Claims of voter fraud are common. It’s the fraud that’s rare.

first_img– Advertisement – Famously, there was the story that Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, told in 2000 about a 13-year-old springer spaniel that was registered to vote in St. Louis. Mr. Bond was making a case that more anti-fraud protections, like requiring identification, were needed after his colleague, Senator John Ashcroft, lost his seat when more Missourians voted for a dead man: Gov. Mel Carnahan, who had been killed in a plane crash several weeks before the election but remained on the ballot. Mr. Ashcroft did not challenge the results.The fantasy of a stolen election has elements that Mr. Trump has long incorporated into his narrative about himself. There are clear perpetrators (undocumented immigrants, big-city Democratic political machines) and a victim (him) — and usually enough ambiguity so he can float outlandish but unsubstantiated rumors.He has been laying the groundwork for refusing to concede for some time. Speaking in September to Mark Levin, the talk radio and Fox News host, Mr. Trump suggested that some voters were receiving multiple ballots in the mail. He said: “People are saying, ‘Hey, what’s going on? I just got a whole batch of ballots.’” In reality, elections officials across the country, representing both parties, said there was no evidence that fraud had played any role in determining the election outcome this year. The most common claims of voter fraud — reports of ballots cast by someone voting twice, or by a dead person or someone who is otherwise ineligible — can almost always be traced back to a misunderstanding like a typo, a clerical error or a false assumption that two people with a common name are actually the same person, according to the Brennan Center.Still, the topic has been a staple of coverage on Fox News going back to the 2000s, when hosts like Bill O’Reilly spread exaggerated stories about immigrants who were voting illegally, campaigns that paid people for their votes and community groups like ACORN whose employees had submitted fraudulent voter registrations. (The ACORN employees, who were also the subject of an attack ad that John McCain’s campaign ran against Barack Obama in 2008, did not appear to be attempting to influence voting, but rather to get paid for voter registration work they hadn’t actually done.)Claims of voter fraud have often involved absurd and far-fetched scenarios — dead people, dogs, busloads of people of color — which is another way they live on in the public imagination. In recent years, conservative activists have pushed unverified reports that buses full of illegal voters showed up at polling places from California to Wisconsin. As a news story, it is sensational and often irresistible. The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law examined its enduring appeal in a 2007 report, observing that ballot fraud has “the feel of a bank heist caper: roundly condemned but technically fascinating, and sufficiently lurid to grab and hold headlines.”The subject’s prevalence in the conservative news media, where it is treated as a more widespread problem than the facts show, may help explain how Mr. Trump, a ravenous consumer of cable news, came to be so fixated.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Voter fraud is one of the oldest charges a politician can level in American elections — though no president in modern times has done so with such frequency, and so little evidence, as President Trump. In the 1941 Orson Welles epic “Citizen Kane,” newspapermen huddle near the printing press on election night as it becomes clear that the results won’t be good news for their boss, the publishing mogul Charles Foster Kane.One of them holds up a front page with the headline they had hoped for: “Kane Elected.” He then lowers his head and nods toward the version they have to go with instead. “Fraud at Polls!” it declares. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Pulis focused on picking up points

first_img “It is always about the three points,” he said. “Those memories will stay with me, the area and the people I met, not just around the football club. “Ourselves and Sunderland were cut off at one stage. Sunderland have come back and we have come back at it. What we have to do is make sure you push on from there and that is the important thing. “We are looking at all areas and we need to strengthen in all areas. “We have got injuries we need to deal with, but I think we need to get players in to help us. We haven’t done it yet but we certainly need to.” Pulis will be low on numbers for the visit of Mark Hughes’ Stoke, with on-loan striker Cameron Jerome ineligible to face his parent club and midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi still sidelined with a calf injury. Glenn Murray remains a long-term absentee, along with full-back Jack Hunt and club-captain Paddy McCarthy. The latter has started to make his comeback following a lengthy spell out with a groin injury, and the former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has been impressed by Palace’s transformation under Pulis. Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis will treat Saturday’s game against former side Stoke the same as any other as he looks to steer the Eagles back out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three. “The lads have applied themselves unbelievably well,” McCarthy said. “They have bought into the new ideas the new manager has brought to the club and we are moving forward at a rapid pace. With the group we have, I’m quietly confident we have enough in the squad to pick up the points to keep us safe this year.” Former Leicester and Charlton defender McCarthy did not feature at all during Palace’s promotion campaign last season but has played some reserve football of late, and was also an unused substitute in the recent FA Cup third round victory at West Brom. Now McCarthy, 30, is hoping his recent injury woes are behind him as he looks to get closer to a first-team outing. “I have come through two games now with no problems, so I’m just building up my match fitness,” he added. “I have trained for a few weeks now with no problem, I feel physically fit and it is all about building the game-time now and hopefully I will be in contention soon. “It has been a tough 18 months for me but I have worked my socks off and come in day in, day out. And hopefully I will reap the rewards for my hard work and not pick up any more injuries. “We have left no stone unturned. We have been to Germany and Italy to see the best people for my specific injury, so I’m hoping I’m over the worst of it now. “I think it took a few months for people to understand what had happened, it took quite a while to get on top of it. I’ve done all the groundwork and now I’m starting to feel better in the games I’m taking part in, and as the weeks go by I will pick up more minutes.” The 56-year-old ended a 10-year reign as Stoke boss last summer and was soon back in top-flight management when he replaced Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park in November. Results have improved since, but a run of just one point from their last three league outings has seen Palace drop to the foot of the table, meaning a Stoke reunion in south London this weekend is all about the result for Pulis, who remains keen to add to his squad during the transfer window. Press Associationlast_img read more