Attorney Greta Van Susteren left out some important information in her report last night as she wrongly suggested that an epidemic of (black, Democratic) voter fraud broke out in Ohio during the last election. In case you missed the inference, FoxNews.com made it explicit with its title and subtitle of the video: How could an Obama supporter vote six times? Veteran Ohio poll worker under investigation for allegedly voting for Pres. Obama six times last November. A photo of the African American offender was positioned next to a head shot of Obama for the still on the video. Van Susteren was so aghast at the selective facts put forth by Fox’s “objective reporter” Eric Shawn, that she forgot to point out how exceedingly rare voter fraud is and that the system seemingly worked to catch what irregularities there are.
Van Susteren and Shawn seemed to be piggybacking on John Fund’s February 9 report in The National Review Online that also happened to focus on the same Obama supporter who allegedly voted six times. “Should we be worried about our election system or at least about the swing state of Ohio?” Van Susteren asked. She never bothered to answer her own question beyond focusing on this one salacious instance.
Shawn duly noted that the Obama-supporting poll worker, Melowese Richardson, admitted to voting twice because, having voted absentee, “she was afraid her vote would not count.” Shawn sneered, “She denies that she intentionally committed voter fraud, saying, ‘Haven’t they heard of a mistake?’”
After reporting that Richardson also voted on behalf of her niece and others, Shawn cited an Ohio voting official as he added, “It appears that Ms. Richardson used her position to quote cover her tracks. And guess what? She’s not the only one who voted twice in Ohio as part of the investigation of 19 cases, Greta.” His voice rose in hammy shock about information that he likely knew about for more than two weeks.
And guess what? Those 19 cases are an infinitesimal percentage of the votes in Ohio. Media Matters' comments on Fund's original piece are just as relevant here:
Fund doesn’t bother to mention that there were 421,997 ballots cast in Hamilton County in 2012. So even if every single one of those 19 cases involved the fraudulent casting of a ballot, they would represent just 0.0045 percent of the total. That’s pretty rare...
...Of the 19 voters who are under investigation in Hamilton County, most voted early via absentee ballot and then went to cast provisional ballots at their polling place on Election Day. In each of those cases, the provisional ballot was rejected. So even if they were attempting to knowingly and fraudulently double vote, the system was already in place to catch them, and their second votes didn’t count.
Funny how “objective” Shawn left out that context. But so did Fox's one “liberal” host, Van Susteren. Instead, she underscored how Richardson is a “poll worker who presumably is trained and knows what to do.” Van Susteren added, “I’m absolutely speechless on this one.”
Another bit of evidence left out? How Richardson may have been motivated by Ohio’s efforts to restrict voting. Even though Shawn specifically noted Richardson’s statement that she voted multiple times because she was worried her vote would not count, he never bothered to find out why she might have thought so. Not that that excuses her behavior in any way but it certainly puts a different light on the situation and adds a new dimension to it. What Richardson did was inexcusable but voting problems were highlighted in President Obama's recent State of the Union address where he announced the formation of a non-partisan commission to address them.
But it’s no big surprise that the network whose hosts laugh at a 102 year-old black woman waiting hours to vote in Florida would overlook African American voting concerns in Ohio. Even on the one Fox show hosted by a “liberal.”