The following is just one example of why there is a need to have voter ID laws. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is being asked by the Romney campaign to look into voter-registration forms that are being sent out to residents in Virginia and addressed to deceased relatives, children, family pets and others that are ineligible to vote. Haven’t we heard this before?
Hundreds of complaints have been filed in regards to the nonprofit group Voter Participation Center’s errant mailings to primarily Demcorat leaning voting blocs. It does cause one to wonder if the IRS will be looking into the nonprofit status of this Washington-based organization now, doesn’t it?
The Richmond-Times Dispatch reports,
The organization has been mass-mailing the forms — pre-populated with key information such as names and addresses — to primarily Democratic-leaning voting blocs such as young adults, unmarried women, African-Americans and Latinos.
In a letter to Cuccinelli’s office and the State Board of Elections, Kathryn Bieber, an attorney for the Romney campaign, calls for an investigation into the matter by law-enforcement officials, claiming that the mailings appear to violate “at least one and maybe several Virginia laws aimed at ensuring a fair election.”
Bieber refers to the mailings as “tactics that amount to, or at the very least induce, voter registration fraud,” and says the issue “presents a very significant risk to the proper administration of the upcoming general election.”
The President and CEO of the Voter Participation Center, Page Gardner, said that the organization mailed out close to 200,000 registration forms to Virginia addresses in June. Their numbers reflected 15,026 new voters being registered as of July 18.
On Monday the Voter Participation Center responded to the story on their website stating:
But this crisis in our democracy and the efforts to close this gap have been obscured and demeaned by stories on the process and the mailing list- a steady drip, drip, drip of stories focused on the miniscule amount of mail sent to a pet or a deceased person because of flaws in the list. The latest story in The Richmond Times Dispatch is a perfect example of the disservice these kinds of story do to civic engagement efforts like ours designed to make it more convenient for unregistered Virginians to vote.
The article gives some a platform to raise the specter of “voter fraud.” The assertion made in the story that mailings of voter registration applications “can create opportunities for voter fraud” is just wrong. No matter the source of the registration applications – the local DMV office or the Voter Participation Center — it’s up to an individual to complete the form and follow the state law; it is then up to the local election officials to vet the application – – if and when the form is turned in.
Imperfections in the VPC vendors’ lists – while regrettable and unfortunate – should not be the reason or the excuse to call an entire process that is working into question. There are clearly issues with commercial data files such as the ones VPC vendors use. However, there are highly significant mistakes in voter files as well. According to a report from the Pew Center on the States, approximately 24 million—one of every eight—voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate – meaning there are 24 million names on state voter files that shouldn’t be. Add to that the fact that the Social Security Administration has just admitted they did not record 1.2 million dead people on the national Master Death File, which is part of why the deceased continue to receive mail and are still on state voter files. No process is perfect but that should not deter us from doing all that we can to make sure that as many eligible American citizens are registered and vote.
The problem in the response is that they claim that people have to fill out the forms and then follow state law. OK, I agree. But then it shifts the blame to everyone else rather than the organization that sends out voter registrations to dead animals and dead people! The VPC should be taking responsibility for its error, not putting the blame on others. The article is exactly right in pointing out that the potential for fraud, whether purposeful or not is there, but the VPC doesn’t want to accept the blame for their part in it. They have just as much a responsibility to mail to only eligible voters as the voters do to follow state law.
The curious thing is that Democrats never raise these issues do they? They never point out fraudulent registration forms being sent to people. In fact, in many cases they are willing to defend it claiming that people have the right to vote. Yes they do, but not ineligible voters!
We can rest assured that the Obama campaign and Democrats in general love the fact that they have a ‘sixth sense’ working on their side. “I see dead people and Pets voting” should be their new slogan.