Friday, December 17, 2010

Update - the Very Funny Cincinnati High School Voter Fraud Hoax

That would be the one where a Tea Party candidate claimed that high school students were bribed with free ice cream afterwards, to vote for Democratic candidates, for those of you who don't remember.  I wrote about it in late October.

In summation, a disgruntled and unsuccessful tea party candidate for some local office has sued the school district because three students - not three busloads of students, as reported by Fake News - who were eligible to vote did so during school hours, as part of their civics class curriculum.  The tea party wacko, in the best tradition of conservative conspiracy theorists, asserted in his law suit that the school was practicing partisan politics, that it used school resources (the buses that didn't in fact transport anyone anywhere) to cause students to be taken to a polling place to vote, and shown democratic candidate only sample ballots (they weren't shown anything of the kind).

I don't know what it is about a segment of the right - let me hasten to be clear, this isn't all of you, just a wack-a-doodle lunatic subset - that asserts these stories, promotes these stories, and sadly, can't wait to believe these stories of voter fraud, despite a total lack of any proof whatsoever.  Despite, repeatedly, the proof to the contrary, the obvious demonstration that these claims are false, hoaxes, bad jokes, which make you look really, really stupid for believing them.  If I were one of you right wingers who engage in these stories, who believe these stories, I might actually assert that this kind of gullibility should render you ineligible for voting yourselves, because you obviously lack the judgement necessary to exercise your right to vote.

Fortunately for you all, I'm not going to claim that......however tempting that idea might be.  Because, seriously? A gullibility test, rather than an IQ test has some merits here in the area of the franchise.  See the 2009 and 2010 politifact lie of the year awards; I rest my case.

So here is the update.  Three students, not three busloads of students, went to vote on school time.  They rode along to the polling place in three 15 passenger vans in which they were provided donated seating space, along with the other people the church was transporting to vote, as a good civic minded sort of public service.  The vans were stopping for ice cream on the way back, as part of the outing, and generously invited the students to join them.  There was no bribe offered, no fraud, no democratic candidate ballots; all of that was something a friend of the tea party candidate made up, based on 'maybe' the teacher possibly wearing a sticker for a democratic candidate - which she did not do.

There was a scheduling hearing on the law suit full of misinformation (always with the misinformation, sheesh) and presumably because minors might be involved, or maybe because the tea party nut job is afraid of looking silly, the files on the law suit were sealed.

The school is still insisting - and can prove it - that the suit is full of false statements.  But the school DID suspend both the principal and the teacher involved, briefly.

Oh, NOT for having done anything wrong in letting the three students out of class to vote. No.  For having let them travel on the church vans, which had not complied with some of the formal criteria for transporting students.  The school still supports that otherwise the teacher and principle were acting appropriately.  And it is not clear at this point if the church vehicles met the criteria for safe transport of students, but just hadn't done the paperwork or not.

While neither the teacher or the principle have fought their disciplinary action, I would think they could have done so, given that any student old enough to vote is no longer a minor, and can therefore make their own decision about who and how they are transported, unlike the usual minor students.

In any case, there are depositions being called, and the case is set out for next summer for further action.

I'm hoping the damnably lying tea party candidate who filed this suit gets hit with all the costs, and that the school proceeds as it was suggested earlier it might do, in filing a counter suit.  Because this is just one more case of voter fraud that is purely a hoax for the gullible on the right.

These are getting easier and easier to spot, and like shooting fish in a barrel to disprove, because inevitably the details have egregious flaws in them, that are not plausible on the surface, that should raise red flags of alarm in every person who encounters them.  And they are always always always claiming some Eeeeeevil deed by democrats or liberals, accusations which inevitably turn out to be false on closer examination.

And every time - EVERY TIME - the accuser, when faced with these details, or someone supporting that accuser, asserts that their false accusation was justified because it COULD have been true.
No. It couldn't be true, and none of the rest of us other than those few fools on the right who consume this stuff like heroin addicts consume heroin, believe these voter fraud hoaxes any more.  But in the meantime, debunking voter fraud claims is to me like cat nip to a cat.  It makes me laugh, so you can expect more of them.  Bad me for laughing AT people instead of with them, but heck, it is still fun and funny.

My thanks to my esteemed colleague ToE for helping me with some of the legal research.

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