In this week's episode Beth and Kelly discuss the questions surrounding voter fraud. Is voter fraud really an issue we need to worry about? Why does the GOP constantly remind us to be afraid of it? Why is DJT so invested in the idea, without a single shred of evidence? What could we do, as citizens, to help prevent voter fraud?
Why does a podcast about fake news need to address voter fraud? We bring up this topic as a slight throwback to My Favorite Conspiracy Theory episode, in which Beth's favorite conspiracy theory was DJT's assertion that 3 million immigrants voted in the 2016 election.
Ah, memories. Good thing he got over that, right?
Oh, wait. Yeah, that's right, he didn't. No matter how many times he was proven wrong.
Beth took a look at The Heritage Foundation's assertions that voter fraud is real and a huge issue...only it turns out that many of their examples are merely clerical errors or mistakes, not intentional voter fraud. Also, their numbers are not even a fraction of the 3 million illegal voters claimed by the current sitting president.
And who could forget the clerical error that sent conservative bloggers running for cover as one Breitbart headline read, "Voter Fraud: 670 Ballots Cast in Georgia Precinct with 276 Voters". This would indeed be cause for alarm, if not for those meddling reporters speaking to the Secretary of State and informing voters:
"The allegation that there were 670 ballots in a precinct with 276 voters is incorrect.There were 670 Republican ballots cast out of 3,941 registered voters in the Mud Creek precinct in Habersham County on May 22, according to state data."
Thanks fact checkers!
These kind of outrageous claims aren't anything new, and likely will continue until we have more standardized vote counting systems in place throughout the country.
Beth did a bit of a deep dive on the Beitbart story, noting that the article was also promoting a book by Eric Eggers titled Fraud: How the Left Plans to Steal the Next Election, which we will not link here as we do not promote fake news on this site. Beth thought it was important to mention this, as Eggers is a researcher and employee under Peter Schweizer, a senior Editor-At-Large for Breitbart and the president of the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative nonprofit investigative research organization that mines the dark web for really reliable information. Further notable board members of GAI include Steve Bannon, former racist-at-large in the White House. Between 2012-2014, GAI received $4 million from the Mercer and Koch family foundations. So, surely this book is entirely independent and this story in Georgia is not just the latest attempt to create mistrust in our electoral system by families that have sought to undermine voter confidence for decades while also promoting a co-workers book? Pshaw!
So, the next time Uncle Steve tells you about how Fox News/Breitbart/Infowars/National Review told them that illegals are voting, send them over to the Brennan Institute - as they have decades of research to show that illegal voting just isn't a thing. Like 0.0003% not a thing. Do we need to update the voting process and shore up our electronic voting machines so they are not susceptible to hacking and vote tampering? Yes, absolutely. Do we need to disenfranchise the poor even further and require IDs? No.
So, what can you do to help protect yourself and others from voter fraud and help ensure a free and fair election process?
What a great question! We're so glad you asked!
First, you can take part in your local election by becoming a poll worker...no, not that kind. An election inspector kind. The kind that checks your name of the list and gives out the ballots. You can totally do it - check out the Election Assistance Commission to find out more! It's pretty easy and you get free donuts!
Another great way to get involved is through Let America Vote, which has voter guides and mobile updates for your local area elections as well as innovative ways to get involved with politics, from hosting house parties to volunteering for a candidate.
Last, but certainly not least, is Vote Save America, a Crooked Media website that helps you find local and national events to get involved with. Put your feet on the ground, pick up a phone, do your part to make this country what we know it can be!
Beth's Jam of the week: The Way That I Feel · Danielle Parente
Kelly's Jam of the week: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
Trump’s California claim: Millions of people vote ‘many times’
‘Kris Kobach Came After Me for an Honest Mistake’
2012 Voter Fraud
Trump’s Bogus Voter Fraud Claims Revisited
Ex-clerk guilty in voter fraud case
Voter Fraud: 670 Ballots Cast in Georgia Precinct with 276 Voters
Voter Fraud In Georgia Falsely Reported
Wikipedia: Peter Schweizer
Wikipedia: Government Accountability Institute
Steve Bannon: ‘Racist’ Label Is a Badge of Honor
Election Assistance Commission
Let America Vote
Vote Save America
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