Friday, October 24, 2014

11 Days: The Great White Van Hysteria Is Back

The most effective conspiracy theories, the ones that really stand the test of time, are the ones that have a tiny element of reality with which to build the most elaborate Rube Goldberg invention upon.

No matter how contrived and ridiculous.

Legendary voter fraud hunter, Ardis Cerny, is back. She's the Van Helsing of voter impropriety and her trophies are just as realistic.

Ardis is in hot pursuit of her personal Moby Dick - aka the "Great White Van."

Haven't you heard? The GWV is Cerny's proof that rampant voter exists. Why? Because the van's license plates are from out of state - meaning, everyone inside that van is also from out of state.

The van's are real. The license plates, too, are real. Her conclusion? Totally imaginary.

For years, churches and community groups in cities have rented vans to drive people to the polls on election day. Why? Well, it has to do with the years of poll taxes, intimidation and even a few lynchings of black people who fought for their right to vote. Casting a ballot has kind of been a hard fought right for a lot of people.

It's also harder to be intimidated or killed if you are in a group.

People in cities also don't have a lot of cars. Racine is no exception. A good percentage of people in Racine don't have access to a car. And the bus? Well, try taking that to a poll location efficiently.

Renting vans is a tradition, so much so, that on election day rental agencies get vans from all over the place to meet the need...even from out of state. The provenance of the van has nothing to do with who is inside at all (something Cerny is totally aware of), but it feeds into her tale of out of state voters crossing the border to cast illegal votes.

Which by the way, is totally stoopid.

Even if you had a van chock full of people - who tells them who they are supposed to impersonate?
Eventually the people they are impersonating would come to the polls only to discover they had already voted - OR the impersonator would get caught because the real person got to the poll first.

By our estimation it would take about two hours to discover what was going on - and yet, no one ever has. Cerny believes because she sees the same vans around town, these fakers are going from poll to poll pulling off the same scam - instead of the more plausible conclusion the van is taking the riders to their appropriate polling location.

Just enough reality to keep the voter fraud fantasy alive and just enough fantasy to excuse racist voter suppression laws.