Voter fraud is making big news now with the revelations of questionable activities by a group called ACORN. But efforts to influence the outcome of elections, whether by legal or illegal means, is a long-standing tradition in America. The apparent effort to register people multiple times, to register non existent people and to register illegal aliens is just the latest in a long string of election abuses.
I am old enough to remember the voter’s test that was once used here in the South to prevent blacks from voting. Anyone wishing to register to vote had to pass a test that included questions about the Constitution and the various government offices. Education among southern blacks was so poor that few of them were able to answer even the most basic questions. At the same time, Southern states imposed a poll tax. If you could not afford to pay the poll tax, you were not allowed to vote.
Of course, when our nation was being formed, only men who owned property and paid taxes were deemed eligible to vote.
The stories about voter fraud by the Chicago Daily Machine are legendary. The most dramatic is the 1960 election. The election results from Chicago were the last to be reported. Many observers insisted that the Democrats in Chicago waited to see how the rest of the nation voted then made sure they “found” enough votes in the city to give Kennedy the election. Many of Nixon’s supporters urged him to challenge the election in the courts but he refused saying that he did not want to create a constitutional crisis.
That noble gesture was not repeated in Florida eight years ago when the election of George Bush was in question. The Democrats used every legal and some possibly illegal trick they could find in an effort to reverse the outcome of that election.
There are many other tricks groups use in an effort to effect an election. They range from dedicated voter registration drives in selected areas in an effort to qualify supporters of one candidate or another. There are false rumors about various candidates such as the one currently going around that Obama is not a citizen of the United States. There have been letters and phone calls used to direct voters to the wrong location on election day. Others suggest to voters that if they vote they will be automatically be called for jury duty.
The list of tricks used to influence the outcome of elections is long and old. Voter fraud has become a part of our national mind set. One popular election day greeting is “Vote Early and Vote Often.” For many of our citizens, rampant election fraud is another reason to not bother to vote. With all the fraud and graft, how can we have any faith that our vote will actually count?
The current revelations of possible voter registration fraud by the ACORN group is, to many people, politics as usual. For many citizens, no election outcome can be trusted. So they either stay home or join the effort to force their preferred election outcome. After all, everybody does it!
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://frankgillispie.tripod.com/
A very easy way to stop this abuse would be to require photo ID for anyone registering to vote, and photo ID on the day they actually cast their ballots. Would this be an inconvenience to some? Sure. Is it something that cannot be overcome, this inconveninece? I think its something that is easy to do. Our Vote is our Right.... to manipulate it for one party or the other does not give, "we the people" a voice. Why are so many against PROOF of who you are, and that you are allowed to vote? What are they trying to hide?