Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The voter fraud meme

This morning's WaPo ties the prosecutor firings to a push by Republicans since 2000 to use accusations of "voter fraud" to influence election outcomes.
The GOP allegation, repeated in several swing states where voting margins have been narrow, is that Democrats have illegally ratcheted up their tallies by permitting ballots to be cast by felons, by residents without proper identification, or by people who forged signatures on absentee ballots.

Democratic-leaning groups reject that allegation and counter by accusing Republicans of blocking fair elections by suppressing the votes of some eligible citizens.
Digby has been on this one for the last couple of days, speculating that it is "a very special Karl Rove initiative."
As Josh Marshall noted last night, the GOP cries of voter fraud go back a long way. It's an extension of their old habits of disenfranchising blacks in the south and latinos in the southwest (as Joe Conason outlines here.)

But since the 2000 election the Democrats have been the ones complaining about voter irregularities and I think that Rove recognized that he could deftly twist the public awareness we created and turn it back on us. His problem was that the Democrats won the election by too wide a margin in 2006 for them to cry fraud in any systematic way --- and some US Attorneys refused to play ball.
See? It was a performance issue. You're fired.

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