Another point on the "fraud" stuff. As I blogged earlier this week, I don't know who AFP sent its supposedly "fraudulent" absentee ballot application requests tom but I do know that at least some of the the breathless indignation over the matter is largely borne of a failure to understand how political organizations work.
There is apparently consternation over the fact that AFP's request listed the "wrong address" for voters to which voters should return their applications. The address turns out ot be a post office address held by Wisconsin Family Action.
It was not the "wrong address." These organizations send ballot applications to persons who they have identified as likely to be sympathetic voters. They ask that the applications be returned to a "processing center" which is something that they set up to then send the applications to the various municipal clerks. As I understand it, the reason that they do this is so they can provide voters with something that is almost effortless to fill out and return. In addition, it tells them who has requested the ballots and they can then use that information in their ground game and in future elections.
In all cases, the goal is to have these requests made by people who they believe will support their candidates. I have gotten numerous ballot application requests that are to be returned to "Box 1327" in Madison and these requests are generally accompanied by some content likely to appeal to conservative voters. Dane101, for example, in its "expose" notes that Wisconsin Right to Life sent out requests to be returned to Box 1327.
So it did. It is just to my right as I type this. It urges me to return the request in order to retain a pro-life majority. I am pretty sure that it is not an attempt to keep Democrats from voting.
But, Dane101 notes, didn't the mailing go to at least two card carrying Democrats?
Sure. Almost all mailings by almost all advocacy groups go to people who disagree with them. I know that AFP mailings, for example, go to people who are not "AFP members" because I get them all the time and I have never joined AFP. People routinely sign up for the other side's stuff or do something that gets them on the opposition lists. I get e-mails and mailings asking me to "fight for a Democratic majority." I don't know why and, if some of the people whose names are attached to those mailings knew they were being sent to me, they'd be mortified. I didn't request any of them but I guess I did something that causes them to come to me.
Apparently even Steve Colbert fell for this. I have always found Colbert to be predictable and sophomoric- anything but the smart and edgy guy that he's supposed to be. Thre are comedians who are funny even when they say something you disagree with. Jon Stewart is one. Colbert,a at least what I've seen of him, is not. Here's a little example of why tha may be.
There is reason to be upset about the AFP mailing because they still screwed up the dates. But the reason is not fraud. It is error in a very tight election cycle. And the people who ought to be upset are not liberals but conservatives.