To hear the left talk about it, there is no such thing as voter fraud. But there is.
Voter fraud, as so many liberals seem to want to claim, is a fiction perpetrated by conservatives who only want to enact such draconian measures to block liberal constituencies from participating in the electoral process.
According to the liberal logic, there’s no easy way that minorities, the old and the young, among others, can possibly obtain valid proof of identity such as a driver’s license, government-issued identification or — in some cases — third-party employee ID cards or utility bills or voter registration cards or student IDs. These are simple ways that a prospective voter’s identity can be confirmed so that they may obtain a ballot without fear of fraudsters negating the votes of others.
Vote fraud, liberals will often claim, is “exceedingly rare.”
If one is to believe that the American electoral process is virtually fraud-free, what’s the deal with Hamilton County, Ohio?
Just last week, Melowese Richardson, who worked as an election official in Hamilton County over the last 15 years, pleaded no contest to four charges of voting illegally during three separate elections. According to assistant prosecutor Bill Anderson, other election officials “noticed a bunch of absentee ballots coming from the same place with the same handwriting.” That handwriting was Richardson’s.
In one of the instances, Richardson voted in 2008, 2011 and 2012 in the name of a relative who has been in a coma since 2003.
Richardson’s plea bargain agreement dropped four additional fraud charges. She is now a felon, and faces a potential jail term of up to six years.
This makes Richardson the third Hamilton County resident to be found guilty of vote fraud this year. Two guilty pleas were obtained just last month by county prosecutors, and three other cases of vote fraud are still pending.
In their zeal to demonize voter protection laws in 2012, championed a study by student researchers at the News21 group that claimed there were only ten cases of bona fide vote fraud at the polls in America since 2000. Here are three convictions of vote fraud in one county in one state alone. And possibly more to come!
These recent convictions are for abuses of absentee ballot procedures, something that a photo ID might not be able to prevent. But where there’s smoke, there’s likely to be fire.
Melowese Richardson was caught because people began noticing the same handwriting on applications. Absentee balloting is a small-scale operation, and it would appear the chances of getting caught may be much higher. If this sort of fraud is so prevalent in Hamilton County, one must wonder what happens on Election Day there and elsewhere when long lines force election officials (who, up until she was fired, included the now-convicted Richardson) to make split-second decisions on voter eligibility. Ohio voting requirements, by the way, allow easily-abused forms of non-photo ID such as utility bills and bank statements.
After hearing the liberal drumbeat against polling place protections for far too long, particularly from the Reverend Al Sharpton on MSNBC, Project 21 member Christopher Arps has had enough. Christopher points out that research is on the side of having ballot protections — in fact, they help increase voting. Additionally, Christopher finds much hypocrisy on the left when it comes to the issue of integrity in voting:
During the 2012 election cycle, Reverend Al Sharpton used his absolutely horrible MSNBC Show “Politics Nation” to subject viewers to an almost-daily segment called “Block the Vote.”
As the name suggests, it detailed alleged schemes by conservatives across the country to disfranchise poor and minority voters. One of those alleged schemes was the requirements for voters to produce a valid, state-issued ID at the polls.
I, for one, never understood how showing an ID to vote disfranchises a voter — especially when you need that same kind of ID to write a check, board an airplane or pick up movie tickets at a theater that you previously ordered online.
Three recent studies prove that requiring an ID does not lower voter turnout but actually increased it!
A study conducted by a University of Missouri researcher on turnout showed that turnout actually increased by about two percentage points overall in Indiana in 2006 in the first election held there after the voter ID law went into effect.
Another study by the University of Delaware and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln examined data from the 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 elections. At both the aggregate and individual levels, the study found that voter ID laws do not affect turnout — including across racial/ethnic/socioeconomic lines.
Finally, a 2008 CalTech-released election survey of approximately 10,000 registered voters in all 50 states found fewer than nine people were unable to vote because of voter ID requirements.
What has been proven is that voter fraud is real, and that the main practitioners of it seem to be the people of the political bent crying foul the loudest about employing a means to prevent it.
- “The former Ohio poll worker who admitted flat-out to voting twice for President Barack Obama in November was convicted Tuesday of illegal voting, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Melowese Richardson of Madisonville, Ohio was accused of eight counts of illegal voting in the 2008, 2011 and 2012 elections.” The Blaze (5/30/13)
- “A South Florida congressman’s chief of staff resigned Friday after being implicated in an alleged voting fraud scheme. Miami Democrat Joe Garcia said he had asked Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, for his resignation after the man took responsibility for the plot. Several hours earlier, law enforcement investigators raided the homes of Giancarlo Sopo, 30, the congressman’s communications director, and John Estes, 26, his 2012 campaign manager.” NBC-Miami (6/1/13)
While Sharpton was looking for voter tricks that apparently didn’t exist in 2012, the good Reverend was involved with a little voting chicanery himself back in 1984:
“A grand jury report issued by Democratic District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman in 1984…..culminates with a detailed description of the attempted theft of a 1982 congressional election by Sharpton’s then-mentor-and-sidekick Brooklyn state senator Vander Beatty, who went to jail for orchestrating the largest forgery scheme in American politics. Sharpton is alleged to have participated in the scheme. Sharpton registered at three different addresses scattered across the [Brooklyn] borough.” The Daily Beast (12/10/11)
The irony here is too delicious.
It’s another prime example of do what we say, not what we do. Just like Sharpton says on his show when he believes he’s found a politician being duplicitous: “We got you Al!”
photo credit: iStockphoto