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Who's Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk Paperback – August 14, 2012
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About the Author
Hans von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a former member of the Federal Election Commission. He has served as an election official in Georgia and Virginia and previously enforced federal voting rights laws at the U.S. Justice Department as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. He lives in Vienna, VA.
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Most of the negative reviews of this book focus on the preponderance of examples cited by the authors that focus on Democratic Party misdeeds. At times, I agree that the authors appear to be a bit heavy handed towards Democrats. Nonetheless, the authors cite misdeeds by Republicans and Democrats. Further, they cite problems with Democrats when they control a party in an area and prevent fair elections between Democrat candidates in primaries. They also show how some political machines in African American dominated areas use weak election laws and law enforcement to control elections and prevent honest African American candidates to compete fairly. Basically, they show how black politicians have sometimes subjugated their black citizens.
The point of the book is that American election law is broken and is moving farther from a model that will encourage increased voter turnout and confidence that votes really count. One reason the authors are so critical of Democrats is that the Democratic party has repeately rejected Voter ID as a reasonable and important requirement for fair elections. The authors are clear that Voter ID laws alone will not solve the most important problems for fair elections, but it is obvious that requirements for voters to prove that they are residents in their precincts and are eligible to vote are common-sense solutions to some of the problems.
I was disappointed to read about the problems with mail-in voting and inaccurate voter registration. Democrats also seem to reject the idea that cleaning up voter registration databases is important. Fraudulent voter registration is oftentimes the first step toward creating the ability to cast numerous fraudulent votes. Mail-in voting, in the form of absentee ballots or early voting, basically guarantees that massive voting fraud can be successful when combined with phoney registrations. In landslide elections, mail-in voter fraud cannot tip an election, but in closer elections it is relatively easy to create hundreds and thousands of fraudulent ballots. I want it to be easy for every citizen to cast their vote, but mail-in voting appears to be a serious threat to fair elections. Most of the election rigging cited by the authors involves absentee and mail-in ballots.
This is why I don't understand Democratic Party objections to Voter ID and other election regulations that reduce the ability for big-money, well-organized candidates to steal elections. If they really believe that big money is corupting elections, they they should be for Voter ID and for the reduction of mail-in voting. The authors clearly show how easy it is for political machines to dominate elections because of weak voting laws. So, Democrats, do you believe that Republicans are corrupting elections? If so, fix the voting laws! And that does not mean by rejecting Voter ID, rejecting the clean up of voter registration, and allowing undocumented mail-in voting!
If Democrats are not going to be part of the solution, then they must be part of the problem. Too many extreme Democrats deny the existence of organized voter fraud. This book proves that they are wrong. As Americans, we should all be part of the solution. This is an important book. Without reform, our elections will be controlled by political machines and big money--Republican or Democrat, or both--while ordinary citizens suffer.
In their fact-filled reality check, Fund and von Spakovsky show how election fraud has a long and storied history in America, a history that has infected all political parties. While requiring a photo ID at the polling place won't cure all election fraud, it's the easiest, cheapest, and quickest way to make a major strike against it. Yet one party, in particular, goes ballistic at the suggestion of it.
There are myriad claims about the harm a photo-ID requirement would wreak by intimidating and disenfranchising vulnerable voters. But there remains only one reason to oppose the requirement: you expect your side to profit from voting fraud. Fund and von Spakovsky show how such fraud continues to effect election outcomes around the country, and call for reasonable measures to rein it in.