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EDITORIAL: Dirty tricks on Nov. 6

Evidence of voter fraud exposes need for Election Day vigilance

- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2012

The race for the White House is coming down to the wire, and the closer this contest gets, the greater the chance it could be decided by electoral shenanigans.

Though voter fraud affects everyone, it has turned into a highly partisan issue. Republican efforts to strengthen laws to require voter identification and an audit of voter rolls have met persistent challenges from Democrats and the Obama Justice Department. Democrats pretend such fraud is imaginary and allegations to the contrary must be manifestations of racism. This argument not only has a corrosive effect on the political culture, it is demonstrably untrue.

Independent investigations across the country have identified serious systemic problems. An audit by Election Integrity Maryland found cases of deceased voters still on active rolls, duplicate voter registrations and people listing vacant lots or business addresses as residences. In North Carolina, investigations discovered several thousand voters listed at the age of 110. Another 30,000 turned out to be deceased. Sometimes these are just paperwork errors, but other times something far more troubling is going on.

Maryland's 1st Congressional District Democratic challenger Wendy Rosen was forced to withdraw from the race in September after she admitted casting ballots in both Maryland and Florida. In Philadelphia, there are precincts where voter turnout surpasses 100 percent of those registered there. In North Carolina, some early voters noted that their touch-screen ballots for Mitt Romney were defaulting to Barack Obama. Local election officials said the problematic machine needed "calibration." However, this illustrates the frightening potential for deliberate fraud in electronic and computer-based voting. Without a physical record, there's no way of verifying whether anyone was disenfranchised. We may one day look back on the "hanging chad" as a bulwark of democracy.

The Obama campaign has made early in-person voting part of its end-game strategy, rushing supporters to the polls before they have a chance to change their minds. This, too, is an invitation to fraud. Human Events reported that non-English-speaking Somalis were being taken by the busload to vote early at Ohio polling places, shepherded by Democratic minders. The Buckeye State's early-voting system only requires a person to fill out an absentee vote form and present identification such as a utility bill, bank statement or other document with a name and address on it before casting a ballot. Such documents are easily forged and essentially unverifiable.

Patrick Moran, who was serving as field director for his father, Rep. Jim Moran, Virginia Democrat, is under police investigation after being caught on video last week by undercover auteur James O'Keefe describing in detail how this type of fraud can be committed. "You have to forge it," the younger Mr. Moran can be heard saying. "It's got to look good."

Those potentially engaged in election-altering fraud may think the game ends on Election Day, but it doesn't. The country is well past the spirit of the razor-close 1960 election in which Richard Nixon declined to challenge tainted Illinois ballots because he didn't want to divide the country. Al Gore changed all that in 2000. Evidence of widespread fraud in 2012 could lead to recounts, electoral-vote challenges, or worse. Enforcing voter ID laws and regularly cleaning the voter rolls would go a long way toward ensuring the worst never happens.

The Washington Times

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