The Florida Fiasco of 2000, with hanging chads, butterfly ballots and Supreme Court intervention, forced Americans to confront an ugly reality. The U.S. has the sloppiest election systems of any industrialized nation, so sloppy that at least eight of the 19 hijackers who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were actually able to register to vote in either Virginia or Florida while they made their deadly preparations for 9/11.
In Stealing Elections, John Fund takes the reader on a national tour of voter fraud scandals ranging from rural states like Texas and Mississippi to big cities such as Philadelphia and Milwaukee. He explores dark episodes such as the way "vote brokers" stole a mayoral election in Miami in 1998 by tampering with 4700 absentee ballots. He shows how, in the aftermath of the Motor Voter Law of 1993, Californians used mail-in forms to get absentee ballots for fictitious people and pets, while in St. Louis it was discovered that voter rolls included 13,000 more names than the U.S. Census listed as the total number of adults in the city.
Election officials try to reassure voters by turning to computerized voting machines. But Fund shows that with the new technology come even greater concerns. Early in 2004, for instance, the state of Maryland, which has 16,000 new Diebold machines, commissioned a security expert to try to rig a practice election. He and his team broke into the computer at the State Board of Elections, completely changed the outcome of the election, left, and erased their electronic trail—all in under five minutes.
Stealing Elections gives us a chilling portrait of our electoral vulnerability—in the 2004 presidential election and on into the future. Writing with urgency and authority, John Fund shows how a lethal combination of bureaucratic bungling and ballot rigging have put our democracy at risk.
John Fund is a member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and writes the paper’s daily “Political Diary.” He has written on voter fraud and election irregularities for the last decade in the Wall Street Journal, New Republic, American Spectator and other publications. In the past year, Fund has made over 90 appearances on Fox News, MSNBC, C-Span, and CNBC.