“We need our next president to take office with full legitimacy,” Fund said. “40 percent of the country already has substantial questions about whether or not our votes are counted fairly and accurately. About 60 percent of that 40 percent thinks there is a large amount of voter fraud.”
Such cynicism undermines American democracy, Fund said.
“We passed a Voting Rights Act…to remove poll taxes, literacy tests, and other barriers to voting,” Fund said. “But each and everyone one of you has a second civil right, which is not to have your vote cancelled out by someone who shouldn’t be voting, someone who’s voting twice, or someone who doesn’t even exist. You can be as effectively disenfranchised by someone canceling out your vote as by someone standing in front of the door of a courthouse and preventing you from voting.”
Fund’s speech came amidst the metastasizing ACORN scandal, in which the community activist organization is accused of creating hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations in more than a dozen states.
Fund said he has an ally in longtime civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who has called for investigations into voter registration fraud as well as voter intimidation and disenfranchisement.
“Both breed cynicism and despair,” Fund said. “If we allow that to grow, it undermines the legitimacy of our elections. It prevents people from turning out to vote.”
In a close race, fraudulent votes can also determine the outcome of an election.
“We saw what happened in Washington in 2004, during the governor’s race, which was decided by 133 votes,” Fund said. “It was proven that more dead people and more felons voted in that election than the 133-vote margin.”
Fund opposes massive absentee ballot voting and very early voting, saying both create more opportunity for fraud and undermine the campaigns.
“In some states, we had people voting before the first presidential debate even took place,” he said.
He also called for the elimination of same-day voter registration, which gives election officials no time to verify if the voter is eligible, as well as mail-only ballot systems, which can easily be tampered with.
“I’m like Ronald Reagan in my belief that we shouldn’t simply have an honor system when it comes to voting,” Fund said. “I say trust, but verify.”