Thursday, September 30, 2004

This Editorial Highlights Another Voter Fraud Problem

If we want to prevent vote fraud we need to re-visit the issue of absentee ballots. Liberal use of absentee ballots is an invitation to vote fraud because the ballots are not marked in a protected place. That is, all of the protections that exist at a polling place-- private polling booths, prohibitions against employers accompanying the voter into the booth and so on, don't exist with an absentee ballot. For all we know, when a voter is filling out an absentee ballot, there is somebody standing there to make sure it is filled out a certain way. The other problem is making sure that the voter is the one who is filling out the ballot. Checking signatures seems like the solution, but be real. Verifying signatures requires expertise. Do we really have the time to have all of those signatures verified? No. We don't. Forcing people to show up makes checking identification easy. We should return to the days when people had to have an excuse to vote absentee. In fact I would institute a procedure in place in Pennsylvania when I lived there-- ifyou are able-bodied but plan to be out of town on election day, you go to the County Clerk's office ahead of election day and vote in person showing appropriate i. d.

We need to make sure that people are not stuffing ballot boxes with absentee ballots. - Don't cast that ballot until Election Day, that is: "Proponents of absentee and early voting say it's all about increasing voter participation. I say it's a prescription for fraud on a grand scale, and politically foolish to boot. It amazes me that critics of electronic voting, which is conducted under the watchful eye of bipartisan election officials, are so blasé about the fact that millions of ballots are floating around America with no security except the implicit trust that everyone who signs an absentee ballot is honest."

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