Let’s talk for a moment about voter fraud.
If there’s an overblown, overhyped and overstated problem with the American electoral system, it has to be voter fraud.
Even in Texas, ,which has become somewhat legendary because of one instance of voter fraud. It occurred in 1948 when Duval County in South Texas supposedly recorded more votes than registered voters. The inflated number of votes allegedly pushed a young political candidate, Democrat Lyndon Johnson, over the top in his party primary runoff contest for the U.S. Senate.
How many instances of ballot-box chicanery have occurred in Texas since then? Damn few.
Republicans, though, have seized on voter fraud as a compelling national political problem. They keep insisting that Americans must prove they are eligible to vote by showing photo ID documents when they go to the polls.
I don’t necessarily object personally to showing photo ID when I go vote. I am able to present a valid driver’s license. A lot of Americans, though, do not drive; they don’t own passports; they don’t have licenses to carry concealed weapons. They’re out of luck.
Some courts have ruled that voter ID laws, therefore, to be inherently unconstitutional.
The most objectionable element of this discussion, though, has been the canard put forward that the electoral system is corrupt. Fear mongers — now led by Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump — keep insisting that illegal immigrants are voting by the thousands to elect Democrats to public office.
As Erica Grieder writes in her blog for Texas Monthly: “It’s true that voter fraud is real. It’s even true that there have been recorded instances of people passing themselves off as someone else in order to cast a fraudulent vote, which is the specific form of fraud that laws requiring photo ID might prevent. But that crime is not even remotely common, nor do Americans have any real cause to worry about elections being stolen in the most labor-intensive way imaginable.”
Trump is now predicting that the presidential election will be “rigged.” How does he know this to be true? He just says it.
Those who are following his futile efforts to change the subject away from his abject ignorance about anything relating to government and public policy, are buying into it.