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[flagged] Second woman claims she was paid to pick up ballots in US House District 9 race (wsoctv.com)
63 points by smacktoward 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments





It’s really sad that we have such low visibility into actual voter fraud. It seems our elections are broken in such a way that no one is interested in fixing them lest they lose some particular advantage.

It’s enough that now I’ve had enough. I want ID required. I want real paper trails. I want to know exactly how many ballots were issued and where each of them was sent. I want to enforce laws such as cutoffs.

People who say there’s no evidence of voter fraud. How would you even know?


Voter fraud (not to be confused with this case of election fraud) isn't visible because there isn't enough signal to reliably separate it from noise.

Here's a 2017 link[0] to a Brennan Center article (left-leaning but non-partisan think-tank) that pulls together a bunch of studies about voter fraud.

[0] https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/debunking-voter-fraud...


Nah mate, what you need is a federal level election handling organisation which sets consistent procedures in place across all states for federal elections.

Take the Australian Electorally Commission as a model of something that isn’t totally broken by design, and work from there. There are strict controls over who is or is not allowed to do what with a ballot at every stage of its life.

You need a single federal body handling federal elections, and consistent procedures in place for state level elections.

You also need to get rid of gerrymandering, perhaps having electorate boundaries set by the electoral commission independent of the state.


> gerrymandering

Just stop with the small districts, use ranked voting (or single transferable vote) and for a lot bigger regions.


Yeah, multi-seat electorates will provide more more representative representation certainly.

Huh? Currently in a "first past the post" voting system every district has a lot of votes that are lost. If a candidate wins with 51%, then 49% of those votes are lost. Gone. Poof. And gerrymandering exploits this by creating a lot of these districts, let's say that likely results in 60-40%. Those 40%s are lost.

One way to solve that is to bundle districts, because if you bundle 10 such 60-40 districts, then you should end up with 6-4 instead of 10-0.


This isn't voter fraud. It's election fraud.

Requiring an ID impedes voters. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it turns out it's true. And the problem it purports to solve doesn't actual exist.


> I want to know exactly how many ballots were issued and where each of them was sent.

Are you talking about how they're routed within the government for counting purposes?

Or are you suggesting that the name and address of everyone who requests an absentee ballot should be released publicly?

If it's the latter, I don't think I see eye-to-eye with you. That seems like a pretty major invasion of privacy to me.


> It’s enough that now I’ve had enough. I want ID required.

I understand and agree with the sentiment. I worry, though, about placing too many administrative hurdles in front of a fundamental right. ID is already required; but I assume you mean photo ID. But photo IDs aren't free, and neither is transportation or time off work. Some part of me is concerned that photo ID laws amount to a poll tax. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on that.


> Some part of me is concerned that photo ID laws amount to a poll tax.

Here in Argentina, everyone has a national ID ("DNI") and it cost about US$10 and you have to pay it two or three times in your lifetime, not every year or at every election. I don't understand how something like can be so expensive to make someone avoid voting. (Anyway, here you can get your national ID for free if you really can't pay for it.)


That’s pretty reasonable, but here we have a patchwork of states with different laws and requirements. From my own experience, I moved from one state to another and it took two trips to the necessary official office (DMV) with a total of about 4 working hours out of my week. Is everyone willing to do this or able to?

It depends how frequently you move interstate/are required to re-prove your identity.

If it's several times over the course of your life it's definitely reasonable. Maybe not once it approaches yearly.


> I don't understand how something like can be so expensive to make someone avoid voting.

Because the point of making it expensive is to make people stop voting. It's not an accident, or an oversight. It's the purpose.


>I worry, though, about placing too many administrative hurdles in front of a fundamental right

>Some part of me is concerned that photo ID laws amount to a poll tax.

All the arguments against ID requirements, poll taxes and other measures used to disenfranchise poor people can be turned right around and used to argue against licensing requirements, fees and other typical tactics used to keep (mostly poor) people from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.

Either restricting people's fundamental human rights is ok or it isn't. I know which hill I'm dying on.


There is a Constitutional right to "keep and bear arms," not to purchase them free from fees and taxes. You have no right to "keep and bear" something you have not yet purchased.

Additionally, it's not "a" right, it's "the" right. The text of the Constitution recognizes a pre-existing right. "We look to ['the historical background'] because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right." District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 592 (2008).

Just like the pre-existing right of free speech was scoped so as not to provide immunity to suit for libel, the pre-existing right to keep and bear arms has never in its "historical background" been described as prohibiting purchase-time taxes. You're wholly inventing that aspect of the right; you'd have a stronger argument if we were talking about yearly personal property taxes levied on firearms.


>There is a Constitutional right to "keep and bear arms," not to purchase them free from fees and taxes. You have no right to "keep and bear" something you have not yet purchased.

>Additionally, it's not "a" right, it's "the" right. The text of the Constitution recognizes a pre-existing right. "We look to ['the historical background'] because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right." District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 592 (2008).

I generally agree with this.

>the pre-existing right to keep and bear arms has never in its "historical background" been described as prohibiting purchase-time taxes. You're wholly inventing that aspect of the right; you'd have a stronger argument if we were talking about yearly personal property taxes levied on firearms.

That's exactly what I'm talking about. The $200 NFA stamp that was intentionally supposed to be a hurdle for poor people back in the early 1900s. The $100 fee you need for any gun license in MA (other states have similiar) is a poll tax if there ever was one. Shall issue licensing in any real world implementation almost always passes the duck test for institutionalized discrimination.


> Either restricting people's fundamental human rights is ok or it isn't.

Are you equating the right to bear arms (as part of a well regulated militia) with fundamental human rights? I think that one might need a bit more explanation.


My opinion is that the individual right to self-defense is a fundamental human right.

Okay, but self defense does not necessarily mean firearms. Applying the argument to firearms restrictions is like applying the right to have a voice in governance by requiring a specific type of governance (such as a true democracy instead of a representative one). I don't believe there's a fundamental human right to have a firearm any more than I think there is one to have a nuclear bomb. Both can be (and have been) used for defense, but we do not allow individuals (or even all countries!) to have both.

A firearm is one tool of many that can be used to defend yourself. Voting is the method for the citizens to control government in a Democracy. Once you take away or impede someone's ability to own and operate firearms, you have hampered their ability to protect themselves in some small or large part, but there are other methods available to them. Once you take away or impede someone's ability to vote, you are affecting their only way to actually affect their own governance. (all the above all assumes legal recourses are considered).

Note: This isn't to say I think we should ban guns or anything, I just think as fundamental rights go, what was presented originally was not equivalent in my eyes, as explained above.


>Okay, but self defense does not necessarily mean firearms.

There is a fundamental human right to defend yourself from physical violence. If there are tools that are used for that task then it follows that one has a fundamental human right to posses tools that give one the means to do so. If the year was 1018 we'd be discussing bows and swords instead of firearms. In 3018 we'll be discussing lasers or something like that. In 2018 (or 1788 for that matter) the tool is firearms.

>Voting is the method for the citizens to control government in a Democracy. Once you take away or impede someone's ability to own and operate firearms, you have hampered their ability to protect themselves in some small or large part, but there are other methods available to them. Once you take away or impede someone's ability to vote, you are affecting their only way to actually affect their own governance. (all the above all assumes legal recourses are considered).

While I understand where you're coming from I think you're wrong because I don't believe there is a meaningful distinction. The union of all fundamental human rights is greater than the sum of them individually and each right is so important in the context of the others that a threat to any one human right is a threat to them all.

>Once you take away or impede someone's ability to own and operate firearms, you have hampered their ability to protect themselves in some small or large part, but there are other methods available to them. Once you take away or impede someone's ability to vote, you are affecting their only way to actually affect their own governance. (all the above all assumes legal recourses are considered).

So is it ok that the government routinely tries to side step the people's right to not be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures and right to due process because people can still vote for a government that won't do that?

I don't think the right to vote is any more important than any other fundamental human right.


Yes. The right to keep and bear arms is just an awkward way of wording "people have the right to have the means to defend themselves". It just so happens that firearms are the current gold standard when it comes to defending one's person. If something else comes along the people have the right to that too.

> It just so happens that a functioning society is the current gold standard when it comes to defending one's person.

FTFY


Tell that to the people who live in neighborhoods with 30min police response times.

Even in a "functioning society" we are all at each other's mercy to a greater extent than many would like to admit.


Something that we can all agree on, lets give everyone a free photo ID and a free assault rifle as soon as they turn 18. Oh wait...


The lengths North Carolina Republicans will go to cheat democracy is hard to stomach. (N.B.: This is not a partisan attack on Republicans generally, but a criticism of one specific organization.)

To my knowledge, they're also the only ones in recent history to be overturned by a federal court for just how gerrymandered the districts in NC were.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-c...


To be fair, this appears to be the work of a rogue candidate, Mark Harris, and his supporters, not the GOP establishment. The Republican incumbent, Rep. Pittenger, was also targeted, when Harris challenged and narrowly defeated Pittenger in the Republican primary earlier this year.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-the-heck-is-happen...

> It turns out that the data irregularities in Bladen County extend to past elections, too. The 9th District saw a contentious and razor-close Republican primary in May 2018, when Harris ousted incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger by 828 votes. Bladen accounted for 56 percent of the absentee-by-mail ballots (456 of 811) cast in that primary despite being home to just 6 percent of those who voted — and Harris won 437 of those absentee-by-mail votes to Pittenger’s 17, a massive gap nowhere near either the absentee-by-mail results in other counties or the other results in Bladen. And in the 9th District’s 2016 Republican primary, 22 percent of the race’s absentee-by-mail ballots were cast in Bladen County. That time, they went disproportionately to Pittenger challenger Todd Johnson — he won a whopping 221 of Bladen’s 226 absentee-by-mail votes.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/rep-pittenger-fully-a...

> “We were fully aware of it. There’s some pretty unsavory people out, particularly in Bladen County. And I didn’t have anything to do with them,” Pittenger said in an interview with Spectrum News in Raleigh.

> Pittenger, who lost his GOP primary to Baptist minister Mark Harris by 828 votes earlier this year, said he did not know what would happen to the general election results. Harris holds a 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready in the election that has now been cast in doubt.

> “I don’t have a clue. I have my feelings about what’s right or wrong, but let’s leave that to those who’re [leading the investigation into the irregularities],” Pittenger said.

If the North Carolina Republican party were smart they'd support the bipartisan ethics panel and wash their hands of Harris.


What I can't understand is why criminal punishment isn't involved in more of these cases. If you vote illegally, then you're subject to criminal penalty. If you divise a scheme that's clearly intended to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters, and that scheme is ajudicated as such, nothing happens. There is no disincentive. Just try again until you're successful.

Elections are woefully behind the times - I can track my pizza, but I can't track my vote? I feel that political infrastructure are where technology can really positively disrupt the landscape.

I know it's en vogue to show how easy ballot machines are to cheat and hack -- and maybe they are indeed incompetently built. However, this doesn't mean there isn't a way to use technology to make democratic processes more accurate and streamlined. I pay my rent online, I see my doctor's appointment lab reports online, and I have a powerhouse in my pocket. Technology can be used for evil in this context (see Cambridge Analytica and Russian troll farms), but we need to figure out how to use it for good.


Seems like vote tracking would open elections up to massive vote buying problems and possibly de-anonymization.

You're assuming that a record of your vote would or could not be used against you; you're wrong.

"dvt, unless you return to us from the polling place with proof you voted for Candidate X, we will kill your family."


What’s more interesting is what they’re doing out in California. Campaign workers are going door to door and pushing voters to fill out absentee ballots, then delivering them to polling places.

That sounds like either something that didn't happen, or something legal that you are intentionally twisting to make sound equivalent to the (very illegal) things that are going on in North Carolina. Care to provide some evidence backing your claims?

It's anecdotal at this point but I think ballot harvesting did play a role in California. Why keep ballots from people you think might be opposing your party? Toss them and keep only those you think will vote for your party. Next time the Republicans are going to go big for ballot harvesting and I think we're going to see huge fraud issues.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversatio...

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-ballot-harv...


I dont understand how the US people and courts allow everything that has been going on.

If here in Australia they tried any of the Gerrymandering/voter suppression/political power-plays/outright fraud that has been going on for YEARS in the US, there would be heads rolling.

I mean we're pretty apathetic when it comes to politics, but the turning a blind eye to the activities in the US system is just astounding.




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