“Election Fraud! Voter Fraud! Voter ID!”

Hysteria:

The Fox lede makes it sound pretty lurid: “Felony charges related to election fraud have touched the 2008 race for the highest office in the land.” And the headline, below which are arranged mugshot-style photos of the malefactors, reads: “4 Indiana Dems charged with election fraud in 2008 presidential race.”

Elsewhere are bloggy headlines and shouts about “voter fraud” and, inevitably, “voter ID,” viz: “The Real Reason Why Liberals Hate Voter ID: Four Indiana Democrats Charged with 2008 Election Fraud.”

Republicans promoting franchise-shrinking Voter ID laws, you see, are hard-pressed to supply evidence of any actual voter fraud, so anything that sounds remotely like it will get a lot of attention.

This brings to mind the old-time philosophical saw: if a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

By analogy: if in-person voter fraud occurs, but no ID is required to be presented, is there any evidence of the crime, or grounds for prosecution?

And it further begs the question: if everything is on the up and up, why all the hysteria over voter ID?

In any case, the voter ID debate is a great distraction from judicially-sanctioned incumbency gerrymandering, which is truly spoiling our electoral process (and receiving little commentary) even as the debate over voter ID rages.

 

[Washington Monthly, TFI]

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