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Ballots or Briefs? / In election 2004, the man with the most lawyers may win.
WSJ ^ | September 22, 2004 | JOHN FUND

Posted on 09/22/2004 3:12:44 AM PDT by Former Military Chick

The Bush and Kerry campaigns are spending unprecedented millions on TV ads. But the real battle that could decide this election may be fought by the squadrons of lawyers both sides have hired to prepare Florida-style challenges to the results in any close state. Once again, America's sloppy, fraud-prone voting system could turn Election Day into an Election Month of court challenges.

"If you think of election problems as akin to forest fires, the woods are no drier than they were in 2000, but many more people have matches," says Doug Chapin, director of the nonpartisan Election Reform Information Project.

Certainly, a lot of incendiary rhetoric is being tossed around. "Don't tell us that disenfranchising a million African-Americans and stealing their votes is the best we can do in America," John Kerry told a black church audience in Indianapolis in July as he promised to deploy "SWAT teams" of 10,000 volunteer lawyers to police the polls for possible voter disenfranchisement.

The Kerry campaign has already spammed its supporters with an e-mail saying it is "considering our options should John Kerry or George Bush pursue a recount like the famous Florida ballot dispute" and soliciting funds to do so. The Federal Election Commission will hold a hearing this month on a Kerry request to use its legal and accounting funds to pay for recount expenses. Republicans are forming their own network of lawyers to guard against possible voter fraud, citing what they say has been a flood of questionable new voter registrations submitted by liberal activist groups.

Election lawsuits are already piling up. Democrats have sued in Missouri, demanding the city of St. Louis, a Democratic stronghold, be the only jurisdiction permitted to allow early voting at government offices.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: elections
Several months ago I had read one of Mr. Funds articles and decided to sent it to friends, so they might read it and enjoy it as well. Later that day, I received a note with what I would say was questionable content, if anyone who reads this has any background on this so I can either debunk or well mix that in when I read his commentaries, please post it.
1 posted on 09/22/2004 3:12:44 AM PDT by Former Military Chick
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To: Former Military Chick

How many state Supreme Courts are willing to ignore the law as written by their legislatures? Certainly Florida; certainly New Jersey; probably others.

Does anybody know just exactly HOW black voters were supposedly "disenfranchised"? And where did the number one million come from? I think both came from someone's fertile imagination but if there's even a half-a** explanation, I'd like to hear it.

2 posted on 09/22/2004 3:44:53 AM PDT by libertylover (Keep Marraige Normal)
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To: Former Military Chick

If it isn't close, they can't cheat.

3 posted on 09/22/2004 3:45:48 AM PDT by Skooz (Prove I'm NOT Queen of the Space Unicorns.........)
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To: Skooz

I just told a friend of mine yesterday to read Hugh Hewitt's book...of the same title.

She called and was upset because of an article she read about Kerry's hoard of lawyers.

The minute Algore challenged the Florida result last go, I turned to my husband and said, "We'll probably never see an uncontested election again."

We need a win, and a big one!

4 posted on 09/22/2004 4:01:41 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: Former Military Chick

Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens our Democracy

By John Fund

The Florida Fiasco of 2000, with hanging chads, butterfly ballots and Supreme Court intervention, forced Americans to confront an ugly reality. The U.S. has the sloppiest election systems of any industrialized nation, so sloppy that at least eight of the 19 hijackers who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were actually able to register to vote in either Virginia or Florida while they made their deadly preparations for 9/11.

In Stealing Elections, John Fund takes the reader on a national tour of voter fraud scandals ranging from rural states like Texas and Mississippi to big cities such as Philadelphia and Milwaukee. He explores dark episodes such as the way "vote brokers" stole a mayoral election in Miami in 1998 by tampering with 4700 absentee ballots. He shows how, in the aftermath of the Motor Voter Law of 1993, Californians used mail-in forms to get absentee ballots for fictitious people and pets, while in St. Louis it was discovered that voter rolls included 13,000 more names than the U.S. Census listed as the total number of adults in the city.

Election officials try to reassure voters by turning to computerized voting machines. But Fund shows that with the new technology come even greater concerns. Early in 2004, for instance, the state of Maryland, which has 16,000 new Diebold machines, commissioned a security expert to try to rig a practice election. He and his team broke into the computer at the State Board of Elections, completely changed the outcome of the election, left, and erased their electronic trail—all in under five minutes.

Stealing Elections gives us a chilling portrait of our electoral vulnerability—in the 2004 presidential election and on into the future. Writing with urgency and authority, John Fund shows how a lethal combination of bureaucratic bungling and ballot rigging have put our democracy at risk.

John Fund is a member of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board and writes the paper's daily Political Diary. He has written on voter fraud and election irregularities for the last decade in the Wall Street Journal, New Republic, American Spectator and other publications. In the past year, Fund has made over 90 appearances on Fox News, MSNBC, C-Span, and CNBC.


5 posted on 09/22/2004 4:11:10 AM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: Former Military Chick

The things is that this should not be a partisan issue. All parties should seek to have a free and fair election, where all entitled voters can cast their ballots, and have their votes counted.

However, it does not seem that way to me. Wild claims of a million black disenfranchised voters - attempts to re-write election law retrospectively - more voters (in heavily Rat areas) than residents - more votes than voters.

If you guys can't run this election properly, then we British might as well come back and run them for you - though we've been having some experiments with all postal ballots which are far from promising.

6 posted on 09/22/2004 4:53:40 AM PDT by tjwmason (Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.)
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To: tjwmason

Sadly, it is a partisan issue. All of the dubious claims and the ballot stuffing are on the Democratic side. Dems control all of the major urban areas, where much of this chicanery takes place. There are no stories of Republican areas getting 120 percent turnout or of Republicans not understanding the ballot or of Republicans feeling disenfranchised by being asked to show identification. The best the Rats can do is make these vague, unsubstantiated claims that their voters are "intimidated." But they never offer specific names of who is doing the intimidating. The Rats use the old tactics of totalitarian movements, making outlandish unproveable charges not because they believe them, but to keep their ignorant supporters in a state of perpetual rage.

7 posted on 09/22/2004 5:04:07 AM PDT by speedy
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To: libertylover
What are they telling the future disenfranchisees? Here are some samplings:
"Last week, People For the American Way Foundation and its coalition partners launched the 'Know Your Rights/Election Protection' program in Tallahassee and other cities. The ambitious nonpartisan program will distribute millions of state-specific 'Voters' Bills of Rights' and other informational materials in more than 20 states. Thousands of Election Protection volunteers, including lawyers and law students, will canvass neighborhoods, monitor polling places, and staff a toll-free hotline that will provide free immediate legal advice to voters who encounter problems on Election Day. The program targets historically disenfranchised communities, including African American, Latino and disabled voters."

Voter Bill of Rights
(Based on Arkansas Law)

1. On Election Day, each polling place opens at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 7:30 p.m. If you are in line or in the process of voting when the polls close at 7:30 p.m., YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE in the election.

2. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE without presenting identification after signing your name on the precinct voter registration list unless you are a first-time voter who registered by mail and you have not previously provided photo identification to the supervisor of elections.

3. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE by provisional ballot if (1) you are a first-time voter who does not have photo identification and you did not provide identification when registering, (2) if your name is not on the precinct voter registration list and election officials are unable to verify your eligibility at that time or (3) if your vote is challenged for any reason.

4. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to vote early between October 18 and November 1 at the time the county clerk's office regularly closes.

5. If you cannot read or write or cannot prepare your ballot because of any kind of disability or other legal cause, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to receive help when voting from either two election officials or a person of your choice.

6. If you cannot stand in line for long periods of time due to a physical, sensory or other disability, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to be placed at the head of the line to vote.

7. If you are visually impaired or have a physical or mental disability, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to vote at a voting location accessible to you.

8. If you have moved within the same precinct or you have changed your name, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE on Election Day in that precinct after completing a voter registration application form to update the voter registration files.

9. If you have moved to another precinct in the same county, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE on Election Day in your new precinct after a poll worker verifies your registration and after you complete a voter registration application to update the voter registration files.

10. If you make a mistake or accidentally "spoil" or deface your ballot so that you cannot vote, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to receive a replacement ballot (no more than two total) after you return the spoiled ballot to the election officials.

11. If you have been convicted of a crime but have completed your sentence, including any period of probation and parole ("off-papers"), and have registered to vote since that time, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

12. When you are within 100 feet of the polling place entrance, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO WAIT TO VOTE OR VOTE without anyone electioneering or trying to influence your vote in any other way.

13. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE on Election Day and your employer must schedule your work hours to allow you to do so.



The "disenfranchised" may call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for an election lawyer if they are affected. Let's call 'em if we see a problem! (Chuckle, chuckle!)
8 posted on 09/22/2004 6:00:30 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Kerry lied and good men died, and Moms worried, and heroes were spit on, and children were ostraci..)
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