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J. KARL MILLER: Missouri Voter ID Amendment will 'keep honest people honest'

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST

Arise from thy slumber and man the barricades, Missouri voters — the evil Republicans have yet again declared war against minority, elderly, disabled and otherwise straitened citizens in order to deny or endanger their right to vote.

"Why does the GOP wage this insidious conflict?" you ask. "It is to disenfranchise the disadvantaged among us who tend to vote for Democrats," they answer.

Editorial commentary from local media as well as The Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has determined that voter fraud is all but non-existent and alleges that the photo ID requirement is, in fact, aimed at depressing the turnout of the disadvantaged. The U.S. Department of Justice has blocked South Carolina's voter ID statute by invoking the Voting Rights Act.

Additionally, in the Feb. 17 edition of the Missourian, Aline Kultgen and Linda Kaiser, co-chairs of the Civil Liberties Committee for the League of Women Voters for Columbia and Boone County, penned a letter to our editor echoing virtually identical complaints and conclusions.

Admittedly, there is also room for disagreement and serious discussion as to photo ID necessity when balanced against cost to state taxpayers to institute the statute. And, while there is little threat of voter fraud in the majority of Missouri's counties, a categorical denial of its existence endorses blindly the honesty, integrity and character of all who engage in electioneering and elections.

Huge sums of money are raised and spent by candidates, political parties, political action committees, unions and special interest groups. The most fertile arenas for fraud and political chicanery are, as always, the St.Louis and Kansas City metropolitan arenas.

The most disturbing issue is the utter claptrap insinuating that the photo voter ID requirement is a sinister right-wing Republican ploy to suppress the disadvantaged voters' ballots for Democratic Party nominees. Are we to assume that Democrats hold a monopoly here — that there are no elderly, disabled, poor or minority Republicans?

The oft-repeated notion that the disadvantaged would find it difficult to impossible to obtain a photo ID is absurd. Admittedly, not all Missouri residents possess a driver's license. However, those who infer that many cannot afford or otherwise acquire documentation — birth certificate — for a state ID card have not done their homework.

Had they done so, they would have learned that one may not apply for and receive Social Security, food stamps, Medicare/Medicaid or government welfare payments without proper identification — a driver's license, military or state ID card or birth certificate. The disadvantaged seem to find a way to receive these earned or welfare benefits.

Moreover, Missouri Voter ID Amendment 2012 stipulates as did 2011's bill, that the secretary of state will provide notice of the ID requirements and, that the state provide at least one form of ID and at least one document to acquire that identification for those who do not possess one. In each instance, the identification and documentation are to be provided at NO COST to the voter, thus dispelling the myth that the poor or disadvantaged will be unable to cast a ballot.

Consequently, the allegation that there are insurmountable barriers to acquiring the credentials for those who actually intend to vote is highly exaggerated if not laughable. It appears shameful and condescending for Democrats to infer that their  poor, disabled, minority and elderly voters, unlike their Republican counterparts, lack the initiative or spirit to exercise their right to vote. I have more faith in their self-reliance than their party leadership seems to offer.

The United States Supreme Court, in upholding Indiana and Georgia voting laws, extended the number of states requiring a photo ID to cast a ballot to 15. Accordingly, there is no federal barrier denying the individual states from enacting such statutes.

A requirement to produce a photo ID to vote will not eliminate voter fraud. But, as is the case with locks and fences, it will serve to keep honest people honest.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via email at JKarlUSMC@aol.com.


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Comments

Tony Black February 22, 2012 | 8:35 a.m.

Yes, since there are millions of cases of documented voter fraud, this is a great thing for our legislature to spend thier time on. Oh wait, there have been only a handful of voter fraud cases nationwide in the last few decades. Maybe they ought to also pass a law that says illegal aliens can't vote. Not the human kind, the extra-terrestrial kind. They might show up any day now and vote democrat. My mother, may she rest in peace, would not have been able to procure a valid id without undo stress. It's not that she couldn't, she wouldn't. Not worth the hassle. Are they going to go to an invalids home and take thier picture, so they get an id? Is someone going to go to an invalids home and check id's for absentee voting? Or do we only allow people who can get to the polls to vote? Much ado about an insignificant problem, but what else do you expect? All fluff and no fury. And before you start in on Acorn, remember that it was Acorn that turned in the folks who were registering Mickey Mouse and such, for the money. Trump up a problem that doesn't exist, then pat yourself on the back for the solution. Way to go.

(Report Comment)
Tony Black February 22, 2012 | 9:00 a.m.

Something else just occured to me. "Keep honest people honest"? Like you think people are going to be walking past a polling place and say "hey, I think I'll go commit voter fraud". Uh, no. This isn't like leaving a wallet on the counter of a store, and someone taking the cash and turning in the rest. If there were a problem with voter fraud, this ain't gonna stop it. Fake id's are easy to get.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor February 22, 2012 | 9:58 a.m.

Tony says...
"Fake id's are easy to get."

and

"(mom wouldn't get ID) It's not that she couldn't, she wouldn't. Not worth the hassle."

hmmm...

IMHO Al franken wouldn't be a senator if there was no voter fraud. For me, a single case of someone obtaining a significant position like his through fraud is enough to try and do something about it. IMHO, our elections and the trust we should be able to have in them are far more important than who gets to drive, use tobacco, consume alcohol and a myriad of other things that require ID.

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub February 22, 2012 | 10:06 a.m.

"IMHO Al franken wouldn't be a senator if there was no voter fraud."

There is no basis in fact for this statement, however GW Bush would not have been able to ruin our our country, and cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives if it weren't for GOP fraudulent practices.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance February 22, 2012 | 10:25 a.m.

Millions of cases? No, and the ACORN incident was about voter registration, not someone voting as someone else. So let's just get that out there. Voting is a constitutional right and if you are going to make it harder for me to exercise it, there has to be a really good reason. Since there is no rampant voter fraud in Missouri, this is a solution looking for a problem. Republicans seemed to be more interested in disenfranchising people and mandating vaginal probes than trying to create jobs. Hands off my rights Col.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 22, 2012 | 10:55 a.m.

This was just covered at the other paper after a letter from that bastion of American capitalism, League of Women Voters.

"In 2000, cs, It was Al Gore who tried to have overseas GI's ballots invalidated. It was D', Bob Beckel that tried to buy FL electoral votes if they were won by Bush. Not illegal and not ethical.

http://www.jcs-group.com/enigma/confi...

Meanwhile, we have a chilling story from yesterday's edition of the Wall Street Journal. Bob Beckel, a Democratic consultant, is gathering information on Republican electors. Beckel says he hopes to "persuade" them to vote for Gore when the Electoral College meets next month. He says he's working "on an ad hoc basis" and has not yet contacted any electors directly. The Gore campaign, which hasn't established a strong record for believability, insists it isn't trying to get Republican electors to switch sides.

It was D' filled FL Supreme Court that instituted Law to keep Gores counting going in spite of specific instructions in that Constitution that their right is to interpret law, not enact it. FL R' controlled House would have intervened if SCOTUS had not.

The Democrat party history, at least since LBJ, is so filled with criminal acts, lies and misappropriation (a mild word for it) of funds it is unbelievable to me that Anyone wants them near our government." Gary, after you refute this 2000 election tampering, we can discuss those you wish to describe.

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mike mentor February 22, 2012 | 11:35 a.m.

I'll say it again...

A single case of a senate seat won by fraud anywhere in this country is enough for me to be concerned! The idea that we would need to see proven cases of rampant voter fraud in Mo before we act is a pathetic argument in my opinion. How many reps need to obtain office via fraud in Mo before we agree to do something? If some teenagers in California start dropping dead from using a new drug are we going to wait for there to be rampant cases of deaths in MO to start legislating? We are talking about a requirement that is similar to being able to buy tobacco or alcohol and that would require the vast majority of us to do nothing. If you agree with laws that say you must prove who you are to buy tobacco, alcohol, or cold medicine but are against proving who you are to vote, your priorities are out of whack or you are just selling out to party politics.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 22, 2012 | 11:47 a.m.

T. Dance - "Voting is a constitutional right", for "All persons, born or naturalized in the U.S. and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the U.S. and or the State wherein they reside."

I wonder why any American citizen, having been granted this right for the first time in recorded history would object to a call to identify themselves as such?

I have to, of course, exclude those whom have announced the intent to reduce our efforts to retain the benefits of our representative republic. They feel that our democracy should provide the socialist "collective consensus" means of determining our voting issues. Anyone affected by the issue should be able to stop off and vote. I have not read,or heard anyone complaining about this issue even mention that Any restriction should restrict this right (League of Women Voters included).

Why would anyone defend an organization, ACORN, that has caused so much chaos, time and expense to remedy it.

http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-complete-gui....

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance February 22, 2012 | 11:48 a.m.

What senator was elected by fraud? Are there charges filed? Or is it another examples of sour grapes = fraud. One case of sour grapes does not constitute a reason to mess with my constitutional rights. Please leave them alone/

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mike mentor February 22, 2012 | 12:00 p.m.

@Tim
Since I know you guys wouldn't accept anything from Fox News, I'll give you this from USNEWS and it mentions NY Times as well. Both being part of the great liberal conspiracy you wouldn't think they would admit it if it wasn't most true...
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"It looks increasingly likely that at least one member of the United States Senate may owe his seat in the world’s greatest deliberative body not to his charisma or the persuasiveness of his message but to voter fraud.

As the Wall Street Journal's John Fund reports, Minnesota Democrat Al Franken’s narrow, 312-vote victory in 2008 over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman may have come as the result of people being allowed to vote who, under existing law, shouldn’t have been.

Thus far no one is calling for the results to be overturned. Indeed Dan McGrath, who spearheaded the inquiry, told Fox News, "We aren't trying to change the result of the last election. That legally can't be done." He added: “We are just trying to make sure the integrity of the next election isn't compromised."
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What a novel idea Mr McGrath had there. Protect the integrity of upcoming elections. You wouldn't think that would be met with opposition from anyone. Well... at least I wouldn't think...

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Mark Foecking February 22, 2012 | 12:21 p.m.

@Mike M:

The article you quoted is this:

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/pete...

and it has its good and bad points. The main bad point it, when the Minnesota Majority stated that 341 convicted felons had voted in two large counties, that it does not state if they had their rights restored (some might have). The assumption also seems to have been made by Minn. Maj. that most of them would vote for Franken, which is likely unjustified. If those votes had been removed, it is quite possible that Franken would still have been elected.

The good point is the suggestion that voter registration be renewed every few years. That is a much better solution to the problem of outdated voter records (which is the main problem, not active fraud) than requiring a photo ID, which would not check for incorrect registration information at all.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 22, 2012 | 1:12 p.m.

We frequently find that providing photo ID is necessary to complete various transactions. Generally speaking, no one argues with or becomes upset about that.

One reason is that the transactions involved are considered to have some degree of worth and importance.

Is the act of voting considered to have some degree of worth and importance, or isn't it?

One reason I bring up the subject is that I once lived in a country (a Western parliamentary democracy) where all citizens roughly above the age of puberty carried and were required to present photo ID cards: aka "national identity cards." None of the law-abiding citizens seemed to mind doing so. I didn't interview any acknowledged felons.

(Report Comment)
Tony Black February 22, 2012 | 2:08 p.m.

Mike, are you saying there is proof that voter fraud happened on a large scale, heck any scale, for Franken, and the Republicans did nothing about it? Prove it.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 22, 2012 | 2:13 p.m.

John Ashcroft after his Senate defeat by Mrs. Carnahan, stated when asked about all the irregularities in St. Louis etc. would he not contest the race. He stated, I paraphrase, that American politicians have long been advised of the fragile nature of our electoral system and that it had long been agreed that all politicians whatever party would consider this and not cause a collapse with unusual actions contending a personal win or loss. He therefore indicated he would accept the loss and retire from the scene.

Without jumping on Ashcroft, can anyone say if there is such a "code" among candidates in the American election system, written or unwritten?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 22, 2012 | 3:55 p.m.

Ellis Smith wrote:

"...
Is the act of voting considered to have some degree of worth and importance, or isn't it?"

It's not really that showing a photo ID would be good or bad (I show mine every time I vote, and only a small percentage of people don't have them), it's that it wouldn't fix the problem of outdated or inaccurate voter registrations, which is where we should be concentrating our efforts if we want to avoid voting irregularities.

DK

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble February 22, 2012 | 4:11 p.m.

One can argue the conceptual detriments and benefits of this type of law endlessly.

To me, the real story is about how and when this is being done. Republicans always seem to push this issue when important election times come around, and always seem to do it without any kind of effective support plan in place for helping ensure that every voter who needs an ID will get one.

To argue that such a task is the responsibility of each individual is to deny predictable reality - the reality that not everyone will even hear about this, let alone have the time or resources to act on it - and to deny such an obvious reality is to display an agenda that is counter to the idea of protecting the voting process.

The inevitable result of a restrictive law without a large-scale effort and support structure to ensure that it doesn't prevent legal voters from voting is that *legal American citizens will be turned away from exercising their fundamental rights for the sake of hypothetically preventing someone else from breaking the law*. Do these defenders of individual liberty believe that your Consitutional rights only run as deep as a card in your pocket?

This type of devaluation of freedom for the sake of solving a non-existent problem is a poor trade. When a legislature approaches this pragmatically, placing highest importance and resource allocation toward supporting legal voters, then I'll believe the intent. Until then, this is obviously political in nature and deserves the scorn and skepticism it gets.

One is tempted to suggest to Republicans that a national ID card would address their concerns quite well!

(Report Comment)
Tony Black February 22, 2012 | 4:21 p.m.

So Frank, are you saying there is voter fraud and the candidates just don't say anything? Just wanting to clarify. If there is proof, let's see it.

(Report Comment)
Tony Black February 22, 2012 | 4:24 p.m.

Let me rephrase, Frank. Are you questioning, not saying.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor February 22, 2012 | 4:45 p.m.

Kevin
The Col rubbutted your argument before you even made it in the article itself.

"Moreover, Missouri Voter ID Amendment 2012 stipulates as did 2011's bill, that the secretary of state will provide notice of the ID requirements and, that the state provide at least one form of ID and at least one document to acquire that identification for those who do not possess one. In each instance, the identification and documentation are to be provided at NO COST to the voter"

Tony
We have let you know about your calls to prove everything to you before. I am certainly not going to try and prove it to you on this forum. The fact that at least two major liberal news sources, US News and the Times, wrote that voter fraud definately took place in that election should make you at least pause. Even if they can not prove to your satisfaction that fraud was what elected him (they did prove that there were more fraudulent voters than the difference in the election) it should be a concern when we know that elections are being decided by fewer votes than the number of fraudulent voters. If you are saying you don't have a problem with that no matter who wins the election, then I don't think your being honest.

Mark, you are correct that there are other ways to help eliminate fraud in our elections and most likely I would be in favor of them all. Right now I have to jump through more hoops to go fishing or buy glue for my sons model rockets than I do to vote. That doesn't make any sense to me at all...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 5:04 p.m.

I would very much doubt that any registered voter does not have a government issued ID. That would include illegal aliens who obtained their ID by fraudulent means. I would like to see a fingerprint oriented verification system that goes back to the state birth or State Department naturalization records. Additionally, we could tie it in with the NCIS to verify if they are convicted felons. Then put some real teeth into laws to knowingly give voter registration forms or ballots to unqualified voters. Finally, video tape all voters entering the polls for future verification if needed. Nobody is deprived of their lawful right to vote.

I'm sure these ideas will be warmly greeted by all on both sides of the aisle.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 22, 2012 | 5:27 p.m.

@ DK:

I agree, except there seems to be a great amount of "heat" and precious little "light" over whether one should have to produce ID.

Just recently Al Jazeera TV (their English broadcasting service) produced a special concerning the number of dead people on voting rolls, based on a study of some United States cities. One city chosen was Chicago, suggesting that Al Jazeera may have a fair understanding of "where the bodies are buried," so to speak, in our country.

Maybe those who harangue us with how precious voting is would care to assist in cleaning up the records. :)

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 5:43 p.m.

Gary Straub February 22, 2012 | 10:06 a.m.
"There is no basis in fact for this statement, however GW Bush would not have been able to ruin our country, and cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives if it weren't for GOP fraudulent practices."

Gary, why do you do this? Every recount of the 2000 Florida ballots by any entity showed the President Bush won. You may recall Gary that it was Democrats who tried to take ballots behind closed doors in Nov 2000. It was Florida State Rep Elect Irving Slosberg, DEM, who got caught with the voting machine in his car as reported by the NY Times and London Telegraph: http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Alsc...

But you don't care about that. You don't care about convicted felons voting. Recounts in MN had Franken winning by 312 votes. 341 convicted felons voted in Minneapolis's Hennepin County, the state's largest, and another 52 voted illegally in St. Paul's Ramsey County, So Franken did win by the votes of convicted felons. You can't say otherwise and not be knowingly lying.

You can do two different types of web searches and get vastly different results. Search voter fraud, and then search voter registration fraud. In either search, when you count the actual number of convictions (not news stories) Democrat convictions outnumber GOP convictions at least 4 to 1. It is also patently obvious that when a Republican is accused, there are vastly more news stories for a GOP miscreant than there are for Dems. Media bias in action. Regardless, the news stories show when it comes to voter registration that Democrat oriented groups are far more active in knowingly committing voter fraud. This includes giving drugs, alcohol and cigarettes to street people, getting mentally retarded to vote, and forging registrations. Dead people are much more likely to vote as Democrats.

So please, don't tell me it doesn't matter. A president was elected by less than a thousand votes. A senator was elected by less than 350 felons voting. Every vote counts. And every effort to ensure they are legal and proper should be undertaken to keep the process honest.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 22, 2012 | 6:00 p.m.

T. Black - I too note your nonchalant demand for "proof" of every statement, while I don't recall you ever providing proof of any of your shallow accusations.

I wrote of "those whom have announced the intent to reduce our efforts to retain the benefits of our representative republic. They feel that our democracy should provide the socialist "collective consensus" means of determining our voting issues. Anyone affected by the issue should be able to stop off and vote.", and didn't prove any of it. If you don't believe me why don't you embarrass me and "prove" me wrong?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 22, 2012 | 6:17 p.m.

mike mentor wrote:

"they did prove that there were more fraudulent voters than the difference in the election"

A quibble, but in this context it's relevant.

I wouldn't call those "fraudulent" votes. Fraud means someone is trying to deceive, and it's far more likely that these voters were simply not taken off the rolls simply due to error or oversight. I'm still not sure if some if not many had their rights restored - the article said they were working from "rap sheets" - Casenet? - and they may not have that information, or even been looking for it.

Again, let's have everyone renew their voter registration every five years or so. They can verify their place of residence and that they're still alive, and the county can run a check on them for anything that would keep them from being a legal voter. That'll take care of a lot more problems like those you and Ellis mention than anything in this bill.

DK

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote February 22, 2012 | 6:32 p.m.

@Don,

Actually, a media consortium hired the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) to estimate the number of votes each candidate would have received under various recount standards. The NORC determined that regardless of recount method (there were four dfferent ones) Al Gore was statistically projected to have received the most votes, if all of the counties were recounted.

Here's the paper:
www.aei.org/files/2004/06/21/20040526_Ke...
Table 1 summarizes their findings.

Feel free to produce a counter study estimating the recount tally if all counties are recounted. I am unaware of any projecting Bush as the winner.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 6:36 p.m.

Christopher, estimate does not equal actual recount of ballots.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 6:39 p.m.

One of the things I wish I could find is a video of Tim Russert and three other reporters and an election judge together. The election judge asked them each, using a voting machine, to try and make a dimpled or hanging chad. None of the four reporters could do it. Then the election judge showed them how it was done. The judge put 4 to 6 ballots in at once. By lightly pressing, a dimpled or hanging chad could be produced on the last two ballots.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Griffin February 22, 2012 | 6:47 p.m.

We have voter photo ID in Indiana, and we love it! The ones who don't are crooked politicians who like to steal elections. I've worked the polling place and know it's no inconvenience for people to get a valid photo ID. This is just a worthless argument coming from corrupt politicians. A photo ID is required for many other things that are not nearly as important as having your vote protected in a free and fair election. Demand it, folks, so our elections don't become as meaningless as those in third-world dictatorships.

(Report Comment)
Tony Black February 22, 2012 | 6:52 p.m.

And exactly what "shallow accusations" have I made, Frank? I have only asked questions, which apparently are too difficult or uncomfortable to answer. News sources report voter fraud, but no government inquiry? Watch Fox or MSNBC, and tell me if everything they put forth is factual. Or any news source for that matter. Sorry, but just 'cause some dude on TV or the paper says it, don't make it so. At any rate, don't like being bashed for asking questions, so I am out of here. Or running away, to make the regressives (opposite of progressives) feel better.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush February 22, 2012 | 6:54 p.m.

The election chief
Found guilty of voter fraud -
No picture would help.

http://bit.ly/y7DWlZ

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 7:03 p.m.

Now see Gregg, that's what I'm talking about:

A total of four Democratic officials and political operatives have now pleaded guilty to voter fraud-related felony charges in an alleged scheme to steal a

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 7:11 p.m.

I will say when it comes to voter fraud, democrats are alot better organized and successful.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 22, 2012 | 8:28 p.m.

T. Black - Sorry you are gone. I was going to ask about your first post on this column.

Chris F. - "if all of the counties were recounted" I think your comment indicates the problem with Gores action on that legally required recount. Rather than make an unpopular further mess, Gore assumed he could be proven winner with only the perceived extremely liberal counties that he demanded be recounted. It matters not what anyones studies "find" after the legal fact.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 22, 2012 | 8:34 p.m.

Hell, Frank....just ask what was the SCOTUS vote on whether what was happening in Florida was a violation of equal protection.

Tells you everything you want to know about whether to continue the discussion or not.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 22, 2012 | 8:47 p.m.

Mike - You mean I should tell them, even Ruth Bader Ginsburg voted to stop the illegal actions of the FL Supreme Court? You may be that cruel, not I.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 9:06 p.m.

To confirm, go back and look at the number of news stories regarding the Republican that Gregg Bush posted his link on. Then go back and look at the number of news stories about the four democrats convicted in my link. The media bias is just so blatantly obvious.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 22, 2012 | 9:06 p.m.

Frank: Yeah, there's that.

But I'm talking about the FINAL decision.

The one everyone insists was 5-4.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 22, 2012 | 9:08 p.m.

And before anyone says, "It was 5-4", be advised I'm loaded and cocked with the final paragraph of the Bush v Gore decision, and all I have to do is hit Control V.

Don't make me use uppercase.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 9:14 p.m.

Long story short, Dems wanted to cherry pick the counties in which the recount would be performed, and not the whole state. And for sure the Dems did not want a ballot by ballot examination where the evidence of voter fraud from people like Slosberg was likely to be exposed.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 22, 2012 | 9:22 p.m.

Okay, the real test or moral honesty and integrity: Derrick, Jonathan, Gregg et all liberals, for what purpose could the Democrats when recounting the ballots have attempted to take them behind closed doors and out of sight of the election judges OTHER than an attempt to invalidate Bush ballots and commit election fraud? Can you think of an single, commom sense, valid reason?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 22, 2012 | 9:43 p.m.

Don: The reason they went behind closed doors was because the Republican operatives were rioting by chanting "Let us in! Let us in!" It was a frenzied moment.

It was also the true beginning of the Occupy movement, for which Republicans get no credit at all.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush February 22, 2012 | 10:51 p.m.

Shouting down a cave
Hearing their own voice reply.
It's not someone else.

Seeking only "proof"
Already seen = Department
of Redundancy.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 23, 2012 | 12:30 a.m.

Gregg's first attempt at a 5th amendment haiku.

Looking into void given
Seeing nonsense from their voice
Me it is alone.

Rendered my existence
Knowing foolishness, self
Shunning truth

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 23, 2012 | 3:47 a.m.

Thank you, Don Milsop. For years I have noted courses given at various institutions called "English as a Foreign Language." I wasn't certain what that meant. I had assumed, incorrectly, that the course name signified instruction in English for those whose native tongue (first language) is not English, but now I understand that it's really teaching native English speakers how to decipher English presented as pure gibberish. Fortunately that never happens in posts on this forum. :)

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 23, 2012 | 7:46 a.m.

Just a little piece of perspective for the people concerned with the Franken election.

Minnesota law regarding restoration of voting rights:

"If convicted of treason or of a felony, the right to vote is automatically restored upon discharge from sentence. Discharge occurs either by order of the sentencing court, following stay of sentence or stay of execution of sentence, or upon final expiration of sentence."

From:

http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-electio...

Franken likely won the election fair and square.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 23, 2012 | 8:19 a.m.

"Franken likely won the election fair and square."

And hasn't been heard from, since.

(Report Comment)
Tony Black February 23, 2012 | 8:29 a.m.

Your incidents of voter fraud would have been prevented by picture id's?

(Report Comment)
Tony Black February 23, 2012 | 8:29 a.m.

Proven incidents, that is.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 23, 2012 | 10:48 a.m.

Seems none of our folks from the left side of the aisle want to comment about Slosberg having a voting machine in his car, or of Democrats trying to take ballots behind closed doors and out of sight of the election judges.

Why would that be?

(Report Comment)
Tony Black February 23, 2012 | 11:02 a.m.

Seems that the right doesn't want to talk about the real intent of this bill. Again I ask, would this bill have prevented the Democrats activity that you pointed out? No, it would not have. Not in the least. And Greggs Indiana republican link? I am not defending or supporting anyone. I am asking a simple question that you cannot or will not answer. Instead you bring up criminal Democrats. I am not in the least saying there is no issue on the left. Or the right. Would THIS bill have prevented the aforementioned cases?

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub February 23, 2012 | 11:39 a.m.

Sorry Frank and Don, just got back to this. I wasn't even talking about the first election, which was an appointment, but the second when Bush really did his damage. Just do a search about Ohio, Diebold (sp), Florida, St. Louis with 2004 election problems. There were so many that it would take all day to recite. Of course this is ancient history, and only slightly related to the topic. I have lived in five states and each issued voter id cards, why is that not enough?

(Report Comment)
John Bliss February 23, 2012 | 12:52 p.m.

Colonel,
I haven't driven a car for about 16 years, however my outdated PASSPORT still works!

(Report Comment)
matt arnall February 23, 2012 | 12:58 p.m.

Honest people don't need to be kept honest. It is the dishonest ones that must. There are cheaters on the GOP, there are cheaters on the DEMS. Glad to see the pack of wolves still live here. Taught any good lessons lately, boys?

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt February 23, 2012 | 2:07 p.m.

Don: "Okay, the real test or moral honesty and integrity: Derrick, Jonathan, Gregg et all liberals, for what purpose could the Democrats when recounting the ballots have attempted to take them behind closed doors and out of sight of the election judges OTHER than an attempt to invalidate Bush ballots and commit election fraud?"

I haven't said anything in this discussion until now, nor am I familiar with what happened during the Gore vs. Bush election aside from the broad strokes. Therefore, I have no comment.

Either way, it would be awesome if you stopped assuming that I automatically agree with everything any left-leaning person says.
-Like I've said in virtually every other post, I care about facts, not ideology.
-I'm not a cheerleader. Whatever arguments I present are my own--as in, they're my interpretation of the surrounding facts and my evaluation of the differing opinions on the matter. Whatever mistakes I make are also my own, should it be the case that I had the wrong information or not enough knowledge on the subject. Unless someone does make what I think is a really good point (irrespective of party lines), I don't take the lazy route and go "yeah, what he said."

p.s. I suspect you weren't actually trying, but I figured I'd point out that your responses to Gregg did not follow proper haiku metric. <_<
(and in case you want to treat that as an insult, I don't find the haiku gimmick particularly amusing myself)

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 23, 2012 | 2:34 p.m.

Voter ID is just one facet of ensuring the ballot cast is done so honestly. It is necessary, and no, it won't stop the other issues of dishonesty. ID should be required both when registering and when voting. I have never been comfortable with just filling out a form via the mail or internet. Most states provide a valid picture ID even if it's not a driver's license. They take a fingerprint which is stored electronically. We could also set up a fingerprint ID to get your ballot. Regardless, I never said neither party was guilt free of voter fraud. What I said is that it is much more rampant amoungst those supporting Democrats. When you have a concerted effort amongst democrat oriented groups to commit fraud, that have voting machines in their cars, that attempt to take ballots behind closed door, and then scream the loudest at any effort to prevent dishonesty in the process, well, the reasoning becomes obvious.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 23, 2012 | 2:38 p.m.

Jonathan, obviously I'm no expert on the haiku metric. However, the point appears to have been made. When we start making our points in kanji, I'll work harder at it.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 23, 2012 | 3:32 p.m.

G. Straub - I, like Don, wonder why you do this?

"GW Bush would not have been able to ruin our our country, and cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives if it weren't for GOP fraudulent practices."

Bush with the U.S. Congress invaded Afghanistan in 2001, but you now assert that you were commenting on the 2004 elections?

There is a term to describe vaguely worded, inaccurate accusations. The above is an example,another is:"I wasn't even talking about the first election, which was an appointment, but the second when Bush really did his damage." Your posts always seem to begin with an inaccurate "false premise" that you have dreamed up, "the first election, which was an appointment",you then add adjectives and adverbs to your assertions, never any fact.

Several writers including the Col. have spent
much time providing specific instances involving the corrupt, liberal controlled, Democrat Party. You give us, "Just do a search" to prove your argument against them. Is this the best you can do for us?

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger February 23, 2012 | 4:52 p.m.

Like Mr. Milsop, I think all those who wish to vote should undergo DNA analysis, retinal scans, a thorough credit history, and a strip search before receiving a ballot.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 23, 2012 | 5:53 p.m.

Where do I apply for the job of conducting the strip search? Sounds like a good job for a retired, dirty old man. :)

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 23, 2012 | 6:19 p.m.

Fingerprint ID is already in use with most state driver's license and ID offices. Nothing new or draconian there. Seems too it would be easy for doctors, morgues, whoever does the death certificate to file it electronically with a national data base for voting and social security, medicaid, etc.

I'm also sure there are plenty of people who would pay me NOT to undergo a strip search, so I have no problem with that either.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 23, 2012 | 6:45 p.m.

Ellis strangely wishes to know, "Where do I apply for the job of conducting the strip search?"
___________________

Boone County jail?

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller February 23, 2012 | 6:57 p.m.

Mike--Thank you for pointing out the real message of my column in your response to Mr Gamble and to any other who might have had problems with the comprehension thereof. Inasmuch as not only are the photo IDs provided free of charge but also any documentation required is likewise gratis, it would appear that anyone regardless of party affiliation who could not acquire one is perhaps not quite ready for the rigors of voting.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 23, 2012 | 7:21 p.m.

Ellis - I plan to vote often in Columbia and Boone County elections. I must warn you if you should obtain the job hank has described and are assigned responsibility of proving my eligibility "if you touch my junk, I will have you arrested!"

And, you too, hank!

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 23, 2012 | 9:04 p.m.

Frank, if you're a cross dresser who is halfway through gender change surgery, does everybody have to get in on the search?

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 23, 2012 | 9:24 p.m.

Sorry, Don, I can't help. You'll, I suppose, have to ask "a cross dresser who is halfway through gender change surgery,", or Ellis, or hank, for that information.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance February 23, 2012 | 11:03 p.m.

Again, there is no rampant problem with our voting.

Folks, why do these conservatives year after year bring this up? They want to make it harder for you to exercise your rights. Stand up to these rubes and tell them to keep there hands. They will post links and make arguments that have nothing to do with the actual ballot measure that will appear. Stop being unamerican and stop disenfranchising your fellow citizens. People, don't vote against your freedom. Don't fall into the same trap these rubes are stuck in.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 24, 2012 | 12:48 a.m.

Tim, who do you know that doesn't have a valid picture ID? Anybody? Your argument that it will somehow interfere with people voting is complete and utter nonsense. Everybody has a picture ID who is eligible to vote, and even those who aren't eligible have them. They may be fraudulent IDs, but they have them. You can not get by in this life without one.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 24, 2012 | 3:18 a.m.

Except the point is that having a photo ID, or not, will not do anything to fix any of the voting irregularities mentioned in this thread. That's the only reason I don't support this bill - is it doesn't fix what it purports to fix.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 24, 2012 | 7:12 a.m.

"Folks, why do these conservatives year after year bring this up?"

A better question. Why do those liberals so adamantly supportive of a Federal Administration which tirelessly produces new regulations on everything, every day (4200 last year), suddenly become so obsessed with defeat of this inconsequential one, that would help prevent voter fraud?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 24, 2012 | 7:13 a.m.

Frank:

Perhaps I failed to be specific: my primary interest in obtaining the strip search job (at a voting place) is the female voters. As I have already confessed, I am a dirty old man. I have been known to frequent a local state university campus (I don't recall its name), sit on a bench, and leer at female students. The problem with that exercise is that I am terrified that one of them might eventually LEER BACK AT ME.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 24, 2012 | 7:47 a.m.

Ellis - When Sunday STL Post, Globe D' and KC Star were sold by kids on corners out of carts, suddenly, two brothers (a little odd in appearance) grown men, had the corner at College and Broadway right in the middle of Stephens College. All the girls passed that cart on their way to and from church. That site provided a lovely sight.

When one of the brothers was asked, as a grown man shouldn't he being looking for a real job, he is reported to have replied, "I wouldn't trade this job for a million dollars!"

You were a kid at that time, but you must be of the same type. How awful!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 24, 2012 | 8:10 a.m.

Well, Frank, what can I say? I and all others from MS&T (our women too) are the same folks your mother warned you about.

But it could be worse. Those alums from Georgia Tech...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 24, 2012 | 1:15 p.m.

Ellis, sadly, now it only causes eye strain.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 24, 2012 | 1:19 p.m.

Mark, it does cure a part of the problem. Not the whole, but part of it. Every time a person votes illegally, it actually disenfranchises another voter. AND, if the margin of victory with fraudulent votes is small, it can disenfranchise MANY voters. Again, picture ID stops NOBODY from voting. So your agrument against it is inaccurate.

Oh, since fraudulent voting is illegal, it also prevents crime. Red lights don't stop people from running red lights or driving drunk, but they do serve a purpose.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 24, 2012 | 2:10 p.m.

Gary S. - I don't know what to say. After all this you come up with a single voter who could have voted, but didn't because like you and yours around here, he was trying to create a disturbance and make an invalid point.

"Poll workers at several city polling places and Jane Witt, chairwoman of the Racine County Democratic Party, said few problems, if any, were reported Tuesday." What does this mean to you, chaos?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 24, 2012 | 4:00 p.m.

Frank, isn't it amazing. The guy has the ID he needs to vote, but his point is more important than the actual issues upon which he is supposed to decide. I don't know which side of the aisle he's on, but I'm glad he didn't cast a ballot. He lacks the maturity to make a wise vote.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 24, 2012 | 4:12 p.m.

Frank, one more thought. The only thing that prevented Mr. Parr from voting was Mr. Parr. And looking at the picture on that ID, I wouldn't be sure it was him. The guy in the picture looks 80 pounds heavier.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 24, 2012 | 5:27 p.m.

The colonel writes:

"Moreover, Missouri Voter ID Amendment 2012 stipulates as did 2011's bill, that the secretary of state will provide notice of the ID requirements and, that the state provide at least one form of ID and at least one document to acquire that identification for those who do not possess one. In each instance, the identification and documentation are to be provided at NO COST to the voter, thus dispelling the myth that the poor or disadvantaged will be unable to cast a ballot."

But, but, but, Robin Carnahan the Missouri Secretary of State is a Democrat!! Why, she'll be right in the middle of stopping disenfranchised Democrats from voting at the same time she's running for the Senate!!

How can this be?

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 24, 2012 | 6:05 p.m.

Don- Thot about commenting upon the obese democrat? in the picture, but decided against it.

Another reminder for liberals, our Sec. State, R. Carnahan was being investigated by Dept. of Justice for lack of action in correction of all the registration problems in our state (ACORN), until she filed for Democrat candidacy in the U.S. Senate election. At which time Atty. Gen. Eric Holder stopped all inquiry. Someone said in 2009, If you liked Janet Reno, you will Love Eric Holder." It was me.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 24, 2012 | 8:04 p.m.

10Oct2010 - Federal law says ballots to troops should be mailed no later than 45 days before the Nov. 2 election. St. Clair County Clerk, Illinois, Bob Delaney, a Democrat, said he purposely waited until the first week of October to mail the military ballots — 223 overseas and 906 in the continental U.S

And then there is NY where at least 9 counties missed the mailing deadline for overseas military voters:
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/10/15/...

There are more stories like this. Look them up. Guess what letter you find next to the county clerks name? D or an R? Remember when the Dems sued in Florida to block the military overseas votes in 2000?

Point is, we have pretty well shown that the Dems are willing to do just about anything to win an election. Registration fraud, voter fraud, not mail out ballots, have voting machines in their cars, riding around with bags of ballots in their cars, take ballots behind closed doors and out of sight of election judges. All because you can't win the election based on the merits of your positions.

Soooo, any step we can take to make it harder for anybody to commit voter fraud is necessary. And no, it won't cure all the problems. But who said we should stop with this?

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance February 24, 2012 | 11:54 p.m.

Frantically making multiple post about irrelevant subjects does not prove your point. Again, hands off my rights.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 25, 2012 | 7:29 a.m.

Tim, I see letters and words, but no effective debate. Nobody is denying anybody a right. Of course, I'm sure you feel the same about the 2nd Amendment too. We should have to give an ID when purchasing a firearm, correct? No laws to restrict me where and when to carry one? When to exercise the thereof? Or are there some rights you are willing to step on?

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 25, 2012 | 8:34 a.m.

T. Dance - "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 25, 2012 | 9:18 a.m.

Frank, more appropriately: A waste is a terrible thing to mind.

I should not type these things at 2 AM though. What my last entry SHOULD have said:

Tim, I see letters and words, but no effective debate. Nobody is denying anybody a right. Of course, I'm sure you feel the same about the 2nd Amendment too. We should not have to give an ID when purchasing a firearm, correct? No laws to restrict me where and when to carry one? When to exercise the use thereof? Or are there some rights you are willing to step on?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 25, 2012 | 10:47 a.m.

Michael:

The first Ten Amendments (Bill of Rights) have in recent times been treated as patrons treat a menu in a Chinese restaurant: you can choose one from column A and one from column B - that is, the ones YOU FAVOR - and to hell with the rest! No, damn it, it's clear they were intended as a PACKAGE - all, or none.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 25, 2012 | 10:50 a.m.

Sorry, wrong addressee. The above post should have been addressed to Don Milsop.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote February 25, 2012 | 12:47 p.m.

Checking back in, I see this thread has followed the normal degeneracy into right-wing epistemic closure. Don, you made the universally accepted (by the right) claim that a recount of all ballots would not have mattered. When I helpfully pointed out that this was not supported by reality, you claimed reality didn't matter since it was but a statistical approximation. There was never an official manual recount. Thus whatever imaginary recount you were referencing would also have been a statistical approximation. Perhaps you remember, the official recount was abruptly ended by the Supreme Court ruling. Than, in a follow-up logic defying post, MW claims the supreme court ruling was a 7-2 "final decision". Perhaps we can ignore that there were 4 separate dissenting opinions written by each Supreme Court justice that disagreed with the "final decision" (termed a per curiam in this instance as the majority preferred the ruling to be anonymous). Certainly, Mr. Williams and others can subtract 4 from 9 and arrive at a number other than 7. For some reason they would prefer not to. That a political party would universally oppose an official recount of all the ballots in a close contest leads one to question said party's motives when they subsequently seek to pass legislation that IN THE AGGREGATE will have a greater affect on Democratic turnout. For those that argue this proposed legislation is simply meant to maintain the integrity of the voting process, I would counter that the Brook's Brothers riot of 2000, and its unofficial endorsement by the house republican leadership, is more representative of the right's view on the integrity of the vote and the rule of law:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks_Brot...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 25, 2012 | 3:45 p.m.

Well, gee whiz, Chris. Which one of the following words are difficult for you math-wise (Taken directly from the last paragraph of the decision)?

"Seven Justices of the Court agree that there are constitutional problems with the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court that demand a remedy. See post, at 6 (Souter, J., dissenting); post, at 2, 15 (Breyer, J., dissenting). The only disagreement is as to the remedy."

Now, I don't know about you, but the word "seven" does not look much like "five" or "four", and there isn't any arithmetic involved so far as I can see. In fact, contrary to your snide comment, I don't see where I have a math problem at all.

I specifically asked, "...what was the SCOTUS vote on whether what was happening in Florida was a violation of equal protection."

And I'm right; the vote was 7-2. Seven (count 'em, seven), of the justices, including 2 of your precious liberals, thought there were Florida violations of the Equal Protection clause (that's what "Constitution problems" means).

Florida, and Gore, were doing it wrong.

It is true there were 4 dissents, all relating to the remedy. So, if you want to say the decision was 5-4 regarding a remedy, you would be correct. But, that's not what I asked, now, was it..........

No.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.......

I checked again on my fingers. Nope. I still get that "7" is really "seven", and neither 5 nor 4.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 25, 2012 | 3:59 p.m.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00...

You'll have to search elsewhere for the dissents, but I guarantee the entire document including dissents is an excellent read. Basically, the decision savaged the Florida Supreme Court plus ripped the notion that standards for counting ballots can vary from county-to-county and person-to-person. The Florida SC also failed to set new standards in it's ordered recount, thus failing to allocate equal protection for each voter.

Gore never had a chance of winning, no matter his strategy once he started spreading legal crap all over the state. The GOP had 4 hold cards, all stacked against Gore. It was like holding 4 aces against a bluff pair of deuces. Gore's was a sure-fire losing hand since he used a completely wrong strategy. His lawyers failed him. It reached a point where his only remaining strategy was to spread as much crap against the winner as he could. He succeeded in this.

But, the Presidency? Nope, that wasn't gonna happen.

One good thing the event taught the GOP, tho......how to fight real dirty. Gore was a good teacher.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote February 25, 2012 | 9:00 p.m.

@MW,
I was referring to this comment:

"Frank: Yeah, there's that.
But I'm talking about the FINAL decision.
The one everyone insists was 5-4."

All caps was meant to signify something, no?
The final decision WAS 5-4, hence the 4 dissents.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 25, 2012 | 10:19 p.m.

Chris: The dissents were about the remedy, not the constitutionality. Of course, the dissents required breaking at least one federal law and, since a President cannot even be elected without the various state legislatures (since they set the rules), the election laws crafted by the Florida legislature.

Gore and his lawyers played it entirely wrong; they musta had their heads where the sun don't shine. SCOTUS didn't matter....they just ended it short of the GOP playing its 4 trump cards and gave dems someone to blame. Gore was toast no matter what he did and he either didn't know it, was delusional, or just decided to spread crap all over the election.

But, hey....you can believe what ya wanna...whatever makes ya feel better.

Constitutionally, the score was 7-2. The dems were doing it wrong, and even 2 precious liberals said so. You can look it up.

PS; Oh, as for you trying to say you were responding to Frank, I remind you of your own words, to wit: Than [sic], in a follow-up logic defying post, MW claims the supreme court ruling was a 7-2 "final decision".

Yeah, it sure was defying alright.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 25, 2012 | 10:24 p.m.

"...we reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida ordering a recount to proceed.

Seven Justices of the Court agree that there are constitutional problems with the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court that demand a remedy. See post, at 6 (Souter, J., dissenting); post, at 2, 15 (Breyer, J., dissenting). The only disagreement is as to the remedy...."

I guess other readers can read these words and decide for themselves what's final and what's....um....not final.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 25, 2012 | 10:35 p.m.

Christopher, there you go again. Picking selective data to try to buttress your position. The Democrats in Florida wanted to do the same thing. Instead of a total recount, the Dems in Florida wanted only a recount in selective Democrat counties. The Florida Supreme Court allowed it, the US Supreme Court said no, you're not going to be allowed to do that.

In any case, you are WRONG.

A ballot recount was organized in December, 2000 by the New York Times and joined by The Washington Post , the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Tribune Company , the Palm Beach Post, the St. Petersburg Times and the Associated Press, which shared the $900,000 cost.

The review project tried to decipher 175,010 Florida ballots that went unexamined in the election and the ensuing recounts.

Beginning in Polk County in February, 2001 and ending in Orlando in May, 2001, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago maneuvered a small army of 153 ballot examiners, or coders, through courthouses and office buildings across Florida's 67 counties to inspect the ballots. The coders were there to discern what was on the ballots that so divided the parties and the courts, and kept a nation in a constitutional twilight for a month. The recount showed George Bush won. The above was done via cut and paste from the NY Times website. Hardly a pro Bush group. Here's the difference in a nutshell. Even if the Florida Supreme Court's decision to recount had been allowed to stand, Bush would have won. From the study:

"Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged, the United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court's order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court."

So Christopher, go peddle your tale of woe elsewhere. The facts don't back you up according to the New York Times, Washington Post , the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Tribune Company , the Palm Beach Post, the St. Petersburg Times and the Associated Press.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 25, 2012 | 10:38 p.m.

I must add again the information, that the election judge showed on Tim Russert's show. Russert and the other three reporters were unable to make a dimpled or hanging chad. The election judge showed them the only way was to put 4 to 6 ballots in the machine at once. And it was Democrats were were caught with the voting machine in their car. Patently obvious evidence of voter fraud.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 25, 2012 | 10:39 p.m.

Since 2000, have you noticed dimpled/hanging chads have not been an issue in the next 5 national elections?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 26, 2012 | 6:50 a.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"Since 2000, have you noticed dimpled/hanging chads have not been an issue in the next 5 national elections?"

Probably because they went to electronic voting machines, or otherwise fixed the problem?

"And it was Democrats were were caught with the voting machine in their car."

I don't see this as a necessary problem, mostly because anyone trying to make a bunch of fake ballots would have to somehow get them into the hands of the election officials. Ballots have a chain of custody that is supposed to prevent this. You can't just go into a polling place and hand them a bunch of ballots.

I'm sure there have been instances of corrupt election officials, but you'd also have to show that happened before I'd be worried about a guy with a voting machine in his car (odd as that is).

DK

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote February 26, 2012 | 9:41 a.m.

@Don,
Look at table 1 of the study you reference. Here is the study you are referencing:
www.aei.org/files/2004/06/21/20040526_Ke...
It shows that if all counties were manually recounted using any of the 4 recount standards Gore would have received the most votes.
Limiting the recount, and Bush would have received the most votes. In my opinion in close elections, all of the ballots should be recounted and they should have been recounted in Florida. I would also note that the Supremes reasoning in preventing the recount was puzzling. They stipulated that by using different standards, the weight of each vote would be different, and violate the constitution (MW's 7-2). However the initial vote,wherein Bush led by 537, was also a compilation of different voting standards. Thus under the same reasoning should also be unconstitutional. 5 Justices were not concerned with this discrepancy and in affect ruled that the initial unconstitutional (according to their own standard) count should stand. Four justices dissented from this view, thus you have the 5-4 ruling on the per curiam.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote February 26, 2012 | 10:07 a.m.

@Don,
Just to follow up, I agree that Gore probably would not have won with the recount mechanism he was asking for, based on the NORC study. But this is different than stating that every recount study shows that Bush received the most votes. Florida law only allows for recounts on a per county basis. That was why Gore chose 4, he couldn't ask for a statewide recount. Note Bush could also have requested a recount, but chose not to. Lastly, These are also statistical probabilities, so the "true" number of what each candidate would have received under each voting scenario is unknown. Anyway, 2000 was certainly an interesting election, as the vote tally for each candidate was within the margin of error for the counting method. It was effectively a tie. Perhaps if Al Gore's brother would have been the Gov., the scales would have tipped the other way.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 26, 2012 | 10:30 a.m.

If Gore could have invented a "brother" for the occasion, he would have done that as well.

He is now the possessor of 100M$ in wealth. Have been wondering, did the Current TV channel give him the wealth, or did the wealth give us the Current Channel?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 10:49 a.m.

Gore and his attorneys made several serious mistakes, but the main one was requesting selective counties for a recount. That was a horrible PR issue because it was a strategy perceived as a fishing expedition. On a practical scale, the whole process ate up far too much time, so much so that the Gore was bumping heads with several state and federal deadlines for seating electors. They ran out of time, a fact acknowledged by SCOTUS and ignored by the dissents.

SCOTUS's decision was based upon the notion: "You're doing it wrong, and now you're out of time." The decision itself says, "The press of time does not diminish the constitutional concern. A desire for speed is not a general excuse for ignoring equal protection guarantees."

It also said, "The recount process, in its features here described, is inconsistent with the minimum procedures necessary to protect the fundamental right of each voter in the special instance of a statewide recount under the authority of a single state judicial officer."

And, then SCOTUS gets to the crux of the matter, it's raison d'etre in this case: "The question before the Court is not whether local entities, in the exercise of their expertise, may develop different systems for implementing elections. Instead, we are presented with a situation where a state court with the power to assure uniformity has ordered a statewide recount with minimal procedural safeguards. When a court orders a statewide remedy, there must be at least some assurance that the rudimentary requirements of equal treatment and fundamental fairness are satisfied."

INO, Florida and it's Supreme Court were doing it wrong. A SCOTUS slapdown of epic proportions.

And, Gore was out of time. No recount in any shape, form, or fashion, would seat electors in the time allotted. To extend that date would require that other federal and state laws be ignored/broken. Here's what the decision said on the matter:

"That statute, in turn, requires that any controversy or contest that is designed to lead to a conclusive selection of electors be completed by December 12. That date is upon us, and there is no recount procedure in place under the State Supreme Court’s order that comports with minimal constitutional standards."
_________________________

The conclusion is that Gore and his attorneys screwed up. They took the wrong tack. His selective strategy to cobble votes and an alienation of much of America via his spectacle, ran out of time.

PS: Of course, all of this could have been avoided if liberal voters had followed voting instructions in the FIRST DAMN PLACE!!!!!

Justice O'Connor said that, I believe, during oral arguments.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 10:58 a.m.

All of this is moot, anyway. There were 4 hidden trump cards, and the last 1 would have been devastating to Gore if the first 3 had not worked. The US Congress was the 4th card. A slate of electors from Gore would have met with the objections of at least one representative and one senator. Those objections would allow each chamber to vote, something they were terrified of (i.e., being thrown into this horror). In the House, Bush would win. In the Senate, there would be a tie and, wow, Gore as the VP was the tiebreaker. Since it's doubtful he would have voted for Bush (lol), there would have been....again...a tie, with the House voting one way and the Senate the other.

So, what is the rule regarding such a situation?

The deadlock is broken by the Governor of the state in question.

Which was...drumroll....Jeb Bush.

It's hard to find a surer bet than a brother who likes you.

Gore's goose was cooked.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 26, 2012 | 11:09 a.m.

Don Milsop:

I must agree, as I often do, with Mark Foecking: what's the problem with having a voting machine in one's car? I have one in mine. The added weight gives the car better stability on curving highways, such as US 63 between US 50 and Vienna, Missouri*, especially if the highway surface is wet or has snow ice on it.

That takes care of my vehicle's stability problems; for my emotional stability problems I have my teddy bear, Al. Care to guess who Al is named after?

*-The highway was laid out in the mid-1920s, not by the highway department but by the state geologist, as a "scenic drive," which it is.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 11:20 a.m.

Uh-oh. We're getting the blues again.

Does anyone know what causes this? Is the Missourian web site, or my (our) computer?

If the former, please fix it. If the latter, it's my own damn fault and I have to fix it, although "how?" escapes me.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 11:30 a.m.

A further SCOTUS slapdown copied directly from the decision:

"The record provides some examples [of changing standards, brackets are MWs]. A monitor in Miami-Dade County testified at trial that he observed that three members of the county canvassing board applied different standards in defining a legal vote. 3 Tr. 497, 499 (Dec. 3, 2000). And testimony at trial also revealed that at least one county changed its evaluative standards during the counting process. Palm Beach County, for example, began the process with a 1990 guideline which precluded counting completely attached chads, switched to a rule that considered a vote to be legal if any light could be seen through a chad, changed back to the 1990 rule, and then abandoned any pretense of a per se rule, only to have a court order that the county consider dimpled chads legal. This is not a process with sufficient guarantees of equal treatment."
________________________

I'm surprised this cases has yet to be referenced as precedent. The court clearly states that you have to have standards and, if not, you're doing it wrong. In such a case, there is no guarantee of equal treatment...a Constitutional violation of equal protection. Your vote is accorded a weight different than mine, and vice versa. I had hoped that Bush v Gore would cause a nationwide re-evaluation of national, state, and local election laws, but the response was fairly paltry, imo.

This will happen again.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 11:33 a.m.

Finally, this is my opinion:

If you and I cannot follow directions for voting, and we screw up.....tough. Your (My) ballot is tossed in the round file.

You (I) disenfranchised yourself (myself) and have no cause for complaint or remedy.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 26, 2012 | 11:43 a.m.

Gores lead atty, David Boies was in ethics trouble with FL Bar in 2003. His firm not licensed in FL paid $250,000 to outside lawyers over the years to assist in a FL civil suit. FL felt too much money in a legal affair might create conflict of interest interest. Aren't Democrats trying to prevent that in another instance?

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote February 26, 2012 | 2:43 p.m.

@MW,

Let's say you live in Shangra La county and use a highly efficient voting mechanism with an error rate of .00001 (so for every 100,000 votes, 1 is not properly recorded/given to the wrong candidate). In contrast, someone who lives in Backwoods county votes by a mechanism with an error rate of .0001 (1 in 10,000). According to the Supreme Court ruling that would be unconstitutional (but only in Florida in regards to the 2000 recount), because there is a 10-fold difference in the error rate. However that is exactly what occurred in the initial vote in Florida. Different counties had different mechanisms for not only recording, but also tabulating the vote. If these differences are sufficiently egregious to stop the recount, why are they acceptable for the initial vote tally? A recount with uniform standards would have been the best solution. The 5 supremes who ruled in favor of Bush v. Gore thought otherwise, what about yourself?

Note, Breyer and Souter wanted a uniform recount (they were part of the 7 in your 7-2 ruling, but disagreed with the remedy, thus leading to the 5-4 decision).

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 5:22 p.m.

Jon, they were out of time. A total state recount, including scrutiny and legal opportunity for challenge, simply wasn't going to happen.

And Gore was out of luck and plagued by crappy attorneys.

I'm aware there is an inherent error in ANY vote. Most of those errors are the result of the voter not following directions. I feel their pain, but have no sympathy.

SCOTUS simply reversed the Florida SC because the latter issued a non-remedy remedy, punting the issue back to individual districts with NO uniform standards prescribed. I can see no sane individual agreeing with the shifting standards used by...for example...Miami-Dade County. It's offensive, wrong, and entirely the fault of those who couldn't follow directions.

You can keep calling it 5-4; who am I to say you must change your mind? But, I've published (in this place) the actual link and actual excerpts of the decision, and I stand by my original statement: There was a 7-2 decision that what was happening in Florida was a violation of a Constitutional equal protection. The English words are quite clear; this is not an English-as-a-second-language issue.

It is only by twisting your thinking, using the dissents which had no practical utility whatsoever, that you can emotionally mollify and justify a "closeness" of the vote to yourself and like-minded individuals who need a target for their loss.

It wasn't even close. It was 7-2. Everything else was an argument over remedies that were a fantasy.

You can look it up.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 26, 2012 | 6:24 p.m.

Michael Williams:

Regarding the blue screen effect, if your PC or laptop were a nuclear reactor the cause might be Cerenkov Radiation. One of UM System's two research nuclear reactors provides an impressive display of the effect, named for a Soviet scientist. The reactor is located at the bottom of a 27 foot deep concrete pool containing 32,000 gallons of water.Due to the speed of some fission products in the water and the fact that when light goes through water its speed is slightly less than its speed in air, there is a shift that causes the water to turn blue. At full power the water turns a brilliant "morning glory" blue.

I haven't experienced a blue screen, but when I attempt to spell check a post everything becomes super slow.

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer February 26, 2012 | 6:37 p.m.

@Michael -- uh oh. The blue screen again, eh? Unless I've missed other complaints (and I definitely don't read every single comment, so it's possible) this is the first I'm hearing of it since late fall or early winter.

That, too, was on a story with a really long comment thread. Interesting.

Could you send me your specifics (browser, OS) so I can check to see if it's something on our end? mayerj@missouri.edu

Anyone else having trouble?

Joy Mayer,
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 6:59 p.m.

Ellis: Yes, I've seen Cerenkov radiation; my wifey used to work in the drafting room of the UMC reactor and that was back in the dayz when I could visit anytime I wanted to....even tho back in those dayz I was a long-haired McGovern democrat-type with a "save the world" chip on my shoulder. I still shudder. Not at the Cerenkov radiation....but about being a naive democrat.

Joy, each and every story that prompts a large response will eventually get to "blue". Mainly, the Colonel does it, Joseph did it once, and Rosman never does it. Until Joseph did it, I figured the Colonel had found a way to hack into your system and turn things Marine dress blue. I don't believe that anymore.

As for my "platform" specifics, I haven't a clue. It's a computer. I use it as a word processor, spreadsheet, a way to post here, and a few other searches. Your very best source on this problem from us minions is likely Derrick Fogle.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle February 26, 2012 | 8:21 p.m.

Dear Mike: Thank you for that ringing endorsement! That, and a billion dollars, would give me a shot at the presidency. :-O

I can consistently reproduce the blue screen using FireFox 9.0.1 on Windows 7. I cannot reproduce the blue screen in IE8 or Chrome on Win 7, or in any browser (chrome, firefox, safari) on a Mac running 10.7. I have not tried browsers in XP, but I'm guessing that's what you guys are running, and the problem will be the same there. Are you using IE (blue icon) or FireFox (orange icon)?

It looks to me like a rendering bug in the Win version of FireFox. I'm guessing it has some arbitrary vertical pixel limit on DIV elements; in this case the "wrapper" div that gives the white background color of the website. The browser simply stops rendering the white on top of the blue background after a certain length is reached in a discussion thread.

For those with the blue screen problem, I would recommend trying Chrome or IE8 for Windows, or better yet, Chrome on a Mac.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 8:33 p.m.

Derrick: You're welcome. I'd vote for you over any of the current conservatives. You have to decide if you wish to consider that a ringing endorsement of you or my dismay at the current runners. ;^)

But, I would be upset at any expenditure of taxpayer money on a WH footbag arena. That would have to come out of your paycheck.

As for the billion dollars, yer on your own.

Yes, I'm using foxfire and XP.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle February 26, 2012 | 8:39 p.m.

I'm kind of assuming the latter. I'd pick either one of us over any of the current crop of clowns, sitting POTUS included, too.

I also just upgraded my Windows to Firefox 10.0.2, and still have the problem.

So, I'm calling it a specific browser problem. You really should try Google Chrome: https://www.google.com/chrome

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 8:53 p.m.

Derrick: Does google's recent policy changes concern you?

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer February 26, 2012 | 8:56 p.m.

Thanks, guys! I'm passing on the details now. Derrick, the specifics really help. Thanks for taking the time.

Joy Mayer,
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir February 26, 2012 | 9:12 p.m.

Thanks, Derrick. I'll install FF on my virtual machine tomorrow and see if I can replicate it. If so, I suppose I'll file a bug report with Mozilla.

Rob Weir
Director of Digital Development
The Columbia Missourian
weirr@missouri.edu

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle February 26, 2012 | 10:26 p.m.

Google's policy changes are just window dressing; a distraction; just the tip of the iceberg. Remember, I've got a presence on literally hundreds of sites. The depth and breadth of information tracking on the internet is magnitudes beyond Google's policies. Google probably isn't even the single largest information tracking organization out there. I'd be the US government is the largest. And, there are literally thousands of analytics companies out there. All of them aggregating as much information as they can afford to process. And information processing is cheaper than dirt. There's just a lot out there.

Here's one small example: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/23/co... (I have a comment on that article, BTW)

If you think you have even the slightest shred of privacy when you are on the internet, you are a complete fool. I'm going in the opposite direction: Someday, someone's analytical software will notice my extensive, unified, public presence on the internet. What happens then, is anybody's guess. Probably the first thing to happen, is a bunch of my accounts will get hacked.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle February 26, 2012 | 10:36 p.m.

Hey Rob - while I've got your attention, can I sweet talk y'all into removing the apostrophe from the whitespace list for generating the comment blurbs on the front page? It drives me nuts that possessives like "hacker's" gets counted as 2 words. And even though it's technically correct, it still bums me out that all those contractions like "I've" "It's" and "They're" get counted as 2 words as well.

Thanks,

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 27, 2012 | 6:56 a.m.

Michael:

I've not seen the MU reactor, which I understand is a "modified tank." As far as I know, UM System is the only domestic university with TWO research reactors. The MS&T reactor is very low power and requires no enriched fuel, whereas the MU reactor is one of the most powerful research reactors in the United States. There's a reason for the difference: the MS&T reactor is primarily used for training. MS&T has the only undergraduate Nuclear Engineering program in the System. The MS&T reactor is also used for operator training and projects other than the Nuclear Engineering program. UM System has derived income for over 50 years from that. External users must be vetted before they can use the reactor, something required long before 9-11-01.

The MS&T reactor is located less than 100 feet from Parker Hall, MS&T's administrative center. Nobody gets excited over that.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 27, 2012 | 12:43 p.m.

Chain of custody for ballots? Just do a websearch for elections, bags of ballots....See how many times bags of ballots "unexpectedly" turn up.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 27, 2012 | 2:11 p.m.

Michael Williams February 26, 2012 | 11:33 a.m.
Finally, this is my opinion:

You (I) disenfranchised yourself (myself) and have no cause for complaint or remedy.

Michael, so you are implying there should be a certain penalty for being stuck on stupid?

And why have some here completely discounted the events on Tim Russert's show where the reporters could not make a dimpled/hanging chad, but the election judge showed them how...putting 4-6 ballots in the machine at once?

Also, I can't seem to find it, but I do recall somebody in Florida in 2000 driving around with one or two bags of ballots in their car who said that they "forgot about them". Perhaps somebody more astute with the web can find it. Sure lays waste to the "chain of custody argument".

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 27, 2012 | 2:17 p.m.

Don: The punishment is the disenfranchisement by self...without remedy once the ballot is in the box. There is ample opportunity to correct things, with help from staff, before finally committing yourself. There is no valid excuse for not asking questions/seeking help if you feel you need it.

None.

Florida 2000 should never have happened, and the reason it DID happen was voters not following directions.

I always read the ballot instructions. I always read instructions placed in the polling place. I always check my ballot. I'm betting you do, too. Is it too much to expect others do the same? If not, why not?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 27, 2012 | 3:59 p.m.

Michael, what kind of a question is that? It almost sounds like a radical right wing position of advocating personal responsibility for your own actions. Next thing you know you'll be advocating that children be allowed to pray in school? And you know where that will lead!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 27, 2012 | 5:01 p.m.

Don: Next thing you know you'll be advocating that children be allowed to pray in school? And you know where that will lead!
______________________

Yes, callouses on knees must not be allowed in our schools.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 27, 2012 | 5:45 p.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"Next thing you know you'll be advocating that children be allowed to pray in school?"

They can. There's nothing to stop a child from praying in school (when he's not supposed to be doing something else, like listening to the teacher). They're just not supposed to have organized prayer in which the whole class participates.

I suspect that a kid that prays openly before class will get a lot more trouble from his classmates than he would from any school official.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 28, 2012 | 4:29 a.m.

Personal responsibility? What do we have here, a bunch of bomb-throwing anarchists? That's why the Nanny State exists: to assume our "personal responsibility" for us. And have you noticed what a marvelous job they do of that?

[The "extreme sarcasm" button has been disengaged.]

(Report Comment)

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