, Newburyport, MA

November 7, 2012

Voter fraud affects us all

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I would like to respectfully disagree with the recent letter in The Daily News by Paul Nelson. Voter fraud is a huge problem and unless we are willing to have unfair elections, we need to address it.

Fraud can affect entire elections and starts at the point of registration. A 2004 study by the New York Daily News found that 46,000 people were registered to vote in both Florida and New York City, and that between 400 and 1,000 of them had voted in both places in the same election. The 2000 presidential election was decided by 537 votes. A recent Pew Center study found that approximately 2.8 million people are registered to vote in more than one state. As many as 1.8 million registered voters are dead.

There is no national database to enable states to cross-reference registration and voter records. In the 20 states where officials match records, thousands of people turned up as possibly double voting in the 2010 general election. Elections are often tight races, a few hundred or thousand votes could affect the outcome. Twenty states cross-checking found 7,600 potential voter fraud cases in Illinois alone! Once an unlawful ballot is cast, it cannot be reversed, even if the person is convicted of the crime of fraud.

According to U.S. federal law, lawful residents must speak English, swear allegiance to the U.S.A. before they become citizens, and they must be citizens before they can vote. Legal U.S. residents can get photo I.D.’s from the DMV for $25. Most can afford this, as it is required to buy alcohol, cigarettes, attend adult movies, etc. Requiring an I.D. to vote is no different than checking alcohol age limits or getting a prescription at a pharmacy. The National Center for Public Policy Research explains that voter I.D. laws protect against multiple votes by one person, voting under fictional names and out-of-state or illegal non-citizens voting.

In conclusion, I would point those who might be interested to an online article entitled “Voter Fraud: the Crime that Disenfranchises Us All” by Malia Hill (this was freely quoted in this letter). In my opinion, this should be a non-partisan issue, as ensuring fair and accurate election results benefit all of us.

Gail Dow