Voter Irregularities and Dirty Tricks, 2012

Posted on November 1, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

By Scott Orr

It’s been 12 years, but can anyone forget the election of 2000 and its weeks-long bout of excruciating uncertainty, recounts, partisan odium and hanging chads?

Not that we’re predicting a replay of that magnitude, but there certainly have been plenty of incidents of irregularities heading into Election Day.

And with an election as tight as any in recent memory, voter fraud, intimidation, the distribution of bogus information to voters, could well tilt the election one way or another.

We can start in Palm Beach County, the home of the 2000 hanging chad. This time, the problem centers on 27,000 filled-out absentee ballots that were misprinted and cannot be read by tabulation machines. County officials say they are copying information from those ballots onto new ones with representatives from both the Obama and Romney campaigns present, but 27,000 in a key swing state could be enough to sway the election.

But it’s not just slip-ups like this; there also is ample evidence of electoral dirty tricks. In Florida, some voters received apparently bogus letters informing them that they have been identified as noncitizens and may not be eligible to vote. Some voters in swing states have received phone calls saying they can vote by phone.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, voters received materials reminding them to vote. The problem, it instructs Spanish-language speakers to report to the polls on Nov. 8, two days late.

In Virginia, another critical swing state, officials are investigating an alleged plan to cast false ballots by the son of Democratic Rep. Jim Moran. Patrick Moran has since quit his dad’s reelection campaign.

Also in Virginia, Democrats are calling for an investigation of a Pennsylvania man arrested on voter registration fraud charges.

In Ohio and Wisconsin, civil rights groups have complained about billboards posted in African-American neighborhoods warning that voter fraud is a felony.

Billboards also have brought complaints in Pennsylvania, where signs advertising a new voter id law were erected even though a court shelved the law until next year.

These are few of the known irregularities. There undoubtedly are more. With an election this tight, authorities can afford no tolerance for dirty tricks.

Let’s hope the message is heard.

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, health and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at

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2 Responses to “Voter Irregularities and Dirty Tricks, 2012”

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1) Worried about possible rioting/upheaval by New Jersians/New Yorkers who might not be able to vote by Election Day 9 minutes ago

2) Interesting Diebold, the PA-based company whose ballot machines mostly cause the 2000 Florida “mess,” is still in business, and without any real reprimands/punishments– just like “wrong-doing” big banks on Wall Street, still heartily embraced by many goverments and officials from both parties. Diebold has many machines out there now (certainly where I live for early voting).

Excellent recap of likely problems. Much needs to happen in this area–including penalties for those advocating and/or initiating false messages. We should also clean up whole system of allowing anyone to allege anything without presenting any basis of fact. The system needs a thorough cleaning.

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