When the Federal Election Assistance Commission asked a pair of experts to look into voting fraud, the team — a Democrat and a Republican — concluded that voter fraud (attempts by ineligibiles to vote) was not a serious problem, but that voter intimidation was a serious problem in some places, especially in Indian country. Or so reports the New York Times, based on a review of the original document, produced with more than $100,000 of public money but never released.
If that’s true, of course, it’s no surprise that the Bush Administration has been having trouble getting even its own appointees as U.S. Attorneys to prosecute crimes that mostly aren’t being committed. (Voter intimidation and other forms of vote suppression have never been among the Administration’s concerns, except for its concern not to get caught at it.)
The report as published says something else. It says there’s dispute about both topics, adding that the dispute over intimidation has to do with “what constitutes actionable voter intimidation.” (I guess a little bit of intimidation is OK.)
The authors are forbidden by their contract to discuss the matter. [That wouldn’t, of course, apply to testimony under subpoena before a Congressional committee.] The commission, which could of course release the original report as well as the edited version, has chosen not to do so. According to one Congressional Democrat, the methodology (and presumably the “balanced ticket” of consultants) was agreed on in advance, and the commission only changed its mind when the team produced politically incorrect results.
Sounds like a good topic for a National Academy report, which the Congress can order the Administration to commission. In the meantime, anyone who mentions “voter fraud” and doesn’t mention the experts’ report should be assume to be … well, fraudulent.
Update John Cole — who, unlike those of us who were born Bush-bashers or achieved Bush-bashery, had Bush-bashing thrust upon him by the presistent stench coming out of 1600 Penn., sees a pattern.