Becoming more and more hysterical at the possibility of losing the presidential election, liberals and their media allies are psyching up the public to expect legal challenges in any states that have close elections. Florida is the focus of their paranoia because of President George W. Bush's narrow wins there by 537 votes in 2000.
They are putting out the spin that, if pre-election polls show Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in the lead in Florida but the paperless voting machines give Bush the victory, that means the election is suspect! They have already lined up hundreds of litigating lawyers to rush into court to persuade activist judges to change the results.
After the prolonged uncertainty of the Florida election of 2000, Florida spent millions of dollars to replace butterfly ballots with touch-screen machines. Now we find that they are just as controversial and a challenge is pending in a Tallahassee court.
Democrats are not claiming election fraud, and former Vice President Al Gore didn't claim fraud in 2000. Gore was free to present evidence of fraud or other misconduct, but he had no such evidence and that's why his strategy was to demand a different method of counting the ballots.
This time the Democrats' game plan is to accuse Republicans of suppressing the minority vote, asserting that "ballot security" and "preventing voter fraud" are just code words for intimidating minority voters. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., was in Florida last week accusing Republicans of "trying to keep people from voting." It's good to keep people from voting who are not eligible to vote. Unfortunately, there are many ways that ballots are cast and counted for people who are not eligible.
A New York Daily News investigation discovered that 46,000 New Yorkers are registered to vote in both New York and Florida. That's illegal, of course, and punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, but nobody checks registration rolls across state lines and these election frauds go unpunished.
Of the 46,000, 68 percent are Democrats, 12 percent are Republicans, and 16 percent didn't claim a party. The Daily News also found that between 400 and 1,000 registered voters voted twice in at least one election, and one man voted twice in seven elections including the last four presidential races.
John Fund's new book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy (Dimensions; $16,95) says, "After extensive research, I can report that while voting irregularities are common, the number of people who have spent time in jail as a result of a conviction for voter fraud in the last dozen years can be counted on the fingers of one hand."
Across the country and especially in Florida, Democrats are trying to register felons. This is despite the fact that Florida has disenfranchised felons for as long as it has been a state, as specifically allowed by the U.S. Constitution in Section 2 of the 14th Amendment.
Democrats have conducted voter registration drives in Florida county jails in an effort to harvest the vote of the 31,591 pre-trial detainees. They are eligible to vote if they are not already convicted felons.
The jails treat Democratic precinct workers like any other visitors and allow them to talk privately with detainees. The jail supervisor subsequently provides and collects absentee ballots.
In Jacksonville, Fla., Democrats are registering the homeless population. What about a home address? The homeless just use the address of a government agency in the precinct where they register.
The U.S. Justice Department and state police are investigating criminal vote fraud in Florida based on widespread allegations of phony voter registrations and forged party-affiliation change cards. Absentee ballots are highly susceptible to fraud and forgery, and Palm Beach County is sending out 100,000 absentee ballots for the Nov. 2 election.
Under the Motor Voter Law, the first law passed by the administration of former President Bill Clinton, states are required to accept voter registrations by mail without proof of residence or citizenship. There is no way to check voting by illegal immigrants.
One good thing about the 2002 Help America Vote Act was its requirement that voter registration forms include a box where the applicant can check to affirm his citizenship, and then sign the application. A lawsuit has been filed in Florida calling the citizenship box "nonsensical" and asking a judge to require the state to register applicants even if they fail to check the citizenship box. One of the best ways to prevent voter fraud is to require that each voter presents a picture identification. Democrats oppose this at every turn despite the fact we are already required to show picture ID for everything from boarding an airplane to renting a video.
In New Mexico, where Al Gore won in 2000 by only 366 votes, an activist state supreme court just "interpreted" a 2003 state law to wipe out its requirement that every voter present "current and valid" identification in order to receive a ballot. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said, "There will be few if any checks at the polls this fall to ensure that a voter is who they say they are."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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