Look at the following graph and see if you don't perceive something a little more cyclical:
I see high levels of these groups when Clinton is president, followed by low levels when Bush is president, and then an explosion under Obama. The details make it look even worse. Note that 9/11 didn't cause the number of these groups to grow. Instead, there were actually fewer groups in 2002 than there had been in 2001, after one of the worst attacks on American soil in our history. Also, there was no spike at all in 2008; we had to wait until 2009 when you know who was president. Also, as the economy has gotten better, the numbers have only climbed since 2009, which was by far the worst year. Finally: the economy was even worse in the year 2002-2004 than it was 1995-1996, and yet: no spike in these groups during the Bush years.
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Authorities in Minnesota have found the face of voter fraud: an 86-year-old woman with dementia.Margaret Schneider of St. Peter, Minnesota has Parkinson's disease, dementia being one of her symptoms. She filled in an absentee ballot last July 13, but forgot she had done it and showed up the next day to vote in person at her polling place. Big mistake, Granny Fraudsalot. She's been charged with a felony:
Schneider doesn't deny the allegation. She realizes now, after talking with St. Peter police detective Travis Sandland, that she did vote twice. She voted once with an absentee ballot on July 13 and again at her polling place Aug. 14.So, how did they catch this criminal mastermind? Well, the voter roster at her local polling place had her clearly marked as having voted by absentee ballot, so it's unclear why the precinct allowed her to cast another in the first place, but in any case we've got a whole network of calculators and abacuses (abacii?) and highly trained rabbits looking out for these things. So Schnieder got a letter informing her of her now-potential-felon status and an April court date. As for the prosecutors, you'll be glad to know that our no-tolerance stance to election riggers like Margaret here don't allow any leeway, because unlike other crimes, we know senior citizens who accidentally fill out two ballots really are the sort of folks we should be showing no mercy:
"It had been awhile and I didn't even remember," Schneider said. "I was shocked to death because I thought my absentee ballot was for the president."
Michelle Zehnder Fischer, Nicollet County attorney, doesn't comment on specific criminal cases. In general, though, she said in all cases when she is notified about a possible voter fraud incident she is required to have it investigated. If there is probable cause to show a crime occurred, she is required by state law to prosecute. […]What will happen? Will our soft-on-crime judicial system allow Mastermind Margaret, kingpin of St. Peter election fraud, to go free? Can Schneider get a fair trial in a state known for their hard-charging stand against absent-minded seniors? Is the local pokey handicapped-accessible? We will soon know.
She also said she could be required to forfeit her office if she doesn't follow the law.
I just wanted to quote a couple of the liberals who spoke at hearing on the Voting Rights Act, because Justice Scalia and Justice Roberts got all the coverage. Snappy, media-ready shock-quotes will do that:
Remember how US health care was reduced to broccoli?
If you're a supporter of the Voting Rights Act and you read headlines you might have thought Scalia and Roberts were the only judges there, and you didn't get a hearing but that isn't true.
Justice Scalia referred to Section 5 as imposing "these extraordinary procedures that deny the states sovereign powers which the Constitution preserves to them." Justice Kennedy asked whether "if Alabama wants to acknowledge the wrongs of its past, is it better off doing that if it's an independent sovereign or if it's under the trusteeship of the United States government?"
As Justice Stephen G. Breyer put it during the argument: "And one thing to say is, of course this is aimed at states. What do you think the Civil War was about?"
With mounting frustration, the liberal justices tried to make that point. "Why should we make the judgment, and not Congress, about the types and forms of discrimination and the need to remedy them?" Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked Mr. Rein, Shelby County's lawyer.
Addressing Mr. Rein, Justice Elena Kagan asked: "You said the problem has been solved. But who gets to make that judgment really? Is it you, or is it the court, or is it Congress?" When the lawyer answered that while Congress can examine a problem, "it is up to the court to determine whether the problem indeed has been solved," Justice Kagan responded: "Well, that's a big new power that you are giving us – that we have the power now to decide whether racial discrimination has been solved? I did not think that that fell within our bailiwick."