why do some americans insist on characterizing concern as discriminatory?
in the comments, to my suggestion that voter fraud requires as much attention as voter disenfranchisement, dick howe defensively suggests that he knows of no incidents of fraud warranting concern. though i replied in the comments there with some examples, i thought i might list those here, and open up the discussion on how to regard both points of view, and protect both the integrity of ballots currently being cast, as well as address the forces that might deny others the right to cast their own.
don’t misunderstand my point. i am NOT for burdensome, discriminatory or ill-conceived voting standards that would deny any citizen the fair right to vote.
however, to dick’s request for examples, consider the april 2011 conviction of lessadolla sowers for fraudulent voting in the 2007 democratic primary election. (http://www.tunicatimes.com/index.php?view=article&id=1176). peter roff writes about the subject in greater detail in this US news & world report opinion piece from just a few weeks ago: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2011/07/29/despite-what-democrats-claim-voter-fraud-is-real.
i agree with peter roff, and i believe claiming this isn’t a real issue is naive. there’s more in the current headlines:
voter fraud against the potential first black city councilman in waller, TX, is being investigated by the DOJ. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Voter-fraud-allegations-stir-Waller-controversy-2122602.php.
Troy, NY city clerk William McInerney pleaded guilty this week to knowingly submitting fraudulent absentee ballots, and at least two sitting politicians have been indicted as part of the case. http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S2257559.shtml?cat=300
mother jones even points out potential voter fraud in mitt romney’s ballot in favor of scott brown: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/06/did-mitt-romney-commit-voter-fraud
the lightning rod, of course is the 64,000 possible cases of voter fraud being investigated in new mexico: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/64000-cases-possible-voter-fraud-being-i
it’s a difficult issue, which is why i suggest the focus should be on means to enfranchise those groups currently underrepresented in our elections. having a simple, consistent and fair means of identifying voters is just one piece of that.