- - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As frequent beneficiaries of bogus balloting, Democrats rarely acknowledge that voter fraud is real. Anyone who wants to guard against Election Day shenanigans is painted as a conspiracy nut, because voter fraud “doesn’t exist.” But it does, and one prominent Democrat has proved it.

State Rep. Christina Ayala of Connecticut, a Democrat from Bridgeport, was caught voting early and often. She has been charged with 19 felony counts.

Her arrest forced Connecticut Democrats to adopt a new and revised message: Election fraud doesn’t occur — but when it does, we won’t tolerate it. “While everyone is entitled to their day in court,” says Connecticut Secretary of State Denise W. Merrill, “voter fraud is a very serious crime, for which we have zero tolerance.” She seems to have had a Damascus Road conversion.

Mrs. Merrill, a Democrat, says the high-profile arrest should send a message to anyone thinking of violating the state’s election laws. Converts are always welcome, of course, but hers is a hollow claim coming from someone who boasts of working closely with Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to “expand voting rights by enacting Election Day registration.” Same-day registration particularly invites voter fraud, since it allows no time to verify the necessary documents.

Miss Ayala, 31, is accused of voting in districts where she did not live and “tampering” with evidence. The Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission further recommends criminal prosecution of Bridgeport’s registrar of voters, Santa Ayala, who happens to be Miss Ayala’s mother.

Hans von Spakovsky, co-author of a book on election fraud, told a panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday that “every American citizen should be eligible to vote, they should be able to vote, but we should also make sure that when they do vote, their votes are not diluted or stolen by other, fraudulent voters.”

Scott Gessler, Colorado’s secretary of state, says there’s “a real hesitancy to enforce” election-integrity laws. This lack of enforcement enables opponents of voter-ID requirements to claim argue credibly, if inaccurately, that election-day fraud isn’t a problem.

“We don’t look at any crime and measure it based on the number of successful prosecutions,” said Mr. Gessler. “We shouldn’t do that with voting, either.” Because prosecutions take a lot of time, effort and resources to prove voter-fraud intent, poll workers have to depend on good faith, even when there isn’t any. “We have to rely on prevention, and that’s really what’s going to maintain the integrity of our elections and our voter rolls,” Mr. Gessler says.

The vote-fraud felony charges the ambitious Miss Ayala faces don’t pose a threat to her re-election chances. She doesn’t have any. She lost in an August primary, finishing a distant third in a four-way race. Miss Ayala drew just 136 votes. It’s not clear how many of those she cast for herself.

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