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Tuesday, April 29

The Myth of Voter Fraud

Voter ID Laws: A "Solution" in Search of a Problem
By Marty Lederman
I'm just beginning to read through the opinions in today's decision upholding the facial validity of Indiana's Voter ID law. Along with many others, I have argued that the law is unconstitutional because it imposes burdens on voting without advancing any governmental interest. Thus, to my mind the most noteworthy paragraph in Justice Stevens's lead opinion is the one in which he tries to adduce evidence of an actual problem that this law would address:
  • The only kind of voter fraud that SEA 483 addresses is in-person voter impersonation at polling places. The record contains no evidence of any such fraud actually occurring in Indiana at any time in its history. Moreover, petitioners argue that provisions of the Indiana Criminal Code punishing such conduct as a felony provide adequate protection against the risk that such conduct will occur in the future...
For the first proposition, what does the opinion cite? Only this: An anecdote about in-person voter impersonation allegedly orchestrated by Boss Tweed in 1868. And for the second -- occasional "recent" examples? Justice Stevens tips his hat to the Brennan Center's showing that "much of" the evidence of such fraud "was actually absentee ballot fraud or voter registration fraud." Nevertheless, he states that "there remain scattered instances of in-person voter fraud." The evidence for this? That in the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election, a partial investigation confirmed that one voter committed in-person voting fraud. and so on
You have to read the comments after reading the story to see what an ill informed public we have in America today. I mean, they just read the story (I assume they did) and they still view voter fraud as a blight on America, as if Democrats are out to steal elections, as if Democrats are capable of orchestrating such a thing.

I chuckle because I live on an island with more population than 19 states and we don't have to succumb to such nanny-state tactics when we vote. We are issued voter ID cards which no one asks for at polling places unless you're not on the list, we are mailed a card before every election with exact instructions on where to go at what time and on what date and when we get to the polls, our signature is on file. The number of voting booths for each district depends on how many registered voters there are for the area. It's pretty much a no brainer to vote. If you're not on the list, you get a provisional ballot. duh.

This voter fraud is such a non issue it makes me wonder who is trying to cover up what.

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