Voter Fraud -- can't happen here, right?

The 2012 Election is on the horizon.  While all eyes are glued to Iowa -- early absentee ballots are being requested all over Florida.  Read about it here:  Requests for Absentee Ballots

One of the biggest areas for potential voter fraud is in absentee ballots. 

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Comment by amanda choate on December 31, 2011 at 1:47pm

Elections serve as term limits. I would say that the governance in Florida has not improved as a result of term limits. Just as corrupt, just as self-serving.

Public finance of elections is the answer if you ask me, as proposed by Mr. Lessig.

If you equate money to speech, then money is the predominant factor in expressing oneself. That doesn't sound right or feel very American.

Comment by Kate Svagdis on December 30, 2011 at 10:02am
we have concerns about voter fraud with students being bussed in to clog voter lines for a 2hr delay and discourage tax paying voters from voting as Bethune Cookman did in Volusia Co and Teamster involvement with Teamsters being voted into FDOC/all FL prisons
Comment by amanda choate on December 30, 2011 at 9:23am

I am sorry, I was wrong. Sort of.  PAC's and SuperPAC's are where corporations drop their bags of cash. Thus the end around.

Mr. Lessig's modest proposal is to federal fund campaigns by giving individuals $150 each and then allowing them to distribute the cash to the candidates. His premise is this, cash given in the amounts that are required to win elections, compromises even the best, most honest politician. This means pols will be actually beholden to their constituents. Yea!!!

Easy on the CAPS, your point is made just as well without.

I have no need to question your honesty, I don't, I have no doubt that you are straight up. Good luck in the upcoming.

Comment by Michael "Mike" Yost on December 30, 2011 at 5:15am

Amanda,

First, Federal PACS and Candidates CANNOT under any circumstances accept donations from Corporations. Period. Try http://fec.gov for all the rules.

Now, 527 groups are a FAR different story. They are NOT "regulated" per se', and still then, NO 527 can give directly to candidates. PERIOD! They can ONLY expend funds to ADVERTISE issues and even then, they CANNOT say in their ads "vote for Bob Smith". THAT is prohibited. They can expose candidates or show that one candidate supports "XYZ plan", but STILL can't tell you in that Ad to "vote for Bob Smith". They MUST disclose the source of the funds from that Ad as well..."Paid for and Approved by Citizens for Better Government and not by any Candidate".

Believe me Amanda, I DO know the rules and DO follow them. I have since 2009. I have NEVER taken a Corporate check for a donation...ever. Simply because WE CAN'T ACCEPT THEM. IF someone mailed one, we have NO CHOICE but to return it. Federal PACS are limited to $5,000 per election cycle and individuals are limited to $2500 per election cycle. NO 527's can donate to a Candidate. IF that is what you are referring to as a "Super Pac", then there are different rules. They DO disclose donors, but NOT through the Federal Election Commission- they disclose through the IRS on their forms they file there.

There is a TON of disinformation out there on donations. The ONLY source of factual and current law and rules is the Federal Election Commission site. BEFORE you tell me "I am wrong", I suggest you refer to that in advance. I ALSO would suggest you read the Citizens v. United SCOTUS ruling as well rather than the editorial OPINIONS that are out there. Some just are blatantly WRONG.

Comment by amanda choate on December 30, 2011 at 4:42am
Mike. I invite you to read 'Republic Lost' by Robert Lessig. He may have some solutions to campaign finance you might like.
Comment by amanda choate on December 30, 2011 at 4:40am
Ken though I hold different opinions than Mike, I only wanted to know his positions. He is a candidate and that is what I needed to know. He shared, I am good with that. But he was just wrong on the campaign finance law, not opinion, fact.
Comment by amanda choate on December 28, 2011 at 8:04pm
Mike, rather than debate you on all the issues, but you are flat wrong. Corps can give unlimited monies to SuperPacs, undisclosed. They are also free to give directly to campaigns, which you should know if you are truly running for congress.
Comment by Michael "Mike" Yost on December 28, 2011 at 5:03pm

Amanda,

First, you are correct that anyone CAN cheat. Sadly, it appears that most cheating occurs within one particular party and that has been well documented as to which it is. Now, campaign finance reform is a very tough call. McCain-Feingold was nothing more than what I call the "Incumbent Re-election Act" that made the PACS and Lobbyist PACS possible. It ALSO expanded the 501c types so that SOME could involve themselves politically and still maintain a non-profit status. It also set limits on individual contributions and ended ANY Corporate donations to candidates. That provision is STILL in force TODAY- even Citzens v. United did NOT change that. So what "reforms" are you wanting? Do we go to a 100% PUBLIC finance of campaigns?? What about PRIMARY candidates and their campaigns?? Are YOU willing to foot the MILLIONS of dollars spent for those campaigns too?? Consider this fact- ONE mailing into a Congressional District of 697,000 people- roughly 500,000 voters at $1 per piece is a $500,000 expense. It takes .44$ stamp, printing costs, labeling, etc. and THAT amounts to roughly that $1 per piece mailed. EVEN if you get bulk postage rates, it is STILL a $400,000 mailing. Are YOU willing to pay more in taxes to finance those campaigns AND to assure that EVERY ONE IS TREATED EQUALLY since it becomes a Federal financed election?? Even if we LIMIT it to $1 million per candidate, that means $435 MILLION for each ELECTED member and if there are 3-4 challengers, that is EASILY over a BILLION every two years.

Now, are "Corporations" considered having the same "rights" as individuals? THAT issue was decided many years ago in the late 1800's by the Supreme Court. Here was the premise- IF a Corporation was NOT given the "rights" of an individual, then they could NOT be sued for wrongdoing. They are NOT a "person" per se', but IF they were NOT considered an entity with some of the same rights as YOU and I have, then WHO do you sue in the event there is a claim?? Do they have a right to question their accusers?? What about the right to a jury trial?? How about paying taxes? Or any number of things we expect of our legal and tax system?? Unless Corporations ARE considered as an entity who receives the equal protection under the law, they COULD become ABOVE the law and never be brought to court or held accountable for ANY of their actions!!

Remember this ONE single thing about rights and freedom. IF we restrict the rights of ONE group, then we take the chance of restricting the RIGHTS YOU HAVE!!

Now, is money equivalent to speech? IF you are given your RIGHT to free speech and choose to pay for a newspaper ad to express that, should YOUR right to do so be restricted?? Since a Corporation IS considered an entity- the same as YOU are- then should ANYONE restrict their right to buy that same ad to express THEIR views or stances?? What about an AD to sell something?? Isn't THAT free speech as well? Even if it undercuts the competitors prices, they CAN do it NOW- should THAT ability be restricted?? The Sticky Wicket over free speech is simple- either we have TOTAL free speech or RESTRICTED speech. There is NO middle ground and when you throw "grey areas" into the mix, WHO determines if a little bit of grey is allowed or is YOUR free speech rights under assault as well??

So what if a LOT of very small businesses decide to pool their funds in support of a candidate or against an issue that WOULD affect them dramatically?? Do we tell them because they are Corporations (which MOST are today) they they CAN'T do that and CAN'T buy an advertisement to express that view?? What IF YOUR job was at risk IF they lost??? Do they have the RIGHT to oppose that THEN??

Remember, STILL TODAY, NO Corporation can contribute to ANY Candidates Campaign OR to a PAC. PERIOD. Now the INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES can contribute to a PAC, but NOT THE CORPORATION ITSELF USING CORPORATE FUNDS!!! The individual employees CAN contribute

Comment by Laura Sisler on December 28, 2011 at 4:51pm

This is a topic I have been thinking about recently since " 'tis the season".    I acutally think that there could be a very simple solution to voter fraud.   First it require a national database for registered voters.   (If not at least at the state level).  Then, why not require voting by finger print or thumb print?   If it is good enough for the Afghanis, then why not us/U.S?  However, with our modern technology, they could be scanned and use a fingerprint reader or some such device which I'd think should already exist or could be created that would recognize the voter registration.  If someone is voting absentee, then they can provide an ink thumb print on the ballot.   If this would be required of all voters, how could this be considered discrimination or profiling?   Anyone who wishes to exercise their vote, would have to do this and provide the information when they register.   The Liberal media couldn't claim discrimination against minorities.  In addition, I recently received a new voter registration card and there about 9 different types of acceptable photo i.d. that can be used including public assistance or retirement identification.  The problem is, there is an excuse for every common sense solution it seems.  Unfortunately, I don't think we will see signficant changes to our voter laws anytime soon.   If they could make a suggestion like the one I mentioned work, it probably wouldn't happen until at least 2018 at the pace things go, but they can implement a new health care law within 2 years that increasingly has flaws exposed.   I am puzzled though, why the poll workers practically turn away my voter registration card in addition to providing my driver's license.  I think that should be required also.

Comment by amanda choate on December 28, 2011 at 12:05pm
Mike, I imagine that people of all political persuasions cheat. I am not naive enough to believe that the persons political affiliation is not the deciding factor, their individual character is. Would you support campaign finance reform if elected? What is your position on Citizens United. Do you believe corps have the same rights as people? Is money equivalent to speech?

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