Recent reader comments

  • Reply to: Tuesday News: Financing despotism   3 hours 3 min ago

    Slightly on the inappropriate side in context with domestic terrorism. But I had to work that missing paycheck thing in there somewhere, amiright?

  • Reply to: Tuesday Twitter roundup   3 hours 43 min ago

    Yeah, not so sure about that. He's a spooky little bastard, not sure I could get any rest while healing. I mean, even if I turned him around so he wasn't looking directly at me, he'd still be right there in the room with me...

  • Reply to: 98 Years   21 hours 52 min ago

    Dude has some serious skillz when it comes to producing evocative videos.

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   1 day 20 hours ago

    It's frankly irresponsible of a newspaper to publish such inflammatory - and patently false - information, completely unquestioned, when we have a state Constitutional amendment on the ballot and an upcoming election.

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   2 days 2 hours ago

    Shame on the N&O for giving column space to the conspiracy theorist Jay DeLancy:

    Even foreign election observers have confirmed our warnings about this state’s election laws: When it comes to preventing voter fraud, North Carolina falls below nations like Libya and Mexico.

    Summarizing the opinions of 60-plus United Nations observers, Foreign Policy Magazine wrote, “The most often noted difference between American elections among the visitors was that in most U.S. states, voters need no identification . . . and there’s often no way to know if one person has voted several times under different names.”

    The first thing you need to understand, this visiting group of observers were not elections "professionals," they were from emerging democracies that have struggled with widespread (real) voter fraud. And their solution for the "several times under different names" is an ink finger:

    The most often noted difference between American elections among the visitors was that in most U.S. states, voters need no identification. Voters can also vote by mail, sometimes online, and there’s often no way to know if one person has voted several times under different names, unlike in some Arab countries, where voters ink their fingers when casting their ballots.

    The international visitors also noted that there’s no police at U.S. polling stations. In foreign countries, police at polling places are viewed as signs of security; in the United States they are sometimes seen as intimidating.

    No doubt Jay would love to see police in SWAT gear roaming around the polls checking identification documents and throwing people in paddy wagons if something didn't look right. Or if someone didn't look right. Thankfully, we live in a society that (for the most part) does not tolerate such authoritarian ways. Back to dumbass:

    While no single preventative measure can stop all vote fraud, a well-designed voter ID law would mitigate certain types. And it would greatly reduce North Carolina’s easiest form of disenfranchisement — voter impersonation fraud.

    Okay, this is quite possibly the stupidest thing he's ever said or written. When somebody casts a vote, either at an early voting site or their designated precinct, it would be immediately obvious if somebody else had already voted in their place. The state's database would show that, or the polling book, and to my knowledge, nobody has been turned away because their vote had already been cast by someone else. Yes, theoretically if a registered voter decided not to vote during an election, there wouldn't be a "triggering" incident to call attention to a stolen vote. But that would require prior knowledge by this (hypothetical) fraudster that boggles the mind.

    In other words, it's not an "easy form of disenfranchisement," it's about as close to impossible as you can get.

    Denying such confident claims, voter ID opponents gleefully cite sources like N.C. State Board of Election’s 2016 post-election audit, which reported only “verifying” two people who committed voter identity theft. Both of them provided the kinds of emotional explanations that a district attorney won’t touch. Next, elite thinkers will cite these cases as “proof” that voter impersonation fraud is “rare.”

    Sadly, nobody mentioned the same report’s cleverly hidden caveat: “No audit exists to catch all possible cases of voter impersonation. . . .” Translation, they have no idea how many people vote with other people’s names and no way of catching them.

    While vote fraud deniers studiously avoid that inconvenient truth, others exploit it.

    Who exploits it? Since of course Jay DeLancy has absolutely no evidence of this alleged conspiracy to thwart our elections, it becomes "others" who do it. Like many paranoid and delusional individuals, when his fantasy runs into the brick wall of reality, he points a finger at the entire system as being hopelessly flawed:

    In sum, our seven-year effort has yielded three disturbing conclusions: 1) election officials are not aggressively analyzing enough data; 2) no outside agencies look over their shoulders; and 3) they protect their careers by assuring the public they don’t “see” any voter impersonation fraud.

    Protect their careers? Dude, elections officials are some of the lowest paid civil service workers there are, and most of them aren't even paid for their work. Hell, even the lawyers on staff make a fraction of what they would earn in other government jobs, not to mention the private sector.

    But all of that crazy bullshit aside, the biggest hole in this conspiracy theory is simple: Voter fraud is simply not worth the risk. Why would somebody jeopardize their freedom by intentionally casting a fraudulent vote? Or five? Or ten? The more you do it, the more likely you'd get caught. There just isn't any sane reason to pursue such a venture, and the fact DeLancy believes there is calls his own sanity into question.