Will This Election Be Stolen?
There are reports in this year's elections that votes were bought in some Alabama counties for cash and crack cocaine .
Some voters appeared at the polls only to be told that absentee ballots had already been cast in their names.snip
As both parties battle over just how fraud could taint this election, two analysts with very different viewpoints look at voting abuses from the beginning of the republic to the present day.
In 1742, riots broke out in Philadelphia on Election Day over claims that German immigrants were being used to illegally increase vote totals.
George Washington won a race for the Virginia House of Burgesses after buying gallons of liquor for voters; by contrast, James Madison refused to engage in this common practice and lost his election.
New York City was infamous for ballot stuffing throughout the 1800s.
In 1844, for example, 135% of the eligible voters turned out to vote. William "Boss" Tweed's ability to steal elections in New York through the Tammany Hall machine was rivaled only by Mayor Richard J. Daley's Chicago operations in the latter half of the 20th century, although other cities had corrupt vote-stealing machines. Tammany Hall delivered fraudulent votes by buying them, through intimidation, by sending individuals from precinct to precinct to vote, and by using illegal aliens, fictitious voters and ineligible penitentiary inmates to cast ballots.
Election fraud in the U.S. traces back to the beginning of elections.
Not there's a danger that thousands of eligible voters will be disenfranchised, because of efforts to prevent a few unlawful votes. Read an essay by Mark Crispin Miller.
America is the most successful experiment in democracy that history has ever seen. Under the Constitution, Americans choose their leaders and legislative representatives, including federal, state, county and local governments. But when they vote Tuesday, will their votes be counted fairly? Or will ballots be canceled or diluted by fraudulent votes cast by the dead, noncitizens, fictitious voters, or individuals voting more than once?
We have allegations that almost a third of the 1.3 million registrations submitted by community organizer Acorn (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) are fraudulent.
Not only do these bogus registrations slow down the ability of election officials to process the registrations of legitimate voters, but they severely limit the ability of election officials to verify new voters' registration information, because officials are overwhelmed by the sheer number of problem registrations.
This leads to serious questions about how many fraudulent registrations will not be caught by election officials. That raises the prospect that some ballots could be cast under successful fraudulent registrations, as has happened in real voter-fraud cases in the past. It will likely create chaos at the polls, where election officials will come under great pressure to not deny anyone's vote.
Phones Ringing Off the Hook
With voting worries at a fever pitch, a handful of national voter hotlines have sprung up to field the thousands of questions people have about polling locations, absentee ballots and early voting. Read Business Technology.
Vote-buying isn't just a remnant of our past.
In 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted seven individuals, who were ultimately convicted, for buying votes in Knott County, Ky.