Out of Control Policy Blog

Here comes voter fraud

You would think that in a country as great as "the United States of America" that we could figure out a streamlined voting system. You would think that after voting gaffs in Florida and Ohio in recent years (if you call 8 years recent) that we could have have implemented a fool proof system. You would think that registering to vote in one state would take you off the list in another.

Think again.

The recent problems with ACORN registering thousands of fictitious names (some as dumb as Mickey Mouse or pro-football stars), and Ohio having a couple hundred thousand new voter registration names with incorrect information, highlight a continued problem with American federalism: we don't know how to vote.

In the olden days towns would vote, they'd write their choice an a piece of paper and a horseman would ride to the state capital with their decision. Somehow, our system today seems to be just as archaic in its ineptitude. Just consider this example:

A man moves from Florida to New York but decides its not worth it to change his voter registration for just a short while. He tells the office of elections in his precinct to send absentee ballots until further notice. This happens for four years. Then the man moves to Virginia and decides it's probably not right to be voting in a different state so he registers to vote in August 2008. He gets his Virginia voter registration card in September 2008. The man assumes the Virginia office contacted the Florida office (he gave all his FL information such as voter ID so that they could do it quickly and accurately) to take him off the Florida list. Then, last week--in October--the man gets an absentee ballot in the mail... from Florida.

I'll make this short, that man is me.

I now have the capability of voting in two different states. I could mail in my Florida ballot and go vote in the polls in Virginia. That is, black and white, fraud. Illegal. And I should go to jail if I do that. In theory the Florida system could have a scanner thingamajig that would reject my ballot, but there has been ample time for the VA office to contact the FL office, I never should have been sent this ballot. I am convinced that I am still on the Florida voter rolls. I don't think a computer scanner will note my vote is from a Virginia resident. Which means I could easily commit voter fraud, and I'm not even trying. I don't even want to vote for either major candidate!

Imagine what some people could do if they are TRYING to scam the system. That's the point. That's the scary part. The voting system broken. We know it. Lets hope there is no close election where it'll be a factor. Something has to be done about this and soon.

Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


« Louisiana's Transportation Secretary on Tolling… | Main | CA local ballot measures: trains,… »




Out of Control Policy Archives