November 13, 2002
The Democrats lost ugly
(David Frum, November 12, 2002, National Post)
South Dakota. As Byron York reports on NationalReview.com, up until 6:38 a.m. on the morning after election day, it looked as if the Democrats had lost the South Dakota Senate race. With 838 of the state's 844 precincts reporting, Republican challenger John Thune led Democratic incumbent Tim Johnson by more than 1,000 votes. Then something odd happened.
Six precincts that normally report early delivered their results very late. And guess what? All six reported unprecedentedly massive votes for the Democratic candidate -- so huge, in fact, that they sufficed to counterbalance Thune's majority in the other 99.3% of the state.
The six late precincts were all located in one county, Shannon County, site of a large Indian reservation -- and also the site of many past allegations of voter fraud. In 1998, with Tom Daschle on the ballot, Shannon County reported 1,599 votes, 79% of them Democratic. This time, Shannon reported 3,118 votes, 92% of them Democratic. The Shannon County late surge pushed Johnson over the finish line. At 10:22 am, Tim Johnson was declared the winner by 527 votes out of 334,435 cast.
In other words: A fraud-prone Democratic-controlled county delayed reporting its results until the tally was complete everywhere else in the state, by which time it was clear that the Democratic candidate needed 1,000 more votes to win. The county then delivered almost 1,600 more ballots than in 1998, virtually every single one of them marked for the Democratic candidate. Curious, no?
Mr. Thune decided not to ask for a recount today. Assuming he plans to run against Tom Daschle in two years, that makes good sense. You may recall that the first time he ran for governor of FL, Jeb Bush was narrowly defeated by Lawton Chiles, in what was a truly disgusting Democratic smear campaign. But he said he'd settle accounts at the voting booth in four years and it won him considerable good will.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 13, 2002 8:23 PM
No surprise- EVERY voting/registration fraud investigation invovles Democrats. This is SOP for South Dakota- you just don't hear about it when things like Florida get the news.
Yes . . . There's reason to think they had fraud plans for a number of states, but only South Dakota was close enough to make a difference.
Rove, it's said, believes that Daschle will not run for re-election and wants Thune to lose gracefully now so he can win the other seat in 2 years.
Have you read that somewhere, because that's what I assumed too.
We knew in our hearts he would not ask for a recount, and we also know Johnson and Daschle cheated.
We hope Bush take's care of Thune and gives him a good position while finally, we mostly hope to see Daschle go down in a manner as humiliating and degrading as Clinton has and is.
Let's also not forget John Ashcroft's graceful concession to Jean Carnahan in 2000. Only a fool would believe that, were the situations reversed in that race, the Democrats would have flooded Missouri too with lawyers, guns and money (well, maybe not guns.)
Thune's decision appears to be politically and (I assume) legally sound (if victory is what one is after). And this issue need not die with his concesion. In fact, the media, which while having no legal standing on the case, should have a real interest in investigating what actually happened, not to reverse a decision but to clear the air.
I think the WSJ and WP should avail themselves of all "freedom of information rights" afforded by the State of SD and attack this issue with as much impetus as they did Florida.
oj - did read it somewhere, can't recall where.
MG - It's not clear to me that this ignore-the-fraud strategy is politically best; it seems to me it ought to be possible to investigate and criticize fraud with grace and charity, and receive credit for grace as well as increase voter knowledge of the Dem fraud. I will grant that graceful concession is better than graceless competition for victory. But Rove is the expert, I'm only the lay partisan.
This is very similar to what happened in Maryland in 1994, when the GOP nominee, Ellen Sauerbrey, had a slight lead and then the last precincts in Baltimore all came in overwhelmingly against her. Everyone knew there was vote fraud that allowed Paris Glendening to win the Gov. election -- proving it was another matter. Sauerbrey lost her court challenges and came off as a Gore-style loser (not in my opinion, though). When she ran against Glendening in 1996, she lost overwhelmingly. Like it or not, people remember how a person loses. This is part of the reason Nixon could come back in '68 after being gracious about the loss to JFK in '60 (via Daley in Ill. and LBJ in Tex.) (but see the Nixon "last press conference" in '62). This is also the reason Gore will never
be elected President. Thune will win in 2004.
It's probably worth noting that where the roles are reversed, the Democrat governor of Alabama seems like it will take Federal marshals to remove him from office.
Can people in Louisiana get Alabama TV....We should pipe in the signals by cable, if not, up until about Dec 7th.
Democrats knew that SD will be a close race, and consequently made a big Get Out The Vote effort on Indian reservations. Indians tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats but are under-registered and the voter turnout on reservations is usually quite low.
So on election day the GOTV effort on the reservations turns out to be quite successful. Unsurprisingly, most of the new voters vote for the Democrat.
David Frum needs to come up with something better than this. This is just pointless speculation.
That would be an excellent point if those voting on the reservations hadn't included Sitting Bull, twice.
:) Do you have a link for the Sitting Bull story? I've read a little bit about the small-time voter registration fraud that occurred in October, but I've read nothing alleging fraud since then (besides Frum's piece).