The late Congressman Henry Hyde once said this on the floor of the House of Representatives: “There is a story that goes around in my hometown, Chicago. It says, Bury me when I die in Chicago because I want to stay active in politics after I am gone.” That joke, which dates back at least to political comedian Mort Sahl, has been applied to other jurisdictions as well, including Arizona. It’s a funny line and has the ring of truth, given Chicago’s history of creative political shenanigans. But it’s only a joke.
Or is it? In recent years many Republicans and conservatives have tried to weaponize what should only be a funny line in a malicious attempt to strip away the voting rights of people they fear will support their political rivals. The political right has been flogging the baseless “voter fraud” meme for so long that I usually disregard it as white noise unworthy of a response. But since the most recent example of this lie appeared in the Southern Arizona News Examiner, where this column runs, I owe it to readers to set the record straight.
That article, which originally ran in the Heritage Foundation’s propaganda sheet, The Daily Signal, contains 899 words and zero substance. The author, Washington lawyer Joanne Young, endorsed President Donald Trump’s demand for an investigation into alleged “vote fraud.” She noted Trump’s complaint that some voters are registered in more than one state and some of the names on voter registration rolls are of dead people. This is the same President who declared that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” God knows what he’ll do if someone spills the beans about Santa.