→ Examples of Voter Fraud

One of the comments I normally hear from people opposed to voter identification requirements is “are there really any cases of voter fraud?” John Fund breaks things down over at National Review:

Last month, [Philadelphia] City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, issued a 27-page report on irregularities he found in a sample of Philadelphia precincts during this year’s primary. The report, which looked at only 1 percent of the city’s 1,687 districts, found cases of double voting, voter impersonation, and voting by non-citizens, as well as 23 people who were not registered to vote but nonetheless voted. Schmidt also found reports of people who were counted as voting in the wrong party’s primary.

He also counters the idea that there is a large percentage of people without identification who would be blocked from voting:

The number of people without proper ID in Pennsylvania is also not nearly as large as voter-ID critics claim. State officials testified that it was under 1 percent. That’s in line with court findings in recent ID cases and an American University analysis of three states, which found that fewer than one-half of 1 percent of people lacked ID. Critics claim that the state of Pennsylvania found that 758,000 registered voters lacked a Department of Motor Vehicles ID, but those numbers do not tell the whole story. Over l67,000 were inactive voters who hadn’t seen a polling place in at least five years. Many others may have other forms of acceptable identification ranging from passports to military IDs to government-employee IDs to cards issued by nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.

It seems strange to that, as Mr. Fund points out, we cannot buy cold medicine without some form of identification, but there are no ID requirements for voting at all. The contention over voter ID shows why it will be a long, long time before any type of “online” voting is used in general elections. Even ignoring the security risks, the ability to vote online could easily be seen as a way to tilt elections to more affluent voters who have no problem finding online access.