Vote Early, Vote Often: Voter Fraud Runs Amok

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A young white man, about thirty years old, with thick beard and messy brown hair, walks into a poling place in the District of Colombia. He steps up to the counter inside the poling place. “Hello,” he says “Do you have an Eric Holder?” The mysterious man proceeds to give an address.

The poll worker behind the counter confirms the spelling of Eric Holder’s name, then he asks the white man to sign his name.

“I actually forgot my ID.” the man points out to the poll worker. “You don’t need it, it’s alright,” replies the poll worker without hesitation, pointing to his binder. “As long as you’re in here you’re on our list, and that’s who you say you are you’re okay.”

The mysterious man insists on retrieving his ID from his car, and leaves the polling place without casting a ballot. As he is not Eric Holder, he does not return, and does not vote.

Eric Holder, unlike the man who nearly voted under his name, is black with no beard, only a black mustache and graying hair. Eric Holder was born in 1951, and is currently the Attorney General of the United States, but voting as him is as simple as forgetting your identification in your car. Yet, the Attorney General has said, “There is no proof that our elections are marred by in person voter fraud.”

The voter fraud has been a growing issue for many years in this country. President George W. Bush was accused of voter fraud in 2004 when he lost the popular vote against Al Gore but was still reelected by the electoral vote. Of course, cries of voter fraud flew from the left. Democrats were accused of voter fraud in this past election, and of course these cries were heard from the right.

While the sting attack by James O’Keefe’s Project VERITAS proves unequivocally that voting as Attorney General Holder is as simple as calling yourself Eric Holder, it fails to prove this fraud is actually happening.

However, other proof does exist. St. Lucie County Florida had a 141 percent turnout in the general election in 2012. Only one poling location in St. Lucie County out of nearly 100 had a voter turn out fewer than 100 percent. Two poling sites with less than ten voters registered to vote there had more than a 150 percent turnout. So voter fraud definitely does happen.

Wendy Rosen, who was set to face Republican Rep. Andy Harris in November, announced her resignation via e-mail to Democratic officials.

In September, Wendy Rosen, the 57 year old Democrat challenger for a Maryland seat in the House of Representatives withdrew from the race. Rosen was fighting allegations that she voted in both Maryland and Florida in the same national election. Rosen is registered to vote in both states, and claims she registered to vote in Florida to help out a friend running for a local position. Rosen was able to obtain a registration because she owns property in Florida, however, she refused to comment on accusations that she voted in both states in the 2008 presidential primaries “due to possible litigation.”

According to Ben Smith, an Avalon senior with a strong right-wing lean and a strong urge to debate explained his opinion that its so easy to commit voter fraud, someone must be doing it. Smith also explained how voter fraud likely comes equally from both sides of the aisle and should cancel itself out, so fraud would likely not affect the outcome of an election. Smith still advocated requiring voter ID. Smith claims getting a Maryland voter ID is as simple as sending a letter to the MVA, and he believes those who claim that voter ID is an infringement on voter rights are “simply people claiming that they’re being discriminated against”.

Avalon’s headmaster, Kevin Davern, disagreed with Smiths point of view. A supporter of smaller government ideas, Headmaster Davern believed that voter fraud has the potential to impact the election results, though it does not necessarily. Headmaster Davern expresses that he would tend a little toward suspecting Democrats of organizing voter fraud more than Republicans, he does not know of any particular instance in the past election where either party has been caught red handed. Davern agrees that voter ID laws should help suppress some voter fraud.

Despite the opinions of many at Avalon, the voter ID issue is very controversial. Many news sources claim there is no voter fraud to prevent. News21 of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education has reported 2,068 prosecuted cases concerning voter fraud since year 2000, but stated their research is still incomplete.

Fox News reported an incident in Texas where a citizen attempted to vote once as himself and once as his incarcerated brother. Texas voter ID laws caught the fraud, and the perpetrator received 5 years on probation.

Many voters across the US have reported that they showed up at their poling place, and was either told they had already voted and could not vote again, or that they were not registered to vote.

In Virginia, a caller to WMAL radio’s morning show reported being told she had already voted. “Let her vote this has happened in other precincts today,” other voters argued on her behalf. Several other callers suspiciously observed that during the 2008 election they had seen many Obama campaign signs in the Washington DC area. During the 2012 campaign however, these people claimed to see many of these campaign signs replaced with Romney marquees, yet Obama still won handily.

Billy Kantor, an Avalon senior with plans to join the military, mentioned hearing of an incident in Florida where polling machines would discount votes for Obama and only count votes for Romney. This account could not be verified. However, YouTube user Centralpavote posted a short video about a similar incident in Pennsylvania. In the video, the software developer repeatedly selects Barack Obama on a touch screen, but instead Mitt Romney is highlighted. Debate.org reported that other people claimed to have the same problem, but many tech-savvy voters suspected this was the result of faulty hardware, not tampering.

Certainly, there are instances of voter fraud that have not been reported, or have never been discovered. There are also many known instances. Whether or not this is currently a threat to the stability of national elections is hard to determine, but certainly voter fraud has the potential to become deadly.

As Kantor explains, “It’s a big problem but I don’t think it’s reached the point where it can change a presidential election. But it definitely can and has changed the outcome of some local election.”

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