According to political legend, John F. Kennedy didn't really know he'd won the 1960 presidential race against Richard Nixon until he received a late-night phone call from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.
"Mr. President," Daley intoned. That greeting told JFK that the Chicago Democratic machine had worked its magic, voting enough tombstones and "ghosts" to put Kennedy over the top in Illinois and into the White House.
Fifty years later, Democrats are still up to their old tricks. As Chuck Goudie of WLS-TV reports:
An Illinois county election official says that thousands, and potentially hundreds of thousands, of voters who are expecting a ballot sent to them by mail may be disenfranchised.
Chicagoan Rosia Carter is one of 404,000 registered Illinois voters who recently received vote-by-mail requests that were sent by the Illinois Democratic Coordinated Campaign.
"By the time I filled it out and sent it in, my vote would not get counted," Carter said.
She and others called the I-Team when they noticed the return address is not their local election official but instead a PO box for the organization. IDCC officials claim they are entering ballot request information into their own database before sending the mailings on to election authorities who then mail voters the ballot.
The Lake County clerk received a shipment of 500 ballot requests from the IDCC Tuesday. By law, her office has two days to process the ballot requests. The problem is, Thursday is the deadline for election officials to get the ballots out.
IDCC told the clerk that another 1,500 ballot requests are headed to her office, which, she says, may not give her enough time to process all the ballots, potentially disenfranchising voters.
Carter and others who contacted the I-Team are furious that their vote may also be thrown out because the IDCC put the registered voters' wrong birthdate on the form.
"My birthdate is wrong," said Carter. "That means it doesn't match the election board of commissioners' records."
In case you're wondering, a spokesman for the IDCC told WLS they used their organization's post office box as a return address to "better track the process and make sure there are fewer problems." And apparently, he said it with a straight face.
But the potential for political chicanery doesn't end with the potential disenfranchisement of thousands of voters. As Erick Erickson of Red State postulates, the Dims could simply rush to a (friendly) federal judge and demand an extension of submission times and tabulating periods so that "every vote counts." When that happens, the Democrats can tap into a pool of thousands of additional votes. It won't elect (or re-elect) a president, but it could be enough to sway hotly-contested Senate races in Illinois.
The remedy for conservatives is simple. Turn out in such huge numbers that it becomes impossible for Democrats to steal the election. But in the blue states, that's easier said than done. Besides, if the machine can't conjure up enough votes on election night, there's always Step Two in the Democratic playbook. Flood the zone with lawyers and start recounting until you achieve the desired result.
If you can, make a last-minute donation to Mark Kirk or Bill Brady, or volunteer some time for their campaigns. They need all the help they can muster in defeating their opponents--and the Democratic machine.
ADDENDUM: And oddly enough, a similar scandal is unfolding in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, where Democratic incumbent Patrick Murphy is in the fight of his political life. Hundreds of voters in the district were warned that their votes might not count unless they returned an enclosed absentee ballot to a post office box in Bristol, Pennsylvania. The box was controlled by Murphy's campaign manager, who then "re-mailed" the ballots to the local election board.
As National Review has learned, there was a sudden surge in Democratic absentee ballots in the district last week, and many were mailed in identical, pre-labeled envelopes. Local GOP officials say some of the suspicious ballots were post-marked as far back as August, suggesting they had been held by a third party--perhaps the same individual who controlled the P.O. box where they were mailed? You know, the same guy running Murphy's re-election bid?
At this point, there's no proof that Congressman Murphy was involved. Officials with his campaign insist that no ballots sent to the post office box were discarded or tampered with.
Labels: Illinois; machine politics; voter fraud