Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Likely Fraud About Voter Fraud

Since I registered to vote when I turned 18, I have only missed voting twice.  Once was a very minor race where I didn't know anything about the two people running, and honestly had no idea which I should vote for.  It was a special election, with only one office on the ballot, and well, to be honest, I completely forgot about it until it was too late.  The other time was during a presidential primary, and I was a poll watcher.  I had not planned on doing it, but the person we had assigned to a particular location turned out to be a complete kook, and we had to get him out of there before things got out of hand.  He was claiming voter fraud repeatedly, and without good cause.  The funny thing was, there was real voter fraud during that election, but it was of a completely different nature.  I believe strongly in the right to vote, and I also believe that voter fraud should be dealt with severely.

That said, I have been amused by the hysterics coming out of the National Center for Transgender Equality.  They have been claiming that the above image from the cover of a training guide put out by a right wing group proves that they plan to target transgender voters.    At least three of the kookiest transgender blogs have featured this story.  Now, let me say, right off the bat, that I have no idea what the training material actually says.  I can't find a copy of it online.  But, I also suspect that the NCTE also does not know, OR, if they do know they might be engaged in a bit of fraud themselves.  Funny, but I have seen no one provide anything other than this cover image as proof of their allegations.  If the guide includes specific instructions to target transgender men, you would think they would want to quote it in  detail...

Now, what I see is a suggestion, perhaps meant to be humorous, perhaps meant to be serious, that some man might dress up as a woman, so he could vote fraudulently, possibly using the name of a person who is deceased.  That seems a lot more reasonable than some alleged plot to prevent transgender men from voting.  Let's face it, they're not that big a voter bloc, and it would not be worth the effort.

But truth rarely serves the purposes of extremists, so a silly claim is made, based on a humorous image.  If they don't have full access to the content of the training material, they should not be making a claim based on an assumption.  And if they do have full access, and it does not say what they claim, then they are guilty of fraud themselves.

But I do suspect this is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Bottom line, regardless of how you lean, you should get out and vote.  


Angel said...

What I noticed about the graphic is that it also shows a voter ID, with a woman's photo on it, so it seems to me that the graphic is more about a man dressing as the woman in an attempt to commit voter fraud. It's hard to tell though, since the entire graphic is never shown... perhaps conveniently.

Those transsexuals and transgenders who have reported actually having problems at the polls seem to have a different problem... they are registered under a male name, and show up to vote while appearing to be female, and perhaps even present an ID that has a photo of a man, lists their sex as male, and lists a male-sounding name. But it isn't their fault that the poll workers become suspicious! Oh no! They would rather play the victim!

Just Jennifer said...

Actually, I had meant to point that fact out, and I guess I must have forgot to. That is exactly what was thinking they intended to show.

Now, I honestly don't know if such a thing has ever happened, and as I said, it may be an attempt at humor, but good catch!

I never had a problem when I voted. In fact, changing my driver's license was a first step, and changing my voter registration came very quickly as well.

To be honest, when they started this whole "Voting while trans" meme, my thought was, 'What? Are there are bunch of crossdressers who think it would be a thrill to crossdress when they vote?" I still wonder a bit.

Yes, vote fraud does occur. I don't know how much involves impersonation, and how much involves simply fudging numbers as they are counted. I worked in a political campaign during a presidential primary, and one of our people was told by one of their people (both candidates were the same party) that sure, they had cheated. Of course, at this point, our candidate was getting the nomination, and their candidate was giving us his votes, but we had some delegate candidates who were heartbroken that they would not get to vote at the convention. They got to attend as alternates, but they were still upset at not getting to actually vote.

And here in San Francisco, a year ago there was some serious problems with the mayor's race. There were tables set up in Chinatown where people's ballots were covered with stencils so they could only mark the approved candidates. Then, the ballots were collected, illegally, and turned mailed in for the people. (California allows early voting, and vote by mail, and this was clearly abuse of the process. It was caught on video and the District Attorney (who benefited from the voting fraud) has said he saw no evidence of fraud.

So yes, it is a problem. It has been on both sides, and I imagine both sides are working to fight it where they can. But using it to create fake victims is just lame.