John Fund, a tireless opponent of pork barrel, earmarks, and lack of transparency in Congress, talks about voter fraud. In the previous interview, we talked about the possibility of another Florida voting debacle and how widespread voter fraud might be.
Today, we further the voter fraud discussion into voter ID, coverups, who is voting fraudulently, and intimidation of people who want to ensure election integrity.
Part Two of the John Fund interview:
SCHWAB: Do voter ID’s depress the vote?
FUND: Well, the evidence is they don’t. The two strictest laws in the country are Georgia and Indiana. They have been used in two elections – 2008 and 2010. There is no evidence that voter turnout has gone down and in fact, minority voter turnout rose dramatically in 2008 when Barack Obama was on the ballot, but also 2010 when he wasn’t.
There’s no evidence that there’s a large group of voters who have no ID, there’s no evidence it’s difficult to get an ID and there’s no evidence that it’s a deterrent. In fact the reason 74 percent of the people support voter ID laws in a Washington Post poll is that it is common sense and it increases people’s confidence in the integrity of he election.
SCHWAB: Are we going to return to poll taxes like Attorney General Holder said?
FUND: Well, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 with John Paul Stevens, a liberal justice, wrote the majority opinion – the Supreme Court ruled they are not poll taxes. It is an exercise of government authority to ensure an election is run competently and fairly.
Look, we have two civil rights in this country,. One says we shouldn’t intimidate or bar anyone from voting ever. We fought a civil rights struggle over that in the 1960’s and we passed a voting rights act. We should preserve those gains. The second civil right that all your readers have which is not to have their vote canceled out or disenfranchise them in a second way which means people voting as an illegal citizen, a felon, you’re dead, you live out-of-state, you vote twice – we cancel out that vote just as effectively as if you’re blocked from voting.
SCHWAB: Considering the lingering image of The New Black Panthers standing in front of a polling location, what do you think of Eric Holder’s record on election integrity issues after three-and-a-half-years?
FUND: I think the anecdote in the book (Who’s Counting?) with Julie Fernandez, whose one of Holder’s top deputies, sitting in a room of about 30 Justice Department lawyers and they’re discussing the federal law that requires them to sue states that don’t maintain their voting rolls accurately. There’s a case in Missouri that looks like the federal government is about to win and Julie Fernandez drops the case without explanation telling these lawyers, “We’re not interested in pursuing any more of these cases. We don’t think they’re about minority turnout.”
The Justice Department to this day has never denied that conversation took place, Ms. Fernandez has never denied she said it and over 30 lawyers were there to hear it and I know at least four lawyers personally who said they heard her say it.
So forget everything about Eric Holder’s record, including The New Black Panthers, I mean … one of his top deputies says she’s not interested in influencing laws to clean up elections.
SCHWAB: Do you consider this to be a secret type of conspiracy among Democrats?
FUND: I don’t consider it a conspiracy, I consider it an effort to prevent people from exercising common sense reform that will clean up an election. You have to talk to them for an explanation because their reasons don’t hold up.
SCHWAB: If it’s anything like ‘Fast and Furious,’ you think they ever will?
FUND: Well, it’s always worth the effort. The Justice Department occasionally returns my calls. I’m not convinced by their explanations, but go ahead and try them.
SCHWAB: Singling out the Obama years, what, in your opinion,is the worst examples of voter fraud that you’ve seen or heard about?
FUND: I don’t really understand that question. Every election is done locally. The Obama administration is not directing people to make them less honest. I’m not sure I follow the question.
SCHWAB: All over the papers, the Internet, the question seems to be heating up …
FUND: Let’s just take the most recent example. You have a Democratic congressional nominee …
SCHWAB: Wendy Rosen of the First Congressional District in Maryland?
FUND: Yes. She’s a serious person. She ran for Congress, she won the nomination and she has to resign because she voted four times on two different dates in two state elections? (Laughter) If somebody with her credibility in the community will do it, who else will do it?
SCHWAB: Where do you see all this going? Is it only the Democrats or if Romney is elected …
FUND: Prosecutors at the local level are the ones who have to pay attention to this. I think if we raise this issue in the next 53 days (interview was September 14th), I think there’s three things that can happen.
We have lots of volunteers looking at registration rolls trying to weed out, or at least check suspect registrations. We have people monitoring the polls, we have people looking at absentee ballots to ensure that they stay on track with what their public records show, and if you raise more of a stink and fuss, prosecutors will take this more seriously.
What we found with voter fraud was it’s a lot like shoplifting. You put up some signs and if you shoplift, prosecutors will go after you with cameras … you know, we’re watching you. That can cut shoplifting by 20-35 percent simply because it injects an element of risk into the project. I think if you show people we are watching and care about voter fraud, you can take people who do this because they think it’s a risk-free activity and won’t get caught, you’ll cut voter fraud dramatically – just by knowing people are watching.
SCHWAB: What about those people who think voter ID’s are racially charged. Even though it’s virtually impossible to live in this country without a picture ID … you can’t get on an airplane, you can’t cash a check, …
FUND: First of all, it’s preposterous to say that 25 percent of African-Americans lack some form of ID. Does anyone believe that? The Brennan Center’s claim that 25 percent of African-Americans is patronizing, preposterous. Secondly, The Boston Post survey, as every other survey shows, says 65 percent of African-Americans and 64 percent of Hispanics support voter ID. Clearly the people who claim this is racial are going against the grain of their proclaimed constituents.
SCHWAB: It seems to me that the one word that is most frequently used when this topic includes the names of Obama and/or Holder is “victimization.” Is this just another tact to get minorities to vote for Obama?
FUND: I think it intimidates people who care about voter integrity to do something. They simply label them racists without any evidence or background that would substantiate that and is an attempt to razz people and intimidate them. I don’t think it’s working.
SCHWAB: Do you think this becomes a dormant issue if Romney is elected president?
FUND: No, we’ve already discussed the Minnesota Senate race, the other races affected by this issue, 100 senators, 435 congressmen, 50 governors and 6000 state legislators. We can apply all those races if they’re close enough if the steps aren’t taken to combat it.
SCHWAB: What’s your next book going to be about?
FUND: I haven’t signed the contract yet so I can’t tell you.
SCHWAB: Okay, we’ll leave it at that.
FUND: Thanks for your time and energy pursuing this problem.
See also the first part of the interview:
John Fund was born in Tucson, Arizona. He later attended California State University where he studied journalism and economics. He joined The Wall Street Journal as a deputy editorial features editor in 1984 and was a member of the editorial board from 1995 through 2001. The articles he has written have appeared in Esquire, Reader’s Digest, Reason, The New Republic, and National Review. He currently is a senior editor of The American Spectator.
He is the author of several books, including Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy (Encounter Books, 2004) and The Dangers of Regulation Through Litigation (American Tort Reform Foundation, 2000).
John Fund’s latest writing endeavor is “Who’s Counting?” which he co-authored with Hans Von Spakoovsky and published by Encounter Books in 2012.