2008 non-fiction book by John Fund< read all 3 reviews
As we approach the 2010 Congressional elections it is difficult not to be alarmed at what has become of the election process in this country. John Fund brings us all up to date on just what is going on in the updated version of his 2004 book "Stealing Elections, Revised and Updated: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy". If you are as concerned as I am about the myriad problems we face in conducting elections in this nation then I urge you to take the time to read this extremely important book.
The problems appear to have started in 1994 with the enactment of the Motor Voter Law. This innane act allows individuals to register to vote in church, at the laundromat or at just about any government agency. What is particularly outrageous about this practice is that absolutely no identification is required to register in most states. When I first read about this many years ago I recall thinking just how ridiculous this law was. People can also register by mail, again with no identification required. And the consequences of this law should not be at all surprising. We now have many more fraudulant votes being cast by illegal aliens, convicted felons, people who moved away years earlier and yes even by dead people!!! Have you read the news about ACORN lately? As a result the ballots cast by legitimate, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens are being negated. It is an absolute outrage!
Another way elections are being stolen in this country is by the use of absentee ballots and extended election periods. There was a time when a citizen needed to present officials with a legitimate reason for being sent an absentee ballot. Today, in the name of "convenience" standards have been greatly relaxed and more and more voters are opting for absentee ballots. The opportunities for voter fraud increase exponentially in such a scenario. God forbid people have to wait in line for half an hour once every four years to do their duty as citizens! Did you know that in 2008 in the state of Ohio people were allowed to cast their votes in person some 5 weeks before Election Day? Is this really necessary? And who stands to benefit from such a law? Meanwhile in Oregon virtually all balloting is now done by mail. Melody Rose, a professor at Oregon State University observes in "Stealing Elections": "Vote by mail brings a perpetual risk of systemic fraud." In such a system ballots can easily be stolen from mailboxes and once again the opportunity for all kinds of hanky panky dramatically increases.
Voter fraud is certainly not the only way that our elections are being compromised today. John Fund points out significant problems that have occurred with just about all of the new technologies including touch screens and scanners. With just about all of these systems there is no paper backup available. As a result the potential for fraud is tremendous. Democrats have bitterly complained that irregularities in the State of Ohio in 2004 cost Kerry the election. And even if these machines do happen to be in good working order on Election Day recent history has taught us that many poll workers are poorly trained and often do not know how to operate these machines properly. And then there is the requirement for issuing complicated "provisional" ballots in many states. Our election process is a mess and all of these issues need to be addressed.
As an important first step to remedy some of these issues and to return some level of sanity to the process, John Fund proposes that photo identification be required before voting. This seems like a reasonable idea. A poll taken in 2004 found that 89% of Bush supporters and 75% of John Kerry voters approved of this proposal. Yet Civil Rights groups fight such an idea tooth and nail. It is also clear to me that much of the new voting equipment in use might not be quite ready for prime time use. It is imperative that before a state commits to such new technologies that adequate testing be done beforehand. After all, what is the big rush? Are we falling all over ourselves just so the networks can get faster results on election night? Let them wait!
In "Stealing Elections, Revised and Updated: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy" John Fund has painted a chilling picture of what our elections are turning into. Unlike some other books out there I thought that Fund's approach was remarkably fair and balanced. I take this book very seriously and worry what the ramifications might be if people come to believe that elections can be easily manipulated or even stolen in our country. These are issues of the utmost importance that all of us should become acquainted with and reading "Stealing Elections" is a great way to get up to speed on these issues. Highly recommended!
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Butterfly ballots, balky machines, absentee ballot scandals, felons voting, Supreme Court intervention—all these made headlines during the infamous 2000 Florida recount. Could it happen again in this year’s presidential election? The answer is yes, because not much has changed to improve our election systems, while both major parties are poised on a hair trigger to file lawsuits and challenge any close statewide vote. The issues may boil down to whether the margin of victory in any state exceeds the “margin of litigation.”
John Fund offers a guided tour of our error-prone election systems, which nearly half of Americans say they don’t trust. When some states have systems so flawed that you can’t tell where incompetence ends and possible fraud begins, it isn’t surprising that scandals have ranged from rural Texas to big cities such as Milwaukee and St. Louis. Fund dissects some anomalies of Florida 2000 and analyzes the bitterly protracted election for governor of Washington State in 2004. He spotlights the perils of “provisional ballots,” the flaws of the “Motor Voter” law that has allowed people to get absentee ballots for phantom voters, and the shady registration drives of the radical group ACORN. Meanwhile, the simple safeguard of a photo ID requirement is fiercely resisted on specious claims that it would disenfranchise poor and minority voters.
Stealing Elections presents a chilling portrait of electoral vulnerability, as a combination of bureaucratic bungling and ...