Tag: voter fraud

Here’s Your Free Health Care. Would You Care to Vote?

The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard writes:

The 61-page online Obamacare draft application for health care includes asking if the applicant wants to register to vote, raising the specter that pro-Obama groups being tapped to help Americans sign up for the program will also steer them to register with the Democratic Party.

That may strike some as unseemly. After all, people go to jail for buying votes. But the real problem here is that ObamaCare is paying too much.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the average subsidy ObamaCare offers for private health insurance will rise from $5,500 next year to more than $8,000 in 2023. But according to the Washington Post:

The price of one bona fide, registered American vote varies from place to place. But it is rarely more than a tank of gas.

Indeed, as a rising furor over voter fraud has prodded some states to mount extensive efforts against illegal voters, election-fraud cases more often involve citizens who sell their votes, usually remarkably cheaply. In West Virginia over the past decade, the cost was as low as $10. Last year in West Memphis, Ark., a statehouse candidate used $2 half-pints of vodka.

At the high end, corrupt candidates in Clay County, Ky., once paid $100. But that was probably too much: It attracted one woman who already had sold her vote. The man who bought it first was outraged, and he beat up the man who bought it second.

ObamaCare overpays for everything.

Photo ID Laws Mean Some Won’t Vote

Because all of us are with ourselves all day every day, we naturally tend to think that our own lives are pretty standard fare. But that’s just not so in a country of 300+ million people ranging over a vast expanse. So I found worthwhile this NPR story on people who don’t have IDs, people who face difficulty with laws requiring IDs to vote. Not everyone trundles down to the DMV and plunks down money and paperwork for an ID whenever they please.

The voter ID issue is a hot one. Some are strongly committed to the idea that identification requirements are needed to suppress voter fraud. There isn’t much evidence of that problem, and to worry about impersonation fraud at polling places, one has to put aside absentee ballot fraud, which is probably much easier, as well as election fraud—rigged vote counts, for example—which is much more efficient.

States should tinker with their voting rules and processes, each seeking for itself the methods that optimally secure elections while facilitating voting. It’s a big country, and different states may require different rules. My emphasis has always been on avoiding a national voter ID system, which would inevitably be a national ID system, paving the way for greater federal control of individuals’ lives.

Count Every Vote — Just Once

Today POLITICO Arena asks:

Given the Civil Rights Commission’s investigation of DOJ’s handling of the New Black Panther case, talk of voter irregularities in Arizona, and the request by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) that DOJ investigate whether tea party groups are intimidating black and Hispanic voters in her Houston-area district, how serious a threat are voter intimidation and irregularities?

My response:

Relative to elections in many parts of the world, American elections are fairly clean. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have voter intimidation and election irregularities. I speak from personal experience: As graduate students, my wife and I were election judges in Chicago during the reign of the first Mayor Daley. We saw up close how big city political machines operate, and it isn’t pretty.

Especially in close elections, voter fraud matters, whether it’s fraudulent voting and vote counting, as Republicans often charge, or voter intimidation, as Democrats sometimes charge – although it’s mainly Republicans making that charge in the Philadelphia New Black Panther case. Against those abuses, a robust two-party system is the best defense, with the parties policing each other. But in many of our cities, and some rural counties, we don’t have an effective two-party system. In those cases, we have to depend on impartial, after-the-fact investigation and prosecution to ensure honest elections. That’s what makes the Holder Justice Department’s handling of the New Black Panther case so troubling, to say nothing of the mainstream media’s failure to cover the story.

An October 27 Washington Times editorial captured that problem exactly:

After 17 months of averting its eyes, The Washington Post finally ran a major front-page feature on the controversy on Saturday. Three current Justice Department lawyers told the Post that whistleblowers J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates are accurate in stating that anybody who tries to enforce civil rights laws in a race-neutral fashion will be ostracized, criticized and denied promotions because leaders at Justice believe “it is not the voting section’s job to protect white voters.” One senior official confirmed and even defended that view.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department, which earlier dismissed the default judgment that career DOJ lawyers had already obtained in the case, has been anything but cooperative with the long-running investigation by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights of Justice’s handling of the matter. That contrasts sharply with the interest Justice is showing in monitoring the polls tomorrow in Arizona’s Maricopa, Apache, and Navajo counties to determine whether voters are being discriminated against on the basis of race or ethnicity. When the back-up protection for honest elections is not itself impartial, we start to look like some of those electoral systems we see abroad.

Again, we’re nowhere near that yet, but that’s no reason not to monitor the monitors. Election fraud is far from our biggest problem: that’s runaway government untethered by the Constitution. But we’ll not get a grip on that problem without honest elections that truly reflect the will of the people – this year, it seems, to tie our government more closely to the Constitution. Elections are only a means; but they’re no less important for that, because they’re a means to honest government, which itself is defined by fidelity to the Constitution.

Indiana Voter ID Law Struck Down

Constitutional rules often comport with common sense. The Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure clause — so burdensome to law enforcement, some argue — requires officials to look for evidence of crime where they think they’ll find it and not elsewhere. Common sense.

So it is with an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling that the state’s voter ID law violates the equal protection clause of the state’s constitution. The law requires in-person voters to show ID, but makes no attempt to verify the identities of absentee voters. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law against a recent challenge, but the Indiana court struck it down based on a broader protection in the state constitution’s equal protection clause.

Think what you will on the legal merits. (I generally appreciate courts breathing independent life into their state constitutions.) What is interesting here is that the result is imbued with constitutional common sense.

Requiring ID at polling stations would have a marginal effect on vote fraud because it makes it harder to impersonate a voter or manufacture a vote-qualified identity. But the risk of in-person voter fraud is very low compared to absentee ballot fraud, which the Indiana law did not touch. The Indiana voter ID law was tantamount to caulking windows to keep out the cold but leaving the front door open. Because of the disproportionate effect on different classes of voters, the court struck it down.

Voter fraud will continue to be a hot issue, and states should continue to tune the balances they strike between voter access and vote integrity. My concern is that the issue might boil over and produce national ID proposals, as we have seen in the past.