Well of course they are. That's a foregone conclusion; not even a fit subject for intelligent debate any more. Oh, it's a little more sophisticated now than in the days of the old Tennessee custom of a Mason jar of moonshine, or the Chicago precinct captain's distribution of "walking around money." But the practice is alive and well, and more pervasive than ever. The evidence is everywhere if we choose to look.
Why do you think there is such a push to eliminate citizenship ID as a requirement to vote? Why do you think there is such a push to grant voting rights to illegal aliens? Why do you think voting machines that leave a paper trail have been eliminated in favor of electronic tabulation, far away from where the votes are actually cast? Why do you think that in the 2012 Presidential Election there were many reports of voter fraud, or intimidation, but no reports of conviction? Remember the 158.85% voter turnout in St. Lucie County Florida, the highest voter turnout in the Country? Of course it contributed heavily to the defeat of Republican Congressional incumbent, Colonel Alan West. And yes Colonel West did ask for a recount, but it was not granted.
Remember the uniformed members of the New Black Panthers, wielding billyclubs and blocking entry to the Philadelphia polling places? Charges were made but subsequently dropped by the Obama Justice Department. And I won't even get into the unchallenged Acorn voter registration frauds.
Of course, there is a pattern here that favors one political party over the other, but these are rather insignificant isolated instances compared to the big picture that is beginning to emerge. I believe it was Joseph Stalin who said, "It's not the people who vote that counts. It's the people who count the votes." That advice has been taken to heart by our current crop of politicians.
Is political tampering new? Of course not. In 1915 mass indictments for voter fraud were handed down in Terre Haute, IN, in which the incumbent sheriff, and the local judge, and the Terre Haute mayor were all sentenced to the pokey. By 1932 Louisiana senator Huey "Kingfish" Long had polished the process to the point that he won unanimously in sixteen New Orleans precincts and tallied identical votes in 28 others. New York's Tammany Hall political machine bought off judges, politicians, ward captains, and controlled Democrat Party nominations for more than a century. What is new is the size and scope of election tampering now made possible with current electronic monitoring and tabulation.
Mass corruption began in earnest in 2002 with the passage of another of those laws with the cutsie little name of the "Help Americans Vote Act," which gave states $3.9 BILLION if they would to do away with balloting that left a paper trail, and substituted what was termed "Direct Recording Electronic" (DRE) voting machines. This took vote counting away from local communities and transferred it to centralized voting centers with political interests in the outcome. (Please remember the aforementioned Joseph Stalin quotation.)
A number of hardware manufacturers got into the act with no electronic experience, but lots of political connections. None worse than Diebold, a producer of wall safes. Their voting machine subsidiary was so dysfunctional that its collection of ballots was easily hacked, remotely or on-site, using any off-the-shelf version of the Microsoft "Access" program. The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory issued a report that the outcome of an entire election could be arranged by anyone with $26 in parts and an 8th grade science education. Diebold's reputation was so bad that they eventually changed their name to "Premier Election Solutions." But by then the damage was done, so Diebold got out of the election business altogether, selling out to "Election Systems and Software" (ES&S).
This story has so many ins-and-outs, and involves too many interconnecting politicians and entities, I will follow only one. The aforementioned Election Systems and Software (ES&S).
The date: 1996. The location: Nebraska. The event: A senate race. From out of nowhere, a virtually unknown millionaire named Chuck Hagel staged an amazing upset victory over the popular Democrat Governor Ben Nelson, who had been elected in a landslide only two years previously. It was little known at the time, but two weeks before announcing his candidacy, Chuck Hagel had stepped down as CEO of ES&S, the firm that would soon count his own senate votes. He won, of course.
In 2002 Hagel was challenged by Democrat Charlie Natulka. The votes were again electronically tabulated by ES&S, and this time Hagel won 83% of the vote, the largest margin of victory ever recorded in Nebraska history!
Matulka's request for an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee was denied. Would not have mattered though since Nebraska law states that recounts must be conducted using the same "vote-counting device" used in the actual election, which, of course, would be the same ES&S machine.
There are many, many, other facets to this voter corruption scandal. I have only scratched the surface with this one, and I am already running out of space, but let me conclude this one part by asking that you please keep in mind that this is the same Chuck Hagel, who after serving two terms in the United States Senate, is now the Obama administration's recently appointed Secretary of Defense.
Who says that crime doesn't pay? Depends on the game, I guess.