Once in a while, the word “apparently” can carry a heavy load in a sentence.
Conservatives are outraged over what they claim, mistakenly, to be evidence of massive voter fraud being perpetrated in Arizona, The Daily Dot reports.In the video – which was posted at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze under the headline, “Surveillance video apparently catches guy doing something at the ballot box that left Republican monitor stunned” – Ben Marine can be seen entering the lobby of the polling station in a Citizens for a Better Arizona (CBA) shirt and delivering absentee ballots he had collected.
Well, it’s a funny story, actually. When Glenn Beck’s website says the video “apparently” caught a young man doing something wrong, it “apparently” didn’t check to see what’s permissible under Arizona election law.
A.J. LaFaro, the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, told the Arizona Daily Independent, “I believe it’s inconceivable, unacceptable, and should be illegal for groups to collect hundreds, if not thousands, of voters’ ballots and return them to the elections offices or polling locations.”
And though LaFaro is certainly welcome to call for changes to state election law, the fact remains that it’s perfectly legal to collect absentee ballots and deliver them to a polling station – making this controversy pretty foolish.
From Raw Story’s report:
In Arizona … it is not illegal for groups like the CBA to collect absentee ballots and deliver them on behalf of the citizens who filled them out. As stated in the Arizona Elections Manual, “[a]fter [voters] have securely sealed the voted ballot inside the early ballot return envelope, voters may voluntarily give their voted early ballot to a person of their choice for delivery to the Recorder or a polling place.”Moreover, according to the president emeritus of the CBA, Randy Parraz, the group typically delivers thousands of ballots at a time, making the hundreds delivered in the video “look like a pittance.”
But the right appears to be pretty worked up anyway. Here’s Wonkette’s report:
By Tuesday, the story was all over the rightwing blogosphere. The Blaze and The Daily Caller both ran with it, although we should note that the Daily Caller at least framed its headline as a question: “Does This Video Show A Hispanic Activist Openly Committing Vote Fraud?” (The answer is definitely yes, by the way). The story was also reblogged by the Stupidest Man on the Internet, Jim Hoft, who keenly observed from the video, “They don’t even try to hid [sic] their lawlessness anymore,” and claimed that “a vulgar, violent Democratic operative was caught on tape stuffing a ballot box.”Commenters are, of course, quite outraged as well, and have suggested that this obviously illegal immigrant “wetback” thug who is ruining democracy should be deported or perhaps shot. And this incident proves what they’ve been saying all these years — that President Obama only won his election (twice) because of these illegal thugs stuffing ballot boxes all the time. It’s right there on tape!
For what it’s worth, here’s the not-so-shocking video, showing a man dropping off ballots, just as the law empowers him to do. It might very well be the silliest conservative election controversy of the entire year, which is no small feat.