting on Sundays and prohibits boards of election from mailing absentee ballot requests to voters.

A study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s Law School found that over five million voters – most of them black, young or elderly – could be denied the right to vote next year under the new state voting laws.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Related stories:

Allegations Of Voter Fraud, Just In Time For November

NAACP Takes ‘Vicious’ Voter Suppression to UN (Video)

Ohio Set To Reject Anti-Voter Bill

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116 comments

+ add your own
6:59AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

@Martha E.;@Judith H.;James C.: AGREED!! SHAME ON THESE RACIST REPUGNICAN PIGS!!

7:03PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

As we go into another election cycle, I am very concerned about voter suppression. Of course it will effect my Democratic Party. But on the higher issue of ethics, it just sickens me, that the basic American right to vote, should be suppressed, so cavalierly by the repubs, as if the only thing that matters is who wins, rather than the idea of one person, one vote. It gets harder and harder to endure the meanness that pervades America today.

11:38AM PST on Jan 2, 2012

Thank God President Obama asked the Justice Dept to get involved as they've the authority to address this legally. I hope that there are inroads being made in my State, Florida. I moved her over 20 years ago from the northeastern U.S. It was like going back in time. I still have never seen so few even registered to vote, including Veterans and African-Americans. It was an exciting time when the Obama campaign was going on and the numbers of registered voters sky-rocketed! Yet I worry that many of those same voters have lost hope just watching and accepting the sad and often slanted facts as they are detailed daily on the tube. Heck, somehow "we" voted in a Republican Governor whom the online encyclopedia states in his biography, is historically the recipient of the largest ever Medicare fraud settlement in the U.S. (his job history prior to politics is working in the medical field, from which he's independently wealthy)....huh? Help! Anyone who wants to get involved, the weather's pretty nice down here.

7:18PM PST on Dec 19, 2011

Showing an ID does nothing to stop the corrupt polititians they will always find a way to cheat.In the state I live in we have the most lax way of checking for voter fraud in the country we have to allow town workers to count the city counsel votes and when the state wants to borrow on a bond issue it always passes like we all said ok.I have long thought something was wrong considering we have local polititians who have been in office over 25 years no matter how bad the states been in troubles.

12:54AM PST on Dec 17, 2011

@Redgie H.:

It's even better that we are so polar opposite, but yet agree on this subject. That means that people from "both sides of the fence" and multiple perspectives realize that we need to fix our system. We need an overhaul. Only if we can work together, regardless of our differences, can we truly expect to change anything. Will we agree on how? Probably not, but that's the value of compromise.

I'm in touch with my federal and state congressmen nearly every day. I hope all of you are, too. We need to ensure that they realize that we ARE watching, that we ARE caring, and that we WILL remember. They need to know how we feel about the important issues and they need to feel the pressure and know that failure to act will mean their failure when they seek re-election.

Whether you agree with my opinions or not, everyone has to agree with this: we ALL deserve representation, but we're not going to get it unless we make our voices heard.

10:50PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

Jason, finally something we agree on 100%!

10:56AM PST on Dec 16, 2011

@Jane B.:

It truly doesn't matter what party it is. Democrats and Republicans alike have used lying, cheating, fraudulent activities to gain office, keep office, and just appease their constituency. Our 2-party system has failed us from both sides of the fence. We are unrepresented in violation of the Founding Father's vision for America. We need true, honest change -- not the "lip service" given by Obama's campaign in 2008 and not the complete backwards thinking "change" that Republican candidates are offering if elected in 2012.

I can honestly say that I have no idea how this is going to get fixed. We've been complacent for so long. We've been party-centric for so long. We've been hating on each other because our politicians have turned us against each other for so long. How can we expect our politicians to compromise and work cross-party if we can't even do it ourselves?

Those of you who hate Republicans just because they are Republicans and those of you who hate Democrats just because they are Democrats - YOU are what's wrong with America. YOU'RE unwillingness to work together is what has kept us down for so long. Get over yourself. Until we can work together, America is in a rut it can't get out of.

4:05AM PST on Dec 16, 2011

One sure way to end voter fraud is for people who go to vote to show a valid ID.

I know of one instance just myself in the last election where someone who was not a citizen voted. If I know of one person who did this how many more are out there ??? on both sides!!!

4:09PM PST on Dec 15, 2011

What's new? Republicans always got in fraudulently. That's how Bush got in. Republicans are all thieving, lying scum. They give the rest of us a bad name.

11:00PM PST on Dec 14, 2011

1. There's a difference between vote suppression and voter fraud. Both are bad, but they're not the same thing.

2. If someone called me and told me not to bother voting because my presumed candidate had already secured the election, I'd redouble my effort to get to the polling place (well, actually, I'd already have mailed in my ballot) and report the caller to the election commission. Is a black person any less capable of doing that than I am?

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