Wednesday, August 08, 2012

So much for "voter fraud doesn't happen often enough"

From: National Review Online

3. What You Need to Know about Voter Fraud

Something fascinating about voter-fraud discussions: Republicans will generally assert that we need to require voters to show voter ID to verify their identity; Democrats will charge that some voters cannot get photo ID, and this would take away their right to vote.

What seems like a really sensible next step is to (a) require photo ID (b) make a serious effort to make sure everyone who wants to vote is able to get a photo ID and (c) create provisional ballots so that those who somehow can't get a photo ID but are not fraudulently voting can cast a valid ballot after their identity has been verified. The issue here isn't to make sure everyone in America has a state-issued driver's license or whatever, but to make sure everyone who casts a ballot is indeed who they say they are and that they aren't voting twice.

Our old friend Byron York shares some news from a new book by John Fund and former Bush Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky:

During the controversy a conservative group called Minnesota Majority began to look into claims of voter fraud. Comparing criminal records with voting rolls, the group identified 1,099 felons -- all ineligible to vote -- who had voted in the Franken-Coleman race.

Minnesota Majority took the information to prosecutors across the state, many of whom showed no interest in pursuing it. But Minnesota law requires authorities to investigate such leads. And so far, Fund and von Spakovsky report, 177 people have been convicted -- not just accused, but convicted -- of voting fraudulently in the Senate race. Another 66 are awaiting trial. "The numbers aren't greater," the authors say, "because the standard for convicting someone of voter fraud in Minnesota is that they must have been both ineligible, and 'knowingly' voted unlawfully." The accused can get off by claiming not to have known they did anything wrong.

Still, that's a total of 243 people either convicted of voter fraud or awaiting trial in an election that was decided by 312 votes. With 1,099 examples identified by Minnesota Majority, and with evidence suggesting that felons, when they do vote, strongly favor Democrats, it doesn't require a leap to suggest there might one day be proof that Al Franken was elected on the strength of voter fraud.

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