We’ve heard a lot of President Obama-crazed conspiracies over the years. In some cases, they were beaten into our heads (Barack Obama was born in Kenya), and in other cases, we’ve sought them out for fun (Obama traveled to Mars as a teenager and married a Pakistani man). But a new website, BarackOFraudo.com, may have them all beat.
BarackOFraudo.com is the brainchild of right-wing blogger Dean Chambers—the controversial founder of Unskewed Polls.com, a site that attempted to show that the polls released during the run-up to the presidential election were “skewed” in favor of Democrats. His new venture finds Chambers making the vague case that four states—Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Florida—were stolen by widespread voter fraud conducted by the Obama campaign (a map shows the four states colored in black, just in case subtlety isn’t your thing). Obama did not win 332 electoral votes compared with Romney’s 205, Chambers asserts. Rather, Obama won 252 and those four states’ 80 votes were “Obama fraud” votes.
“Those who engage in [voter fraud] are slick and do all they can to hide it, so the evidence is often quite circumstantial,” Chambers writes on BarackOFraudo.com. “In fact, often the circumstantial evidence is all the evidence we have, such as finding tens of thousands of bogus votes in the ballot box. We didn’t see someone actually put them there … but they are clearly evidence of vote fraud. Such is true of the voting divisions where Obama gets 100 percent of the votes cast. As if anyone REALLY believes that is legitimate.”
Oh, and just to be clear, he’s looking at us, Philly. Of the 1,687 voting divisions in Philadelphia, 59 reported 100 percent of the vote for Obama this election cycle, which comes out to 19,605 votes for the president. And since then, all of them have been used as an excuse to allege Democratic voter fraud. But how did the Dems supposedly pull it off? That’s where the conspiracy gets weird—and less believable than President Obama’s gay Mars wedding.
Do the Divisions Even Exist? (Yes.)
Contacted by PW regarding his accusations, Chambers responded: “Has anyone confirmed that all the divisions where the vote outcome was 95 percent or higher for Obama actually had an open poll on Election Day? I wonder if some of those divisions were real.”
Well, to figure that one out, I went to Philadelphia City Commissioner co-chair Al Schmidt, and told him I felt stupid, but had to ask: Are those 59 divisions real? “Yes,” he said. “All 1,687 of them exist.”
I assured Chambers as much, and invited him to come to Philly to tour the divisions with me. He has yet to RSVP.
The Committee of Seventy has called for the City Commissioner’s Office to look into the 59 divisions that went 100 percent for Obama. Reached on whether there’d been any new developments regarding these divisions, Seventy vice president and policy director Ellen Kaplan said there was not, yet. “[The commissioners] should look into why that happened.”
Before that can happen though, the commissioners need to look into reports that more than 27,000 voters had to use provisional ballots. That will take priority as far as an investigation is concerned. The Controller’s Office, too, is conducting an audit into the provisional ballots cast on Election Day—but not specifically the 59 all-Obama divisions. “It’s not the scope of the audit,” notes Harvey Rice, spokesman for the Controller’s Office, “but they’re not just looking at the provisional ballots … if we get in there and we see discrepancies, we’ll look at it.”
Schmidt notes before his office can get to those specific divisions, too, it must continue counting ballots, which may take a few weeks. “Voter fraud takes place by choosing outcomes,” he says. “It seems, intuitively, that you wouldn’t steal a vote. There has to be a lot of people involved in the process. You have to be very responsible while you make a claim.”
The Conspiracies Live On
Not long after the election, Fox News host Sean Hannity dedicated lots of air time to claims of voter fraud in Philadelphia both on his radio and TV shows. “Is it possible Governor Romney didn’t appeal to a single voter—not one—in these places?” he asked. “I don’t believe it. I think this is voter fraud.” He called the number of votes for Obama “mathematically impossible.”
BarackOFraudo.com claims that in addition to ballot stuffing, fraud occurred through the media’s coverage of the election, resulting in fewer Republicans coming out to vote, because, well, the liberal media was so liberal. “There is objectively two ways to increase voter turnout on the side of those supporting Obama, as it clearly did happen in some key swing states,” writes Chambers. “Either get more real people out to vote who will vote for Obama, or stuff the ballot boxes and engage in a variety of vote fraud and vote scamming methods.” He seems to believe—albeit vaguely—that both of these things happened, and admits he has “unskewed” the news linked to the site, too.
For the time being, Chambers and others on the far right seem to need these conspiracies. And we should let them have them. Otherwise, we’ll have to watch them come to grips with the fact that their candidate lost.