Wingnuts Finding 'Midterm Vote Fraud' In Their Breakfast Cereal
The freakout over "widespread" but surprisingly difficult to specify "fraud" in the counting of last week's remaining votes has the wingnuttosphere in a tizzy, with Chief Wingnut Donald Trump tweeting early Monday morning that the Democrats are such huge cheats that really, they should just stop counting the ballots and declare Republicans the winners, which is of course exactly how elections work. The most impressive aspect of this red tide of "fraud" claims is that nobody making them has managed to find any actual stolen votes to report to law enforcement. Instead, they saw changing vote tallies between the partial results from Election Night and a week later, when most or all the ballots have been counted, and then they point and scream like evil pod-damned Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (spoiler from 1978).
Still, since nearly anything is enough to trigger a good voter fraud freakout, the mere lack of evidence is no deterrent to insistence that this year's elections were simply overflowing with "fraud."
Consider the comments on a fairly straightforward story about Kyrsten Sinema winning the Arizona race for US senator at Dead Breitbart's Home Of Scaring White Men About Everything. The story is, for Breitbart, relatively calm, noting that Martha McSally conceded and reporting the vote totals as of Monday evening, when the AP called the race. The final paragraph says there has been "much criticism" of Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes following the election, but stops short of directly accusing him of cheating. No need to, since the commenters already know the entire election was rigged, because that's just how evil Democrats are. Note all the facts and evidence they marshal to prove their case:
Note: A sampling; some comments removed for space
Those nasty Democrats stole the election, and the proof is that the Republican candidate was so pure and innocent that she just gave up and let it happen. Gosh, when will Republicans FINALLY learn to play hardball, huh? Also, it's an article of faith among Republicans that whenever anyone illegally crosses the border, Democrats are there to sign them up to vote, because otherwise no Democrat would ever win an election, ever, duh.
At least the Stupidest Man on the Internet had a satisfying explanation. Earlier Monday, a Gateway Pundit story by flower-head lady (a radical Marxist Code Pink activist who supports the Taliban, naturally) attributed McSally's pending loss to OBVIOUS FRAUDINGS:
Republican Martha McSally was ahead Tuesday evening when the polls closed, but the Democrats produced tens of thousands of ballots out of no where post election.
"Out of no where" being, in this case, among the hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots that go through a ridiculously convoluted "verification" process put in place to make sure there's no voter fraud, don't you know.
But once McSally conceded to the terrible horrible liberals who run Arizona, Jim Hoft, the Stupid King himself, came forth from his StupidCave late Monday night to explain, in a story that doesn't mention "fraud" at all, that McSally actually lost because she didn't love Trump enough and wasn't really a conservative anyway. And the very same Gateway Pundit readers who eleven hours earlier had been condemning the universal Democrat perfidy and treason voted this the top comment: "The cuck era of the Republican party is dead, either go full nationalist or get rolled over it's simple." And suddenly everyone was saying good riddance to the RINO neocon Never-Trumper, with barely a mention of the supposed "fraud" that has them frothing on every other election story.
Our favorite was the one explaining that since McSally flew an A-10 ground-attack plane, she wasn't even a real fighter pilot anyway, because any moron fembot could probably shoot sitting ducks with one of those. And all the Keyboard Commandos agreed with the dude with a "III Percenter" icon, who knows what a REAL fighter plane is. One from WWII:
If General Patton has thoughts on military aviation, you can trust him.
This seems like a good time to mention that even Trump pal and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says -- in many words! -- she's seen no evidence of fraud in her state.
The latest press release from @AGPamBondi and @fdlepio uses a lot of words to say they've found no voter fraud.… https://t.co/VBEuDCzc7F— Lawrence Mower (@Lawrence Mower)1542070500.0
Still, with Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and Donald Trump urging them on to see fraud everywhere, the Excitable Boys of the interwebs did exactly that, jumping all over any number of things to insist they were MASSIVE FRAUD. F'rinstance, at one Broward County, Florida, polling place -- an elementary school -- a teacher found a plastic box with a label reading "provisional ballots" well after the election last week, and the wingnuts lost their shit over the obvious proof of fraud, although, oops, despite the label, there were not actually any provisional ballots in the box, which contained only election materials and was scheduled to be picked up later by county election officials. OH SURE LIKELY STORY yelled the whole crazysphere, which either didn't bother updating their stories with the explanation at all (Newsmax), or included it, even mentioning that all completed provisional ballots go into sealed orange bags and then straight to the election bureau, but then went right on suggesting that Broward Count election officials are corrupt AF (Daily Caller, Fox News). Fox even included a tweet showing what would typically be inside such a box, but it's not the actual fraud box from the school, so why believe anything?
Broward elections office says this is what would be in sealed "provisional ballot box" found left at Miramar elemen… https://t.co/CVGa2Ne39W— Larry Barszewski (@Larry Barszewski)1541725371.0
Here's another fun one. The guy who primaried Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in 2016 saw ... something ... so he's pretty sure it HAS to be fraudy!
Caught On Video: Concerned citizen sees ballots being transported in private vehicles & transferred to rented truck… https://t.co/eQXkZEAVkU— Tim Canova (@Tim Canova)1541695905.0
Regardless of your feelings about DWS, that there's some bullshit, so obviously Rubio retweeted it. Cardboard boxes in the back of a pickup outside a polling place, so OBVIOUSLY those are fraudulent votes! Sure thing! As the lady on the video says, "I don't know what's going on," so the only reasonable conclusion is a massive vote-forging scheme. Or, like, maybe a bunch of non-secure paperwork that doesn't need special treatment, but just look at us eagerly making up excuses as part of the coverup.
Also, a reminder: every wingnut in the world will constantly remind you Broward's election supervisor, Brenda Snipes, got in Big Trouble for destroying ballots after the 2006 election -- but they always fail to mention the actual offense, as Wonkette 'splainered the day after Scott and Rubio's whiny bullshit last week:
A judge ruled that Snipes had destroyed [ballots] prematurely in the 2016 primary race between Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova. But there was no evidence of malicious intent and all the ballots had been counted in Wasserman Schultz's decisive victory. She "mistakenly" destroyed the physical ballots after a year, the standard for state elections, rather than the required 22 months for federal elections. And yes, there were scanned digital copies.
Sloppy, but it had no effect on the outcome of the count at all, and was in no way fraud, sorry. Funny how the details get lost when they talk about Snipes the illegal ballot destroyer.
There have been still more freakouts in the last couple days over another grey plastic box labeled "provisional ballots" and some other boxes and "Vote Here" signs that got left behind in a rental car used by a Broward County elections worker when they returned it to an airport. You know this one's legit proof of vote tampering because it was reported by ace conspiracy-finder Laura Loomer, who was pretty darn sure a call to the bomb squad -- to make double sure there were no explosives in the boxes -- was secretly cover for Snipes and her crew to go steal legitimate ballots and destroy them, or maybe fraudulently fill out blank ones right there at the airport.
Then again, Laura Loomer is also certain that the REAL voter suppression in America is all by Twitter:
As usual, the most fevered spots on the internet were all over Ballot Box II, which definitely looks like a screwup, because who the hell leaves work materials in a rental car (other than lots of us boneheads, which is why "lost and found" is a thing).
Snipes briefed the press last night to say the boxes in this case also contained office supplies, but Greater Wingnuttia was far more outraged to learn that this time the boxes also included blank provisional ballots!
WATCH: Extended clip: Broward Co. elections supervisor Brenda Snipes addresses rumors about vote boxes; lawsuits; w… https://t.co/Sw3B8qMFCg— NBC News (@NBC News)1542061192.0
Again, Gateway Pundit's flower head lady explains why every election official in a Democratic-majority county must go to jail, we guess:
Brenda Snipes said she notified the Broward County police after finding out about the boxes; the officer who investigated, wrote a report concerning the contents of the box. [...]
In a stunning display of arrogance, Snipes also rejected the notion that her elections office failed to act in accordance with the law; she even snubbed President Trump.
You will be shocked to learn that flower head lady doesn't actually provide any evidence that Snipes has broken any laws, much less how leaving blank provisional ballots in a car could conceivably skew the vote count. Again, completed ballots go in the orange bag with "PROVISIONAL BALLOTS" on it in large friendly letters. Hell, if someone WERE filling in blank ballots on the sly, they'd want to have 'em in the basement of election headquarters, not left behind at an Avis office.
Speaking of which, Gateway Pundit resurrected a fake news story from 2016 over the weekend, "revealing" a long-since debunked rumor on the internet about a temp who was absolutely certain she saw something nasty in the vote shed! To be sure, former Florida Loot Gov Jeff Kottkamp dragged the story into the light again, in a tweet that didn't even mention the story was from 2016, and OF COURSE without mentioning the debunking. Ever the due diligence kind of guy, Hoft ran with the story, and aw, hell no, it originally included no mention that it was from 2016 either (Hoft later updated that, at least). And just look at this astonishing proof of skulduggery, complete with shadowy people the temp had never seen before trying to hide their activities behind locked doors, and an eyewitness account of county workers writing in votes on blank ballots!
Damn, why aren't all the poll workers who perpetrated this fraud in jail already, even if it WAS back in 2016?
Maybe because Rick Scott sent some state attorneys to check it out, which we learned about through the work-intensive investigative method of googling "chelsey smith broward," where a succinct 2016 debunking by the Tampa Bay Times was, at least on Saturday, literally among the top two or three results. Now, it's several pages back, because Hoft's bullshit had precisely the intended effect: the affidavit is all over the crazysphere.
So, as if mere facts even matter anymore, what was the real deal? Turns out Ms. Smith wasn't so much lying as jumping to conclusions about what she'd seen, and the Top Geniuses who figured it out were from Rick Scott's very own state's attorney's office:
The temp, Chelsey Marie Smith, reported seeing workers at the Broward County Board of Elections filling out blank ballots en masse - a scene that she assumed meant they were tampering with the election. As the Sun-Sentinel has reported, however, the State Attorney's Office looked into her allegations and found no evidence anything "illegal or improper" was going on. In a statement to the conservative news site Independent Journal Review, the office elaborated:
"It was determined that the ballots were being completed by SOE staff on behalf of overseas military personnel who had voted by faxing their ballots to the election office. The fax paper does not scan into the voting machines and the votes must be transferred onto a ballot that can be scanned. State law allows such a transfer of vote to a computer ballot." [Emphasis added -- Dok Z]
So there's your SWORN AFFIDAVIT: yet another case of terrible liberals letting the Troops vote, shame on them.
And in the meantime, Hoft keeps getting clicks, and his readers keep insisting that if this gets any worse, they'll have to nullify the 2020 election if Trump loses, and maybe turn to the Second Amendment -- but only if liberals push their corrupt schemes too far, you understand.
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