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Voter fraud? What voter fraud?

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
Voter fraud? What voter fraud? story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In addition to the relatively complex issues and elections facing voters on November 6th is Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's 'check box' effort to stamp out voter fraud in Michigan.

Despite lots of confusion in August during the primary, Johnson has once again ordered clerks around the state to ask people to affirm they are citizens before they will be allowed to vote.

In Tom's Corner tonight, Tom Van Howe says the whole effort might be worthwhile if there was any evidence of significant voter fraud, but there isn't any.


It has been an almost comical effort in the number of states around the country—all part of a conservative war on voter fraud.

In Pennsylvania, for example, proponents of a voter id card have yet to produce even one example—not one—of someone casting a vote illegally.

A prosecutor there finally conceded that voter fraud is unlikely because the risk is not worth the reward. If you rob a bank, you might go to prison, but on the other hand you might get away with a lot of money.

If you pose as someone else at the ballot box, you risk seven years in prison and huge fines in return for giving the candidate of your choice a single extra vote.

It's not what you'd call a thinking person's crime.

Nonetheless, Secretary of State Johnson is on a similar mission to stamp out evil doers at the polls.

Just the other day she said Michigan "could have" up to four thousand non-citizens on is voter rolls.

Not "does" have, with particulars.

But "could" have.

She went on to reveal that her staff had found a thousand non-citizens on the rolls—54 of whom have a history of voting illegally.

That's point-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-eight percent of our voting population.

Because it proved so confusing during the primary, and because Governor Snyder already vetoed Johnson’s effort for legislation to achieve exactly what she's doing anyway, and because at least one advocacy group is taking Johnson to court to stop her—a number of elections clerks are thumbing their noses at her.

Which makes all of this amazingly stupid.

I really don't have a problem with checking a box to affirm that I am, indeed, a citizen and should be allowed to vote.

But when I check that box, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin! Doesn't prove a thing.

And when it achieves so little, why muck up the process with something that some people find not only confusing but intimidating?

And for the record—the best example of political fraud in this state comes not from any regular voters, but from Speaker of the House Jase Bolger and Representative Roy Schmidt.

I guess the Secretary forgot about that.

From this corner... I’m Tom Van Howe.
Voter fraud? What voter fraud?
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