Last year, the National Republican Lawyers Association, an organization that says on its website “Advancing Open, Fair & Honest Elections” and has the GOP Elephant in their logo completed an exhaustive nationwide review of all voter fraud cases in the country in a ten-year period of time. Anything from misrepresenting yourself at the polls, lying on a registration form, placing the wrong address on a form, everything was counted.
At the end of this study, they found 400 total voter fraud cases during those ten years. Most states had three or fewer cases of fraud each year. Compared to the number of ballots cast, this would represent a percentile starting with 0. and followed by a lot of zeros. Now those on the right will rightfully say that no one has really been paying attention to and rooting out voter fraud until just recently. No argument from me except that even today, the numbers are infinitesimal. But let’s examine that explanation shall we.
Why hasn’t anyone examine voter fraud until just recently? Specifically, since 2008? Is it a case that fraud was never there? Is it a case that nobody cared? Is it a case that the alleged crime has no impact on society? Or could it be all of the above?
Regardless, it is of concern now to many on the right. In arguments before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over that State’s voter ID case that is expected to suppress conservatively over 750,000 people from the polls in a state that Obama won with around 600,000 votes, those supporting the law acknowledged there were no cases of fraud at all, few were expected, and the law wouldn’t correct the problem if there was,
Those targeted really aren’t accused of being in the country illegally rather they are accused of leaning a certain direction in their votes that the right doesn’t like. It’s the same with all analysis of these ID laws and voter caging operations. All independent analysis show a disproportionate impact on Democrats or those likely to vote Democratic. And remember this action violates two very important principles in our constitutional Republic, the right to vote and the presumption of innocence when accused of a crime. The fact that people who have legally voted for decades who cannot provide the needed documentation in the right time or be able to pay for it should make any constitutional scholar ashamed of these laws.
But let’s go back to the original point the right brings up. There is fraud out there that nobody til recently really ever looked into until now. It’s the same thing with immigration laws. The American people never really were all that concerned or frighten about this fact of American life until the 1980’s after Ronald Reagan gave them amnesty. They were here illegally, but it was seen more as a nuisance than a legal problem affecting the fabric of the nation. Review the newspapers and magazines over time. Barely a word ever mentioned until the Clinton administration followed by the second Bush administration did it become a national problem and these people became a threat. About the time that laws were being created to house these people here illegally in private prisons at tax payer expense. That was the gist of SB1070.
So two problems that weren’t really problems until people were told/convinced they were problems. Now lets look as mass killings using guns.
Guess what, not a year has gone by in generations when people have been concerned about gun violence, whether it be mass shootings at Post Offices, Companies, Schools, etc or domestic violence cases, assassinations, its been ongoing. Yet after generations of these problems, today it is easier for anyone to purchase an assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine than it is for people in those same states to register and vote, especially if they lean left for whatever reason. It’s an observable fact. The NRA has quashed a real concern that affects the fabric of this nation and has left people dead resulting in no true gun sale and ownership reform. Hell, Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer in his murder in Oklahoma City and sales have since been regulated and control, but after Columbine and other mass shootings involving assault rifles by people of apparent mental health and or criminal associations, nothing.
Time to get real here. At current projected rates of voter fraud that can be reasonably expected, if they came out and did it, it would have zero impact on any election whereas the draconian efforts to curb it would in fact throw an election the other way. There have been 400 cases in ten years. Let’s assume 40 fraudulent voters in each Congressional District were to occur. It would have no impact. And in a close race, there would be an automatic recount and the issue resolved.
Now if there were just one or two people of questionable mental health and/or criminal association out there in Arizona wanting to buy a few assault rifles and go on-line to buy thousands of rounds of ammunition, it is perfectly legal and they can go out anywhere and kill scores of people. Where’s the bigger threat and where should to true focus of legislation be to correct the problem?