October 23, 2012
Voter fraud poses a real threat to the integrity of our elections, Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans von Spakovsky told a standing-room-only audience of Heritage members at the President’s Club meeting in Washington.
Two of von Spakovsky’s examples illustrated how election fraud affected everyone in the room:
- In 2008, election officials in Minnesota determined that Democrat Al Franken had unseated the incumbent, Sen. Norm Coleman, by a margin of just 300 votes. Because of the very small margin, there was a mandatory recount which revealed that 1,100 felons had unlawfully cast ballots for Franken. His victory was sustained.
Why was this Senate race so important? Because Franken was the critical 60th vote in favor of Obamacare.
- During the 2008 Democratic primaries in Indiana, thousands of fraudulent signatures were added to petitions to add then-Sen. Barack Obama to the ballot.
Why was Barack Obama’s name on the Indiana ballot important? Because Indiana played a very important state in the outcome of the 2008 primaries–and “Obama barely qualified for the ballot with 534 signatures.”
The media argue voter ID laws suppress voter turn-out, von Spakovsky explained. But it just isn’t true. For example, in the 2008 and 2010 elections, after Georgia enacted voter ID laws, the number of minority votes actually surged compared to earlier elections.
“What can be done to prevent voter fraud with only two weeks until the election?” one President’s Club Member asked. The answer, unfortunately, is not much.
While poll watchers are useful, absentee and mail-in votes facilitate fraud. This voting mechanism is particularly worrisome considering that 16 percent of U.S. citizens have already voted.
But we can focus on the future, von Spakovsky said, and ensure the honesty of the next election.
Do you think voter fraud will affect the upcoming election?