Republican allegations of voting fraud... fraudulent

Classically, journalists are taught to seek out "both sides" in any story. It's the most basic mandate, the simplest defense against allegations of bias.

Unfortunately, political consultants have caught up to, and surpassed, the ability for j-schools and reporters themselves, to adjust for gaming the system. That is to say, manufacturing another side, in order to render any malfeasance, no matter how damning or documented the information, into a he-said/she-said situation.

That's how we got to a point after the 2004 elections where not only aren't the actual, documented problems of the election (long lines, intimidation, and other vote suppression tools, like sending misinformation to Kerry voters... to say nothing of the demonstrated insecurity of electronic voting machines) being dealt with, but a whole different set of "problems" are influencing legislation that will make it even more difficult for Americans to get to the polls.

USA Today writes: "At least 11 states have approved new rules for independent voter-registration drives or requirements that voters produce specific forms of photo ID at polling places."

These are in response to Republican allegations that Democrats are pushing "'dead' voters, non-citizen vot[ers] and felon[s]" to register and vote. As Rachel Maddow put it, the laws "just happen to disenfranchise people who tend to vote for Democrats." Ironic to say the least.

But now a report puts the lie to Republican allegations. Much like the recent report that shows a no-win situation in Iraq, this one won't be released until after Americans need the information most -- i.e. to make informed choices in the upcoming election.

According to USA Today, "The bipartisan report by two consultants to the election commission casts doubt on the problem those [Republican-inspired] laws are intended to address." (RachelMaddow)

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