Cleaning up voter registration

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    Stacy Swimp B4 Feb 15 webDid you know that almost two million dead Americans are registered to vote,  and that three million Americans are registered to vote more than once?  Did you know that a busload of volunteers with a list of names disenfranchises you more than anything else, and makes a mockery of our system?  Various groups support photo ID laws, but are shouted down by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department and certain leaders who insist that there is no such thing as fraud. 

    So why do 73 percent of voters support the institution of photo ID laws? It’s because we’re not stupid! Not only can dead people vote,  but some live people can vote twice, due to multiple registrations.  But don’t worry, politicians are much too honest to ever cheat in an election!

    According to some, voter fraud is a rare occurrence, hardly worth our time to try to prevent, but it’s a fact that proving fraud is difficult and time-consuming.  If you suspect that “dead” people are voting, the only way to verify it is to comb through the poll books, comparing the names to another reliable list of the deceased, which is expensive and time-consuming.   Why not simply eliminate the known dead from the poll books in the first place?  

    Another way to cheat is to purposely register people you know will not show up to the polls, then bus volunteers in to vote for them.  You’d be surprised at how just a few people can make a big difference.  Many local elections are won on the basis of a handful of votes, and with tens of thousands of precincts in the United States, even a national election can be shifted.  

    Perhaps the most egregious form of fraud occurs when absentee ballots are tampered with, either by “helping” the voter to decide or by outright theft or destruction of ballots.  

    If we want to protect the integrity of our vote, we have to accept that the opportunity for troublemaking exists, then formulate a plan to safeguard our most precious right to free and fair elections.   Volunteering to watch the process and report suspected fraud is one of the most important things a citizen can do.  The addition of a voter ID requirement is not only effective, but popular  because Americans want a level playing field. Perception is everything. You can only have confidence in a system that doesn’t seem rigged.  

    There is a bigger civil rights issue  at play here too.  Those who want undocumented people voting in our elections couldn’t care less about people without ID.  Instead of streamlining the process to make sure that underserved populations get the ID they need to be “socially enfranchised,”  they stymy efforts for a free and fair vote. 

    If any group is truly concerned about the “disenfranchised,” they should budget time and money toward ensuring that their constituents are properly documented and able to fully participate in our culture.  You can’t buy a beer, open a checking account or obtain many social services without a photo ID. You can’t even enter the Department of Justice to complain about voter ID laws without a photo ID.     

    Guess what?  This is a non-partisan issue, because both sides of the political spectrum have been caught at one time or another.   

    I encourage you to join me at the Statewide Election Integrity Summit held in Lansing, Michigan, regarding how to take back free and fair elections. The event will take place on May 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Best Western Plus, located at 6820 S. Cedar St. in Lansing. 

    For additional information visit  http://www.eventbrite.com.

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