Republicans have made an issue of voter fraud in the past few years. They’re afraid that voters are going to engage in fraudulent voting practices, and that could result in very close elections being decided by illegally cast ballots. On the face of it, the idea is at least somewhat plausible, though any cursory examination of their legislative attempts to rectify the problem demonstrate that their intent is not to preserve the integrity of elections, but to make it harder for students, blacks and senior citizens, all traditionally core Democratic constituencies, to vote in elections.
The GOP has encouraged such shenanigans through many state legislatures. Unfortunately, many such states have approved the measures, with the federal government stepping in to prevent what is accurately perceived as electioneering in its most basic form. And earlier this year, I wrote a bit about how fraud by incumbent politicians in Michigan probably were clear violations of elections law. The parties in question, which included the Republican Speaker of the Michigan state House, Jase Bolger, haven’t been charged with any crimes yet, but there’s still the possibility that he could face charges of perjury at some point in connection with the investigation into the matter.
This week, the Florida state Division of Elections received complaints from elections officials in at least ten counties in the state alleging that a consulting firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, had submitted fraudulent voter registration documents. The Republican National Committee planned the firm $3.1 million through state parties in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia to manage a get-out-the vote drive, and planned initiatives in Ohio and Wisconsin as well.
The GOP has severed its relations with the consulting firm this past Thursday after it seemed likely that about a quarter of the voter registration forms in Florida were either falsified or outright forgeries. Taken in conjunction with the antics of Michigan state lawmakers previously mentioned, and the downfall of Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R – Livonia) this year, involving precisely the same kind of falsified names and addresses on canvassing forms to qualify for the election earlier this year, and you come up with one thing: a clear,consistent pattern of electoral fraud perpetrated on behalf of those very Republicans who profess to care about the sanctity of elections.
America has been treated to episode after episode of amoral behavior by Republicans when it comes to voting rights in this country. That Republicans claim to care as much as they do about the integrity of the elections is laughable, as they, more than any other group in this country, are doing more to undermine their credibility in order to manipulate the outcome in their own favor. This latest story should serve as the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes this issue. If anything, we ought to prosecute those Republicans who have clearly, consistently and egregiously broke existing laws, and not worry about passing new laws to make it harder for ordinary Americans to vote.