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Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy Paperback – September 25, 2004
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About the Author
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.
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The problems appear to have started in 1994 with the enactment of the Motor Voter Law. This innane Act allows individuals to register to vote in church, at the laundromat or at just about any government agency. And what is even more ludicrous is that absolutely no identification is required to register. When I read about this at the time I recall thinking just how ridiculous this law was. People can also register by mail, again with no identification required. And the consequences of this law should not be at all surprising. We now have many more fraudulant votes being cast by illegal aliens, convicted felons, by folks who moved away years earlier and yes even by dead people!!! And as a result the ballots cast by legitimate, law-abiding citizens are being negated. It is an outrage!
Another way elections are being stolen in this country is by the use of absentee ballots and extended election periods. It used to be that a citizen needed to present officials with a legitimate reason for being sent an absentee ballot. Today, standards have been relaxed and a greater and greater percentage of voters are opting for absentee ballots. The opportunities for voter fraud increase exponentially in such a scenario. Likewise, many states now allow voting over several days or even weeks. And in Oregon, virtually all balloting is now done by mail. Melody Rose, a professor at Oregon State University observes in "Stealing Elections" ""Vote by mail brings a perpetual risk of systemic fraud." In such a system ballots can easily be stolen from mailboxes and once again the opportunity for all kinds of hanky panky dramatically increases.
In Chapter 8 entitled "High Tech Voting", John Fund also discusses the myriad problems with just about all of the new voting machine technologies now available to states and municipalities. He points out significant problems that have occured with just about all of the new technologies including touch screens and scanners. Once again, the potential for fraud is tremendous. And even if some of these machines are working properly on Election Day recent history has taught us that poll workers are frequently poorly trained and often do not know how to operate these machines themselves. Add to all of this the new requirement for so-called "provisional" ballots and you just might agree that all of this adds up to a recipe for disaster.
As an important first step to remedy some of these issues and to return some level of sanity to the process, John Fund proposes that photo identification be required before voting. This seems like a reasonable idea. A recent poll indicates that 89$ of potential Bush voters and even 75% of John Kerry voters approve of this proposal. Yet Civil Rights groups fight such an idea tooth and nail. It is also clear to me that much of the new voting equipment in use might not be quite ready for prime time use. It is imperative that before a state commits to such new technologies that adequate testing be done beforehand. After all, what is the big rush? Are we falling all over ourselves just so the networks can get faster results on election night? Let them wait!
In "Stealing Elections" John Fund has painted a chilling picture of what our elections are turning into. I take this book very seriously and worry what the ramifications might be if people come to believe that elections can be easily manipulated or even stolen in our country. These are issues that all of us should become acquainted with and "Stealing Elections" is a good choice assist you in doing that. Highly recommended!
I became interested in this book as a result of the current WA State Governor's contested election (see [...] for more timeline) and all it's double-votes, dead voters, illegal voters, felon voters, and numbers of polling ballots that outnumbered those who actually showed up at the polls. I had thought all that died with Mayor Daley (the senior) in Chicago years ago. But it is alive and well folks. And not just in WA State now, but all over the country.
Despite the fact that a majority of voters from BOTH major parties want accoutability of WHO is voting, time and time again basic ideas of picture ID's or thumbprints are routinely killed off under the guise it will lead to "disenfranchisement" of minorities. Yet, south of the border in a country known for it's corruption of public officials, both are required to vote. Yes folks, even MEXICO has a more secure voting system than we do!
Read it and weep. We are slowly losing our greatest right, that of fair elections, to powerful unelected interests. What a shame.
I was hooked from page one, where Fund asserts that "the United States has a haphazard, fraud-prone election system benefiting an emerging Third World country rather than the world's leading democracy." Those are bold words, but in the chapters that follow Fund chronicles a rash of voter scandals from across the country-from Florida to Texas, from Missouri to South Dakota, and from Hawaii and elsewhere. The voting shenanigans pulled by many of the persons chronicled, the lax procedures and lack of serious law enforcement are particularly outrageous--if not downright SCARY.
Very intriguing was Funds reference to the "conflict of visions" concept proposed by Thomas Sowell and how those competing visions of human nature and reality provide the lenses through which competing political forces view the goals of electoral law. Seeing as this book is a compact one, Fund does not delve too deeply into the philosophical, but this reviewer (who is an admirer of "A Conflict of Visions") nonetheless appreciates this insight.
Most of the voter scandals discussed by Fund were perpetrated by Democrats (sometimes carried by Democrats battling other Democrats in local primary elections). However, Fund also points out incidents of voter fraud carried out by persons who are Republicans. Crime, including voter crime, is an equal opportunity offense. One need not be a member of a particular party to appreciate the contents of the book and the arguments presented. It should be noted that this book does not dwell upon courtroom litigation and legal arguments, particularly those involved in the 2000 Presidential election fiasco in Florida. Nor does the book spend an inordinate amount of time on the 2000 Florida mess, in general, although Fund does provide some key insights into what really happened in Florida once the dust settled, and much of it will be news to many. In any event, regardless of what may have taken place in recent times, it is of greater importance that citizens understand the voting process problems we have and the urgent need to address those problems.
Fund discusses some recent election reforms prompted by the Help Americans Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) and poses a number of suggestions near the end of this book. His advice strikes one as imminently sound. The discussion of electronic voting was very informative-showing both its merits and also chronicling some serious technical blunders. (This reviewer leans toward an electronic voting system that provides a printout paper trail.)
An experienced journalist, Fund's book is well-written and is an enjoyable read. It hits readers with first-rate reporting and solid analysis. With election season now upon us, this book is very timely, and comes highly recommended.