When Allen West lost his seat in Congress in 2012, his supporters immediately cried voter fraud based on a claim that one county in his Florida district had reported 141 percent of its registered voters turning out to the polls. The claim was bogus, because the 141 percent figure was misleading.
The actual turnout in the county was 69.56 percent, while the 141 percent figure represented the number of “cards cast.”
Since the ballot was two pages long, every voter cast two cards, hence the initial report that the number of “cards cast” amounted to 141 percent of registered voters.
Even the voter-fraud obsessed group True the Vote notes that in “St. Lucie County, ballots were at least two pages or ‘cards.’ Policy dictates that each card be counted separately, leading to a total of 247,383 ‘votes’, aka cards, cast. Divide the number by half, then exhale.”
So even though this claim of voter fraud has been debunked, a right-wing group is still citing the bogus charge in its opposition to restoring the Voting Rights Act. Speaking with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today, Bob Parks of Project 21 used the imaginary 141 percent figure to allege that massive voter fraud is undeniable:
An organization of black conservatives says a new bill provides election fraudsters with opportunity to potentially steal elections by nullifying the votes of law-abiding citizens.
Now the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 – sponsored by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers – would create a new formula; and with it new criteria that could force even more jurisdictions to have to report to federal overseers on all matters related to the electoral process.
Bob Parks, who operates the website Black & Right, is a member of the national advisory council for Project 21.
“Having [a] federal government – especially [one] like this one that has an attorney general who picks and chooses which crimes and which offenses that he wishes to investigate, [and] which laws that they will simply ignore – it’s ripe for corruption,” he argues.
According to Parks, upwards of 19 states have counties with more than 100-percent voter registration. “You have situations … I believe it was in the Allen West race in Florida where the voting was 141-percent,” he recalls. “You can’t tell me there’s not a voter fraud problem.”