As long as elections put people into positions where they can make decisions about how much the government will spend, who will receive the money, and how the government will exercise its powers, elections will be important enough to tempt some individuals or groups to steal them through voter fraud or other voter irregularities.
Those who have in interest to affect the outcome of our elections would not hesitate to compromise the integrity of our votes and the soundness of our political foundation.
They would resist antifraud messages and argue that voter fraud and other irregularities do not exit, or that they are so insignificant that they warrant no attention.
However, in 2008, in a 6 to 3 decision, after examining all the evidence, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Crawford v. Marion County, Indiana, that “ Flagrant examples of voter fraud have been documented throughout this nation… and that not only is voter fraud real, but it could affect the outcome of a close election.”
The Supreme Court was right as close lections have become more common in our nation’s recent history. We all recall Bush v. Gore 2000, where 537 votes determined the winner of that presidential election. Both sides accused each other of voter fraud and or irregularities.
A simple research and review of recent contested elections proves the Court’s conclusion.
For example, since 1998, the State Election Enforcement in Connecticut has investigated seventeen complaints involving voter fraud, mainly involving absentee ballots. Fourteen of them were substantiated. In 2004 Washington States’ Governor race, the Republican’s early lead was overcome by the miraculous discovery of previously uncounted ballots somehow found in the Democratic stronghold of Seattle. In 2008, Al Franken of Minnesota was elected to the United States Senate by a margin of 312 votes against the Republican candidate, Norm Coleman. His victory was attributed to felons voting illegally. When criminal records were matched with voting records, it was discovered that 1,099 felons had cast their vote for Franken. More than 177 of them have been convicted and 77 are still awaiting trail. Yet, Franken remains the 60th U.S Senator Obama needed to create a filibuster-proof majority that helped him pass Obamacare into law. In 2010, in a close governor’s race in Connecticut, a mysterious shortage of ballots kept the polls open an extra two hours, blank ballots were photocopied in the Mayor’s Office, a bag of uncounted ballots was found somehow under a desk, and the 911 Emergency System was used to notify voters, mainly democrats, of the two extra hours to vote. This fiasco cost the Secretary of the State her job, but the Republican candidate lost. In 2011, during the Democratic Party Primary, Foster accused Finch of voter fraud in Bridgeport. The Secretary of the State for Connecticut, Denise Merrill, admitted that there was voter fraud in Bridgeport and that her office would introduce masseurs to prevent such fraud in the future. Later, she endorsed Finch, against whom the allegations were filed. Foster lost her election, and voters are still waiting for Merrill’s office to come up with the anti-fraud measures she promised.
Voting is a scared right that all qualified American citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution. No one should ever try to disenfranchise a qualified voter. Nor should anyone attempt to make it harder for people to vote. But the biggest disenfranchisement accrues when people lose faith in the integrity of the election system. And that must never be allowed to happen! Otherwise, the soundness of our political system would be shaken.