Voter fraud is real, and possibly rampant, and it’s time to actively put safeguards in place to stop it from happening, according to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Hans von Spakovsky
, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow and former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission.
“Many states run a rickety election process, lacking rules to deter people who are looking to take advantage of the system’s porous security,” he writes. “And too many groups and individuals — including the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder — are doing everything they can to prevent states from improving the integrity of the election process.”
Von Spakovsky, co-author of “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department,” points to recent instances in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Connecticut and Tennessee where people have been charged with, or pleaded guilty to, voter fraud.
And in North Carolina, “more than 100 illegal aliens, still in the country thanks to the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, registered to vote,” he writes.
With tight races in many places across the country where elections are determined by a single vote or by breaking a tie, it’s important to ferret out voter fraud, according to von Spakovsky, who notes 16 local races in Ohio that were decided by one vote or through a tie-breaker in 2014 and another 35 the year before.
“Voting by noncitizens alone could swing such races,” he says.
“A new study by two Old Dominion University professors, based on survey data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, found that 6.4 percent of all noncitizens voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election, and 2.2 percent voted in the 2010 midterms.
“Since 80 percent of noncitizens vote Democratic, according to the survey, the authors concluded that these illegal votes were ‘large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections.’
“Those that might have been skewed by noncitizen votes included Al Franken ’s 312-vote win in the Minnesota race for the U.S. Senate. As a senator, Mr. Franken would cast the 60th vote needed to make Obamacare law.”
Though an increasing number of states have enacted voter ID laws, the left is vigorously fighting them. Both Kansas and Arizona now require both voter ID as well as proof-of-citizenship, something von Spakovsky characterizes as a “common-sense and needed reform.”
Other states are trying to eliminate same-day registration — “a recipe for fraud since it prevents election officials from verifying the eligibility of voters and the accuracy of voter-registration information” — as well as reducing the number of early voting days, another Election Day trend with “its share of election-administration problems.”
States with leaders committed to doing away with voter fraud have prevailed, but at a cost, he says. South Carolina, for instance, spent $3.5 million in 2012 to “beat Eric Holder’s Justice Department in court,” allowing The Palmetto State to require voter’s present ID at the November midterms.
“North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin are still battling progressives and the Justice Department in court over their election rules, although North Carolina and Ohio also got favorable decisions from the Supreme Court, allowing them to implement their rules for this election cycle,” according to von Spakovsky.
Despite the myriad examples of voter fraud, organizations like the League of Women Voters and Common Cause are challenging citizenship requirements in the courts, he says.
“These moves to shore up election integrity have been resisted by progressives at every turn, claiming without evidence that such efforts suppress minority turnout,” von Spakovsky charges. “While the lawsuits have largely failed to overturn the rules, they have succeeded in delaying their implementation and made it costly for states to improve election security.”
Integrity needs to be restored to the American election system, he says, and people need to ask themselves, “What is the likelihood that your vote won’t count? That your vote will, in effect, be canceled or stolen as a consequence of mistakes by election officials or fraudulent votes cast by campaign workers or ineligible voters like felons and noncitizens?”
“For too long, America has basically used the honor system in the voter-registration and election process. That approach is increasingly being revealed as indefensible in a vibrant democracy, where we should make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
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