Earlier today I dared the Internet to send me examples of voter fraud — particularly of a scale that would justify erecting barriers against whole groups of voters through photo ID requirements and other such pernicious nonsense.
The Internet obliged, weakly.
A few readers reminded me that the conservative columnist Ann Coulter wasaccused of voter fraud in 2009, for voting by absentee ballot in Connecticut in 2002 and 2004 despite the fact that she was living in New York. The Connecticut Election Commission investigated, but decided to take no further action since Ms. Coulter was a registered voter in the state and did not vote elsewhere. I never imagined defending Ms. Coulter, but this does not seem like a threat to our democratic way of life.
Lots of people on Twitter directed me to posts on the right wing blog Red State, which put together a handy compilation of examples (apparently just for me). First among them was the case of the 2003 Democratic mayoral primary in East Chicago, Indiana, in which campaign workers for the incumbent paid voters to cast absentee ballots. Red State also mentions the investigation of a Troy, NY, city council race, a series of ballot “manufacturing” cases in Alabama, and an alleged plot by three poll workers to throw a 2005 state senate election in Tennessee to the Democratic candidate, Ophelia Ford.
Suspend the elections! Demand genetic fingerprinting at the polls!
If that’s the worst that’s out there, I’m sorry, but I’m still not afraid of voter fraud. Counting all the Alabama incidents separately and throwing in Ann Coulter, that brings us to a grand total of eight cases. That is most certainly not a national crisis requiring action from the government. (It’s an odd reversal, come to think of it: Liberals insisting the government butt out, conservatives demanding it butt in.)
Besides, from what I can tell every one of the Red State incidents revolved around corrupt poll workers or local officials or some other functionary messing with absentee ballots. That’s an age old problem but one that voter ID laws will not fix.
Full Article: Voter Fraud: Does It Happen? – NYTimes.com.