John Fund is probably the world expert on the holes in our voting system. He notes today that in many states, Democrats seem to be setting things up so that vote fraud will be easier:
An attempt to hijack the state’s election laws and open the door for voter fraud failed at the last minute this week in Wisconsin’s legislature. But threats to ballot integrity continue in other states, and Congress may rush to pass ill-conceived legislation this year that would only sow confusion and increase the potential for chaos on a national level.
Wisconsin’s story shows how high the stakes are. Late in March, a 72-page bill was suddenly introduced and rushed forward with only abbreviated hearings. The bill would have given “nationally recognized” community organizing groups access to the state driver’s license database to encourage voter turnout. After the infamous registration scandals involving Acorn in 2008, this was clearly a strange priority. Requests for an absentee ballot in a single election would also become permanent (without requiring a legitimate reason, such as infirmity), and the ballots would be automatically mailed out in future elections.
Coercion and chicanery are made much easier by the excessive use of absentee ballots. Most of the elections thrown out by courts—Miami, Florida’s mayoral election in 1998, the East Chicago, Indiana’s mayor’s race in 2005—involved fraudulent absentee votes.
Three decades ago absentee and early ballots were only 5% of all votes cast nationwide. In 2008, they exceeded 25%. Wisconsin’s bill would also have allowed voters to register on the Internet without supplying a signature—thus removing a valuable protection against identity theft and election fraud.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, blasted the bill, saying it would “make election fraud more likely” and “jeopardize the orderly administration of election laws.” In the end, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker admitted the bill was being rushed through too quickly and adjourned the session without brining it up for a vote.
Democratic leaders also worried that a popular amendment to require photo ID at the polls would have been attached to their measure. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle has vetoed three previous photo ID laws, even though Democrats such as state Sen. Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee supported them saying he’s seen “eye opening” public support for the idea.
That backing is based on real evidence. In 2004, John Kerry won Wisconsin over George W. Bush by 11,380 votes out of 2.5 million cast. After allegations of fraud surfaced, the Milwaukee police department’s Special Investigative Unit conducted a probe. Its February 2008 report found that from 4,600 to 5,300 more votes were counted in Milwaukee than the number of voters recorded as having cast ballots. Absentee ballots were cast by people living elsewhere; ineligible felons not only voted but worked at the polls; transient college students cast improper votes; and homeless voters possibly voted more than once.