Michael Daniel Core D – NYT, 4/12/2007, p.

A1, “In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud” 4/13/2007 The Bush administration has been cracking down on voter fraud for the past 5 years. The results of that crackdown are 95 cases that were brought to court, 25 of which were dismissed or acquitted. Most of the cases were brought against Democrats and lowincome voters who in many cases did not understand the rules. There were 40 convictions of vote buying, voter intimidation and vote forgery. This article shows the history of voter fraud for the past 5 years. It is also important to history because history is our standard of legitimacy for elected officials. To illustrate: If in a person’s history they have won the presidential election, then they are the president (or ex-president). If we do not prosecute election fraud then we allow the election system to become corrupt. When that happens democracy breaks down, as was almost the case in Mexico recently. This article illustrates that the Justice department has mainly been going after individual voters who are from liberal demographics, such as minorities and poor voters. One woman voted while on parole for trying to cash a counterfeit government check. She did not know that she was not allowed to vote while on parole. When she realized her mistake she called the local city hall to try to rescind her vote. When she did that she was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to prison. There were multiple stories of immigrants who filled out a voter registration form by mistake when they were filling out paperwork to renew their drivers licenses. They were deported.

Targeting individual errors such as these is a relatively new tactic for the justice department. Until five years ago they only prosecuted cases where people corrupted the system on a large scale in order to change the outcome of an election. This seems to be a biased approach to election fraud. The administration is only becoming aggressive when it comes to small cases of voter fraud against liberal demographics. This gives their pundits ammunition in the form of a new statistic to quote: “Most of those charged have been Democrats.” This is a useful statistic for a party who has been accused of voter fraud ever since the 2000 presidential elections. I hope that people will realize that there are rival causes for this statistic. One can believe that most of the people charged with voter fraud were Democrats because Democrats are bad people or one can believe that most of the people charged with voter fraud were Democrats because Republicans were doing the prosecuting and Republicans are bad people. There are value judgments involved with deciding what rival cause is the most applicable to the situation, but when I look at the data I conclude that the assumption that Democrats are bad people is a fallacy (I admit my bias, though: I am a Local Democratic Committeeperson). This is not to say that individual voter fraud should not be prosecuted. There should be some kind of intent involved in the crime, though. If somebody makes an honest mistake at the DMV or doesn’t know that they should not vote, then the system should fix the mistake in the paperwork, not imprison the person. People should be prosecuted for voting multiple times or for manipulating voting machines, for example, because there is intent involved with those crimes.