Busting the myth that Obama won because of massive voter fraud
One common myth explained:
MYTH #2: St. Lucie County, FL had 141 percent turnout!
A second popular myth, is that Democrats stuffed the ballot boxes in St. Lucie County, Florida, where 141 percent turnout helped Barack Obama carry the county. This myth was circulated by Free Republic, Town Hall and Kyle Rogers at the Examiner. Each of these sites went apoplectic when they jumped to the conclusion that 247,000 ballots were cast in a county with only 175,000 registered voters.
The myth appears to have been started during Republican Rep. Allen West’s short-lived challenge to the results of his race in that county, when the first page of the 11/11/12 St. Lucie County’s Election Summary Report [PDF] said there were 175,554 “Registered Voters” in the county and 247,383 “Cards Cast” in this year’s election. The result was what appeared by the incurious to be a 140.92% turnout.
Naturally, that number was taken as a clear sign of voter fraud on a massive scale.
Of course, there was a simple explanation. The ballot was printed on two pages and 247,000 ballots cast actually meant about 123,500 people had voted.
The front page of the St. Lucie County Elections website even explains, in all caps:
NOTE* - TURNOUT PERCENTAGE WILL SHOW OVER 100% DUE TO A TWO PAGE BALLOT. THE TABULATION SYSTEM (GEMS) PROVIDES VOTER TURNOUT AS EQUAL TO THE TOTAL CARDS CAST IN THE ELECTION DIVIDED BY THE NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS. ALSO NOTE THAT SOME VOTERS CHOSE NOTE TO RETURN BY MAIL THE SECOND CARD CONTAINING THE AMENDMENTS.
Read the whole thing at The BRAD Blog.
It’s also helpful to remember again that voter suppression has been an article of faith among the right wing for decades, as Paul Weyerich explicitly laid out back in 1980:
“I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”