Republicans ready fraud charge if Martha Coakley squeaks out victory over Scott Brown in Massachusetts Senate election
Sure, every poll shows Martha Coakley losing to, or tied with insurgent Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts special election to fill Senator Ted Kennedy’s term in office. But that isn’t stopping Republicans from setting the stage for the ‘we wuz robbed’ allegation that they’ll use to throw into question Coakley’s certification as winner of the contest in the unlikely event that it comes to that. Even before the polls open:
Republicans supporting state Sen. Scott Brown and some conservative activists are raising concerns that electoral fraud could throw a close U.S. Senate contest to Democrat Martha Coakley.
“The only way he can lose this is to have it taken from him,” said Roy Dennehy, 65, of North Andover, at a Brown rally yesterday.
A fast-circulating e-mail yesterday by the conservative Washington News Alert stoked fraud fears, suggesting liberal groups such as ACORN and Coakley supporters could pose as one of more than 100,000 dead people supposedly on voter rolls to cast ballots for the attorney general.
“The ability to vote as dead people is a realistic concern,” said Bill Wilson, president of the conservative Americans for Limited Government in Fairfax, Va.
But House Minority leader Bradley Jones (R-North Reading) said anything’s possible in a close race.
“When you see the crowds and feel the enthusiasm, you get the feeling like the only way for him to lose this is fraud,” Jones said.
Allegations of stolen elections are nothing new in the GOP war plan. I chronicled Doug Hoffman’s absurd allegations of a stolen special election in New York’s 23rd district, which he kept making, and then unmaking, and then making again as he conceded, un-conceded, and then re-conceded the November race to Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, who was the 219th vote for health care reform in the House of Representatives in November.
Of course while there is evidence of left-leaning groups employing staff who have engaged in voter registration fraud in recent elections, fake registrations don’t lead to voters who actually vote. And with conservative groups unable to point to any elections conclusively stolen by any Democrats (or liberals to Republicans for that matter) in the modern era of American politics, it’s about as likely that they’ll uncover evidence of electoral fraud in Massachusetts as it is that cryptozoologists will finally locate the state’s infamous Dover Demon.
While Republicans are talking tough that Brown is a walkover of ‘Martha Choakley,’ the possibility still exists that a determined get out the vote effort will trounce Brown and his out-of-state activists who drove in to make his rallies look bigger than they actually are. After all, dead people can’t vote legally in Massachusetts, but neither can Tea Party-ers from Virgina and Tennessee. And while these people have helped pump up the energy at Brown’s campaign events, the outlier possibility remains that Democrats will turn out in force to keep Massachusetts’s Senate delegation all blue.
Should Coakley appear to win by a nose today, the game plan here will be to call into question the election, and argue that Secretary of State William Galvin can’t certify the results, drawing out the final vote with re-count after re-count and plenty of bankers boxes of legal briefs to be filed in state courts. The Republicans will also argue that Senator Paul Kirk is not allowed to vote after today’s special election, although there isn’t much to that theory as our Kate Klonick argued yesterday.
Polls close at 8 pm. Vote early, as they say, but don’t vote often, it’s against the law.
Anyways, for those of you in Massachusetts who are convinced like the Boston Herald that zombies are going to elect Martha Coakley so she can vote for health care reform so that President Obama can eat your brains, you’re right, it’s all a conspiracy, and I have proof here: