With the elections too close to call everyone has highlighted the importance of voting in these elections. However, recently there has been a great emphasis on voter fraud, many states passed laws requiring a state-issued ID to be able to vote in order to avoid impersonation fraud. I myself encountered a creepy poll watcher when I went to vote who just kept looking at me and other voters and took notes about us.
However, when you look at the actual voting fraud numbers you find the fraud is really in voter suppression laws. According to the Brennan Center actual voter fraud in varying states is .003 percent, .007 percent or .002 percent, far less than what has determined any presidential race. The reason? Well, most likely people who commit fraud and other illegal acts are probably not so concerned with their civic duties.
Take undocumented immigrants for example, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said there was significant voter fraud in the U.S. and said some of it was committed by undocumented immigrants who are wanting to take this country over, although there is no evidence supporting his claim. This is also coming from the guy who compared undocumented immigrants to dogs and who has also proposed an electric fence at the border.
The idea that undocumented immigrants are a significant voting fraud threat is laughable. First of all, as mentioned earlier there is very little evidence of actual voting fraud period. Second of all it is well documented that undocumented immigrants do not report crimes to the police when they are victims for fear of deportations, so it is highly unlikely that they would willingly go to an election poll and commit voter fraud.
Anyway, to fight this supposed voter fraud several states have enacted voter ID laws, which in turn keep 11 percent of eligible voters from exercising their civil duty. This disproportionately affects Latinos, blacks and the elderly who no longer have an ID or have an expired one, from voting. Coincidentally this is also a group that tends to vote for democrats. The intent is obvious, take Texas for example they tried to pass a voter ID law, SB14 that said using your NRA card was allowable to vote, but not a College Student ID, social security or Medicaid ID. These efforts are in a state that has had fewer than five illegal voting allegations from 2008 to 2010.
If you want to talk voter fraud what about the company, Strategic Allied Consulting who was working for the GOP and falsified registration forms? Or even ACORN?
The truth is, these voter suppression laws are not going to prevent hoards of ex-felons and undocumented immigrants from voting, because there is no evidence that they even trying to. Instead it keeps war veterans like Sam Bulmer in Wisconsin from voting using their Veteran ID’s. Instead, we now we have men and women who risked their lives for us and this country and cannot even exercise their right to vote. This is shameful and this is a real crime!
The frauds are in these voter suppression laws, that is why state or federal courts have halted several “voter fraud” laws passed in states. They do not hold water and they discriminate.
The ability to vote is an important and special privilege, so let’s not suppress it, let’s not make it more difficult. Instead, let us encourage it, no matter what side of the isle you fall on.
Michelle has worked at the local Spanish newspaper El Tiempo as a reporter covering politics, entertainment, health and business. She has also worked for Las Vegas Health Magazine, the San Antonio Express-News, Santa Fe New Mexican and at the El Paso Times.