North Carolina Lt. Gov. DOES NOT Want You To Vote Fraud, GOP! But Here's Instructions Anyway!
North Carolina's Lt. Governor Dan Forest has released a video showing step-by-step how to commit voter fraud in North Carolina. Forest says it's so simple that even a Mexican caravan could steal an election. And it's all because the state doesn't have voter ID laws. So much for democracy!
"Committing voter fraud is easy in our state," says a smiling Forest looking into a camera as he lays out his three-step plan to steal an election. According to Forest, "First do your prep work and wait until the polls close on the last day of early voting." Then you need to go the state website and look for people who've voted once in the last four election cycles. These are people who Forest calls "lazy voters." Then cross reference that with people who've already voted during early voting period. Simply highlight all those "lazy voters" who didn't already vote -- those are the people you're going to impersonate. Finally, amass an army of people willing to run around to polling places all across the state on Election Day.
"It's that simple," Forest concludes, "and all because North Carolina doesn't require a photo voter ID."
Sounds simple enough, but let's put on our thinking caps! First, early voting ends on November 3. That leaves some enterprising fraudster three days to scrape data from all 7,067,260 registered voters in the state who didn't already vote. You'd then need to find their full names, addresses, and figure out what they might look like on Election Day. We certainly wouldn't want some geriatric poll worker realizing Mr. Smith doesn't wear a hoodie and flip-flops to the office! That means Facebook stalking (assuming they use social media), and a trip to the thrift store for a cheap suit and Groucho glasses. Then you're going to need a fleet of buses to haul your army of Grouchos to every polling station where those voters are registered. You'll want to get started early too: North Carolina's a big state, and the Republican state legislature has closed a lot of polling places over the last few years. Assuming there's enough time to get to the polling station, stand in line, and vote, they have to haul ass to the next precinct and start the process all over again. Don't forget to pack a snack!
Statistically speaking it's probable that this could happen -- the lieutenant governor did just outline how a "group or organization" could theoretically pull it off. But you're bound to raise a few eyebrows when a fleet of taco trucks starts criss-crossing the state at high speed, suddenly showing up at every elementary school, church, and rec center from the bumblefucks of Appalachia and the Piedmont Triad to Raleigh-Durham and Winston Salem. And even if you somehow manage to scam a couple precincts, you'd still have to hope none of your masters of disguise gets drunk in a bar and spills their guts. Voter fraud is still a felony!
Forest has been pushing these bogus ads on Facebook all summer. Facebook's ad analytics tools suggests almost all these ads are being targeted towards middle-aged men and elderly elderly women, and data from ProPublica's Political Ad Collector tool shows that they specifically honed in on likely Trump voters.
According to WRAL, these ads are all being funded by the North Carolina Republican Council of State Committee, a shady group run by Greg Lindberg, a major Republican donor in North Carolina. Lindberg is seen as the money man behind Forest's impending gubernatorial run in 2020. Fun fact: Lindberg is under a criminal investigation for possible crimes including "drug offenses, crimes against financial institutions, or money laundering." Good thing they're looking out for all that voter fraud!
Because we're anal, we decided to look at some of the other ads Lindberg and Forest have been blowing their money on. In August, Forest/the NCRCS ran another voter ID ad for a week saying that you need an ID to do all sorts of random crap, like buying nail polish, a cell phone, or video games. According to Forest, since you need to show your ID when you buy a house, or rent a car, you shouldn't have a problem showing your ID to some patriotic fossil manning a polling station. "If the argument that showing an ID is an attempt to exclude minorities," Forest says in the ad, "then all the things I just mentioned must be also. Come on, who buys that argument anyway?"
About half the things listed in Forest's ad do not require an ID.
Apparently a hell of a lot of people buy that argument. All the people Forest thinks shouldn't have a problem voting -- black, Latino, poor, and/or elderly -- all seem to have problems voting, particularly in North Carolina. These are people who appellate courts recently ruled were specifically targeted "with almost surgical precision" when the state's previous voter ID law was struck down.
Forest has since stopped running these ads on Facebook. He hasn't said anything since the ad was discovered, but his chief of staff told WRAL in an email, "The voter fraud outlined in the video would not be possible if NC had photo voter ID." The same empty and laughable defense came from state GOP director Dallas Woodhouse, who says honest voters don't see a PSA that lays out a Rube Golberg-like machine to commit voter fraud because the bad hombres already know how. Forest is making sure the middle-aged men and elderly women who might vote Republican (AKA "Lazy voters") get to the polls early "for their protection."
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Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.