Democrats, voter fraud and Harpo Marx


Are Republicans “election deniers” and “election suppressors” because they keep finding voter fraud in critical battleground states?

The Democrats certainly make that claim, with Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for Georgia governor, being the prime purveyor of that charge. But as it turns out, Democrats appear ready to use almost any excuse to resist good faith efforts to ensure the integrity of the election.

Last year, the US Civil Rights Commission reported this interesting fact: Georgia is the only state that uses five of the most common “election suppression” tactics. Among them: voter ID laws, citizenship credentials, cuts in early voting and removals from the lists of those who didn’t turn up to vote in the last election.

Here’s another tidbit courtesy of the US Election Assistance Commission: Between the 2016 and 2018 elections, the states removed 17 million voters for not voting, moving between electoral districts, dying, committing a disqualifying crime, or being mentally ill were assessed as disabled.

Democrats are acting like this is the end of democracy, but it’s consistent with the famous bipartisan report by former Democratic President Jimmy Carter and former Republican Secretary of State James Baker in 2005.

Their recommendations for safer elections included “greater efforts to combat fraud, particularly in absentee ballots”; “Voter identification based on universal TRUE ID card”; and “verifiable paper backups for all voting technologies.”

Defenders of Georgia’s anti-corruption rules and regulations point out that the purge laws do not disenfranchise anyone.

“If you [eligible voters] Don’t heed warnings or respond to communications from election officials, it’s your own fault,” said Lynn Westmoreland, a former Republican congressman from Georgia who has worked on election politics throughout his career. “And if they didn’t get to vote then, they get to vote in the next election.” (But of course they would have to obey the laws that those who got to vote did.)

Attempts to rig elections are, in truth, as American as apple pie, even if the scammers haven’t always been able to steal or suppress enough votes to change the outcome.

For example, John Fund of National Review and Hans von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation have recorded a remarkable number of verified cases of past and present ripoff, reflected in Al Franken’s razor-thin victory for the US Senate in Minnesota (312-vote win). that made Obamacare a reality, and the Kennedy-Nixon presidential election of 1960, in which massive fraud in Cook County, Illinois helped JFK win the presidency.

Looking back at the US elections of the 19th century, the Brookings Institution observed: “Indifference, fraud, corruption and violence shaped the functioning of our electoral system.”

Both parties have engaged in electoral corruption, but the Democrats seem to have the edge in such activity. Larry Sabato and Glenn Simpson, in their book Dirty Little Secrets, state that the “pool of people seems more available and more susceptible to invitation to voter fraud [because of their poor economic circumstances] tend to be democratic.”

Mayor Frank Hague, whose political machine ruled Jersey City, New Jersey from 1917 to 1947, was a legendary election manipulator who controlled the state through bribery, crushing enemies, and destroying and altering ballots. But nowhere, argues Fund, “had a more notorious record of voter fraud than in Tammany-era New York.

Tammany traded with agents who guaranteed big packages of votes for a high price.”

The immigrants pouring into New York were easily manipulated by Tammany Hall’s “establishing a ‘naturalization mill,’ that certified people as citizens—and Tammany voters—right off the boat.”

In 1996, Fund reminds us, “the Clinton administration expedited the naturalization of up to a million new citizens so they could vote in time for that year’s election.”

Harpo Marx of Marx Brothers, who was a friend of my father Morrie Ryskind and acted in many of his plays and films, laid out Tammany’s power and appeal in his memoir Harpo Speaks!, a copy of which he wrote to my parents.

He shares how Tammany made Election Day the most memorable time of the year for immigrants with celebrations, free beer and cigars, among other things. The big holiday lasted a full 30 hours, topped by a magnificent bonfire lit by the neighborhood children who begged, borrowed and stole fuel for the big occasion.

On election night, as Harpo vividly depicts the scene, Tammany troops “marched up and down the avenue by torchlight, with bugles and drums pounding.” Around noon on election day, Tammany’s employees arranged for a hansom cab to stop in front of his family’s home and take his father and grandfather, “puffing on those Tammany cigars,” to the ballot box.

They wore their best suits, which were usually reserved for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals. About half an hour after they cast the votes and returned home, the cab reappeared and they “went back to vote.” If it was a tough year and a reform movement threatened the city, they would go to the polls a third time.”

No one complained that “Grandpa happened not to be a US citizen or that he couldn’t read or write English. He knew which side of the ballot to put his ‘X’ on.”

Then came the night when an entire generation of kids poured out of the brownstones, lit bonfires, and set the East Side on fire. It was a glorious sight. His grandfather took a long drag on the cigar he’d been given for the illegal election and said to young Harpo in German, “Ah, we’re lucky to be in America. Ah yes! That is true democracy.”

The historical record shows that Democrats still favor a Tammany-style “democracy.” Since the 2020 election, Fund Newsmax informs, liberals have continued to use methods “that undermine the integrity of the election that would horrify honest liberals from Jimmy Carter to Tulsi Gabbard.”

Even the fiercely liberal Pennsylvania Supreme Court was forced to rule that “counting mail-in ballots if they had incorrect dates or were undated” was an unconstitutional effort by Democrats.

Fund also tells Newsmax that Michigan’s fraud deniers “keep losing in their attempt to keep 28,000 deceased on Michigan electoral rolls. Delaware, Joe Biden’s home state, saw a state court rule that his attempt to enforce same-day registration and absentee ballots with no apology was unconstitutional — two ingredients in a stew that can encourage voter fraud.”

Many of us in the news media will turn to John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky to see how Tammany Hall’s political heirs have fared.

This article first appeared on news max. It is reprinted here with permission.

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