Our favorite case of voter fraud happened in Carson City. An elderly woman with Alzheimers voted twice. The “crime” was not uncovered until a couple of weeks after the election at the family Thanksgiving. Comparing notes, a daughter and granddaughter discovered they had both aided Grandma in voting—once at early voting, once on election day. What master criminals!
The family informed county clerk treasurer Alan Glover, who arranged a change in procedures so it would not happen again. It was the only instance of voter fraud Glover encountered in his many years in office. The same is true of every election official we have ever interviewed—rare oddball circumstances, and that’s the sum total of fraudulent voting in a nation of 300 million voters. Every reporter, every scholar, every government investigator has found the same thing. For our 2012 look at the issue of voter fraud, go to http://tinyurl.com/gn3nutv.
But Republicans always come up with isolated, freakish anecdotes to scare people into believing the notion of the ease of stealing elections—this quirky case in Kentucky, that odd incident in Montana. But they can never produce any evidence of any broad or sweeping problem of fraudulent voting. That’s because there isn’t any.
Still they keep publicizing the “threat.” Why? Because they want laws requiring voters to present identification before they can vote. The groups that do not have driver licenses—elderly people who have stopped driving, low-income people who do not own cars—tend to vote Democratic. So Republicans want to win through bureaucratic machinations elections they can’t win on the issues.
Washoe Republican Assemblymember Lisa Krasner, one of the more partisan lawmakers, has introduced a bill requiring Nevadans to show identification before voting. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that Republicans were arguing against a vote for legal marijuana because it would create a need for more unnecessary bureaucracy? It’s good to know that Republicans like Krasner see government as the answer to our nonexistent problems. Now if they could only see it as an answer to actual problems.
Krasner represents a Washoe district, so her action suggests a certain lack of confidence in the Washoe Voter Registrar’s office and its ability to keep elections clean, though it has an excellent record under both registrar Luanne Cutler and her predecessor Dan Burk.
And every bill costs some money. Just drafting and introducing bills involves a few hundred dollars, in Krasner’s case for a bill that is a solution without a problem. Asking the legislative bill drafting division to write it up was a waste of tax dollars. Introducing it wasted more. With any kind of luck, her legislative colleagues will ignore it now and prevent any more wasted money on hearings.
Every Nevadan must present identification when he or she registers to vote. After that, the problem is getting them to vote at all. And voter fraud happens more in the counting end than the voting end, where it is clean as a whistle.
Krasner and her fellow Republicans spread misleading stories about voter fraud, then respond to the public concern they have generated about an imaginary problem by calling for government action that will reduce the number of Democratic votes. Now, that’s a fraud.