Folks on the left tell us that actual voter fraud is not nearly the problem that Republicans imagine. I would tend to agree that it’s likely not extremely widespread, but I’ve seen enough close elections in my lifetime that it’s not something I am willing to risk. However, I have to question just how widespread it might be when I see Philadelphia election officials fighting oversight at every turn.
Hours before polls opened today, the Philadelphia election officials booted 75 Republican poll watchers from multiple polling places. The GOP has minority inspectors who were told by election officials that “no Republicans will be allowed in the polling place” at all today. There are some reports that the ban on Republicans in polling places got violent and that GOP inspectors were assaulted. The election officials who refused Republicans entry had to be ordered by the courts not to ban people based on their party affiliation.
Meanwhile, these same election officials set up voting machines right in front of a giant Obama mural promoting his 2008 campaign messages. Somehow, it escaped their notice. Yeah… And it took a court order to get it covered after it had been on display for hours.
This is a city that has unbelievably bloated voter rolls that they know contain dead people and others not eligible to vote. Clean elections advocates admit that their voter registration rolls are ripe for fraud because of how many invalid folks they have on them.
About two of every three residents of Pennsylvaniaâ€™s largest city are registered to vote â€“ more than 1 million of the cityâ€™s 1.5 million residents â€“ and that doesnâ€™t sit well with Zack Stalberg of the Committee of Seventy, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that works for fair and open elections.
Stalberg said the city has not done enough to trim its voter rolls to remove inactive voters, dead voters and former voters who have moved out of the city. Bloated voting rolls increase the chance for fraud to take place, he said, and in a one-party town like the City of Brotherly Love that can be a particular concern.
â€œThe numbers have been out of whack for some time now,â€ Stalberg told PA Independent. â€œIt just defies logic to think that two out of every three people living in the city can be registered to vote.â€
Yet, the city’s elected officials opposed voter identification measures at every turn. They have even opposed the education efforts to let people know about voter identification laws that will be in effect for the very next election. At some point one has to wonder, what exactly are they afraid Republicans will see in Philadelphia?