Thursday, December 30, 2021

Voter Fraud

Why do people think this is a smart argument? If Biden had really won on the strength of fraudulent votes (which of course he did not, that is a Big Lie) in the district where Congressman Gringe (R-Toejam) handily won his own race, on the same day with the same ballots under the same system, then the fraudulent votes were obviously Democratic, and Gringe won in spite of them. If the (imaginary) fraud had not been committed, Gringe would have won by a bigger margin. If he actually believed his nonsensical story, he would have no reason to suspect that his own election might be tainted.

So to accuse him of hypocrisy for not questioning his own election doesn't make any sense.

Of course he doesn't actually believe it. If the House actually believed in fraud delivering the White House to Democrats, they'd be challenging their Democratic friends across the aisle on their elections. They'd be going after Jason Kander and Conor Lamb and Mikey Sherrill and whoever for getting elected on the basis of the same fraud that (supposedly) benefited Biden, and they don't do that either. That's because they know there isn't anything to it that would survive the most minimal scrutiny. If you want to hound them, you should hound them on that basis.

Plus, you should also lean on the fact that virtually all the demonstrated voter fraud in the 2020 election or any US election of the last 20 years, has been committed by Republicans, from the rare cases of voter impersonation to Trump's wild attempt to shake down the (Republican-run) Georgia state department, except in transparently bogus cases like that of Crystal Mason, a Black woman from the Dallas area with a felony conviction for getting excessive refunds for her clients in a tax preparation business who thought she was entitled to vote in 2016 after she'd finished paying her debt to society.

Crystal Mason was arrested, and found her life newly upended. Mason’s family had often been in conflict with other residents in their predominantly white community—for a variety of reasons, including, Mason and her lawyers believe, outright racism. When her children were younger, she told me, a neighbor had once brandished a shotgun as her son passed by; her then-husband reported the incident, and she said that local authorities added a bus stop closer to her home so that her children could keep away from the neighbor’s house. Now she faced charges brought by the local district attorney. There was no way to keep a low profile. She lost her job.

The district attorney offered a deal: 10 years’ probation. But the deal required an admission of guilt, which Mason could not accept. It also would have put her back in prison: The mere fact of a conviction would mean that she had violated the terms of her supervised release. The only way for Mason to remain free was to prove her innocence. She chose a trial before a judge.

The state court ended up giving her five years in prison, upheld by a three-judge appeals panel, for reasons I can't even begin to comprehend, unless the Texas law on vote fraud was indeed framed with the purpose of giving local Texas authorities power to intimidate people trying to exercise their right to vote (if you fear there might be something "wrong" with you, don't even try!). When we're talking about the harm done by voter fraud, let's talk about the harm done by vicious accusations of voter fraud, because I think they constitute a fraud in their own right, presenting the public with the idea that the vote is a privilege rather than a right, something you're required to earn. I don't think so. I'd love to see it tested out in the Supreme Court, too,  if there was a Supreme Court that cared about the Constitution. Maybe some day.

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