Fox News ‘catches’ voter fraud in Ohio: Throw this red herring back

Supporters listen during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sept. 25, 2012, at Wright Brothers Aviation in Vandalia, Ohio.
Supporters listen during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sept. 25, 2012, at Wright Brothers Aviation in Vandalia, Ohio.
(Al Behrman / Associated Press)
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Admittedly, I don’t get a lot of my news from Fox News. But when I saw this headline Wednesday, “Non-citizens caught voting in 2012 presidential election in key swing state,” well, let’s just say they had me at “non-citizens caught voting.”

Like Mitt Romney weeks later, and Karl Rove on election night, Fox has its own way of spinning the 2012 election. But hey, if voter fraud cost Romney Ohio, that’s big news — bigger than President Obama being born in Kenya, bigger than Obamacare as the worst government disaster ever, bigger than Benghazi, bigger than Obama’s uncle whom he did/didn’t know, bigger than, well, you get the Fox(y) idea.

After all, you’ll remember that it was Fox’s call of Ohio going to Obama that set Rove off on election night, and sent anchor Megyn Kelly tromping through the newsroom demanding an explanation from the network’s own pollsters.


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So I couldn’t help myself. Yes, I clicked. Yes, I read. And no, my eyeballs didn’t bleed.

But in the end — I’m sorry to report to all the conspiracy theorists and “impeach Obama” wingnuts — there’s not much there there. Having been baited into reading, I found myself caught in the switch: “Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Wednesday that his office found 17 non-citizens illegally cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election — and has referred the case for possible prosecution.”

Yep. Seventeen. Seventeen noncitizens, yes, but still...

Now, Fox reporter Eric Shawn characterized the announcement this way: “The alleged crime would be a notable case of voter fraud in a key swing state.”

“Notable,” huh?

I decided to dig a little, well, deeper. I went to Ohio’s results in the 2012 presidential vote. Barack Obama: 2,697,260 votes; Mitt Romney: 2,593,779 votes.

Which, according to my trusty calculator, means Obama won by 103,481 votes. Which, according to common sense, means that those 17 questionable votes wouldn’t have quite put ole Mitt over the top. (I’m assuming, of course, that all 17 went for Obama. After all, Republicans never fudge results — wink wink, nudge nudge, know what I mean, Florida, eh, 2000, say no more, eh?)

Oh, yes, and for a little more perspective: Ohio’s 18 electoral college votes were part of Obama’s total of 332. Romney’s total was 206. Let’s see: If Romney had won Ohio (uh, 206 + 18, carry the 1, that’s, uh, 224!); nope, still not quite enough, Mitt. But thanks for playing!


Really, though, folks, can’t we just throw this voter-fraud red-state red herring back? Romney lost fair and square. So did John McCain in 2008. Voting by noncitizens didn’t matter. And no, there weren’t millions of people voting multiple times for Obama either.

It’s like GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee tweeted about fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas: “I didn’t go to Harvard or Princeton, but I can count.”


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