Seemingly every year, a Republican state legislature passes an elections reform law, typically one with a voter ID provision. Each time, Democrats cry, “voter suppression,” because such laws are said to have a “disparate impact” on minority voters.
It’s all a big gig by the GOP to suppress Democratic voters, specifically. Meanwhile, the GOP reiterates that it merely wants to protect the integrity of the electoral system.
Let’s start with the existence of voter fraud. Voter fraud does, indeed, occur with a certain degree of regularity. For instance, a Reynoldsburg woman was recently convicted of voting twice in a 2008 primary via absentee ballot—once as “Deborah” and once as “Debbie.”
Then there is the now somewhat famous case of the Cincinnati poll worker who voted twice this past November because she “wanted her vote to count.” In October, Franklin County prosecuted three individuals for illegal voting, and a former Lorain County official was indicted on four counts of illegal voting for voting in multiple wards.
And this is only what officials have discovered. The true extent of voter fraud will never be known, but it is certainly more common than Democrats let on. Whether it’s as prevalent, or consequential, as some Republicans claim is also unknown.
What is also true is that it is much easier to commit voter fraud these days than it has been in the past. Long ago, voters voted on Election Day and that was it. Today, a voter can cast a ballot in person a month or so in advance, in the mail, and then in person on Election Day. Given that a photo ID is not required in Ohio, it’s much easier for a voter to pass himself (or herself, if you must) for another voter by merely having an alternative form of identification.
At this point, it is safe to assume that, yes, there is voter fraud and it is more common than we are able to confirm. Likewise, it is also easier to commit voter fraud. This leads one to the conclusion that there will be more voter fraud. As for the intent, well, that’s probably more a matter of opinion.