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It's time to pass real reforms to end voter fraud

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Liberals Would Let Dogs Vote

It’s time to pass real reforms to end voter fraud

How does a dog vote?

It’s a question to ponder. Dogs do end up on voter lists from time to time — one was registered in St. Louis in 2000 — and I worry that today’s polling places are not dog-friendly. Can a dog operate a touch screen election machine? Are owners permitted into the voting booth to help their pets?

Seriously. Nowadays dogs, the deceased, convicted felons, illegal immigrants and imaginary people are registered to vote. This shouldn’t be. But to hear some liberal groups, any rules and restrictions on the franchise are intolerable.

One liberal group seems to think that everyone should get to register to vote no matter whether they’re legally entitled to vote. The only disqualifying factor might be if the prospective voter doesn’t support the group’s radical agenda.

That group is ACORN, also known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. As revealed by research from the Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s Jonathan Bechtle, ACORN pays its employees by the number of voters they register. In Ohio in 2004, state election officials started to receive voter registration cards from ACORN that were filled out in identical handwriting for names with false addresses.

In Minnesota, police found hundreds of signed registration cards in the trunk of a worker who was suspected of registering voters twice to double his fees. In Colorado, a woman reportedly helped her boyfriend forge names on registration forms to help him make $50.

In 2004 another liberal group, America Coming Together (ACT), coordinated its activities with other groups to spend $200 million to defeat George W. Bush. In at least three states it hired workers, some of them felons convicted of violent offenses, to go door-to-door to register voters.

Today Americans all over the country — many of them conservative, and even some liberals — are working to pass sensible reforms to stop voter fraud. One of the most important reforms is requiring voters to show a photo identification to vote. But liberal groups denounce these reforms as “voter intimidation” and “suppression.”

Nowhere is the problem more evident than in the state of Washington, where in 2004 Republican Dino Rossi won the governor’s race by 261 votes. Then after a judicial recount, he won by 42 votes. Then, after a hand recount funded in part by George Soros, he lost by 133 votes to Democrat Christine Gregoire.

But the Washington race wasn’t only close — it was fishy. In King County, officials found they had 875 more absentee votes counted than the number of people who said they voted absentee. Even more surprisingly, at least 55,175 votes were “enhanced” in King County, which means that poll officials decided how voters meant to vote for governor, even in cases where the voter didn’t pick a governor at all.

Throughout the state, 1,400 felons whose voting rights had not been restored were allowed to vote — one by absentee ballot from the comfort of his prison cell. And in five counties, 8,500 more ballots were counted than there were voters credited with voting.

After the Democratic candidate won, you heard no complaints from the so-called Election Protection Coalition. It’s made up of liberal groups — such as People for the American Way, the AFL-CIO, the NAACP and Common Cause — that usually object loudly to voting irregularities that work against liberal candidates.

But any American should object to any attempt to put left-wing party politics ahead of democracy. In Georgia, Indiana and Pennsylvania supporters of voting reform are supporting new laws to require that a citizen present a photo ID before voting. In Georgia the state legislature made sure that the identification cards are free of charge so the poor and elderly aren’t excluded from voting. But that hasn’t stopped hysterical voices on the left from comparing proof of identity to a vile, racist poll tax.

It’s time to pass real reforms to end voter fraud, and organizations including the American Center for Voting Rights and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation are working to promote workable policy solutions to improve our electoral process. Every illegal and fraudulent vote cancels out a legal vote. It disenfranchises genuine voters and hurts our democracy. That’s what is truly intolerable.

Dogs are great. I just don’t think they should be allowed to vote.

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Written By

Mr. Scanlon is president of the Capital Research Center. He previously was vice president for corporate relations at The Heritage Foundation and was a Reagan appointee to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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