Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daily Show takes Aim at FL Voter Purges



Republican led state governments across the country have enacted an array of new laws that could make it monumentally harder for as many as 5 million eligible Americans to vote. Some states require voters to show government-issued photo identification, often of a type that as many as one in ten voters do not have. Other states have cut back on early voting, a hugely popular innovation used by millions of Americans. Still others made it much more difficult for citizens to register to vote, a prerequisite for voting.  While actual voter fraud is virtually unheard of in America, Electoral fraud isn't.

Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the potential voters for the favored candidate, or depressing if for the rival candidates, and many times both. 

In national elections, successful electoral fraud can have the effect of a coup d'├ętat or corruption of democracy. In a narrow election a small amount of fraud may be enough to change the result. Even if the outcome is not affected, fraud can still have a damaging effect if not punished, as it can reduce voters' confidence in democracy. Even the perception of fraud can be damaging as it makes people less inclined to accept election results. This can lead to the breakdown of democracy and the establishment of a dictatorship.

Despite many instances of voter fraud internationally, in the U.S. a major study by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 showed of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud and of those few cases, most involved persons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. In fact, Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.  


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