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GOP in Florida: Crying Fraud, Then Creating It

For once, the Republicans were right.(Alan Diaz/AP)

They have been obsessively claiming that voter-suppression measures are necessary because of widespread “ballot fraud.” However extensive investigations by the mainstream media have shown that ballot-fraud is a convenient myth.

Even the Bush administration, in an extensive five-year search, turned up no evidence of the kind of voting fraud—fake IDs, voting in the name of dead people, folks being bribed to vote—that the Republicans routinely allege. Republicans, evoking the tactics of the pre-civil rights segregationist South, simply want to make it more difficult for people who might support Democrats to exercise their right to vote. Some five million people, mostly minorities and the poor, are at risk of being denied their right to vote in 19 states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures, according to a report from the Brennan Center. Happily, the courts have struck down the most extreme of these measures, in Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and most recently Pennsylvania. 

Now, however, Republicans can claim some vindication. Serious voter fraud has emerged in Florida. But the ballot fraud is being perpetrated by Republicans!

The Florida GOP had hired a firm with a very sketchy record, called Strategic Allied Consulting. And guess what? The firm tried to register dead people! It also refused to register live people who tried to register as a Democrat or an independent.

An embarrassed party turned over evidence to state prosecutors and fired the firm.

But, hey, the Republicans should be pleased. They’ve now demonstrated, at long last, that ballot fraud does exist. Of course, the remedy is not suppression of legitimate voting, but prosecution of fraudsters. They seem to exist only on the Republican side.