Trump Retweets Story About Trump Fan Who Voter Frauded To See If Voter Fraud Is Real. Guess It Is!
Yet another Donald Trump supporter, this time a bona fide Florida Man, has attempted ballot fraud, just to check to see if the voting system is secure. The amateur investigator, one Larry Wiggins of Manatee County, sent in an absentee ballot request for his late wife Ursula, who died in 2018, and the system worked exactly as it should: County election officials saw that the late Mrs. Wiggins had been removed from the voter rolls, and saw the signature on the ballot application didn't match one on file, so they contacted law enforcement. A deputy arrested Wiggins last week, and after being booked on one count of requesting an absentee ballot on behalf of another elector, a third-degree felony, Wiggins was released.
Wiggins, a "self-described Democrat who supports President Donald Trump," told WFLA-TV he was worried about ballot integrity, you see, presumably since Donald Trump says mail-in ballots are an invitation to fraud.
"I heard so much about ballots being sent in and people just having found them in different places," said Mr. Wiggins. "I feel like I haven't done anything wrong."
The 62 year-old said he was just testing Florida's voting system.
It works! He couldn't get away with attempted voter fraud, which should be a great relief to people worried about voter fraud.
Isn't rightwing media a glorious circle of grievance? A guy worried about the integrity of the ballot (none of the news reports we've seen specify where he heard mail-in voting was prone to fraud, gee we wonder where?), so he fraudulently requested a ballot. The fraud was detected, and he was arrested. And now he's all over rightwing media as proof of the threat of voter fraud, and a story about him even got the attention of the chief spreader of false claims about voter fraud. It's freaking WONDERFUL in its circularity!
And as you'd expect, the wingnuttosphere has run with the story; Glenn Beck's Home For Disgruntled White People went out of its way to include Wiggins's scary mug shot — not to be racist or anything, it's his actual face, after all — and his party affiliation, though the story conveniently forgot to mention Wiggins is a Trump supporter.
Jim Hoft, the Stupidest Man on the Internet, went one better, with a story headlined "Crooked Democrat Requests Ballot for Dead Wife — Says 'I Haven't Done Anything Wrong,'" in which he suggested the late Mrs. Wiggins was somehow crooked too: "Wiggins and his wife are Democrats." Yes, it's a stain that follows one into death. Again, no mention of Mr. Wiggins's enthusiasm for Donald Trump or his concern that absentee ballots are bad news. (Don't read the comments, which are as gleefully racist as you'd expect.) In addition, Fox News and Sean Hannity pushed the story with no mention of Wiggins's loyalty to the Great Leader.
For what it's worth (very little), the blog post Trump retweeted, by Fox News contributor Gregg Jarrett, does at least mention Wiggins is a Trump supporter — in its next-to-last paragraph, between two blocks of ads. But surely you don't expect Donald Trump to read the stuff he retweets, and nothing in the headline or description suggests that this was a follower of Donald Trump simply doing his own investigation into whether absentee voting is secure.
As Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino points out, there really IS a scandal involving voting in Florida this week, but it's not about one guy being prevented from voting illegally. Instead, it involved Crom only knows how many Floridians who were unable to register to vote Monday, the final day to register before the election, because the state's online registration system was overloaded and unable to function for hours. The same thing happened on the deadline for the primary elections this year, so officials certainly couldn't claim the heavy traffic was a surprise, leading critics to call it
a systematic effort through negligence or design to suppress the vote in Florida.
"This is the third time your site has crashed on a critical day for voter registration," tweeted Steve Simeonidis, the chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. "YOU KNEW THERE WAS GOING TO BE HIGH VOLUME."
State Agriculture Secretary Nikki Fried wrote to Gov. Ron DeSantis: "The voter registration deadline in Florida is just hours away, and the online voter registration system is broken. This is unacceptable. Fix it now."
The registration hours were eventually extended, but who knows how many people just gave up?
But what the hell, potentially thousands of people being unable to register at all is nowhere near as big a concern as one guy whose attempt to illegally obtain a ballot was blocked by the system, which works just fine. It just proves we need to make voting much harder, to prevent fraud.
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