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Voter fraud cure could be worse than the disease

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The claim is that millions of people voted illegally in last November’s presidential election.

President Trump says he is going to have an investigation into how large the problem is.

We want to be sure that the cure is not worse than the disease. One possible solution to the problem of voter fraud is to create one national database of voters. That way any registration in one state will automatically cause registrations in other states to be nullified. We think there is probably a large number of people who have moved across state lines in their adult life who have registered to vote in their new home. And we think that many, maybe most, never thought to unregister in their old home state. And we are also pretty sure that most survivors never think about sending death certificates to the election officials in their loved one’s home state.

While it used to be said of Chicago that politicians urged people to vote early and often, we don’t think there is widespread abuse of this manner. Only a federal investigation will clear up how large this problem is.

But one thing we are very sure of is that there is computer hacking going on every day. Target, Yahoo, Arizona’s voter registration system, the Democratic National Committee and the U.S. State Department are some of the entities known to have been hacked. It took months in some cases for these entities to realize it had happened, years in other cases.

So the one thing we don’t want to see come out of this investigation is a single, on-line database of voter registration records. Such a database would make the system more vulnerable to hacking by a world full of people with evil intentions as well as kids who just want to see if they can change everyone’s name in the database to Donald.

Goodyear voting underway

Speaking of voting, Goodyear’s City Council election is right around the corner.

The deadline to register to vote is Feb. 13. Election day is March 14. Voters should start receiving their ballots shortly after Feb. 15, but before you rush that completed ballot off to the post office, you might want to attend a candidate forum co-sponsored by the West Valley View and the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce. There you will hear from Mayor Georgia Lord who is facing off with former Mayor Jim Cavanaugh for mayor, as well as Councilwoman Wally Campbell, Councilman Joe Pizzillo, and newcomers Brannon Hampton, Sara Gilligan and Jayson Black, who are all vying for three council seats. Litchfield Park Vice Mayor Paul Faith will moderate.

The forum is set to begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at Skyway Church, 14900 W. Van Buren St., Goodyear.

We’ll see you there!

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Gordon Posner's picture

   There is a problem with our voter registration rolls, but it's not voter fraud!  That pernicious lie (now adopted by Lying Trump, but long a staple of Republicans) has been refuted by every study done, including the most recent one used to support that lie.  Your own editorial indicates what the real problem is: not "fraud", but bureaucratic incompetence!

   The problem indeed is that the various Boards of Election (and similar agencies) which maintian the voter rolls don't talk to each other!  (Often, they don't pay attention to themselves either.)  When I lived in New York I regularly carried nominating petitions, walking door-to-door to get signatures from members of my party.  I can't tell you how many times I found the person registered at an address had either moved, died, or denied being registered at all!  I would dutifully note this, and inform my local Board of Elections, but the following year I'd go through the same thing again.  This wasn't "fraud", but simply the failure of the Board to keep its records up to date.

   (Nor was this a partisan issue, since the Board was evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, and there was a Commissioner from each Party in charge, so each could "keep an eye on the other".)

   When I moved here, I filled out the Registration Form, including the question which asked "If you were registered to vote in another state, list former address including county and state".  Despite having done so, I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover I'm still registered in New York!

   The reverse is also true.  I have good friend, a Catholic Nun, who moved from Arizona to Pennsylvania a few years ago.  Last I checked she's still registered to vote at her Tolleson address!  Clearly neither State talks to the other.

   But I'm also reasonably sure she hasn't voted here since she moved, and that no one else has "on her behalf". So while her registration is screwed up, there's no fraud (or voting fraud) involved.

   That, of course, is the key to why Lying Trump's claim that millions voted illegally is false.  If there was such fraud going on, then the voting records of both States would show my friend actually voted in both States!  (Remember, we have to "sigin-in" before we can vote - a much better form of "Id" than photographic cards that can be forged, just ask any underage drinker with a false Id!)  If there's no such record of her voting in both States, then there was no fraud.

   A similar survey could be done for the entire nation, at great expense of course.  Except we've already done it (several times), and the results are the same: no proof of wide-spread voting fraud - certainly not in the millions!

   Which doesn't make your "cure" a bad idea.  I think better communication between the Boards of Elections (or whatever they're called in a State) is needed.  A national database seems like a place to start, except (as you go on to mention) for the problem of hacking!  But use of the good old U.S. Mail, or even a Fax Machine or E-mail, should suffice provided people at the Boards pay attention!

   Oh, and since the false claim of wide-spread voting fraud is being used to deprive legitimate voters of their rights, I would add a few conditions to any attempt to "clean up" these records.

1) It can't be done in a major election year, not when we're voting for President, Congress, or Governor and State Legislature (etc.).

2) There must be advanced notice for anyone who's name is being removed, and an opportunity cheaply, quickly, and easily to challenge the removal before it happens!

3) Any State that wishes to "purge the rolls", demand picture Voting Id's, or otherwise make it more difficult, expensive, and time consuming to register (and stay registered) must provide a free mobile service.  Like the old "library on wheels", there should be mobile registration vans, which people can use to obtain the proper Id, and correct any problems with their registration.  The vans should make a "circuit" of their respective counties (etc.) on a schedule announced in advance, and designed to allow people to easily avail themselves of its services - especially those too poor, elderly, or infirm to travel long distances, and those who can't take time off from work either.  (I suggest the vans run on weekends, not just during the week.)

   Some might object that this will be expensive, but hey, we're only talking about the right to vote, the most basic right of all!

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