Senator Elizabeth Warren on the GOP myth of voter fraud

cartoon_65The Republican Party has for years perpetuated the myth of voter fraud for two purposes: (1) to suppress voter turnout, and (2) to delegitimize Democratic voters.

This GOP mythology has been so pernicious that this week a new poll demonstrates that “41 percent of voters say November’s election could be ‘stolen’ from Donald Trump due to ‘widespread voter fraud.'” Poll: 41 percent of voters say election could be ‘stolen’ from Trump.

This poll result is without any factual evidence to support the GOP’s voter fraud mythology. Trump thinks non-citizens are deciding elections. We debunked the research he’s citing.; Fact-checking two false claims by Trump alleging widespread voter fraud; Can you rig a U.S. presidential election? Experts say it’s basically impossible. (This poll confirms my long-standing theory that 42 percent of the American public is batshit crazy on any given day, believing in things that are demonstrably proven false).

Senator Elizabeth Warren in an op-ed at the Washington Post today writes, Trump didn’t invent the ‘rigged election’ myth. Republicans did.

Cratering in the polls, besieged by sexual assault allegations and drowning in his own disgusting rhetoric, Donald Trump has been reduced to hollering that November’s election is “rigged” against him. His proof? It looks like he’s going to lose.

Senior Republican leaders are scrambling to distance themselves from this dangerous claim. But Trump’s argument didn’t spring from nowhere. It’s just one more symptom of a long-running effort by Republicans to delegitimize Democratic voters, appointees and leaders. For years, this disease has infected our politics. It cannot be cured until Republican leaders rethink their approach to modern politics.

Batshit1Anyone with children knows that whining about imaginary cheating is the last refuge of the sore loser. But GOP leaders have served up such a steady diet of stories about imaginary cheating that an Economist-YouGov poll shows that 45 percent of Republican voters believe voter fraud is a “very serious problem,” and 46 percent have little or no confidence that ballots will be counted accurately. They hold these views even though there is literally no evidence — none, zero, zip — that widespread voter fraud is a factor in modern American elections. A recent study looked at around a billion ballots cast in the United States from 2000 through 2014 and found only 31 instances of impersonation fraud at the polls.

Republican leaders — and even Trump’s running mate — have tried to tiptoe out of the room when Trump makes ever-wilder claims of a rigged election. But as much as these Republicans would like everyone to believe that this is a Trump-only problem, it’s not.

For years, Republican leaders have pushed the lie that voter fraud is a huge issue. In such states as Kansas and North Carolina, and across the airwaves of right-wing talk radio and Fox News, Republican voters have been fed exaggerated and imagined stories about fraud. Interestingly, all that fraud seems to plague only urban neighborhoods, minority communities, college campuses and other places where large numbers of people might vote for Democrats. The purpose of this manufactured hysteria is obvious: to delegitimize Democratic voters and justify Republican efforts to suppress their votes.

The voting-fraud lie has been used to justify the passage of dozens of voter ID laws, typically rammed through state legislatures by Republican partisans. A recent study by political scientists at the University of California at San Diego recently concluded that strict photo-identification requirements disproportionately suppress turnout by Democratic voters — especially blacks and Latinos. Meanwhile, after a key provision in the Voting Rights Act protecting minority voters from discrimination was unceremoniously declared defective by a right-wing majority on the Supreme Court in 2013, those same Republican leaders who seem so concerned about threats to the integrity of our elections have largely remained on the sidelines.

Trump also didn’t invent ominous appeals for partisans to patrol “certain areas” and “go and watch these polling places” where citizens often vote for Democrats. More than three decades ago, the Republican National Committee was caught orchestrating expansive efforts to intimidate individuals at polling places in minority neighborhoods. Federal courts have barred the RNC from engaging in poll-watching activities relating to “ballot integrity, ballot security or other efforts to prevent or remedy vote fraud” in minority areas ever since.

It’s not just voters, either. Trump’s effort to delegitimize federal officials and political opponents also shares a long-standing Republican pedigree.

After Trump was sued for fraud over Trump University, he attacked the legitimacy of the federal judge with Mexican heritage presiding over the case, claiming that Trump’s own bigotry undermined the judge’s neutrality. Paul Ryan tsk-tsked, but Trump was simply joining a long line of Republicans in Congress who have spent years assaulting the federal courts. For years, the Republicans have blocked scores of nonpolitical lower-court nominees who haven’t pledged their allegiance to the financial interests of the rich and powerful. These attacks culminated in a national campaign of slime against the president’s highly respected choice to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat. It’s no surprise Trump would conclude that federal judges are fair game.

Similarly, some Republicans pretended to be shocked when Trump asserted that he would follow two-bit tyrants such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and imprison his political rival after the election. But for years, congressional Republicans have focused most of their resources on finding some way to brand Hillary Clinton a criminal. A party that wastes millions of taxpayer dollars on eight separate Benghazi investigations — and shouts itself hoarse attacking an FBI director who served as a senior political appointee in a Republican administration when he concludes that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges against Clinton over her emails — shouldn’t feign astonishment when its presidential nominee echoes their efforts to criminalize American politics.

Democrats and Republicans disagree about a lot of issues. We both fight hard to win elections. But winning isn’t everything. Al Gore understood that when he stood down after the 2000 election. Now Republican leaders seem increasingly concerned that when Trump loses, he won’t follow that example. But Trump’s words and deeds are merely the latest — and loudest — examples in a long line of Republican tactics that are poisoning our political system.

Hillary Clinton should bring up this op-ed during tonight’s debate to see whether “The Donald” takes the bait and calls Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” again. Warren gets under his thin-skin better than anyone else.

7 responses to “Senator Elizabeth Warren on the GOP myth of voter fraud

  1. Fact Checker 13

    Election rigging is of course possible/probable, and can extend far beyond the Republican “voter fraud” chestnut or old and easy-to-hack electronic voting machines.

    Possible Election Rigging
    ” This contextual evidence of voters purged from the rolls, registrations lost in the mail, party registrations being changed without a voters’ knowledge or intent, voters being sent incorrect ballots, a shortage of ballots, polling places being closed, discouragingly long lines in targeted precincts and states, and disturbingly large disparities between initial exit polls and official results, lends credence to the argument that if one form of fraud is already in play, another form of fraud is more plausible.”

    Even Supreme Court decisions we are told to “get over” can rig an election.

    Obama said “…”no serious” person who would suggest it was possible to rig American elections” to Reuters, although earlier in the election he “… raised the possibility that Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in order to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
    “Anything’s possible,” Obama said in an interview with NBC News.”
    source, and HRC, Harry Reid, and the “intelligence community” have jumped on the “Russian tamper train” as well.

    “The German Constitutional Court prohibited the use of all voting machines in German elections because for the general voters they institute irreproducible vote counting which leads to a general loss of trust in the democratic process. The price to pay for using voting machines is legitimacy.” source

    So election rigging is definitely possible, and continuing with our current system will probably continue the erosion of election legitimacy, although DJT is giving it a shove downward.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      I would ask any conservative who thinks there is widespread voter fraud at the polls to explain this:

      Why, if there are millions of immigrants voting illegally, and liberals are running from poll to poll to vote as many times as possible, is the Arizona state government overrun with Tea people?

      Why are so many state governments run by the GOP?

      But I ask too many questions, and the GOTeaP doesn’t like questions, in fact, they want to outlaw critical thinking:

      From the Texas GOP 2012 official party platform:

      “We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs…”

      https:// www. washingtonpost. com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/texas-gop-rejects-critical-thinking-skills-really/2012/07/08/gJQAHNpFXW_blog.html

      No wonder the leader of the GOP came from a Hollywood reality show.

  2. It will be interesting to see if there is a measurable dip in democrat votes cast now that ballots cannot be gathered and delivered by activists seeking “only to empower the disenfrancised”. I have always wondered how many times that “empowerment” included assistance filling out the ballot the correct way. No, I have no evidence it has occurred, but it is not inconceivable that it might happen. After all, if someone is so helpless they can’t manage to get their ballot mailed in on time, they may be too helpless to be able to vote at all.

    I can see why you think 42% of the population is “bat shit crazy” but I would bet we wouldn’t agree on which 42% it is.

    Regarding the RNC “bullying” voters at polling places…I assume you have forgotten the last election when Black Panthers in Philadelphia used clubs to chase potential voters away if they were going to vote for Obama. Strange that no one intervened all that day, nor were there any arrests despite hours of video tape documenting the goings-on. And I believe that the RNC was not the only entity barred from polling places, I believe all outside agencies were so barred.

    It is small wonder that Republicans look askance at the courts. The courts have been the vehicle by which democrats have bullied their way past the spearation of powers by pushing the liberal judges in the system to seize powers not granted them under the Constitution. Specifically, during the days of busing, the liberal judges seized the power of the purse by deciding how money would be collected, allocated and spent without the approval of the House. Using that precedence (always important to courts) Here in Arizona, democrats always go to Tucson to file their cases because it is so much more liberal than Phoenix. And if that doesn’t work, well, there is the uber-liberal 9th Circuit Court. And now that there is a chance to stack the actual Supreme Court, democrats are giddy with anticipation. Yeah, there should be no surprise that Republicans look with skepticism on the courts.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      The “New Black Panthers” were three dudes in matching jackets, oh my, so scary! I can’t find the videos you speak of, with the chasing and the clubs, but they sound exciting, so please, post a link!

      And they’re not a Democratic group. The New Black Panthers are classified as a hate group by the SLPC. Democrats want nothing to do with them.

      It was one location, one, uno, but with three black guys, so it’s a good story to scare old white Fox News viewers.

      The concern about voter intimidation now is based on Trump’s often violent rhetoric, and if you’d care to look it up, since 9/11, you’re much more likely to die at the hands of a right wing Christian terrorist than a Muslim. Or a New Black Panther.

      Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “take our country back” a few times over the last 8 years? Right wing crazies got all the guns, and they keep talking about the tree of liberty being thirsty. 2nd amendment remedies.

      Here’s a fun story for you:

      http ://www .rawstory. com/2014/11/open-carry-activist-charged-with-intimidation-after-bringing-gun-to-alabama-polling-place

      I suggest you reconsider your own statement that you have no evidence, ponder your own words, because they have meaning, and realize that everything we hear you say after that is just so much happy horse crap.

      When did conservatives abandon facts and begin relying on “feelings?”

      • (Insert hearty laugh here)

        Okay, so it was a poorly developed rant. So what? Don’t you ever do that, Not Tom? It is actually quite cathartic…

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Cathartic requires honesty. So, nope.

          Maybe the reason you distrust the courts is because courts of law require facts and evidence and you rely on feelings.

          I try to find conservative media and people that challenge my views to test my beliefs and I get “feelings”.

  3. For Sure Not Tom

    Ever since Newt Gingrich introduced the Republican party to Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in the 1990’s, the right has out Saul Alinsky’d the left in ways that were never intended.