Sat Jan 7, 2012, 10:30 AM
Why Isn't The Right Screaming "Fraud" Over Iowa Caucuses?
January 05, 2012 2:16 pm ET by Matt Gertz
Let me begin by being perfectly clear: I have absolutely no reason to think any election fraud occurred in the GOP's Iowa caucuses on Tuesday. But if Democrats had been in any way involved, you can bet that Republicans would be screaming to the heavens about a possibly stolen election.
Before, during, and after virtually every competitive election, the right-wing media wail about how Democrats are on the verge of stealing elections through fraud. This has been going on for years, despite significant evidence that actual voter fraud is extremely rare. Conservatives have used this voter fraud myth to push for a variety of draconian restrictions on voting, which have the effect of disenfranchising traditionally Democratic voters such as young people, the poor, and minorities.
When Democrat-backed JoAnne Kloppenburg emerged from Wisconsin's Supreme Court election with a small lead last year, conservatives were quick to claim the election was within the "margin of fraud" and cite baseless allegations. The same thing happened when close elections favored Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in 2008 and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D). And then there's their endless allegations that Democrats or ACORN were about to steal an election.
Which brings us to Tuesday, when Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucus by a mere eight votes out of 60,022 cast, a margin so slim that even a handful of fraudulent votes could have tipped the balance. There will be no recount. And the Iowa GOP requires no photo ID from would-be caucusers; indeed, you could participate with no documentation if you and a registered voter from the precinct would both sign an oath swearing you are qualified.