Fox News is all out on their allegations of voter fraud this morning, claiming that, among other things, Harry Reid is bribing college students with free pizza. Yes, seriously.
Republican goons staring down minority voters at polling sites. Teachers buying Democrats with Starbucks gift cards. Election workers doctoring records. The Senate majority leader bribing college students with free pizza.
Allegations of dirty politics are being flung from both sides in the final days of Nevada's U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Sharron Angle.
So far, the complaints of voter fraud or voter intimidation add up to little more than unsubstantiated rumors that Nevada's secretary of state called "wildly irresponsible," but they could help motivate voters worried that their ballot will be miscast in a tight race.
Secretary of State Ross Miller is investigating possible early voting irregularities in Clark and Washoe counties after the Nevada GOP filed a 44-page complaint this week. "Obviously, I am suspicious of any allegations just a week before the election where rumors are perpetuated by political parties or candidates without any substantiated evidence," he said.
Undeterred by the truth however, expect O'Reilly and Beck to jump on the voter fraud train hard today in advance of Sharron Angle's defeat. As long as they can claim the election was stolen, they don't have to address the truth: Nevada voters will reject Sharron Angle because she's batsh*t crazy.
The other ugly truth
Angle's electoral demise isn't the only thing motivating Fox. This is the same tactic they took in 2008 with ACORN, and of course, we saw post-election what happened with that. Expect similar efforts in 2011 when Harry Reid steps back onto the Senate floor. As usual, the target will be unions and minorities, ACORN or no ACORN. But the other motivation is to cover for what the Republican party always does, which is to commit voter fraud while accusing everyone else of committing it.
(cue sarcasm) There's nothing too intimidating about having someone standing there with their iPhone at the ready, prepared to take pictures of you and send them in to the Republican party if you're a minority voter who also votes Democrat is there? Why would that be a problem?
Meanwhile, the Republicans continue their practice of vote caging, a practice where they send a mailing out in advance of the voting, then challenge any voters who match addresses where a mailer has been returned.
In Wisconsin, the state Republican Party had been accused of plotting with local tea party groups to disenfranchise voters whose ballots were returned because of a wrong address—an illegal technique known as "vote-caging." Given the polarized political climate, overzealous activists working the polls could end up overstepping the bounds, intentionally or not. Referring to the GOP and tea party efforts to recruit poll watchers and workers, Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center for Justice says, "We haven't sent this degree of heightened activity for years. It's just a higher risk situation for voters."
In Wisconsin this is particularly troubling since many students will probably not have the same address as they did six months ago, but are still eligible to vote and may be disenfranchised as a result of Tea Party efforts.
Whatever the outcome of these elections, you can all rest assured that Fox will do their level best to continue the Republican time-honored tradition of screaming voter fraud. The only exception will be states where teabaggers win.
Bonus: DOJ says, we've got this. Chill out, everyone.