In his brilliant, well-written, and downright frightening new book "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy", Wall Street Journal political reporter John Fund looks at how easily votes are stolen or voters disenfranchised in this country, how Florida in 2000 was just the tip of the iceberg THAN YEAR, and how virtually nothing has changed since then to prevent an even longer, drawn out leagal battle from occuring.
Fund opens his book by describing the two types of people who are concerned about threat to the integrity of elections. One group, mostly Demcorats, are primarily concerened with the most people voting as possible, the "Unconstrained" view of Democracy that deempahsizes rules governing registration and voter ID in favor of getting as many people as possible to the polls. The other, "constrained" view, held by Republicans, is that the rule of law in elections must be upheld. This came to a head in two states in particluar in 2000, Florida and Missouri. Florida's problems are well-known, and Fund effectively and convincingly demonstrates that while the largest stories about fraud focused on so-called "disenfranchised" voters, the real problem was outright fraud committed in battlegrounds like Palm Beach Co. He decontructs the myth that 1000's of lower-income and minority votes were surpressed by relying on facts and statistics, not charges that were made only in the media, not the Courts. He also demonstrates that the Media probably crushed turnout in the Florida panhandle, which operates on Central Time, by declaring the polls closed statewide while there was still and hour of voting left in the Panhandle, and then calling Florida for Gore with 12 minutes left before the polls closed in that part of the state.
In Missouri, classic, machine fraud was a problem, with the established state laws governing elections essentialled overruled on a case by case basis by judges sympathetic to Democrats. While George Bush won the state when Senator Kit Bond finally insisted the polls close 3 hours after they were supposed to, Fund demonsrates eerie coincidences that seem to indicated a pattern to defraud the vote by the national Democratic Party.
The other chapters detail the fact that by eletion stanards, America's electoral integrity is teetering dangerously close to third world banana republicanism, that Mexico has a more secure voting system than we do, and he outlines ways to ensure that the process, which he argues must be uniform, transparent, and legally enforced, can be made safe and stable again. While some on the left may not like the harsh truths detailed in the book, if you want to understand exactly what is happening to the democratic process and how to fix it before it's too late, this book is a scary but essential read.