Over the past few weeks the latest battle sweeping the nation has been voter ID’s. There is no end to the arguement that requiring voters to provide proof of their identity denies Americans the right to vote. The arguement runs predominantely along racial lines though not exclusively, “…the target is the voting rights of Black voters, Latino voters, Asian American Voters, Native American Voters, as well as students and young people, working women, and immigrants of ALL colors….”. Adding ammunition to the racial and financial components is the reasoning that voter fraud is a mythalogical scare tactic being used to cover up the true intention of limiting who votes. But is it true?
The first question that must be asked is, does voter fraud exist?
The actions of the organization formerly known as ACORN are clear examples of voter fraud. The multiple instances of registering Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse as voters proves that there is something wrong with the system. But opponents of voter ID’s claim that these are merely registration issues, and votes by fictional characters just don’t happen.
Of course, we can personally attest to having known a NJ State Trooper whose name was Chris Kringle as listed on his drivers liscense (standing about 6’2″ and African American). Still such instances are rare, and highly unlikely to alter the final tally of a vote result in most instances.
The thing that is lost in the absurdity of the fictional names, is that there are dozens if not hundreds of realistic names and duplicates of actual voters that are being registered illegally. Plus the inclusion of those that do not have the right to vote, like inmates and ex-cons. A situation that is believed to have led to the election of Al Franken to the Senate.
Al Franken initially was seen as losing his bid for the Senate in Minessota in the 2008 election. The first tally had him lose by 725 votes. After several recounts, Franken eventually was declared the winner. The margin was 312 votes. Since that time 1099 inmates have been found to have cast votes for Senator Franken, of which, according to John Fund of the Wall Street Journal,
“341 convicted felons voted in Minneapolis’s Hennepin County, the state’s largest, and another 52 voted illegally in St. Paul’s Ramsey County, the state’s second largest. Dan McGrath, head of Minnesota Majority, says that only conclusive matches were included in the group’s totals. The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeds Mr. Franken’s victory margin.”
Senator Franken’s win created a supermajority for Democrats, which allowed the Health Care Reform (Obamacare) to be passed into law – though polls have shown a continuous plurality of dissent for that law among Americans since July 2009.
Thus voter fraud is real, the impact of which can be devastating – depending on your point of view. The arguement should stop here, as this example alone proves that voter fraud has real world implications that can alter the national economy and lifestyle. But the opponents of voter ID’s insist on more.
Thus we next need to look at the scope of voter fraud. How big is it?
Set the multiple registrations for Mickey Mouse, and 1099 inmates, aside. State tallies for President and/or for Congress are often decided by far larger margins than the example above. Even though the dominoe effect of one such election can be wide ranging, the arguement is it is not common. In fact, the argument goes, the reality is that voter fraud is almost impossible to find. One report claims only evidence of only 1 in 15 million voters,
While we do not dispute the efforts of News21, we beg to differ. The report does not address mail-in early votes, which is a huge potential source of fraud. Another report shows 1.8 million dead voters registered in the nation. That report, from the Pew Center on the States, also claims that 2.75 million active voters are registered in 2 or more States.
KTVU News, in 2008,
“Channel 2 found that in the last eight elections during the last 10 years 232 people with death certificates had voted after they had died – some more than once.
University of Conneticutt, 2008, found 8500 dead voters registered with,
“More than 300 of the dead who were registered have been counted as voting in recent elections. In some cases, people had never been recorded as voting in a town until after they died, the investigation showed.
Florida Sun Sentinel, 2008, found over 65,000 ineligible voters,
“…statewide database of registered voters contains as many as 77,000 dead people on its rolls, and as many as 2,600 of them have cast votes from the grave…” [It was later found that the 2,600 votes did not occur]
Thus the answer to the scope is that voter fraud is found across the country, is sustained, and influencing elections as we speak. Even if each dead voter never makes another vote, which seems from the data we found with relative ease to be unlikely, the potential for ineligible voters casting votes is more than enough to affect vote results on a local, State, and possibly national level.
This brings us back to the question of whether voter ID’s is necessary. Does America need a better voter identitifaction system?
In Australia it is a legal offence to fail to vote at any Federal or State election, punishable by a fine. In Denmark all eligible voters receive a card in the mail before each election which shows the date, time and local polling place; only valid at the designated local polling station. Germany requires citizens to have a voter ID card to vote. Even in Iraq, voters get the much covered purple finger stain to prove they have voted once.
In Mexico, a technological powerhouse nation, citizens are required to go sign up at an electoral office and get an ID card to vote. That ID card has a fingerprint which must match the voter as well as a photograph, and is embedded with a holographic image to prevent counterfiets.
The efforts in America to prevent voter fraud pale in comparison. The voter fraud preventions in most third world nations, exceeds all methods in place or being discussed in America at this time. Because having an accurate result is at least as important as being able to vote.
Thus in conclusion, voter fraud is real with a potential to affect national policy and law. Fraudulent votes numbering just in the hundreds may have been responsible for legislation that will affect this nation’s healthcare and debt for decades to come. The impact at the local and State level is unknown, and existant for decades.
The argument against voter ID’s has been proven in courts of law across the nation to not be a financial burden, with the issue of racial discrimination being clearly defined and disallowed. Foreign nations, large and small, provide examples of efforts to ensure legitimate votes that stand head and shoulders above all efforts in the nation at this time.
Therefore, we conclude that having voter ID’s is logical and prevents fraud that could allow legislation and policy that the majority of America does not want and could infringe on Rights that have been protected by the Constitution. Ultimately, the only argument against voter ID’s is that fraud, of any amount and at any level, benefits a particular candidate or political motive that otherwise could not exist. Preventing that outcome is not only sensible, it is actively pursued across the globe.