John Waters: I’ve Committed Voter Fraud

“I have committed voter fraud, yes, but she didn’t win so it didn’t matter. I voted for her twice, because in those days they didn’t have picture ID. So in California, I would ask people, ‘Are you gonna vote?’ and if they said no, I would go vote for her. I wouldn’t do that today. I get carried away—I’m such a good citizen I vote more than once.” – John Waters, referring to the 1972 presidential campaign of Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first black major party candidate for the presidency.

RELATED: Although Chisholm entered the Democratic Convention having won only 28 delegates in the primaries, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey symbolically released his delegates to Chisholm when it became clear that Sen. George McGovern would overwhelmingly win the nomination. Chisholm’s final tally of 152 delegates placed her fourth behind McGovern, Sen. Henry Jackson, and Alabama Gov. George Wallace. It was also at the 1972 convention that a major party considered a gay rights platform plank for the first time. The plank, which included a call for repealing laws against same-sex marriage, was rejected by the platform committee in a 54-34 vote. Forty years later the Democrats formally included same-sex marriage rights in the party platform at the 2012 convention. That committee vote was unanimous and the plank was adopted by voice vote from the convention floor following a rousing speech by then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

  • Kevin Perez

    Not that I don’t believe him but John Waters tends to make a lot of claims. The reality is more likely that he thought about voting twice but didn’t follow through. You can’t just vote as someone else, especially without the photo ID because they match your signature.

    • SoCalVet

      goes along with his recent book that was written as if it were true but was really a lot of his imagination getting carried away.

  • perversatile

    John Waters is my mole rodel

  • j.martindale

    Appalling–as usual.

  • Steven Leahy

    what’s wrong with his lip?

    • gaymex

      …he should try biting it.

  • gaymex

    I think it’s a rather stupid confession to make and only feeds into the republican insanity about voter fraud. So unnecessary.

    • ericxdc


    • HoneyBoySmith

      I find it especially stupid considering it’s likely false.

    • Jeffrey

      Yeah, I love John Waters but he actually just gave some minor credence to republican fear tactics.

      • gaymex

        That was my point in making the statement. I don’t think we should particularly worry about the way we are perceived by the rightwing since they already think we are less than human, but the statement was just dumb and unnecessary.


      if you see a statement/quote with the name

      “John Waters” attached and you still feel obliged to post “got my knickers in a right proper twist over…blahblahblah”.

      All that means is John Waters’ has done his job,
      and you have signed his paycheck

      • gaymex

        I’m indifferent to Waters…it was just a stupid and unnecessary statement and adds fuel to the rightwing fire.
        I think you’re the one with the wadded knickers, but good for you if you are a fan of his. Enjoy.

        • perversatile

          the very air we breathe is fuel for the rightwing fire,
          anytime -anything -anywhere is suppressed or censored
          the rightwing has won. .

  • ericxdc

    but it doesn’t matter because she didn’t win?

    That’s like saying I once held up a bank but it does’t really matter because I hardly got away with any money.

  • MavynFL

    He’s trolling.

  • Blake Jordan

    I am sure right-wing nut jobs will try to make an irrational “news” meal out of this silliness.

  • i’ve never committed vote fraud. it has been committed against me. saw it with my own eyes. it was kind of spooky. i knew people did that in some places, but to see it happening on election day was trippy.

    Always been a Chisholm fan myself. i actually got a pretty good education as a child and she was in a lot of my american history books as an example of “black women could be president someday too.”

    • Celia

      What do you mean you saw it with your own eyes? You saw someone voting in your name? You saw your name checked off as having voted when you haven’t?

  • Pete

    Watch, we’ll be blamed for packing the US Supreme Court later this month!

  • Bj Lincoln

    Among life’s constant changes, it’s nice that John is as …misleading as ever.

  • sherman

    “In California” he voted for her twice, yet she represented a district in New York.

    • ECarpenter

      She was running for President. As the article says.

    • JDegarson

      i think he was referring to the presidential primary

  • ECarpenter

    Shirly Chislom was a very smart, very sensible, very brave person who would have made an excellent president. I voted for her too, but just once.

  • Hip Byroads

    Shirley Chisholm had my vote as well. Loved her madly. She had a kind of lisp in her speech that you would hear in certain words, like when she would say “Bedford-Stuyvesant,” and we would try to imitate her speaking, but of course she was inimitable. She was Great Lady. Only in a dream world could she have been president. But she was very inspiring, even for those of us with no interest in becoming president, or being in politics.

    Fascinating about the same-sex marriage plank at the 1972 convention. And they even got to get up and talk about it on national TV.

  • AndyinChicago

    This is enraging. This is someone who doesn’t understand how bad what they did was. Why share this at this point when Republican fears are particularly heightened unnecessarily. I’m really pissed at Waters. What an idiot.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    “I voted for her twice, because in those days they didn’t have picture ID. ”

    Good job feeding into the GOP narrative that without requiring ID there will be voter fraud.

  • medaka

    Oh, come on. I’d vote for John Waters in a New York minute for just about anything. As many times as I could get away with.

  • I went to my first political rally that year. For George McGovern. I was 4.

    I mentioned that to a friend the other day and he had no idea who McGovern was. Made me feel sad. And old.

  • Toasterlad

    You know, John…you don’t have to say EVERYTHING that pops into your head.

    • gaymex

      lol. For some reason I keep thinking back to the Divine dogshit scene…at least that one was a money maker, but John does seem to sometimes embark on a “stream of consciousness” and if that’s his bag, well, so be it.

  • JCF

    I believe the statute of limitations covers this. [Don’t try this at home. Or at the polls. Ever again.]

  • Dead Giveaway

    Appalling. *yawn*

  • julianaci

    Shirley Chisholm ’72 was my first Presidential campaign, I was 9. We lived in Bergen County NJ, and I saw her come on the news, in a Diane VonFurstenberg wrap dress, cat glasses, stiletto heels with a pale mink coat draped over her shoulders and I pointed at the Teevee and said to my very Republican father “who is that, and can I hep her?”

    Fortunately my mom’s NOW friends were doing things for her and I was able to hand out fliers on the UES a couple weekends. I still have my original “Shirley Chisholm for President, UnBought & UnBossed button.

    For those of you who don’t know about her, look for the documentary about her on YouTube or Netflix… she’s amazing and it’s well worth your time.