Properly drafted voter ID laws, with safeguards against absentee ballot fraud and strict limits on laws that allow people to register and vote on Election Day, improve public confidence in elections. Even though in-person voter fraud isn’t rampant, it is easy for fraudsters to commit it without getting caught. New York City’s Department of Investigation last year detailed how its undercover agents claimed at 63 polling places to be individuals who were in fact dead, had moved out of town, or who were in jail. In 61 instances, 97 percent of the time, they were allowed to vote. To avoid skewing results, they voted only for nonexistent write-in candidates. How did the city’s Board of Elections respond? Did it immediately probe and reform them sloppy procedures? Not at all. It instead demanded that the investigators be prosecuted. Most officials don’t want to admit how vulnerable election systems are, but privately they express worry that close elections could be flipped by fraud.
Take Al Franken’s 2008 victory over incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman. A watchdog group matched criminal records with the voting rolls and discovered that 1,099 felons had cast ballots illegally. A local TV news reporter found that nine of the 10 felons he interviewed had voted for Franken. State law allows prosecutions only of those who admit knowingly committing voter fraud, and 177 were convicted. Franken’s victory margin was just 312 votes. It gave Democrats their 60th Senate seat, creating the filibuster-proof majority that helped make Obamacare law.
People forget how Franken was able to steal his seat in ’08. Just today, the Supreme Court allowed North Carolina’s recently enacted voter protection laws to stand. Keep ’em coming.