It's the Afghanistan family owned dog that didn't bark. And it proves something about elections and democracy.
Afghanistan is in yet another crisis in their crisis-of-the-month club. This one is about massive vote fraud.
- ballot stuffing documented by video
- thugs threatening election officials
- poll workers handcuffed and removed
- backroom selling of huge blocs of ballots
- lists of winners drawn up before voting began
- overt intimidation of voters
There was an astonishing amount of voting fraud, over 3,000 serious complaints. 1,800 active investigations are ongoing, the majority of which could overturn election results. The freewheeling wild, wild, west election corruption involved pretty much every sort of fraud imaginable.
Amid the thousands of reports of vote fraud, there were no published reports of voter fraud. Nobody, it seems, showed up pretending to be an eligible voter. Nobody was even accused. Now why was that?
It doesn't take deep thought to find a plausible answer. If you want to steal an election, you simply can't do it by getting hundreds of thousands of individual ineligible voters to show up. The risk involved in buying thousands of votes from one corrupt official can get you the results if you're not caught. You multiply the cost a hundredfold, and multiply the risk of getting caught, if you try to steal an election by getting individual voters to sneak in. Every one of those fake voters risks jail time, every one. If any one of them is caught, the chances are the organizer will also go to jail.
And the chance of catching that one cheat is pretty high. Of all the thousands needed to steal a close election, just one neighbor has to notice something fishy. One bogus address, one unfamiliar face, one voter that somebody is pretty sure doesn't belong as they rub elbows waiting to tell their address, and the whole thing will blow up.
So, in Afghanistan or in the United States, if an election is to be stolen, it will either be done in a back room, where thousands of ballots can be stolen or tally sheets marked at one time, OR it will be done in the open by trying to prevent the other side from casting legitimate votes.
In Afghanistan, preventing voters from casting ballots is called strong arming. The perpetrators are called thugs. In the United States, it is more often called a specialized photo ID requirement. The perpetrators are called Republicans.
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