J. Chandler: Why make it hard to vote?

My mother is 88 years old, lives in Auburn and due to her vision impairment, she can’t get her driver’s license renewed. We want to travel so are trying to get a Maine photo ID. It is not as easy as it seems.

I sent to her birth state to get her birth certificate. It arrived quickly, but without a name. I can’t believe it. My mother needed to get an affidavit signed and notarized stating who she is to send back to Ohio. And we are still waiting. We are planning to use the identification to get on an airplane.

I am so thankful the Republicans and Charlie Summers didn’t get the photo ID law passed that would have been required in order to vote. My mother, a lifelong Republican who even worked most of her life as a ballot clerk, wouldn’t be allowed to vote with that restriction.

How many other people would be unable to use their primary right to vote with that restriction? It’s just not as simple as some politicians state, and many decisions will be made at the polls on Election Day.

We live in a wonderful state, the state of Maine. No matter a person’s political party, we all have the right and privilege of voting for our government. And I believe that right doesn’t need to be challenged when there is no voter fraud.

There is no reason to make it more difficult to vote.

Jane Chandler, Bryant Pond

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 's picture

I made sure.

I emailed the state Republican Party for permission to vote, that I had a driver's license with my picture on it AND with Mr. Summers' autograph. I got an email back saying I could vote. I printed it out and took it with me to be safe, but no one challenged me. Maybe it's because I've voted there for the last 50 years.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The fact that each election

The fact that each election dead people cast votes is proof enough of fraud. Someone has to consciously cast a ballot in a decease person’s name – textbook definition of fraud.

Betty Davies's picture

dead people voting is an urban legend

Just one of many, many exam-ples:

“Some 1,500 people voted under dead people’s and prisoners’ names from 2008-11, according to Michigan’s auditor general. Many might be clerical errors, but this illustrates the need to ensure accurate voter rolls.” Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson wrote this in a July 2 Times-Herald column, and she lied. [this is from: http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/07/michigan_sec_of_state_pursues_voter_purge_project_despite_governors_veto.html]

"Johnson is a member of a 15-state consortium of rightwing elections officials that’s hell-bent on purging voters. And her dishonest jousting in Michigan this week offers a window into how that consortium works—playing fast and loose with facts in order to create the impression of a problem that would justify their hardline solutions, and flouting the law themselves when necessary.

"... Despite Johnson’s constant refrain on dead people voting, her own Bureau of Elections has already established there was no actual voter fraud in the auditor general’s report she referenced in her July 2 column. While it’s true that the auditor general initially found close to 1,500 cases in which a dead or imprisoned person appeared to vote, the Department of State’s Bureau of Elections (BOE) said the auditor general was mistaken on all 1,500 counts (pdf; page 17). The auditor general reports that BOE informed investigators “that in every instance where it appears a deceased person or incarcerated person voted and local records were available, a clerical error was established as the reason for the situation. In addition, the Department [BOE] informed [the auditor general] that in some cases, voters submitted absent voter ballots shortly before they died.

"The Department informed us that the examples provided did not result in a single verified case that an ineligible person voted."

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I need to know what those

I need to know what those clerical errors are. For example, if a ballot was sent to an individual in error, is that considered a clerical error? Even though the individual filled it out and set in back in to be counted.

The error count is too great in my opinion to be all clerical errors. More information is needed than some government official claiming clerical error in all 1500 cases.

You need to provide more information of said clearical errors.

Betty Davies's picture

Why not just follow the link I provided?

It's interesting that you're eager to believe [without any facts to back up the urgan legend) that people seek out the names of people who've died recently, then present themselves at the voting booth twice (once as themselves, and a second time as the dead person) in order to add one more vote for their favorite candidate--and that this happens thousands of times.

Here's what the link went on to say: "The Department informed us that in some cases voters submitted absent voter ballots shortly before they died. The Department informed us that the examples provided did not result in a single verified case than an ineligible person voted." This is from the official audit report of the Michigan Bureau of Elections.


MARK GRAVEL's picture

First off, I ever asserted

First off, I ever asserted people are seeking out deceases people’s names to vote. Nothing of what I wrote indicates supports you assertions – that is all you.

People do vote using decease people’s names – that is a fact, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to understand why.
Take for example the second paragraph you quoted. “....some

cases voters submitted absent voter ballots shortly before they died.”

This leaves me with more questions than answers. Out of the 1500, how many is some – 100, 200, 500? Some is not all, so what are the other reasons? Michigan BoE asserts the there is no fraud, so that implies they looked at all 1500 case. That said, why not print specifics instead of generalities.

Don’t you want to know all the details or are you simply okay with the vague references to “some”. What does that mean – really?

Where is the beef?

Betty Davies's picture

Where's the beef?

The fact of NO proven voting in the names of dead people satisfied the Michigan State Bureau of Elections, but that's not good enough for you?

And if you aren't assuming that people are purposely seeking out the names of deceased people, in order to slip in and pretend to be them in order to cast extra votes, exactly how do you fantasize voter fraud (in the sense of votes being cast by people who are dead) would be occuring?

Let's try another state:

"South Carolina elections are still free of dead voters. That’s what the State Election Commission concluded from its investigation into South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s declaration that over 900 dead people may have voted in recent elections. Though the charge itself is laughable, South Carolina was still compelled to devote taxpayer money to investigate whether their elections had indeed been tainted by zombie voters. Unsurprisingly, they uncovered no evidence of voter fraud: The State Election Commission said Thursday that 95 percent of the 207 allegedly dead people who voted in the 2010 general election either were alive and cast ballots legally or did not vote. [...] Of its review of the 207 contested votes cast in 2010, the commission found:

• 106 votes were clerical errors by poll workers – mistakes like marking John Doe Sr. instead of John Doe Jr.

• 56 votes were “bad data matching” – meaning the state Department of Motor Vehicles, which raised concerns about zombie voters, was wrong in assuming the voters were dead.

• 32 votes were “voter participation errors,” meaning someone was credited as voting in an election when they did not, most likely because of a stray mark on the voter rolls that was electronically scanned to record a voter’s participation.

• Three ballots were cast absentee by voters who died before Election Day.

In the other five percent of cases, there wasn’t enough information to determine an explanation, though still no evidence for fraud."


MARK GRAVEL's picture

I’ll take the fact that you

I’ll take the fact that you had to switch states in middle of the discussion as all the contested Michigan votes cannot be explained.

A good investigation publishes responses to each contested vote. That said, I have to wonder why Michigan did not. Remember never blindly believe, always trust and verify. I see that you found one state of the got 95% of the job right. There are 48 states to go.

Betty Davies's picture

I've noticed...

...that whenever you've been bested in a discussion, you declare victory and move on.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Perhaps unlike you, need to

Perhaps unlike you, need to go to work. Moreover, we never completed the Michigan discussion before you jumped state if you want to start playing that game. The reason? You could not find the data to continue to support your argument.

Better living through smaller government.

Betty Davies's picture

Same old ploys...

1) you disregarded the facts I offered in regard to Michigan, setting yourself above the state's bureau of elections and their report.

2) when faced with the same set of facts (voting fraud using names of deceased voters is simply not happening) you use the usual slur, assuming that anyone who disagrees with you is unemployed. For the record, I work full-time.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Remember trust and verify.

Remember trust and verify. You have not provided sufficient information to verify Michigan’s claim. I rarely take what the government says on blind faith – no one should. Always understand how the conclusions are derived, what simplifying assumptions are made, and methodology used.

I can find nothing to support Michigan’s claim. Neither can you, so that is why you change states in your argument in mid-stream.
It is your first amendment right to sling all the mud that you want, but that will not change my standards for critical thinking – verify assertions.

For example, asserting “voting fraud using names of deceased voters is simply not happening” does not pass the critical thinking test since both you and I know that you have not examined said claims from all 50 states and ensure the state answers each case. You have every right to apply lower standards to your analysis if that suites your needs; I don’t have to buy it.

In closing, you can put you straw man back into the closet until Halloween.

Betty Davies's picture

Why are you so trusting?

You accept allegations of voter fraud on blind faith, without asking for verification, and determinedly dispute all facts presented to the contrary. You refuse to accept the findings of a state election board in one state, demanding that I somehow verify that the election board was accurate, and when I present a second state (with plenty more available) in which these allegations have been disputed, you attempt to use that as a diversion.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Okay Betty, let’s agree to

Okay Betty, let’s agree to disagree.

1. Simply put, I need more information about Michigan’s report – governments do mislead, so I need to crosscheck the data, which seems to not be published. You are welcome to believe.
2. Want more proof is not analogous to believing fraud is pervasive – the facts are needed (from more than a couple states) to derive a conclusion.
3. There is much more data to digest, like from 48 other states, before anyone can make your assertions – at least legitimacy.
4. If you call that a diversion, you are within your right.

I’m okay with letting the other readers come to their own conclusion.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Wait'll you see the dead turn

Wait'll you see the dead turn out to vote if the election is a close one. A recent poll shows obama to be ahead of Romney by 22 points among dead voters.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Not too long ago I found an

Not too long ago I found an article that listed the number of deceased individuals that cast votes by state. Unfortunately, I’m unable to find it again to share. All 50 states had decease registrants voting. That in itself is justification for vote ID in my opinion.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Michael Jackson seems to be a

Michael Jackson seems to be a frequent voter in important elections.
"Vote early; vote often."

MARK GRAVEL's picture



 's picture

Since no one...

...was able to find that kind of election fraud when an extensive study was done recently, I think you owe it to state, and to us, about the specific instances you're aware of. If you don't, you won't be doing your civic duty and Mr. Summers may revoke your right to vote.

 's picture

Since no one...

...was able to find that kind of election fraud when an extensive study was done recently, I think you owe it to state, and to us, about the specific instances you're aware of. If you don't, you won't be doing your civic duty and Mr. Summers may revoke your right to vote.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There is no such thing as "no

There is no such thing as "no voter fraud". Much of it may go undetected, but it is happening.
Your mother's problems are unfortunate; hopefully she'll get what she needs in time for your trip.

RONALD RIML's picture

She has what she needs. The Constitutional Right.

But you may feel free to ask one of the election Judges to challenge her vote.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

But I am a kind and

But I am a kind and malevolent pirate. How's that go? "I've got a kindler, gentler machine gun hand."
Don't see you much. Been working hard or laying low?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Make that benevolent. Must've

Make that benevolent. Must've been a Freudian slip.

 's picture

What Constitutional right?

What Constitutional right?

RONALD RIML's picture

Correct that - Ask a 'Poll Watcher'

To challenge her vote.

Jim Cyr's picture

Mr. Rimi to ask a

"Poll Watcher" like those "Poll Watchers" ( Panthers ) did in Philly ?


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