The Ongoing ‘Non-Issue’ of Voter Fraud
By S. Alexandra Tuttle
No! No, Nope, not an issue! Nope, it doesn’t exist! . . . and so it went right on down the line of Montgomery County delegates and one senator late one evening several months ago at a Town Hall meeting, in response to a question regarding voter fraud and a subsequent follow up about the possibility of requiring voter ID or proof of citizenship. Several suggestions for improvement offered by this writer were not good enough for these legislators, who held steadfastly to their opinions.
President Trump has also been steadfast in his belief that voter fraud exists, noting the importance of safeguarding the election process. The conservative Heritage Foundation notes that as many as 2.8 million voters are registered in more than one state. At a recent Leadership Institute meeting, I was fortunate enough to hear from John Fund and Hans Von Spakovsky, co-authors of Who’s Counting, a book about voter fraud and bureaucratic incompetence.
At the meeting, they emphasized the importance of getting the federal government involved NOW by requiring voter IDs and proof of citizenship, ideas ridiculed by many on the Left.
Fund and Von Spakovsky also noted that Virginia Governor McAuliffe has vetoed a bill during the past several years which would have required the list of non-citizens excused for jury duty to be sent to the State Board of Elections to be taken off the voting rolls. Not such a big deal!
Why? We do know why!
By law, states are required to clean their voter rolls, as mandated in a lesser-known provision of the Motor Voter Act, which requires local election officials to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the voter lists are as accurate as possible. It appears that Governor McAuliffe had no worries that the federal government /Justice Department was going to ‘swoop in,’ and hold him accountable.
On our side of the river, the Maryland state legislature is in full swing. While we have yet to see automatic voter registration, we have seen several bills pertaining to voting/election integrity. Of interest is a hearing that was held on January 26 requiring local board of elections to establish a polling place at each senior institution of higher education – SB 141, by Senator Zirkin.
While this certainly makes it easier for students by getting them involved in the voting process, one wonders about the possibilities of increasing voting in more than one state; one determines if the student is actually a ‘resident’ of that state,’ especially in a state like Maryland where no voter ID is required. What precautions will be taken for this community of potential voters, who may or may not be residents of that state? The legislation seems to lack any provision in that regard.
Delgate Korman, to his credit, has introduced legislation that would require video streaming and recording at the State Board of Elections – in a movement toward transparency. That hearing will be held on February 8, 2017. As of this date, there is not one piece of legislation that requires proof of identification or proof of citizenship!
Where are our legislators? Has the other side worn them down? As John Fund and Hans Von Spakovsky noted, now is the time to act!
The Maryland State Constitution, which all legislators “swear to uphold,”on the first day of the legislative session, notes under Article 1, Section 7, (T)he General Assembly shall pass (L)aws necessary for the preservation of the purity of Elections (1977, ch 681, ratified November 7, 1978).