Joe Doakes from Como Park writes:
Many hard words have been exchanged about the 2008 election. Conservatives worry that ineligible voters swayed the election. Liberals scoff because there’s little voter fraud. What if they’re not speaking the same language?
Example: President Obama routinely talks about America’s lack of proven oil reserves. He’s a smart man and is careful with words. The phrase “proven oil reserve” doesn’t mean the oil in the ground. It means the oil you can feasibly and legally pump.
If you can’t get a federal permit to pump the oil, you can’t legally pump it, so that oil is not included in the proven reserve. And to save the planet from Global Warming, President Obama won’t give you a permit.
President Obama is technically correct. All that oil sitting under the ground, waiting for a permit to be pumped out, is NOT part of America’s “proven oil reserves.” As a result, we lack “proven oil reserves.”
What does this have to do with elections? I think there’s a similar language problem. If a convicted felon whose civil rights have not been restored goes to the polling place, signs the register, receives a ballot, marks it properly and deposits the ballot in the voting machine, is that an ineligible ballot? Yes. Is casting that ballot a case of voter fraud? No; he is who he says he was. Was it an illegal ballot? Not necessarily.
It was not illegal for that felon to cast that vote. It’s only illegal if he knowingly did it. If he didn’t know he couldn’t vote, no crime was committed. But the ballot was ineligible and should not have been counted.
When Liberals talk about fraud, convictions and illegal votes, they’re talking about a small subset of all the ineligible ballots. I’m worried about the larger pool of votes that were counted, but should not have been. Nobody seems to have hard numbers. It’s nobody’s job to police the system.
I’m concerned about votes cast by un-restored felons, yes, but also by minors, the mentally disabled who’ve lost their civil rights, and by the dead. But even after extensive conversation with Liberals, I can’t seem to achieve actual communication. We’re talking, but not the same language.
The Dems have been pretty determined about trying to steer the conversation away from the numbers that actually matter.