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How to Stop Vote Fraud

Wednesday, 08 November 2000 12:00 AM

In California and Texas we have had many aliens with green cards only who have cast their votes by not having their citizenship verified. In Texas, an entire graveyard voted by absentee ballots in 1964.

Counting the ballots inaccurately is another problem with the system. I read an article this morning that explained how phony ballots were prepunched and dropped into the box by volunteers who used voters who hadn't shown up to vote. Voting in America has always been a representation of strong individual freedoms not found in many other countries. We must not allow any fraudulent groups to keep our elections from being honest and true.

How can we correct these problems without having the federal government take over and make all states identical in their procedures? This would be the very last thing that should be suggested. The reason I believe the Congress should take up the problem is to help the states work out certain problems on their own but still guarantee they follow the rules laid down as being according to the law.

According to the law (read the Constitution) all persons born or naturalized in the United States are considered citizens. And voters must be 18 years or older. That's it for the constitutional requirements.

Each state then adds its own rules and regulations, and with a little care and consideration, the state should ensure that each person who has registered be given a copy of the ballot and the information book on the issues in ample time to read it and be able to vote intelligently.

To insure honest and valid results, this country needs an honest registration system, a valid count and responsible and knowledgeable voters. We can all help to correct this with a little help from our friends in the capitol. The county registrar is usually the responsible agency for registering the citizens. How can we guarantee the participants are naturalized citizens?

One of the largest agencies in Washington is the Immigration and Naturalization Service. This is the agency responsible for issuing the naturalization papers for the aliens who desire citizenship.

I am assuming the INS has a list of all naturalized citizens who have passed through their agency. I would like to know if their lists are kept up to date and would be available to the county registrar's offices to check the citizenship of all the new registration requests. I feel that one clerical part-time person could be called in when needed to do this checking. I would have to believe that this would have to be requested by the representatives in Congress, as it is their responsibility to oversee and guarantee an honest election.

If an alien submits a registration form and the citizenship cannot be verified by the INS database, that registration is returned to the requester. The problem of having a graveyard submitting its absentee ballots indicates that anyone who didn't vote in a prior major election should be required to register again. A little intelligence should be used to determine if everyone is listed accurately on the list posted outside the voting area.

In California many temporary green card workers have been given voter registration forms when they apply for their driver's licenses. I'm certain that many do not understand that they must have the proper paperwork verified before they are allowed to vote. Many counties in California simply accept the registration form and add it to the list of voters. When I realized that no verification was done, I asked the registrar in San Luis Obispo County how she ever determined who was voting illegally.

Not until the request for jury duty was sent out and returned marked "not a citizen" did anyone realize the error. I asked her if she removed the names from the list of further elections. Her answer was "when we have time." Gadzooks! No wonder we are not showing valid numbers in this state.

Several months ago I moved to Arizona and attended a luncheon for a woman who was running for county registrar in Mojave County. I discussed this same problem with her, and she told me they didn't have a good enough computer system to do this. What?? All the computers involved in our voting procedures MUST be able to handle the data correctly, and if the information bounces, due to inaccurate information, the names must be removed before any more elections are held.

A valid count is the second most abused problem. How can each voting place guarantee that the ballots are properly executed, acknowledged and verified? If the registrar has done her job, the easy part should be to just watch the voters and the volunteers who sit there directing the public to the correct machines and clearly understand the method for their use. Depending on the size of the voter area, many poll watchers should be on hand to watch the voters.

From the moment the ballots are placed in the "box" two watchers should keep a close watch to make sure no one spikes the box with invalid votes. This box should be locked and kept away from anyone who could feed the kitty.

I'm not certain if the ballots are counted at the county level or whether the locked boxes are sent to another location for counting. It would seem that this wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to do this honestly.

A question that I have asked for years is why the absentee or early voters can't be counted prior to the actual public voting day. A security-cleared group who could count and record the numbers could handle these. Maybe even without names or proposition numbers being assigned until the day of the election.

I understand that on Tuesday there was discovered a box of uncounted ballots found in a schoolroom somewhere. Whoever took his eyes off that box should be fired and the box should be destroyed without being counted.

If the American public decides to unite behind an honest election and steps up to help or volunteer in an honest way and if the Congress will ask that the Immigration and Naturalization Service cooperate with the counties by making its information accessible, then our problems could be solved.

Please understand that I do not want the federal government to get involved in the voting procedure in any other way. The feds have shown they can do little correctly and we would all be much better taking the initiative ourselves.

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In California and Texas we have had many aliens with green cards only who have cast their votes by not having their citizenship verified.In Texas, an entire graveyard voted by absentee ballots in 1964. Counting the ballots inaccurately is another problem with the system.I...
Wednesday, 08 November 2000 12:00 AM
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