As I wrote in a previous post, Republicans are masters of that old Rovian tactic called projection. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s taking your candidate’s (or anyone’s) weaknesses and attributing them to the opposition.
By accusing voters of attempting fraud, making them jump through hoops in order to abide by new restrictive Voter I.D. laws, accusing others of tampering with elections in any way, the GOP is projecting like crazy, as is now even more evident in stories that have been breaking in the past few days.
But first, a clarification: Election fraud and voter fraud are two different things. Voter fraud involves individual voters who show up at the precincts on election day who might use fake names, register to vote more than once, that kind of thing. Voter fraud is virtually non-existent, rarer than getting struck by lightning.
Election fraud, which is rampant, is when candidates or groups try to influence election outcomes by hacking into voting machines, engage in voter suppression (scroll), ballot box tampering, intimidation at the polls, deliberate miscounting, or as happened in this case, padding or otherwise altering petitions.
The Los Angeles Times, the Brad Blog, and CaliforniaWatch.org are all posting about GOP fraud and hypocrisy. Here are some excerpts from these three sources. Brad actually ends his piece with this, but I'm including it at the top because it needs to be emphasized:
There is no known "voter fraud" related to this [Sproul] scandal. This is a form of election fraud known as "voter registration fraud". There are no actual voters involved in this scandal. The voters have been, and are, doing just fine. Please leave them alone. Inappropriate attacks on voters are best left to members of the Republican Party. Thanks.
You're welcome. Now back to the news:
The North Carolina Republican Party has fired the shady voter registration firm owned by Mitt Romney's paid political consultant and longtime GOP operative, Nathan Sproul. The firing came as Democrats in the state were on the brink of denouncing the Republicans' tie to the operative's firm.
The state GOP joins the Republican Party of Florida, which also fired Sproul's company (who accounted for the party's largest 2012 expenditure, some $1.3 million over the last two months) after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were turned over to the FL State Attorney in Palm Beach County on Monday for investigation. The BRAD BLOG first reported the emerging story in detail on Tuesday.
The L.A. Times has a detailed report about Sproul, too. Here's a sample:
Strategic Allied Consulting was hired to do voter registration drives in Florida, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada, and had been planning get-out-the-vote drives in Ohio and Wisconsin, according to Sproul. Lincoln Strategy Group, another Sproul company, was paid about $70,000 by Mitt Romney's campaign during the primaries to gather signatures. [...]
Sproul is a fixture in Arizona Republican politics. He is former head of the Arizona Christian Coalition and a veteran of a number of GOP campaigns. For three years, he was executive director of the state party.
In 2004, a company he started was paid millions by Republicans to register voters. Employees in Oregon, Nevada, West Virginia and Pennsylvania alleged they were told to register only Republicans. One worker in Las Vegas said he watched a supervisor tear up Democratic registrations. The Justice Department started an investigation, which did not lead to any charges, Sproul said.
California Watch has a story of their own:
In a complaint filed last week with the county registrar of voters, the Democrats presented affidavits from 133 Democratic voters who said they had been re-registered as Republicans without their consent after they encountered petition circulators outside welfare offices and stores.
One voter complained that his registration was changed to Republican after he signed what he thought was a petition to legalize marijuana. Another said he was told he was signing a petition to lower the price of gasoline, according to the affidavits.
Many of those who complained were-- wait for it-- Latino or African American. Gee, they're never targeted, are they?
And by re-registering Democrats as Republicans, the group prevented them from being contacted by Dems for the crucial get-out-the-vote push. After all, why would Democrats want to encourage Republicans when they're trying like crazy to make sure their own party members cast ballots?
Please click on all three links to read more.
Apparently Republicans think this is what they must do to "win" elections: Steal, cheat, and lie. It's all they have. After all, they're wrong on the issues and have an inferior, inept candidate.