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With midterm elections around the corner, we have to ask ourselves if our voting system should be about the inherent value of our votes, or simply about winning elections?
Currently, voter ID laws are the object of fights around the country in a game played out by politicians wanting to broaden their base and win elections. Unfortunately, the only losers in this game are the American people.
When you are a citizen of the United States, born or naturalized, you are blessed with the opportunity and the right to cast your vote for a representative of your choice. Along with the vote comes great power and responsibility. You, the individual voter, has the power to grant a politician, of your choice, the responsibility to govern our states and our country with integrity, based on the rule of law and our constitution, framed by the morals and ethics that have guided this country for generations.
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We MUST protect and preserve the integrity of our voting system. If we allow the system to become corrupt or to be manipulated, then we will see our way of life fundamentally transformed and/or destroyed by the few who have become so powerful that they are willing to do anything, including ignoring and encouraging voter fraud, to hold onto that power.
Since the 2012 elections, there have been hundreds of people and/or groups charged, investigated, and convicted of voter fraud. Many involved our government officials. In a recent news story, it was reported that a Connecticut Democrat Representative, Christina Ayala, was arrested on 19 charges of voter fraud. If we cannot trust our elected officials to maintain the integrity of our voting system, then who are we to trust?
Although Democrats continue to claim there is no such thing as voter fraud, the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) found that:
“Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.”
In looking at a small sample of voter fraud headlines, you may tend to disagree with Democrats’ claims:
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- Shorewood man was charged with 13 counts of voter fraud.
- Three women were arrested and charged with 56 counts of voter fraud in Houston.
- A California Senator gets jail time in Voter Fraud Case.
- Over 140 cases of Voter Registration Fraud found in Minneapolis.
- Over 80 Voter fraud cases sent to Iowa prosecutors.
- Ex-magistrate in West Virginia 4th official to plead guilty to voter fraud
- Woman uses 5 absentee ballots in voter fraud case in Texas.
- Cincinnati poll worker sentenced to 5 years for voter fraud in 3 presidential elections.
- FEMA official charged in Florida voter fraud
- State Representative and Democratic Party worker sentenced to 18 months for 20 counts of voter fraud
- Former MA lawmaker convicted of Voter Fraud Scheme
- New York Assemblymen uses voter fraud for gaining power.
- Over 500 non-citizens removed from Colorado Voter rolls
- Voter fraud found in Vernon, CA election – could change winner
- 10 NDSU football players plead guilty to voter fraud.
- Kentucky voter fraud allegedly funded by drug money
- State sweep finds 1,251 non citizens voted in Florida
We have also seen alleged cases of fraud involving the stuffing of ballot boxes; non-officials allowed to transport ballots; voters using absentee ballots of friends, neighbors, and even dead family members to cast more than one vote; double registration within 2 or more states; and illegal immigrants registering and casting ballots in elections.
Recently, in North Carolina, when SBOE officials did a sample cross check of their database, they discovered 6% of–or 600–non-U.S. citizens were registered to vote. Jay DeLancy, executive director of the Voter Integrity Project of North Carolina, said:
“We want to know how such a large number of non-U.S. citizens were ever registered to vote in the first place. There is clearly a system failure here and we need the Board of Elections and the DMV to help the Legislature and the public understand where the problem lies.”
So, if voter fraud is alive and well, why would any reasonable person or official, elected to uphold the law of our land, fight against a process that ensures the very integrity of the voting booth? Why are our elected officials refusing to acknowledge and repair the issues at hand within our voting system? Why would Democratic representatives across the country be fighting to give immigrants who entered our country illegally the right to vote?
In 2012, election officials from more than 60 countries traveled to the United States to observe the presidential elections as part of a program run by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The majority of the officials agreed that the open voting system used in the United States would never work, or be allowed in their countries. They felt the lack of IDs, along with online and mail-in voting, allowed for too much fraud. They were also surprised that provisional ballots were even offered–and were shocked that local poll workers were allowed to “handle” the ballots.
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The majority of countries around the world take their election process extremely seriously. Most require IDs along with voter confirmation notices in order for a ballot to be cast. Many countries mark voters with indelible ink to ensure that each citizen casts only one vote. Why would the most powerful, and once the most influential, nation in the world not take steps to ensure the integrity of our election process?
In a recent decision by the Supreme Court on voting restrictions in Texas, Justice Stevens noted that there was sufficient evidence of voter fraud:
“It remains true, however, that flagrant examples of such fraud in other parts of the country have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists, that examples have surfaced in recent years, demonstrate that not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.”
However, in the United States, although photo IDs are required in order to complete the most menial of tasks on a daily basis, it is not required in all states in order to perform the most sacred action entrusted to every citizen of our nation: voting.
There have also been many reports of voting machine errors. Representative Jim Moynihan of Illinois said his vote was changed when he cast his ballot:
“While early voting at the Schaumburg Public Library today, I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent. You can imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”
In a similar situation, where a selection was changed three times by the voting machine, I contacted the State Board of Elections, who responded by saying:
“Apparently there was an issue in which one candidate was selected and the screen selected another. We regret that this happened. The sensors in the touch screens occasionally need to be calibrated so the area touched on the screen reflects the voter’s choice.”
If this is a situation that has occurred on other occasions, why are these machines not calibrated prior to election day? If these machines can, in any way, change, alter, or switch a voter’s selection, without their knowledge, then why are they even used?
In testing the EDGE voting machines used in Virginia, researchers found “significant security weaknesses throughout the system.” “The nature of these weaknesses raise serious questions as to whether the software can be relied upon to protect the integrity of elections, and lack reliable measures to detect or prevent tampering.”
If there is even the slightest chance that a vote can be altered, or that a non-citizen can cast a ballot, then the public at large and our elected officials should be working together to validate our voting system. You must ask yourself the question:
“Why would one political faction be so determined to expose our voting system to fraud, by allowing anyone, citizen or not, ID or not, to participate in the selection of our elected officials? “
In this day and age of such political polarization, and a time when the media and our elected officials refuse to listen to the voice of the people, we should all be concerned about the loss of the only voice that we have left, OUR VOTE! When we lose our voice in the voting booth, the very foundation of our Nation will exist no more.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.