by John Bambenek
Yesterday, I filed a complaint with the Michigan Attorney General against Daily Kos' blogger Markos Moulitsas, requesting an investigation into whether Moulitsas is encouraging voter fraud in next week's Michigan GOP primary.
The idea of the freedom to vote is part of the bedrock foundation of this nation. Vote fraud is not a new concept; likely it reaches back even to the time of the founders. However, once vote fraud is discovered, it should be prosecuted aggressively like all flagrant violations of the law. Daily Kos' call, under the direction of Markos Moulitsas himself, for a conspiracy to commit massive vote fraud during the Michigan primaries may be one of those serious attempts to circumvent election law.
In Daily Kos' January 10 posting entitled "Let's have fun in Michigan," Moulitsas called on Democrats to cross party lines and vote in the Republican primary for the express purpose of helping Mitt Romney win. Romney, he says, will be a "weak" opponent for the Democrats in November. Daily Kos makes no attempt to hide the fact they are influencing Republican primaries as Democrats to benefit Democrats.
Moulitsas' call could be felonious. Michigan state law clearly indicates that unqualified electors voting in elections is a felony. It also specifies that counseling or aiding someone to vote in an election they are unqualified for is also a felony. Election law clearly specifies that to vote in a party's primary, one must actually belong to that party.
Compromising the power of the vote in this country is a direct attack on the very foundation of our freedom. While much can be said about the closed primary system of which I am no fan, it is the law of the land and undermining that system for partisan gain is an invidious attempt to disenfranchise voters, and simply cannot be allowed to stand.
The parties do have free association rights which allow them the constitutional right to declare who are and are not members and, by extension, those who cannot interfere in the workings of that political organization. Republicans alone should choose Republican candidates. Democrats alone should choose Democrat candidates. The same goes for third parties.
Markos, posting under his own name, may have engaged in a conspiracy to commit vote fraud by counseling Democrats to vote in the Republican primary for Mitt Romney. The motto for this campaign is "Democrats for Romney: Because the Republicans Deserve the Very Worst."
That motto says something about those who claim to love America as they so frequently display their hatred for other Americans. More importantly, it advertises the fact that Democrats -- who have no intention of changing parties -- may attempt to interfere with the Republican Party's internal workings.
While appearing to encourage vote fraud, the Daily Kos may also be encouraging an attempt to subvert Republicans' constitutional right of free association and, at the same time, could be perpetuating a conspiracy to disenfranchise Republican voters and dilute their votes.
Vote fraud happens, and living in Illinois, I am no stranger to it. Make no mistake, the Daily Kos' posting could be a direct attack on the democratic elements of our Republic, which is exactly why I have filed a criminal complaint in the matter.
Such public and flagrant disregard for not only Michigan's election laws, but the rights of fellow citizens cannot be overlooked or tolerated. Doing so will simply encourages a state of lawlessness in our election system. While monikers such as "they can't cheat if it's not close" may be emotionally satisfying, any such alleged attack against our Republic and its laws should not be shrugged off.
If you agree that the integrity of the vote should be protected and that every vote should count, please contact the Michigan Attorney General, Mike Cox, at email@example.com and encourage him to look into these allegations. Cox's office may also be contacted at (877) 765-8388. Additional contact information may be found here.
John Bambenek is the Assistant Politics Editor for BC Magazine and is an academic professional for the University of Illinois. By trade, he is an information security professional, part of the Internet Storm Center and a courseware author and certification grader for the GIAC family of security certifications. He is a syndicated columnist who blogs at Part-Time Pundit and the executive director of The Tumaini Foundation which helps AIDS orphans and other children in Tanzania to get an education.