published Monday, February 13th, 2012

New Hampshire sting shows how easy voter fraud is

There is a great irony in arguments put forth against requiring photo ID at polling places.

Namely, it's that one often has to present legitimate ID to do things such as rent movies or open bank accounts. And yet, when it comes to the far more important activity of voting for those who will represent us in government, some say that no such ID should be necessary -- that it is somehow not important to be sure that the people who are selecting everyone from city council members to the president of the United States are who they claim to be.

Of course, that is exactly backward: It is plainly more important to verify the identity of voters -- and to protect legitimate voters from having their ballots negated by fraudulent voters -- than to confirm the identity of someone who wants to do something as trivial as rent movies.

But, say opponents of voter ID laws, there is little or no voter fraud, so why bother with such laws?

Well, because in fact there is a good deal of voter fraud, and photo ID laws can prevent some of it and enhance public confidence that elections are accurate representations of the will of legal voters.

A number of dead people in Memphis "voted" in a 2006 state Senate election that was so rife with fraud that the results ultimately had to be thrown out. Hundreds of ineligible felons have voted in the state, too.

Photo ID is valuable because it can stop someone from showing up at a polling place, falsely claiming the identity of someone who has died but is still on the rolls, and demanding a ballot. It is, after all, common for the dead or those who have moved away to remain on voter rolls.

An Illinois newspaper found that 14 counties in that state had more registered voters than their total number of adult residents! Some of those improperly registered may have died. Others may have moved. But all were still on the rolls without officials knowing they were no longer eligible to vote. And because Illinois requires no photo ID to vote, they were perfect targets for someone to go in and vote in their names. Tennessee, despite efforts to purge ineligible voters, still has some on its rolls, too.

Over in South Carolina -- whose new photo ID law has been blocked by the Obama administration -- the state attorney general has documented nearly 1,000 cases of dead people "voting."

And the danger of lax voter ID procedures was further highlighted recently by a sting in New Hampshire's primary. Project Veritas, which previously brought down the corrupt organization ACORN, sent investigators with hidden cameras into more than a dozen polling locations to test whether they could get ballots by giving the names of dead people who were still on voter rolls.

In virtually every case, the investigators were handed ballots. The one exception? A poll worker knew one of the dead individuals and declined to furnish a ballot under that person's name.

"Dead men tell no tales, but as Project Veritas found in New Hampshire, they can still vote," the organization stated on its website.

For the record, the investigators involved in the sting returned the ballots without voting. But rather than launch an investigation into how easy it is to vote illegally in New Hampshire, Democrat Gov. John Lynch -- who vetoed a voter ID bill there -- said the people who conducted the sting should be prosecuted!

Unfortunately, this sort of fraud is difficult to detect if there is no photo ID law. If a poll worker doesn't happen to know the person whose identity is being stolen, he has no reason to withhold a ballot from the fraudulent voter. But with a voter ID law, he has every reason for caution if a voter cannot present an ID to confirm who he is.

It's silly to claim that a particular crime must not be happening simply because it is hard to detect. A lot of voter fraud has taken place -- in Tennessee and elsewhere -- and a lot more may be stopped by photo ID laws, including the new one in Tennessee. That is good news for law-abiding voters.

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librul said...

Hooooey! All this flak about "voter fraud", cases you could count on the fingers of one hand, and NO noise about the proven hacking of electronic voting machines which can throw victory to one side or the other by remote control - i.e. "election fraud". I guess the sheep will just go to the polls and "assume" that their votes will be properly tallied. Thing is, we all know what happens when you "assume."

February 13, 2012 at 1:37 a.m.
hambone said...

Once again we're confusing voter fraud with poll worker fraud or election commission fraud.

As they say, the real fraud happens when the votes are counted not when they are cast!!

February 13, 2012 at 4:07 a.m.
EaTn said...

Photo id has really made a difference in keeping illegal immigrants from crossing our borders, driving and taking our jobs.

February 13, 2012 at 6:06 a.m.
fairmon said...

The case for voter ID confirmation appears stronger than the case against it although it is not likely to change an election result with or without it. One can't help but wonder what the motivation for such strong opposition to it is.

February 13, 2012 at 8:57 a.m.
conservative said...

These people who keep opposing voter ID and common sense are just plain silly.

This writer seems to enjoy giving them opportunities to be silly.

February 13, 2012 at 9:16 a.m.
Livn4life said...

When it seems which ever party you vote for, when elected and empowered, do not do what they claim on the campaign trail, what is that called, incumbent fraud? Then when they do the same thing over and over and over again, doing what might be good for their state, district, or voting constituency, even when it is not helpful for th country, is that incumbent fraud? Saddest of all, when we vote someone new in and that cycle begins again, we almost wonder, why bother? But my contention is if you do not vote, if you do not try to make a difference, just keep quiet! Of course if you vote thinking your man/woman will do things differently when in office, keep on drinking the Kool-aid. He/she is counting on you to do that and thanks you for your support.

February 13, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.
rogerdodger said...

Ea Tn if the illegal's came across at check points into this country then yes in fact it would. I do not understand why people do not mind to show their ID when purchasing things such as tobacco products or alcohol, but want to make a big deal of it when they are required to do so when it pertains to voting. It shows the simple mindset of people that "TRY" to make an argument against it. For all those that don't like the rule the simple solution is to stay home and not vote, but then I am sure it would just give those people something else complain about.

February 13, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.
EaTn said...

Voter ID is a partisan issue. Like most all partisan issues, any connection to facts is strictly coincidence and irrelevant.

February 13, 2012 at 11:53 a.m.
hambone said...

harp3339 asks, what the motivation is?

On the front page is an article about drives being organized to make sure the poor and elderly meet the photo ID requirement. These drives and not being organized by the GOP.

Matbe the Democrats should thank the Republicans for the MOTIVATION

February 13, 2012 at 1:46 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

So far, it has been a string of Republicans that have got caught cheating the voting system. The reason Republicans think the Democrats are cheating and committing voter fraud is because the Republicans do it. Republicans typically think the entire world is like them, so that is why they always accuse others. Any time a Republican accuses someone of doing something wrong, just sit back and wait, that Republican will be caught. And I laugh every single time.

There is so much information out there on this. Here is one to get you started.
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_12/another_gop_official_caught_co034290.php But don't stop there. Oh this is going to be so much fun!

February 13, 2012 at 2:17 p.m.
chet123 said...

i think Gore vs Bush and Kerry vs Bush proved how the party thats always acusing and claiming voter fraud is the only guilty party....they've stolen two elections

HA HA HA HA HA!!!

February 13, 2012 at 3:21 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: "One can't help but wonder what the motivation for such strong opposition to it is."

I believe a far more intriguing question to ponder, Harp3339, is why giant corporations like Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Koch Industries, Wal-Mart and Peabody are contributing money to help an organization like ALEC to develop the kind of legislation, which, ultimately, creates hardships for certain segments of the U.S. population at the voting booth, including our college students, our elderly, our disabled, and our economically disadvantaged citizens.

February 13, 2012 at 4:33 p.m.
01centare said...

JustOneWoman said... So far, it has been a string of Republicans that have got caught cheating the voting system

So true. Didn't a high level aide working for Gingrich get caught cheating in a voter fraud investigation? There was another situation too with one of the Rep. candidates surroundin voter fraud.

Also, the article talks about people who have died or moved away listed as still eligible to vote. However, it doesn't say how many of those still on the rolls now deceased or moved away have actually cast any votes. Why are right wingnuts so bent on exaggerations and outright lies unless they themselves have something to hide?

February 13, 2012 at 4:50 p.m.
Plato said...

I hope that all these folks that have to take time off work to spend 4, 5, 6 or 7 hours at the inept department of motor vehicles just so they can exercise a right granted to them by the Constitution, all get together and file a class action civil rights suit against the State.

February 13, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.
joneses said...

chet, you are a liar. The numerous recounts proved president Bush won over Al Gore, fact.

February 13, 2012 at 9:03 p.m.
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