Voter Photo ID Issue: is it really about Voter Fraud?

Is the issue an issue?

Are they isolated incidents throughout the nation, or is voter fraud a way of life in American politics? Currently there appears to be some confusion whether “voter fraud” may be resolved by showing a photo ID. The fight on this issue has become a partisan battle. Simply put: Republicans want it, Democrats don’t.

In year 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore all but publicly accused George W. Bush of perpetrating voter fraud to win the election. During the 2004 presidential elections, many states may have been directly or indirectly involved in various forms of voter fraud. In the 2008 Presidential Election, both parties shared some concerns over voting outcomes in various states. Voter fraud is a real issue, but is the cure showing a photo ID?

During the past few years many attorney generals of various states — e.g., Texas, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico — have uncovered more than casual and/or accidental occurrences of voter fraud and questionable voting machine integrity. This should be an eye-opener for American voters and a red flag regarding the integrity of our entire political system. Immense power breeds corruption, which unfortunately appears to be an intrinsic human weakness. In the case of a nation’s political agenda, it inevitably could cause the ruination of that country.

Contrary to belief, voter fraud is not a new event here in America. History tells us that during the 1800’s even the great gothic writer, Edgar Allan Poe, was involved in fraudulent voting. Apparently Poe needed money and was inclined to work for unscrupulous individuals who paid the writer and others to vote illegally. Lists were distributed of the names of dead persons who had been and still were registered voters. Individuals were paid for every vote placed in the name of a dead person. Voter fraud has had a long life in America’s history, though perhaps not highly publicized.

The current battle for showing a photo ID at the voting polls has become a partisan issue and the battle rages on in many states. While showing a photo ID does not seem like a terrible request, will it resolve voting fraud or could it merely inhibit the democratic flow of the voting system?

Another issue in question is the integrity of our electronic voting machines. Several voting machine manufacturer’s, e.g., Diebold, have been large campaign contributors to the Republican Party. Is this a conflict of interest? Are voting machines tamper and fraud proof?

Despite manufacturers stating that tests to prevent fraud are completed on the machines before they are distributed, there are still problems inherent in many of these machines. In addition, they are not completely tamper-proof as previous real-time problems have indicated. However, instead of legislators focusing more on this issue, attention focuses primarily on the concern regarding photo ID’s. Will photo ID’s resolve voter fraud? Is the very nature of electronic voting machines conducive to voter fraud and/or lack of integrity?

We may all agree that voter fraud and electronic voting machine integrity are issues that should not be taken lightly. Any incidence of fraudulent activity requires firm and swift justice–and that punishment must be for any individual, up to and including the President of the United States.

It is the responsibility of our lawmakers to ensure a swift and intelligent approach to the resolution of these problems and it is the responsibility of the American people to ensure that our legislators do it.