Bill Steigerwald

Just in time for this year's electoral excitement, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund has revised and updated his 2004 book, "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy (Encounter)." From felons voting and absentee voter fraud to the shady registration drives of ACORN, Fund's book surveys the bureaucratic ineptitude and deliberately fraudulent ballot-rigging tricks that have destroyed the creditability of our elections system among the American public and made it a laughingstock among industrialized nations. I spoke by phone to Fund Wednesday, Oct. 22, as he rode a train from Washington to New York City.

Q: Please give us a brief idea of what your book tells us about the nature of our voting system.

A: It tells us that we in many ways have as sloppy, as chaotic and as varied an election system as we had in 2000, when Bush and Gore spent 37 days fighting about Florida and the country didn't know who the next president would be.

If you compare voting conditions to the conditions of a dry forest at the end of summer, when there is a danger of fire, the flammable material is just as present as it was in 2000, except now a lot more people have matches.

Obama and McCain have 14,000 lawyers between them spoiling for intervention. If the margin of victory is close, if it comes down to one or two or three states that are very close, we're going to see lots of lawsuits, recriminations and recounts if the margin of victory is less than what I call the "margin of litigation" -- in other words, the trigger for which you start filing a lawsuit to try to get enough votes thrown out or get enough votes added to your column to win the election. I think it's a conscious strategy on the part of both campaigns to go to court and demand recounts if it is close enough.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book back in 2004?

A: Remember, 75 percent of this new book is fresh material. It's basically been completely rewritten and updated. I wrote the old edition and the new edition because I felt people were not sufficiently informed about how vulnerable our election system was to breakdowns, incompetence and outright fraud.

Q: What's an example of an update or revision that you've added since 2004?

A: The Washington governor's race of 2004. There's fresh material on Barack Obama's relationship with ACORN that is very timely and very newsy.

Q: Will readers of your book be encouraged or depressed by what they learn?

Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald, born and raised in Pittsburgh, is a former L.A. Times copy editor and free-lancer who also worked as a docudrama researcher for CBS-TV in Hollywood before becoming a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a columnist Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Bill Steigerwald recently retired from daily newspaper journalism..