By Jeff Kazmierski, Copy Editor
I guess I owe someone an apology. Every time the subject of voter fraud and the need for voter ID laws came up, I’ve ranted against it, on the basis that the laws are unconstitutional, unnecessary and would needlessly disenfranchise thousands, if not millions, of valid registered voters.
Turns out I was wrong. Voter fraud is real, it’s happening, and it’s a serious problem.
What am I talking about? Have I lost my mind? Suddenly become a Tea Partier?
Nope. None of the above. As it happens, a firm hired by one of the major political parties to register voters in Florida, has recently been implicated in a massive scam.
Strategic Allied Consulting, headed by strategist Nathan Sproul, is under investigation for fraud in three Florida counties. The same firm has also been active in registration drives in Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. And this isn’t the first time this firm has been accused of chicanery. Sproul & his gang have also been accused of illegally shredding voter registration forms where the citizen was registering as the “other” party. Naturally, this raises obvious questions of whether any of the firm’s work can be trusted, and this week the Republican National Committee terminated its contract with SAC.
Wait, what? A Republican group is being accused of voter fraud? But I thought only Democratic organizations did that! You know, ACORN and all them?
Hmm. I may have to rethink that apology.
Folks, this is no laughing matter. Our vote is one of the essential ways we citizens communicate with our government. Every two years we decide who we want representing us. Our votes are counted (we hope) and the winners get sent to Washington D.C. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. How can we trust the integrity of the system if one of the parties seems hell-bent on hiring people who can’t be trusted?
I know I’m bound to hear all about how “both parties do it” and that supposedly makes them equal. Fine. Prove it. Show me the Democratic groups and elected officials who have been systematically working to suppress voter turnout in Republican districts, as Republican legislatures have actually been doing in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida. Show me the liberal groups organizing across the country to visit polling places and bully voters into showing I.D.’s that aren’t required, as the self-appointed watchdog group Voter Integrity Project is planning on doing (I know, they claim to be non-partisan. We’ll see). And show me the Democratic state legislatures working overtime to make it harder for citizens to vote by cutting back on early voting and creating ridiculously complicated ballots, as is happening in Florida as we speak. And show me the Democratic governors calling for mass purges of the voter rolls, as Florida governor Rick Scott has done.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
But until I see some actual evidence that there is widespread voter fraud other than what is being perpetrated by conservative and right-leaning groups, I will continue to rail and rant against voter I.D. laws.