LETTER: Voter fraud very rare when it comes to identityTo the Telegram: I would dispute Al Hauser’s Feb. 8 letter, which claimed my statements, or those of others, claimed only 11 cases of fraud discovered in 2008.
To the Telegram:
I would dispute Al Hauser’s Feb. 8 letter, which claimed my statements, or those of others, claimed only 11 cases of fraud discovered in 2008. My letter stated “the last state election,” resulted in only 11 cases of fraud, not the 2008 election. I also dispute man of the allegations about the group ACORN, targeted unfairly by Republicans — I would have to do additional research to do that.
“There is no question that election misconduct exists, including improper purges of eligible voters, distributing false information about when and where to vote, stuffing of ballot boxes, and tampering with registration forms,” according to the Brennan Center for Justice, an organization at the New York University of Law. “But there is no evidence that the type of fraud addressed by stricter Voter ID — individuals voters who misrepresent their identity at the polls — is anything but an anomaly.”
The center states a 2002 statewide survey in Ohio found only four cases in which voters misrepresented themselves at the polls. This is from out of 9,087,728 votes cast — barely more than 0.00004 percent.
The Brennan Center also found since 2002, nationwide, found only 86 individuals were convicted of federal crimes relating to election fraud. They point out that Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning. It is obvious, Republicans often misuse statistics concerning election misconduct to represent actual cases of voter fraud in which voters deliberately attempt to misrepresent their identities.
In the case of Ruthelle Frank, who possessed no valid driver’s license or acceptable birth certificate, needed in order to get the required state photo ID., the road to qualification has not been easy. “They wouldn’t even look at my other papers,” she said, “I had everything. I had my social security card, I had my marriage license, I had proof of where I live, and I had all of the other requirements. The only thing I didn’t have was a birth certificate.”
The Feb. 8 letter writer is correct to say that a birth certificate is not normally required — that is unless you already lack a driver’s license or a “valid” birth certificate. The fact that Mrs. Frank had neither, caused her an absurd amount of undue hardships and it would definitely have cost her at least $200 dollars to have her information corrected. How bizarre is it that her marriage license and social security number, were not enough to secure a right that she has used since 1948?
The group that brought down ACORN has been implicated in cases for taking statements out of context in order to bring disrepute on Democratic and liberal concerns. Like I say, I would have to do more research to make a proper criticism, but the mere fact that most, or all, of the attempts to enact voter ID laws in many states have been spearheaded by Republicans, is enough to warrant a serious look at this issue. In 2008 there were a large number of votes from groups at the greatest risk to be suppressed, including young, minority and low-income voters — groups that traditionally favor Democratic candidates. Isn’t this worth a serious look?
Peter W. Johnson,