No Wonder Hearne's Phony GOP Front-Group, ACVR, Didn't Want to See the Report Released
They're Named Three Times as the Only Group Forwarding the 'Voter Fraud' Bullshit!
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2006, 2:57pm PT  

Following up on our Wednesday coverage of the four- month-old report on "Voter Fraud," which the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) refused to release when they discovered the report points to just how little such fraud actually occurs. The facts don't lie, despite the loathesome high-level GOP/Team Bush operatives who call themselves the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights' (ACVR), and their ongoing disingenuous and well-funded efforts to establish that voter fraud is rampant, perpetrated almost exclusively by Democrats, and must be cured by disenfranchising and unconstitutional Photo ID requirement laws at the polls (although not for absentee or military balloting, of course).

We've now had a chance to review the unreleased report [PDF] in full. It's just twelve pages. But it slams the notion that there is any massive problem in America with "Voter Fraud", despite ACVR's continuing campaign to suggest the problem is an epidemic --- versus all of the many other forms of disenfranchisement that really do occur and really do threaten our democracy.

"There is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud," the report explains, "or at least much less than is claimed, including voter impersonation, 'dead' voters, noncitizens voting and felon voters."

The report singles out ACVR as the only named proponent of the discredited notion that voter fraud is plaguing the country --- ACVR is ignominously named as dissenting three times in the report! --- so it is little wonder they didn't want this report to see the light of day.

ACVR's main perpetrator and Democracy-Hater-in-Chief, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne II, was actually a part of the "working group" assembled for this report. Notably, Hearne failed yet again to mention that he was the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. in his bio at the end of the report.

Similarly, Hearne withheld that information in his testimony on behalf of ACVR during now-disgraced Rep. Bob Ney's U.S. House Adminstration Committee hearing in March of 2005. ACVR was the only "Voting Rights" group invited to discuss the travesties of Election 2004. He testified only that he was a "longtime advocate of voter rights" and must have just forgotten to mention his Bush/Cheney connections...or that the ACVR had been formed just three business days prior to the hearing!

The EAC's buried report points to problems not with voter fraud, but instead with minority voter intimidation, improper purging of registration rolls, dirty tricks, and all sorts of things that the loathesome ACVR con-men have spent enormous amounts of money trying to smoke-screen, via propaganda reports hoping to fool America into believing that double-voting, dead people voting, and non-citizens voting is the real threat to democracy.

It's not. But anti-American monsters like Thor Hearne definitely are.

The biggest problem, the EAC's unpublished report finds, is absentee ballot fraud; a problem that is decidedly not addressed in any way by the despicable Photo ID laws that Hearne and friends have been promoting in statehouses around the country. He and his evil compatriots were even able to convene a phony "blue-ribbon" panel last year on Election Reform, chaired by Bush Family crony James A. Baker, in order to endorse the call for a national Photo ID requirement at the polls. (Who better to lead an Election Reform panel than the man who went to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to keep voters from having their votes counted in Florida in 2000?!)

Apparently snake-oil salesman Hearne was unable to fool the rest of the folks working on the EAC report into believing he wasn't utterly full of shit (as previously reported in exacting detail by The BRAD BLOG.)

Consider this embarrassing ACVR moment from the EAC's buried report...

After explaining that there is "little polling place fraud", the report goes on to declare, "Jason Torchinsky from the American Center for Voting Rights is the only interviewee who believes that polling place fraud is widespread and among the most significant problems in the system."

Nobody, other than ACVR, is singled out by name for dissenting from the report's main thesis. And yet, they succeeded in keeping the report from seeing the light of day until USA TODAY revealed it last Wednesday.

As to the Republicans' phony and unsubstantiated sturm and drang in re: "Dead people voting", the report reads...

In the case of voting in the name of a dead person, the problem lay in the voter registration list not being properly maintained, i.e. the person was still on the registration list as eligible to vogte, and a person took criminal advantage of that. In total, the San Francisco Chronicle found five such cases in March 2004; the AP cited a newspaper analysis of five such persons in an Indiana primary in May 2004; and a senate committee found two people to have voted in the names of the dead in 2005

And then there's this, which flies in the face of the cowardly GOP canard of undocumented aliens voting in droves: based on a study of press reports of various types of allegations of voter fraud, "There was only one self evidence instance of a noncitizen registering to vote," acccording to the report.

Contrary to Hearne's ACVR claims, the report found that the problem is not people voting twice or in the name of dead people, but rather voters --- largely minorities --- being intimidated at the polls, other forms of disenfranchisement such as misinformation campaigns, and attempts at gaming democracy by groups most frequently tied to one particular party over another (three guesses as to which party that is).

I don't know if attempting to undermine democracy is an out-and-out prosecutable crime, but if it's not, people like Thor Hearne make the argument for why it should be. If it is a prosecutable crime, and if there was any Dept. of Justice actually left to enforce such laws in this country, Hearne and friends should be in jail for a very long time.

We can only hope that once the stories are all finally told, America-hating punks like Hearne will go down in history, to their eternal shame, along with Benedict Arnold, Joseph McCarthy, and the rest of those who seek to undermine everything this country is supposed to stand for.

Share article...