One of the little-talked-about issues every time there’s an election is the problem of voter fraud. In communities like Rushville, voter fraud is pretty difficult to pull off, or, at least, I think it is. Every time most of us go to cast our votes the people working at the various polling places know most of the people coming through the door before they even sign in. When one is recognized by sight it’s pretty difficult to even attempt voter fraud, but then again, there are several types of voter fraud. Recognition of that sort isn’t true in major cities where people don’t know each other.

The proposal has been forwarded, again, to require a valid photo-identification card as a way to insure that people coming to vote really are who they say they are. While that seems like a simple exercise, there is still strong opposition to it, especially among the liberal left, because they claim that requiring a valid photo ID will put too much of a burden on low income people and the elderly; neither group is likely to have a driver’s license, which is the typical document used as a photo ID to insure that the person seeking to vote is who he or she claims to be. The left claims that the poor and elderly who either can’t afford a driver’s license or are too infirm to drive will be denied their right to vote!

What nonsense! In this state, for instance, it’s possible to get a free photo ID card at any license branch. It’s not a license to drive, but merely a way of insuring that a person can prove their identity on Election Day! But, again, the left says that even getting to a license branch is too burdensome for the poor and elderly. Of course, it’s not too burdensome for the poor and elderly to get to their polling place to vote! There has already been an instance of someone trying to vote absentee claiming to be somebody who’s been dead for two years. A photo ID would solve that problem.

Both political parties usually offer free transportation to the polls on Election Day to anyone who falls into the poor or elderly categories. How much trouble would it be to do the same thing to help those folks get a free photo ID at their nearest license branch if a photo ID is required by law in order to vote? Not much, in my opinion, and once you’ve got it you don’t need to get another photo ID.

Furthermore, when absentee ballots are mailed to every registered voter prior to an election, how many of those ballots do you suppose are fraudulently being filled out and mailed in? The number of fake ballots would probably boggle the mind! When ballots are mailed to cemeteries you just know something’s wrong. Also, this election year, ballots that have been filled out and sent in have been found in the trash or floating in a nearby river!

The most common types of voter fraud, according to The Heritage Foundation, include fraudulent use of absentee ballots, which covers forging the real voter’s signature or illegally telling the voter for whom to vote. Ineligible voting is another abuse. This category of fraud covers people who are not US citizens or are convicted felons. A third category is trying to impersonate someone else. Typically, this is done by pretending to be a voter who has died, moved away, or lost their right to vote because they’ve been convicted of a felony. Buying votes is an age-old tactic, which is nothing more than paying voters to cast their ballot for a particular candidate. Some people will try to vote more than once by registering in multiple locations. There are also false signatures, which means voting under a fake name and a real of fake address (like the cemetery), or claiming to live in a jurisdiction where the voter doesn’t actually live.

While altering the actual vote count would seem very hard to do, changing the actual vote count either in a precinct or at the central location where votes are counted does happen!

Finally, illegal assistance at the polls is another type of fraud. It means forcing or intimidating voters – especially the elderly, disabled, illiterate, and those who don’t speak English – to vote for a particular candidate while supposedly providing assistance.

The liberal left claims that actual voter fraud is rare. It has been reported that approximately 200,000 dead people voted in the 2016 election, which is quite a trick! That could not happen if a simple photo ID had been required of each of those people claiming the identity of a deceased person. It’s obviously not difficult to see how the outcome of an election could be altered by a swing of 200,000 votes. Of course, not all of those fraudulent votes came from the same cemetery and weren’t all cast for the same candidate! Or, at least, one would hope not.

While requiring a photo ID won’t solve all of the types of voter fraud, it will reduce the number of people voting more than once or pretending to be someone else.

The lack of voter fraud in Rushville is a function of the fact that people tend to know each other. The people who work at the polling places in Rushville and Rush County are usually our friends and neighbors, so trying to vote twice or pretending to be someone else is, well, just silly. It’s not so silly, however, in cities like Chicago or, perhaps, even in Indianapolis.

That’s —30— for this week.

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