Home Virginia Politics Stoking Voter Fraud Paranoia in Virginia

Stoking Voter Fraud Paranoia in Virginia


For some, the only rationalization for an electoral defeat is vote tampering. If they had substantive rather than anecdotal evidence there would be cause for alarm. Instead, the purveyors of this myth use innuendo and predisposition of their audience to convince. Where were these facts in Virginia’s legislative debates?

“It is not the people who vote who count; it’s the people who count the votes.” – Josef Stalin

This is a cause celeb without a justifiable cause. If the integrity of elections were really the concern, the few individual voters who have been prosecuted would not be the focus. The largest Virginia case of tampering did not occur at the ballot box, but in a Registrar’s office where 100 or so eligible voters were denied registration. That single case involves many more votes than the few individual cases not to mention the loss in the institutional basis for trust in the process. The legislature did nothing to protect us against the greater demonstrated threat to the legitimacy of the electoral process. Rather, Republicans are putting into practice Stalin’s maxim.

“…If we have a widespread number of felons showing up to vote when they can’t, then the voter ID law is not going to fix that,”… Even with the state police investigation, … “My question would still be, how many of those (cases) are allegations of people coming to vote claiming to be someone that they’re not?” – Delegate Jennifer McClellan’s (D-71st) comments to the Richmond Times Dispatch

Excellent point. The very individuals who Republicans claim are part of a larger conspiracy to subvert the election process are not pretending to be anyone other than who they are. How will an ID make any difference at all? With or without ID, they are still identifying themselves. With conspirators like that, who needs new laws?

The timing of the individual voter fraud media frenzy provides cover for Governor McDonnell’s “decisions” on the voter legislation. Once again, with the cooperation of Republicans in the legislature, he is positioned so that he can wash his hands of responsibility if he does not veto. Something had to be done and this is the lesser of two bad choices, so he can argue.

Sen. Henry L. Marsh III, D-Richmond, questioned the timing of the release of the state police data after the voter ID issue has been debated by the legislature. “If that existed, why wasn’t that information available before the debate?” – Richmond Times Dispatch

But the Governor ought to ask a few questions himself. Surely, with his background, he understands the role of prosecutors and the leaps of logic that can lead to absurd conclusions. According to Senator Thomas Garrett, R-Louisa, former Louisa County commonwealth’s attorney who prosecuted two felons for voter fraud in 2009, “What that indicates to me, at least among certain groups, is there is an active effort to subvert the laws of the commonwealth.”

Really? Two prosecutions prove a widespread conspiracy “among certain groups” to subvert the laws of Virginia? If this is his standard of proof, maybe Garrett should return to private practice and play in the less demanding realm of domestic disputes and dog bites. Depending upon his choice here, that could be where the Governor really belongs too. Republicans appear hell bent on depicting America as a banana republic because that is what they want it to be.

By the way, you may remember, having IDs and passports did nothing to stop the 911 hijackers.  

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