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May 10, 2005
WaPo Smells The Cheese ... Finally

The Washington Post has finally sniffed out the Silence of the Cheese, the voter-fraud scandal in Milwaukee that helped turn Wisconsin blue in the 2004 Presidential election. Michelle Malkin points readers to a new development that the Post reported late this afternoon:

About 4,500 more ballots than registered voters were cast in the election last November in Milwaukee, investigators said Tuesday.

Also, more than 200 felons voted improperly in Milwaukee, and more than 100 instances of suspected double-voting were found.

No charges have been filed. Investigators found no widespread conspiracy, just isolated incidents, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said.

"I don't think there's an election in this municipality or this state that would have been decided differently even with those numbers," said Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat.

Barrett wants this entire embarassment to go away, and the spin is designed for the national media to go back into silence mode. Having 4,500 more ballots than registered voters doesn't mean that 4500 extra votes were cast. It means many more thousands of extra votes were cast, unless Milwaukee normally gets 100% turnout for every election. Milwaukee had over 277,000 ballots cast in the election, and even if that accounted for 90% of the registered voters in the city, it would still mean 30,000 extra ballots before you even get to an overage.

Now, given that kind of turnover in balloting, the notion that all of that activity came from "isolated incidents" makes no sense whatsover. Someone had to cast those extra ballots, and if it was just ordinary Milwaukee citizens, it would mean that one in nine voters double-voted on Election Day. Perhaps the investigators could find no evidence of a conspiracy, but that hardly means that one didn't exist. The sheer scale fraudulent voting in this case almost certainly eliminates all other explanations.

John Kerry's surprise 11,000-vote margin in a state most Upper Midwest political pundits picked for Bush now appears much more understandable. While it's far too late to challenge the 2004 results, Wisconsonites should ensure that such fraud cannot occur again. The first step should be to demand photo-ID at the polling stations and the end to same-day registrations. Those politicians who oppose such reforms should be seen as enablers of voter fraud, and handled accordingly.

UPDATE: The Washington Post blew its reporting, as CQ commenter Outactrl points out. The actual report, available here in PDF format, says that 4500 more ballots came in than Milwaukee recorded as voting, not 4500 more than the number of registered voters in Milwaukee. However, let's not forget that over 30% of the 277,000 votes came from same-day registrations, which Milwaukee has yet to reconcile.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 10, 2005 7:18 PM

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