Monday, September 13, 2010

Double voting: the latest non-scandal that Voter ID can't fix

Double voting. Felons voting. ACORN. Despite a voting system that is the envy of the nation in transparency, accessibility, and accuracy, conservatives will never relinquish the belief that Minnesota is rife with electoral fraud and abuse.

In the latest in a series of ginned up non-stories, the Star Tribune today ran an AP story about alleged "double voting" where residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin supposedly voted in both states in the same election. In this case, the ginned up non-story involves approximately 35 name matches that were deemed to be potential cases of double voting, a grand total of two people in Menomonie who've been charged, and a healthy dose of innuendo about college campuses. No convictions. And at least several cases that have already been dismissed upon further investigation.

Obviously, these people must have voted for Al Franken.

Just like the "felons voting" non-story, this story illustrates three truths about voter fraud. First, when people throw massive amounts of resources at discovering widespread voter fraud in Minnesota they come up with a tiny handful of cases. Second, the "solution" of requiring photo identification wouldn't solve any of the example of fraud that they discover. Third, Republicans really, really can't get over Sen. Franken's election.

How would requiring ID have stopped Ms. Sample from voting absentee in Minnesota and in person in Wisconsin (or the reverse)? It wouldn't.

How would requiring a driver's license stop Ms. Sample from voting if she is a felon on probation? Once again, it wouldn't help.

How would requiring a Minnesota ID stop Ms. Sample from voting is she is a non-citizen? If Gayle is a permanent legal resident (but non-citizen) she'd be eligible to get a drivers license.

Is it important to catch folks who abuse the voting system and vote illegally? Absolutely, but the innuendo that there's some sort of hidden epidemic of illegal voting going unpunished is false. Minnesotans should be proud that Minnesota's registration system results in nation-leading voter turnout. Minnesotans should be proud that our paper optical scan ballots allow an accurate and verifiable recount. We lead the nation in voter access, transparency, and accuracy. The relentless Republican assault on the integrity of our voting system, voting officials, and voters demonstrates a profound contempt for Minnesota's small-d democratic values.

(Image Credit: Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles)

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1 comment:

Alec Timmerman said...

The best way to ensure democracy works is to make voting as hard as possible so as few people as possible can have a say and muck things up. Right?