Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Myth of Voter Fraud

Good article in the WaPo that shoots down the right-wing myth of voter fraud. As people close to me know, I work every election as an inspector (and have since I was of legal voting age). I do this because I believe strongly in democracy. I'm very outspoken on political issues most every day, but on election day I have to be completely impartial. In my almost thirty years as an election worker, I have never seen any incident of deliberate voter fraud. Sure, some people you see show up at the wrong polling place or who are unclear on the registration requirement. But those things don't constitute fraud.

Allegations of voter fraud -- someone sneaking into the polls to cast an illicit vote -- have been pushed in recent years by partisans seeking to justify proof-of-citizenship and other restrictive ID requirements as a condition of voting. Scare stories abound on the Internet and on editorial pages, and they quickly become accepted wisdom.

But the notion of widespread voter fraud, as these prosecutors found out, is itself a fraud. Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch.

When the Rethugs talk about "voter fraud", they really mean "people who are
likely to vote against them".

As an aside, if anyone reading this is not registered to vote I would urge you to register. For our democracy to work it must include as many people as possible. Democracy is still the least bad form of government invented.

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