Saying that there is no such thing as vote fraud is a bit like saying that there is no such thing as shoplifting. The common thread is that both crimes rarely result in legal enforcement. Those caught tend to be the tip of a very big criminal iceberg. Vote fraud is even worse, because when caught the perpetrators rarely wind up in court – and if they do, the cases are routinely dismissed by partisan judges.
I know a bit about it because at various times in my career I was involved in civic efforts to combat vote fraud. At one point, Project LEAP (Legal Elections in All Precincts) was a client of my consulting firm. As Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, I worked closely with the League of Women Voters and the Better Government Association – which also had an entire operation devoted to fighting vote fraud. At times, we had to call in U.S. Marshals to man polling places in Chicago because vote fraud was so rampant.
Under my leadership, the City Club formed a task force to investigate the fraud potential of punch-card voting. During a meeting with Mayor Jane Byrne and a group of punch-card opponents and proponents, a new punch-card was passed around for examination. I surreptitiously punched three holes in the card right under the noses of the group. The surprised Mayor decided to delay the implementation of punch-card voting until further safeguards could be put in place.
Republican political consultants in Chicago and Cook County calculate that to beat a Democrat machine candidate, the Republican candidate would have to overcome a 100,000 stolen vote advantage.
When I told a Democrat ward worker friend that CNN’s Chris Cuomo reported that there were no more than 300 stolen votes across the nation in a recent election, he laughed and bragged that “we can steal ten times that many in a single ward.”
In my own quest for the Republican mayoral nomination, forty-two percent of the votes cast were not counted in the mayor’s race. Why? Because Mayor Richard M. Daley was afraid that if I got more than 10 or 15 percent of the white vote in the general election, the independent Black candidate could win — as did Mayor Harold Washington in 1983. In addition, the rhetorically challenged Daley did not want to share a debate stage with me. How do I know all this? The Mayor’s top aide told me so in a sort of crocodile-tear apology for stealing my votes – but that was only after I called him to ask “What the f**k did you guys do?” Yes, vote fraud is that open and brazen in Chicago.
Stealing votes is largely a crime historically associated with the Democratic Party’s big city political machines. That is why people make jokes about “voting early and often” in Chicago. When then-freshman Illinois Senator Adlai Stevenson responded to his first roll call by mistakenly casting an “aye” vote for Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, the newly-minted legislator quipped that coming from Chicago, he could not break the habit of voting twice. There is always truth in humor.
Perhaps the most effective use of a crooked vote count was in the presidential race of 1960 – pitting Vice President Richard Nixon against Massachusetts Senator Jack Kennedy. Pundits and historians generally agree that it was a stolen election – specifically by the Daley machine that flipped Illinois to JFK and the Lyndon Johnson machine that flipped Texas. The campaign to “stuff ballot boxes” for Kennedy was partially financed and implement buy the Mafia under the leadership of crime boss Sam Giancana.
So, why is vote fraud a particular Democratic Party issue – and why so hard to bring the culprits to justice?
The most important factor in pulling off massive vote fraud is to have one-party in control of the process. The problem is that in places, like Chicago, there are not enough Republican volunteers to serve as observers in the polling places. In addition, Democrat machine hacks often take the designated Republican judge positions in the polling place. With only Democrats doing the checking of voter registration and the counting of ballots, reporting fraudulent results is child’s play. That is why we had to have the U.S. Marshals brought in.
If you look at the political maps of America, the Democratic Party has one-party rule over the millions and millions of votes in our major cities. They control the election machinery from top to bottom. Democrats in Chicago maintain a war room which monitors the returns on Election Day – and from which precinct operatives are told how many votes they need to report. It is a finely tuned system based on generations of experience.
Outside of fraud in the polling place, the largest opportunity for vote fraud was with absentee ballots. These ballots are prone to manipulation because they travel outside the security system of the polling place. Democrat precinct workers would apply for absentee ballots on behalf of senior citizens in nursing homes – and even dead folks – and mark the ballot on behalf of the voter. The required signatures were blatantly forged – knowing that no one would check the signatures and challenge the ballots when they arrive at the polling place.
Despite the fact that such “ballot harvesting” was once considered to be a fraudulent practice because of its vulnerability to vote stealing, Democrat strongholds, like California, have in fact legalized this Achilles Heel in the voting process.
In the name of broadening the franchise, the Democratic Party has consistently proposed legislation to weaken the security of the process. This has included early voting, same-day registration, vote by mail and opposition to voter identity requirements. For whatever “benefits’ each of these changes proclaim to produce, they do make vote fraud easier – especially for those long engaged in the practice.
So, if there is significant vote fraud, why the lack of prosecution? Why is no one going to jail?
That is easy. When there is one-party rule, that party also controls the prosecutorial offices and the judges. I have had a long experience with having Democrat prosecutors refuse to prosecute Democrat operatives no matter how compelling the evidence might be. It is called “prosecutorial discretion.” If an occasional case should wind up in court, it will be presided over by a machine Democrat judge, who generally dismisses the case without a hearing.
In short, the lack of convictions for vote fraud is not the lack of fraud. It is exceedingly difficult to identify culprits – and when identified, virtually impossible to have them brought to justice in the courts.
The Heritage Foundation tracks vote fraud convictions. The thousands they record are just the tiny tip of that iceberg. And still, it is a lot more than the left admits.
Mail-in balloting will only expose the process to more fraud – an opportunity corrupt political machines will not overlook.
In the face of growing use of mail-in balloting, I frequently propose at least one tiny, make-sense protection – but one that is robustly opposed by Democrat legislators. We should at least send out all ballots by certified mail that would require the recipient to sign for them. Those Post Office certifications should be available to stake-holding parties for review – just as we review, and can challenge, signatures on candidacy petitions. Unfortunately, where this modest proposal would do the most good is where Democrats dominate the legislative process.
I do believe Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, but not by the margin reported. No matter what the Democrats and their media allies say, there is always an unacceptable amount of vote fraud in American elections – mostly committed in those one-party major cities and states.
So, there ‘tis,