Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Phony Fraud Charges

Reported by Judy - October 27, 2004 -

Fox News Channel today (Oct. 27) kept up its focus on charges of voter registration fraud, focusing on Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina.

This focus, first detected by other News Hounds last week, showed up in interviews and co-host discussions on Fox and Friends and carried over into news reports during Fox News Live.

Co-host Steve Doocy mentioned nine lawsuits filed in Florida over voting procedures, while E.D. Hill went ga-ga over the news that a man in Cleveland who has been for 20 years just registered to vote. She also was incredulous that more people were registered to vote in four Ohio counties than were eligible to. She asked Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, if she thought voter fraud was more widespread than ever before, and the senator said she was "stunned" that more people were registered to vote in some counties than actually lived there.

History professor Leo Ribuffo from Georgetown University tried to put it in perspective by noting that much more fraud probably existed in the nineteenth century before the secret ballot and state-printed ballots. (He also knocked down the myth that JFK won the presidency because Mayor Daley stuffed the ballot boxes for him. Ribuffo says Kennedy had enough electoral votes to win even without Illinois and two or three other states where Republicans alleged fraud.)

Nevertheless, Fox News Live continued the focus on voter fraud with a report about a GOP lawsuit in North Carolina alleging that thousands of illegal aliens may have registered to vote when they got driver's licenses because of the "motor voter registration" laws.

Most of these fears are overblown. Registrars do not purge voter lists annually, so it is not surprising that people who move out of an area might still be registered to vote there. That is not fraud, or even a potential for fraud. Just yesterday, I saw the name of a friend on the voter rolls who moved out of state seven years ago. She lives half-way across the country and does not intent to vote here. Yet her name contributes to the situation that Hutchison finds so "stunning."

Fox News might have done a public service if, immediately after the 2000 election, it had concentrated on voter fraud and pushed the Republican administration to immediately make reforms in these areas. Despite some attempts at reform, Congress and the states did too little.