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John Fund Sounds The Alarm On Voter Fraud
Citizen Watchdogs who tuned into last Wednesday’s free webinar had the chance to hear directly from one of the foremost experts on voter fraud in America. John Fund, editor of The American Spectator and former Wall Street Journal columnist, answered questions from citizens about the most common methods of voter fraud, pending anti-fraud legislation, and what each person can do to fight fraud.
Fund, the co-author of the new book Who’s Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk, called voter fraud the “perfect crime,” because without a paper trail, it’s impossible to catch a fraudster unless they confess. Once a fraudulent ballot is added to the general pool of ballots, it is impossible to remove, as the anonymity of voting prevents poll workers from identifying an illegally cast vote.
Over 3.8 million people are registered to vote in more than one state, which is more than enough to decide most elections. Yet most voter fraud occurs on a smaller scale. For example, evidence has proven that 1,100 convicted felons in Minnesota voted illegally in 2008. Al Franken (D) won that state’s Senate election by 312 votes–after several recounts–and went on to cast the decisive 60th vote for Obamacare. Fund noted that felons have in the past favored Democrats, and that without those fraudulent ballots, Franken very well may have lost the election.
According to Fund, one of the most effective ways to fight voter fraud is also the simplest: require voters to show ID at the polls. As ID is required for everything from liquor purchases to admission to private pools, Voter ID would seem like an uncontroversial subject. And polling has shown that it is: every racial and partisan group supports Voter ID by at least a 60-40 margin. The only group opposed to Voter ID is self-described “liberal progressives,” who have been responsible for entangling such laws in court cases.
Liberal progressives often campaign against Voter ID by playing the race card, as they believe that requiring ID will discourage minorities from voting. Yet Fund dismissed this as “preposterous and patronizing” and cited studies that say Voter ID laws increase confidence in the integrity of elections, and that increased confidence leads to increased turnout among all racial groups. Fund also cited evidence that people who are motivated enough to vote are motivated enough to obtain an ID.
The rise of absentee voting, once intended for the home-bound sick and elderly and those out of town on Election Day, has created new opportunities for voter fraud. It is far easier for fraudsters to both cast fraudulent ballots and intimidate other voters when the voting occurs outside of a supervised booth on Election Day. Moreover, allowing 85% of voters to cast their ballot before Election Day damages the integrity of the process. As Fund put it, “Would you want 85% of your jury to reach their verdict before closing arguments?”
Fortunately, Fund offered a simple solution to fight absentee ballot fraud: require a photocopy of a valid ID to be submitted along with the mailed-in ballot.
The “liberal progressives” who oppose Voter ID like to label those who disagree with them as racist, on this issue and others. Fund offered that there’s no way to prevent these people from calling you what they will, but the facts are on the side of Voter ID. For example, upon passing Voter ID, Georgia sent vans of election officials into rural, mostly African-American areas, looking for people who might need a free ID. South Carolina offers free rides to the DMV for anyone who needs an ID card.
There are also the cases of liberals who support Voter ID. President Jimmy Carter once tried to persuade his fellow Democrats to support an ID bill. And Rhode Island’s Voter ID law was sponsored by the state’s only African-American legislators. (Some still called this law “racist.”) This begs the question: is liberal opposition to Voter ID genuine concern, race baiting, or coverage for big-city machines and unions, often the perpetrators of voter fraud?
In the end, Fund’s message was this: “You’re going to be called a racist no matter what you do. But doing nothing isn’t an option.” As it is impossible to undo voter fraud after it occurs, the work must be done before, and especially on, Election Day.
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