Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

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SUN EDITORIAL:

Block the vote

GOP continues effort to suppress the vote with empty allegations of fraud

The Nevada Republican Party on Monday sent the secretary of state a hefty letter claiming irregularities with early voting and asked for an investigation. And, as Jon Ralston reported Tuesday on the Las Vegas Sun’s website, the attorney for Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s campaign recently sent out a fundraising missive requesting money to “deploy” attorneys and poll watchers because, she said, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is “trying to steal this election.”

These are serious claims that cut to the heart of American democracy, and given the gravity of the complaints, they should be well-founded.

They’re not.

Secretary of State Ross Miller said the Republican Party’s complaint didn’t appear to be voter fraud. Instead, he said, what the Republicans found appeared to be the type of clerical errors that happen every election cycle. Miller said the complaints in the Angle fundraising letter, written by high-profile Washington attorney Cleta Mitchell, were based on “conjecture and rumor.”

Mitchell’s letter claims that Reid is violating the law by offering free food at early voting events, even though Miller, the state’s chief elections officer, says that’s legal. So Mitchell says Miller, a Democrat, is allowing “ACORN-style tactics,” referring to the liberal nonprofit group that was at the center of voter fraud allegations in 2008. But Mitchell’s hyperventilating rhetoric is ridiculous. It was, after all, Miller who spearheaded the investigation into ACORN’s dealings in Nevada, which ended in a successful criminal case.

The Republicans are desperate. They are using the baseless allegations to try to scare voters. It is a cynical attempt to get out the vote and pull in last-minute campaign contributions.

Voters should be insulted — and disgusted — by the Republican tactics. The Angle campaign apparently thinks that Nevadans are stupid enough to sell their votes for a hamburger or a cup of coffee.

And if Republicans want to look for people trying to game the system, they should start with a mirror. The Republicans have run a campaign of fear, trying to tear down opponents because they don’t have ideas of their own.

Instead of taking her own advice to “man up,” Angle has hidden from public view, attacked her opponent and tried to disenfranchise voters.

Remember that her attorney was involved in the failed attempt to get Scott Ashjian, the Tea Party of Nevada candidate for Senate, removed from the ballot because of the perception that he will take votes from Angle. As well, she had a secret meeting with Ashjian and offered him “juice” in Washington if he withdrew.

And then a group with strong ties to the Republican Party produced an ad urging Hispanics in Nevada, many of whom are likely Democratic voters, to stay home and not vote.

It’s one thing to go all out for votes, but the Republicans have gone too far.

Voting is supposed to be sacrosanct. These reckless and unfounded allegations about supposed voting irregularities will only serve to needlessly undercut the public’s faith in it. The fact that Republicans would raise doubts about the integrity of the system in an attempt to gain political advantage is shameful.

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  1. Voter fraud allegations are a National GOP strategy. They did this in the 2008 election in an effort to throw out the votes of newly registered citizens.
    The money that pays for this strategy comes from billionaires who stand to make their fortunes by installing their puppets into local and state elections while yelling "watch out for the socialists".

  2. Widespread andproven voter fraud took place in 2008. Just ask the FBI.

    There is no reason to believe that those who perpetrated the fraud won't try it again. Espcially since the fraud was not detected until after the fact. After the vote is done and certified, there's nothing the FBI or anyone else can do about it. The vote is certified & done and we can't take the results back. (Sen. Al Franken is the most prominent example.)

    So it is not surprising that many ordinary Americans stepped up this year to become involved a poll watchers. It is a good thing. We have a right to have voters present to watch before, during and after the elections process.

    And it is a good thing to catch the fraud while it is in progress, since we cannot do anything about it after it's done.

  3. We should not be surprised that elite politicians say that having too many people watching the voting process will imtimidate voters...or that it will mess up the process because ordinary people do not understand the nuances of the voting process.

    The American system of self-governance belongs to the people. We the People own and operate elections.

    American citizens cherish our right to vote.
    And we are obligated to protect our vote from those who would steal it.

  4. Funny, according to Neil Lomax there were "discrepancies" maybe if the Democrat party operatives that write editorials for the LVSun weren't so busy running interference for their political party they would want to know what these problems were and what's being done to rectify the situation.

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/audit-resolves-...

  5. Keep in mind the libertarian loony wing of the Republican Party supports segregated lunch counters on the basis of "property rights"

    The polling places should have signs outside saying: "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" according to Angle supporters.

  6. The title for this editorial is somewhat ironic. From the Sun's own report yesterday ( http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/oct... ):

    "Miller said as in the case of voter fraud, there have been no credible claims of vote suppression."

    The story pointed out that the typical election time accusations are coming from *both* sides, not just the right as this editorial would have you think.