This election season’s GOP-fabricated voter fraud issue apparently has proved to be a non-issue. The Florida state department said Sept. 12 that 207 ineligible voters were purged from the rolls using information from a federal immigration database — they had estimated finding 2,600. The number of registered voters in Florida is about 11.6 million. The 207 people purged represent .001% of registered voters – that is one tenth of one hundredth of one percent. With such a small percentage, why do Republicans act or appear so convinced the electoral process is in jeopardy from widespread voter fraud?
“It’s just not widespread,” said Vicki Davis, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections and the supervisor for Martin County.
In point of fact, Davis is correct. There is minimal voter fraud in U.S. elections, but there is a long history of voter suppression in identifiable states and counties, commonly referred to as “Jim Crow”.
Rick Scott and other Republicans disagree. They disagree to the point of legislation. They disagree to the point of public outrage. But the Florida GOP under Scott’s administration continues in its campaign to reduce numbers of registered voters likely to vote Democratic while denying that motive. The irony is that the bogus voter registration forms revealed to date are mainly the work of Strategic Allied Consulting of Tempe, Arizona, which has a long history with the GOP and a particular tie to Romney campaign operatives.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner publicly insinuates efforts to remove voters from the registered rolls are innocent of partisanship.
“The state is not telling county elections supervisors, ‘Remove these people.’ We are providing information for the counties to examine,” spokesman Chris Cate said. “The supervisors have the discretion to keep anyone who is on this list on the voter rolls.”
Every election presents its own turmoil. Unfortunately, American suffrage appears to be part of the fray. Those who might not vote Republican frequently seem to be the targets of voter fraud charges. The proof of voting impropriety seems frustratingly non-existent, perhaps because it doesn’t exist.
Voter fraud supposes misrepresentation on the part of the individual. Election fraud supposes the influence of outside groups to disrupt the elective process, including political parties and government. That might include restricting early voting and voting hours in predominately minority districts. That might include requiring identification never before necessary to the electoral process.
Republicans in Florida claim now to disassociate themselves from Strategic Allied Consulting , after the firm got caught red-handed for submitting false voter registration documents. GOP spokesman Sean Spicer has indicated inexplicably that the Republican Party not ask for its money back from the firm, because the voter registration efforts are complete. Romney campaign spokesperson Sarah Pompei has revealed that the presidential candidates’s own campaign organization has used the same consulting firm. “We used this vendor for signature gathering services during the primary but have not used them since 2011.”
GOP consultant Nathan Sproul, who runs the Strategic Allied Consulting, strongly defended his company’s conduct, saying it has rigorous “quality controls” and blamed the alleged fraud on the actions of a few “bad apples”, workers who were hired to register Republican voters for $12 an hour and then tried to “cheat the system”.