Tuesday, February 16, 2016


As Bernie Sanders has noted, when the voters turn out, Democrats win. 
When turn out is low, Republicans, who represent the 1%, do well.
The way to stay in office when your ideas favor a small minority is to try to keep only a small minority voting.

Fortunately, given the great American tradition of holding a vote for 300 million people on a single day and on a working day when middle class people cannot easily get to the polls, things have worked out well for Republicans.

In a recent rant, John Oliver examines the one study which suggested voter fraud, i.e. a person voting more than once on election day, may actually occur, and, it turns out, when you look at that study, what it really shows is this almost never happens.
As Mr. Oliver notes, voter fraud has occurred in American history, but almost never the kind of fraud voter ID laws address. 

Stuffing ballot boxes, yes, but a voter voting more than once for a candidate is terribly inefficient, waiting in line to vote multiple times--how much could that actually affect an outcome when millions are voting? 

What he does show is a Tennessee legislator who inveighs righteously about how important the voting process is to a democracy explaining her bill to limit voting registration, and then it shows her voting electronically on bills before the legislature by pressing not just the button at her desk but the buttons on desks for any legislator who is not present at his desk, i.e. she is cheating and voting for absent members. 


Ah, there is the essence of concern for the integrity of democracy.


  1. Mad Dog,
    The John Oliver clip was great-I love him and really need to make more of an effort to watch his show. Like his mentor, Jon Stewart, his points are intelligent, extremely funny and sadly true..Ironic that the Tennessee legislator who felt the need to legislatively address a voter fraud problem that doesn't exist, turns out to be the cheat. I enjoyed watching her attempt to explain her rationale for the behavior-she and her fellow cheating legislators are so busy they don't have time for bathroom breaks..huh?..Oh yes, that explains everything..The bad news is that it's likely that a poll of our fellow citizens would show a strong belief that fraudulent voters impersonating the dead on election day is a major issue. It's unlikely that the majority of voters would recognize the Republican goal of suppressing the vote as the real problem-and why the GOP gets away with it..

  2. Maud,

    Yes, in this age of Twitter, when everything must be explained in 140 characters, we have embraced brevity over real understanding and nuance; we embrace superficiality over depth of understanding. Oliver explained the details of the absurdity (stuffing ballot boxes was once a real problem, but voter impersonation never can be) and then he launched an entirely new and unexpected expose.
    I cannot figure out how to watch his show. It comes on HBO somehow and although I have Comcast, I can't seem to find it. So I see him mainly on youtube.

    Mad Dog