October 24, 2012

Potential Voter Fraud Alert: Who's Watching the Polls, Who's Watching the Watchers?

I just voted early, which may seem hypocritical since I don't support the idea of early voting. But who stands on principle when it's just so damn convenient?

So I voted early so I wouldn't have to wait in line on election day. But there was a line. I was surprised. It was the first time I'd seen this many people voting early. It wasn't a lot of people, but in the past when I voted early it was me and maybe one other person tops. This time there were four or five voting machines, each of them occupied, and then a line four or five deep.

I was about to leave when the guy in front of me said that the line was moving pretty fast. So I waited. And waited some more. The people at the voting machines finished and left, but the line wasn't moving. Something was wrong. The poll worker was spending an awful long time helping the person at the front of the line. This went on for maybe five minutes, which seems like an eternity when you're trying to get in, get out, and get to work.

Finally I heard her say to the person, "It says here that you are ineligible to vote since you've voted at two different locations in federal elections."

I don't think she was saying that the person attempting to cast their ballot had voted twice, just that over the past two elections she'd voted in two different precincts and that she hadn't re-registered if she'd moved. But I don't know what she meant for certain. For all I know, the person in question had voted twice. I really don't know.

But it gets better. It happened again to the next person in line. This time, the poll worker said the there was no record of her registering to vote.

What are the odds that of the five people left in the room trying to vote that two of them were ineligible? Seems pretty low to me.

But isn't this a validation that our voting laws work? That people trying to vote who aren't eligible got caught and were prevented?

Actually, no.

You see, in my state -- and I assume in many other states -- those who vote early have to show either their voter registration card or photo ID. Also, they cannot cast a provisional ballot.

But when they vote on election day, there is no requirement to show ID. Instead, all that is required is that they sign their name on the election roll ledger. Any one can sign any name they want. No ID required.

Moreover, the place where early voting takes place is in the County Courthouse and manned by professional staff. The other voting precincts are in various churches and schools and manned by unpaid volunteers. Which means that they are much less knowledgeable about voting laws and much more likely to make errors. I once had one of them try and discourage me from voting Republican when I asked for the Republican ballot in a primary.

This was the poll worker. The person in charge of enforcing the law, breaking the law.

Now, I know this isn't a scientifically representative sample of the electorate .... but 2/5 who were prevented from voting today but who wouldn't have been prevented from voting election day? You don't need a Ph.D. to figure out that's a big number that could lead to fraud on a massive scale.

Even if it leads to fraud on a minor scale, in a close election it could mean the difference between one candidate winning over another.

And yet the Democratic party opposes voter ID laws and says they are unnecessary.

I'm pretty sure that both of these individuals who were prevented from voting were going to vote Democratic. Call it a 90% "guess".

I hope the Republican Party has a lot of poll watchers this election cycle. Because if what I witnessed carries over into swing states, then we are going to need a lot of them.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:07 AM | Comments |