I previously wrote about voter fraud (“Is Voter Fraud Real?”) and described a scenario which I believe demonstrates some wide holes in our election system which can be plugged up with voter ID’s. In this article, I want to shift gears a bit and talk about a few ways that our elections are being manipulated, even though most of them may be technically legal.
Same Day Registrations
If done properly, I don’t have a big issue with same day voter registration. However, there are some states that allow the use of “vouching”. This is where a person comes in without the proper documents to prove that they are actually a resident of the jurisdiction they are attempting to vote in. In Wisconsin, it used to be that another already registered voter could simply “vouch” for the other person’s legal residency. The person with no documents would be allowed to register and vote…and then be able to vouch for another person!
As a poll worker, I saw this firsthand as groups of students from the local university would pour in and do this. Now, to be clear, I have no idea whether any of them were dishonest, but the point is, well, I have no idea whether any of them were dishonest. I have even heard stories of people being bused in from Chicago to vote in southern Wisconsin, using the voucher process. I have no idea if there is any validity to that, but the point is, under that voucher system, it is entirely possible to do with very little chance of getting caught. That’s a vulnerability in the system.
Fortunately, Wisconsin has closed that hole since then, but vouching still occurs in other states. Minnesota, for example, still allows for vouching (a registered voter can vouch for up to 8 others), but at least they do not allow the vouched for voter to vouch for others.
There are currently 15 states that allow same day registration: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The District of Columbia also allows it and the state of Washington will begin to allow it in 2019.
Early voting is a problem for a number of reasons. First, it doesn’t allow all voters to be voting for the same election based on the same available information. If a person votes 2 weeks early (or up to 6 weeks early!), and then some very damaging information comes out about a candidate in the meantime, there is no way to account for that.
In order for a truly fair and legitimate election, all voters should be voting under the same circumstances and with the same available information. Now, yes, there are exceptions, and we used to account for them. Under certain situations where a voter actually had a good reason for not being able to vote on election day, people could vote early and by absentee, which is fine, but there should be restrictions to that. In many states, anyone can vote up to 45 days before election day (in Minnesota, it’s 46). A lot can happen in 45 days! In a few states, there are ways to change your vote, but not in all states.
But why do we have early voting at all?
Proponents of early voting (mostly the left) claim that it’s simply an effort to increase voter participation as much as possible. And it does increase participation, but not necessarily in a good way. The reason it increases voter participation is that many volunteers on the left spend all of that early voting time convincing people who would not normally vote into getting on a bus and going to the polls to vote…and, on the way, convincing them who to vote for. The longer the period of early voting is, the more people they can round up in this way.
Awesome, right? Isn’t that what we want…more voter participation? Isn’t that a great thing?
No, it isn’t. Not at all. Why would we want people who have no engagement in the process, who have no idea of the candidates or the issues, who have no knowledge or care even for when the election is enough to bother participating, and who need to be “dragged” out of their homes and told if they don’t vote for “so and so” they will probably lose all of their “benefits”? These are the very people that we do not want voting. Yes, I said it. There are many people that have no business participating in the election, simply because they have absolutely no engagement in the full process.
I explained this in one of my essays, titled “Educating the People“:
It seems fairly evident that an electorate made up of a majority of uninformed people will lead to disastrous results. With that in mind, is it a good idea to encourage everyone to get out and vote on election day? I cringe every time I hear someone pleading and encouraging others to get out and vote. On the surface, most people think this is a good thing. After all, voting is a fundamental right of citizenship and everyone should participate, right? In theory, yes.
But voting is the culmination of civic virtue, not the start of it. Voting, without engaging in the other civic virtues, is irresponsible. In my opinion, if you don’t know the basics of our system of government and the principles behind it, and are not informed of the basics of current events and issues, and have not done basic research on the candidates, then you have no business voting.
Further, anyone who has been a part of these other civic virtues, would need no encouragement or reminders to get out and vote. Therefore, anyone that needs encouragement or reminders to vote are probably the very people that should not be voting. The implications are too important and affect way too many people to encourage uninformed people to vote.
And this leads us into why the left is really so against the photo ID requirement. Having to make sure each of these people that they drag out of their homes has a valid, current photo ID is one more step…an additional obstacle…for them to overcome to get them to the polls. If they have to take the time to get the proper ID’s, it cuts down on the time (and the number of people) that they can get to the polls to vote.
Those are a couple of major issues I have with our current general election system. There are many more problems with the primary elections that I have previously covered in “Primary Problems, Part 1” and “Primary Problems, Part 2“.
Do you have any specific election procedures in your own state that you see as potentially harming the integrity of our elections?