The voter fraud issues raised in Ohio have existed since, well, since well before the famous Chicago line: “vote early and often!” Ballot stuffing, flyers distributed in poor areas telling people that “their voting day” was the day after the elections, and other voting-day trickery, have been around for decades, if not centuries.
As I’m writing this, an example of voter fraud (IMHO) is apparently being perpetrated by folks in the Williamson County Elections office itself (a Republican county under “attack” by Democrats):
- “…to make sure voting goes smoothly. Straight party voters, especially Democrats and Libertarian, will need to check all races. Some races do not have candidates from the Libertarian and Democratic parties.”
- “A voter can vote Straight Party and have all of their votes count. They can also vote straight party and then select every Democrat again, if they so choose. What WILL cancel a Democratic selection is if they cast a vote for Republican in a contest, but it will only cancel their Democratic selection for that race and that race only.”
Truth:If you do not wish to vote a straight party vote, you must mark each individual candidate for whom you wish to vote, and then cast your ballot. If you select straight party line, and thne check individual candidates, this could cancel your vote for those candidates [assumedly because this would be “two votes” for the candidate?]”
(Paraphrased from an email sent today by the Jaime Lynn campaign to all registered Democrats in the candidate’s area.)
Misinformations are frequently characterized as innocent mistakes, but the mistakes frequently come from the incumbent party defending its turf.
On the other hand, registration fraud issues are more an expression of overzealous or ignorant voters and voracious, paid voter registration workers. Both are problems, but not as bad as they are made out to be by the parties.
An enthusiastic but uninformed voter might, for example, register to vote at the mall, then register again if approached by a campaign’s volunteer in their neighborhood, for example. Or they might think that if they register twice, they can vote twice. A registration worker, paid per completed registration, might ‘fudge the data’ for the sake of a few (or many) extra bucks. These folks should be prosecuted for their offences.
The registration process, to be clear, is separate from the actual voting verification. For example, if I register multiple times, when I get to my polling place, the printouts (or screens, depending on the state), my voter registration card is checked against the list. If I’ve registered several times, duplicates are apparent. The harder to check ones are underaged or dead people who are registered, but their ability to impact an election, especially a national election, would require vast numbers of conspirators operating in very large areas.
So: punish the greedy, watch local government election officials that might try and rig elections through misinformation or purges of voter lists against erroneous felon or other lists, and ultimately focus on the voting day safeguards, and not on the registration process. Focus is important these days.