Attorney General Alberto Gonzales reflected the prevailing GOP view when he testified last week before the House Judiciary Committee, saying that the Justice Department has “an obligation” to prosecute voter fraud.”(T)his notion that somehow voter fraud is a dirty word, I don’t understand it, because you’re talking about people stealing votes, canceling out legitimate votes,” Gonzales said.
Let’s just look at the numbers:
125 million Americans voted in the 2004 presidential election, 64% of those eligible. 36% did not vote, a total of 70 million people who, for one reason or another, were not able or did not choose to exercise their right and obligation to vote. Some who tried were greatly discouraged by long lines, created by shortages of voting machines, particularly in poor areas. Attempts were made to mislead voters about polling places and times. Many thousands were disenfranchised by Republicans simply because they had moved to a different address, didn’t return a Republican mailer, or had a name similar to a felon.
70 million Americans didn’t vote. A huge problem.
Voter registration drives and get out the vote campaigns attempt to reduce this total, and thus improve the quality of our democracy.
The total number of ineligible people who actually attempted to vote is not precisely known. We can say that in spite of considerable (as in “you’re fired”), US attorneys across the country found almost none. In spite of turning the considerable resources of the United States against “voter fraud,” virtually NONE were found. The only thing that was found were a handful, literally, of voter registrars who were paid by the number of voters they registered, and so made up some names. A few dozen. And these “fake people”, many of whom were fictional, didn’t try to vote.
Now we are seeing not only voter intimidation, but also registration intimidation by the Republicans.
This is not my father’s Republican Party. This is a bunch of crooks.
Nonetheless, Democrats have succeeded in shining a bright light on what Rove and Gonzales were doing and have thrown a log onto the road in front of any further politicization of Justice for the remainder of Bush’s term. But since Republicans condone what Gonzales and Rove were doing as an acceptable use of federal prosecutors, they shouldn’t complain when a Hillary Clinton appoints dozens of partisan gunslingers around the country and turns them loose on the GOP vote stealing, voter disenfranchisement, computerized voting fraud, and vote ID transgressions that have piled up over the last seven years. The GOP has been shredding the Voting Rights Act for years, and now there should be a day of reckoning.