Why Voter ID Laws Are Actually A Good Thing
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily
It seems nowadays as soon as somebody even mentions “voter ID laws,” a great deal of controversy ensues.
The common objection seems to be something along the lines of, “Why should we require voters to show ID? That’s racist and will prevent legal minorities from voting!”
First of all, anybody who uses that excuse is obviously a bit racist. To insinuate that just because one is a minority, he or she is likely to lack the cognitive capability to obtain some form of identification is insulting on so many levels.
Plus, identification is required for so many things in life: driving, going to the hospital or doctor, getting a prescription, boarding a plane or train, receiving social services, etc.
Perhaps if you grew up under a rock, you might not need identification, but I have a hard time believing that in 2014, this is the case for many or even most US adults.
If hospitals require identification to prevent insurance fraud, isn’t it time to require identification to prevent voter fraud?
While some might scoff at the idea that voter fraud could sway an election, the truth is voter fraud is very easy to commit — and it could very well sway elections.
In 2012, my sister went to vote in her district. The elderly volunteer told her, “It looks like you’ve already voted.” She replied that she had not and the elderly volunteer shrugged it off and chalked it up to another volunteer highlighting the wrong name. My sister was allowed to vote.
While my sister’s case could have been an anomaly, writers for the National Review found out just how easy it is to vote as dead people.
If healthcare systems and insurance companies are worried about insurance fraud affecting their bottom line, we should be concerned about voter fraud affecting our basic democratic principles.
Why is it so easy and how could it sway elections?
If someone really wanted to sway a tight election, especially a state or a local one, it wouldn’t be too difficult. Here’s how:
1. Determine your area’s precincts. Suppose a city has 12 voting precincts; someone with a car could easily drive to all of the precincts in the same day.
2. Buy area voter lists. Registered voter lists are available and can easily be purchased by just about anyone.
3. Find about 10 willing participants (the more nondescript the better). You want people who blend into the crowd — unremarkable and forgettable.
4. Have each person select an identity from each of the 12 precincts (if they can select dead voters, all the better). Think about how easy it would be to pass as anyone who is your general age and race demographic.
I could be Rachel Smith, Kaylee Harding, Melissa Alvarez…. pretty much any white or Hispanic woman between ages 21 and 35. (Younger voters are 21 percent less likely to vote than older voters, so the odds would be even more in my favor.)
5. On voting day, send fraudulent voters as early as possible to cast their ballots at the 12 different precincts. Sure, there’s the off chance that one of the actual people voted already.
But, considering only 58 percent of the country voted in the 2012 presidential election, and even fewer vote in state and local elections during non-presidential voting years, the odds tend to be in the fraudulent voters’ favor. This is especially true if a fraudulent voter is impersonating someone who is dead.
Supposing this works (and without voting ID requirements, it very well could), you may have just swayed a close election by casting 120 fraudulent voted.
But surely no election can be that close, right?
In 1994, Sam Gejdenson won the Connecticut Second District Congressional election by four votes. Republican Todd Thomsen was elected as Oklahoma’s 25th District State Representative in 2005 by two votes.
Mobilize enough fraudulent voters and you just very well may be able to throw a national election.
Photo Courtesy: Flickr