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October 27, 2004

Cramer on Vote Fraud

Clayton Cramer has a good post on a simple form of vote fraud: just pretend to be someone else and vote before they do. Absentee and early voting make this kind of fraud particularly easy. He recounts one such incident that just happened. One part of his story that struck me in particular was that the authorities were completely uninterested in pursuing whoever perpetrated the fraud. When there's no enforcement, we can expect a lot of fraud. This is a major advantage of the electoral college. If we simply elected whoever had a majority of the popular vote, that would give a big incentive to pile up fraudulent vote in the states in which you had complete control of the government. We still have a problem with this within states: a corrupt part of a state can exercise undue influence via fraud.

Cramer also writes about an easy step towards reducing the problem:

Question: Is there any good reason why a voter should not have to present valid identification at the polling place?

The answer, by the way, is No.

I consider one of the most important actions of the next Congress to be passing a law requiring anyone voting in a federal election to show an official picture ID.

The other easy step is to reduce the amount of absentee voting, or to eliminate it altogether.

Posted by erasmuse at October 27, 2004 09:43 AM

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