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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:26 PM

Charlie Webster's Bizarre Voter-Fraud Conspiracy Theory

By Josh Barro Nov 16, 2012 10:10 AM ET

... Webster’s comments reveal that voter-fraud concerns tend to be thinly veiled racism. He basically is asking, “What are these suspicious black voters up to anyway?” Webster has gotten a lot of criticism for letting the veil slip off, including calls from other Maine Republicans for him to resign. (Webster has since apologized and will be leaving office on Dec. 1 in any case.)

But Webster’s comments also demonstrate how absurd the average voter-fraud claim is. What exactly is Webster alleging was going on? That some Democratic Party operative loaded up a bus of non-resident black people and took them to rural Maine, where they used their fraudulent votes to influence . . . presumably a state senate race or something? Maine, after all, had no competitive federal elections this year.

That seems like a ludicrously inefficient strategy for winning an election. It would mean investing a lot of time and energy into getting people to commit illegal acts. If all went according to plan, the organizing party would have gotten a few dozen more votes. And if it went wrong, people would have gone to jail ...


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