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Voter fraud reformers should look within

Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 00:10

Florida’s voter registration issues should give citizens more incentive to vote for those candidates who are not wasting time using the acts of registering to vote and voting as tools to gain ground in elections.

Most recently, the Fla. Republican Party hired a company, Strategic Allied Consulting, to register voters. Now 10 counties in the state have reported incidents of suspicious registrations linked with the consulting firm, often in large quantities. These include forms with false addresses, signatures that looked the same across several forms and signatures that looked different from a person’s past registration forms.

The company’s owner, Nathan Sproul, was investigated in 2004 and 2008 for registration fraud, according to the Washington Post, after his organization was accused of destroying forms with the “Democratic Party” party affiliation box checked. McCain’s campaign had donated almost $200,000 to Sproul’s firm.

Though the Republican Party has again distanced itself from Sproul, the recurring use of his clearly mal-intentioned politics shows that some are willing to go to extremes to attempt to up poll numbers by focusing on the voting process rather than on the true issues and values important to the American people.

Strict voting laws and efforts have been making way in several states, including in Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott’s earlier attempt to “purge” voter rolls of illegal voters, and in Pennsylvania, where a law,  due for a Penn. Supreme Court judge’s ruling today, requiries voters to show photo identification to vote.

The vast majority of these laws are targeted at groups that typically vote Democratic — many students under the current law in Pennsylvania, for example, cannot use student IDs to vote, and most Floridians who were targeted by Scott’s voter purge had Latino surnames — which shows the party divisions of the laws being passed.

But voter fraud at the polls is so low — according to MSNBC, a person is 3,615 times more likely to report seeing a UFO — that all of the attention politicians are giving to anti-voting-fraud laws can be better spent elsewhere. Politicians should be debating economics, education, immigration and foreign policy — not wasting time figuring out the details of another law to prevent rare voting issues, many of which can be handled by law enforcement agencies, as in the most recent case of registration fraud in Florida — and courts should be able to focus on other issues as well.

These voting troubles just discourage citizens from voting, making the process seem arduous and erroneous, are taking time away from the real issues that face the American people and are unfairly targeting specific groups of people.

 

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