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Who's Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote At Risk

2012 nonfiction book by John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky

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Voter fraud continues to be a threat to the future of our republic.

  • Sep 11, 2012
Rating:
+5
"Americans must produce a photo ID to obtain a library card, drink a beer, cash a check, board an airplane, buy a train ticket, or check in to a hotel. They understand that requiring voter ID is a common-sense reform that helps protect the security and protection of the election process." ---former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis

As I prepare this review Democrats are gathering in Charlotte, NC for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. And lo and behold delegates are required to present a photo ID to gain admission to the Time Warner Cable Arena. Given their position on Voter ID the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party is simply stunning. To those who have studied this issue and to the vast majority of the American people the evidence is overwhelming--Voter ID should be instituted in all 50 states. John Fund, National Affairs columnist for National Review has been on this story for years. His 2004 book "Stealing Elections" is considered to the seminal work on the subject. Hans von Spakovsky also knows voter fraud issues intimately. He spent four years at the Department of Justice working in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division. He was appalled at what he saw. Fund and von Spakovsky have collaborated on an eye-opening new book "Who's Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk". It is a stunning expose of how elections are routinely stolen and who is responsible. Until major reforms are undertaken you will never look at our electoral process in the same way again.

The authors trace the origins of the problem back to the passage of the National Voter Registration Act or "Motor Voter Law" back in 1993. This dubious legislation requires state governments to allow for registration when a person applies for or renews their driver's license or applies for welfare. No identification is required. God forbid that someone would have to take an hour to appear at their local Board of Canvassers to register. Progressives characterize that as a "hardship". Meanwhile, liberals around the country have been busy ramming through legislation such as "no fault" absentee voting whereby people are allowed to vote by mail for virtually any reason. Once again no ID is required. The evidence compiled by Fund and von Spakovsky makes it abundantly clear that the opportunity for voter fraud increases exponentially with the use of absentee ballots. And that is just fine and dandy with some unscrupulous candidates and political organizations. The authors have dubbed chapter 6 of their book "Absentee Ballots--The `Tool of Choice' of Vote Thieves" and cite specific examples of voter fraud that occurred in Greene County, Alabama back in 1994. A federal investigation uncovered the following: 1) 60 ballots sent to one P.O. Box, 2) absentee ballots stolen from voters mailboxes, 3) voters threatened with loss of public assistance and 4) votes were cast in the name of voters who were dead or who no longer resided in the county.

Sticking to the Voter ID issue Fund and von Spakovsky go on to cite an interesting case from my home state of Rhode Island where Voter ID was passed just last year. One of the chief proponents of Voter ID was Harold Metts, a 69 year old African-American state senator and a lifelong Democrat. Metts revealed that he had been fielding complaints for years from his mostly black and Latino constituents in the inner city of Providence. What is truly instructive is the event that convinced him that Voter ID was needed. His own state representative Anastasia Williams, an outspoken liberal herself, revealed that she and her daughter had their votes stolen in 2006 by people voting in their name. Metts joined forces with the Democratic Secretary of State Ralph Mollis to campaign for passage of a Voter ID law in the Ocean State. Much to my surprise the law was passed by our mostly Democratic legislature and signed into law by our "lefty" independent governor Lincoln Chafee. It was a reform that was long overdue!

Throughout the book von Spakovsky recalls his stormy four year tenure at the Department of Justice. While there he discovered that the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division was packed with liberal lawyers. Conservatives need not apply. To me the most disturbing observation made by the author is that there are nearly 80 lawyers assigned to enforce voting rights laws while there are just two to investigate voter fraud. It is abundantly clear where the priorities of the department lie. And it has only gotten worse under Attorney General Eric Holder who simply refuses to investigate alleged voter fraud. Meanwhile, what I found equally disturbing in "Who's Counting?" are the persistent calls by those on the left to abolish the Electoral College. The latest was made by former Vice President Al Gore in just the past couple of days. The authors argue passionately and convincingly the National Popular Vote (NPV) would be a very bad idea. They also reveal that there is an extremely sinister plan afoot by those on the left to circumvent the constitutional amendment route to achieve this goal. Very disturbing indeed!

When I was growing up my father warned me about people who would "do anything to win". That was great advice but unfortunately there are growing numbers among us who fit that description. "Who's Counting: How Fraud and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk" presents us with a comprehensive and rather chilling overview of the challenges we face in conducting honest elections in this nation. In the final chapter of the book entitled "What Is To Be Done" the authors offer up a number of common sense solutions to correct many of these problems and abuses. While the need for Voter ID may be the centerpiece of their presentation, John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky cover a number of other problems and abuses that compromise our electoral process in great detail. The next time someone tries to tell you that voter fraud is grossly exaggerated or virtually non-existent don't you believe it! Rather, refer that individual to "Who's Counting?" Tell them that this is an extremely well written and meticulously researched book with more than 30 pages of endnotes. Then challenge them to come up with some credible evidence to the contrary. Very highly recommended!

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September 13, 2012
Whatever voter ID system is implemented - the process has to be free of charge. Otherwise, the ID system itself becomes a back-door poll tax which no-one wants.
 
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About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

The 2012 election will be one of the hardest-fought in U.S. history. It is also likely to be one of the closest, a fact that brings concerns about voter fraud and bureaucratic incompetence in the conduct of elections front and center. If we don't take notice, we could see another debacle like the Bush-Gore Florida recount of 2000 in which courts and lawyers intervened in what should have involved only voters.

Who's Counting? will focus attention on many problems of our election system, ranging from voter fraud to a slipshod system of vote counting that noted political scientist Walter Dean Burnham calls “the most careless of the developed world.” In an effort to clean up our election laws, reduce fraud and increase public confidence in the integrity of the voting system, many states ranging from Georgia to Wisconsin have passed laws requiring a photo ID be shown at the polls and curbing the rampant use of absentee ballots, a tool of choice by fraudsters. The response from Obama allies has been to belittle the need for such laws and attack them as akin to the second coming of a racist tide in American life. In the summer of 2011, both Bill Clinton and DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz preposterously claimed that such laws suppressed minority voters and represented a return to the era of Jim Crow.

But voter fraud is a well-documented reality in American elections. Just this year, a sheriff and county clerk in West Virginia pleaded guilty to stuffing ...

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