As we approach the November mid-term elections, with Republicans itching to strike while the iron is hot, it's worth remembering that there will most likely be some close elections. And with close elections comes the potential for vote shenanigans to swing the result. Here are a few links to keep in mind as we drop under 2 months to go.
First, former FEC nominee Hans von Spakovsky, now a senior legal fellow at the Heritage foundation, writes at National Review's The Corner about the aroma wafting from the Justice Department as regards the maintaining of proper voter rolls by the states. It seems a number of states have had no one removed from their voter rolls due to death, which should certainly make one ineligible. Several states have more registered voters than people of voting age, a situation that also exists in Philadelphia.
In the spring of 2006, I reviewed portions of the city of Philadelphia’s 2005 voting list. I found that underaged voters, deceased voters, and incarcerated felons were registered to vote and had remained on the voting list, despite the fact that none of them were eligible to vote in Pennsylvania (or, in most cases, anywhere else).
In Pennsylvania, a voter must be 18 or older as of the date of the election to be eligible to vote. Yet at least 130 voters on the list were under the age of 18. Thirty-four of whom had a birth year of 2004 — the year of the election. And 215 voters on the list had a birthdate of: “00-00-00.”
Just looking at the years of birth for the registered voters, I found 54 voters listed with years of birth ranging from 1825 – 1899. While it is possible that a voter born in 1899 could still be alive in 2004 (he or she would be 105), it is clearly impossible that someone born in 1825 would.
Digging a little bit deeper, I was able to find confirmed deceased voters still on the list. I took a sample of 385 registrants born between the years 1900 and 1905, and found that 51 (thirteen percent!) were in fact dead, according to the Social Security Death Index.
J. Christian Adams, a former voting rights attorney in the DOJ, is now a private citizen and is bringing lawsuits against his old bosses for their failure to enforce the portion of the law directing states to expunge ineligible voters from the rolls. He notes that most often voter fraud is insufficient to swing an election; sometimes, though, it may be, or we would still have Senator Norm Coleman in Minnesota, and would have most likely had Governor Dino Rossi in Washington. The potential problems are enormous with the smorgasbord of absentee ballots, hundreds of thousands in many cases, as well as provisional ballots and same-day registrations.
Every illegitimate vote for one candidate negates a legitimate one for the opposing candidate. While voter suppression (and particularly intimidation) are more noteworthy due to direct negation of legitimate votes, opening the door to voting improprieties indirectly negates other legitimate votes. The law gives the Justice Department under AG Eric Holder the responsibility for enforcing these provisions, and the DOJ is at this time sadly derelict in its duties with an election only two months away. Mr. von Spakovsky writes
Yes, it is too bad. Maybe we should go to the purple finger?
It’s too bad that a private citizen has to carry out the responsibility of the Justice Department because it has failed to do so and, in fact, refuses to do so for ideological and political reasons that have nothing to do with the impartial administration of justice.