There is still much we don’t know about what transpired in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, but what we do know is alarming: a man with ties to Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris and several other local GOP officials paid multiple women to collect strangers’ absentee ballots, and Harris narrowly won both the GOP primary and general election thanks to nearly impossible margins in the absentee vote.
It’s too early to say definitively, but North Carolina Republicans could very well end up being responsible for the biggest case of election fraud in modern U.S. history.
And therein lies an important distinction: what we are watching unravel in slow motion is a textbook case of election fraud. It is not, as many have either carelessly or intentionally claimed, voter fraud.
Source: Election fraud is not the same thing as voter fraud. Republicans never really cared either way. – ThinkProgress
Being able to vote in an election, to choose the people that decide the laws by which we should abide, or who commit us to war or set the taxes that we must pay is a right that our forebears have made great sacrifices to procure and protect. It is a solemn undertaking when we exercise our vote, one that we should treat in all seriousness, for we are not just casting a ballot on behalf of ourselves, but also in the knowledge that our choice may impact irrevocably on others.
It is, therefore, important that the ballot is, in every respect, beyond reproach; that we know it has not been tampered with and could not have been subverted to the benefit of any one candidate or a party’s candidates. Seeking to skew an election is not an easy task and while the aftermath of British elections has on occasion led to isolated examples of accusations about individuals or certain groups exploiting seeming weaknesses in our procedures, instances of malpractice or deliberate cunning that have led to prosecutions are, thankfully, rare.
Following the last General Election concerns were raised that young students were encouraged to cast their votes twice by voting once from their home address and again using a second term-time address. To do so would have been illegal, and while the police investigated some 70 specific reports in the end only one successful prosecution was brought against Mohammed Zain Qureshi. He had voted twice from his home address by registering two different versions of his name and thus obtaining two polling cards.
Nevertheless it is not as if we have not had difficulties with personation or double voting before. For decades the joke that in Northern Ireland voters were encouraged to “vote early, and vote often” by using the names of dead relatives that might still be on the electoral roll was believed to have some substance. In 2002 a Northern Ireland opinion survey showed 66 per cent believed “electoral fraud is very common in some areas” whilst 64 per cent thought in some areas it was “enough to change the election results”.
After the Labour government passed its Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act in 2002 – requiring voters to present photographic proof of identity – comparative surveys of returning officers in 2001 and 2003 indicated the percentage who reported seeing people vote more than once had decreased from 3 per cent to 0.1 per cent. Those experiencing being turned away because someone had already voted in their name declined from 4 per cent to 1 per cent and those presented with documents they suspected to be forgeries declined from 3 per cent to 0.2 per cent.
Source: Brian Monteith: Showing ID a smart move that will curb voter fraud : The Scotsman
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has labored mightily to avoid criticizing President Trump but two weeks into the new administration, it’s getting harder to downplay their differences.
On Sunday, McConnell told CNN he disagreed with Trump’s view of Putin, questioned the president’s claim of massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election and cautioned against the administration going too far with restrictions on travel from predominantly Muslim countries.
McConnell also chided Trump, albeit tacitly, for lambasting of a federal judge who ruled against his executive order temporarily banning visitors from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria from entering the U.S.
The majority leader is adept at deflecting questions and sticking to his talking points when it comes to possible differences with the president.
He prefers to emphasize their shared goals, including the repeal of ObamaCare, comprehensive tax reform and broad regulatory reform.
But Sunday on “State of the Union,” McConnell highlighted several splits with the Trump administration.
Source: Skeptical McConnell distances from Trump on Russia, travel ban | TheHill