Donald Trump has said a lot of crazy things even before he even won the Presidency. A lot of his assertions focus on “fake news,” or news stories that are not real and made up. Most of his fake news claims end up being bogus claims, and actual news. One of his claims that is definitely not bogus however, is his voter fraud claim. (To be clear, his stance that voting fraud occurred during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election has proven to be false. However, we are focusing on prior United States elections, but still basing it on his general claim of voter fraud. We’re basing this position more on the state voting level, than a national Presidential voting level). It was proven that during recent elections people who voted in certain states used the identifications of deceased people.
In September of 2016 it was discovered by a CBS television station based in Denver, Colorado that multiple citizens in Colorado voted using identities of dead people. CBS4 found that out of approximately two million people in Colorado’s last voting cycle (pre-2016) that 8,000 votes were cast with signatures that did not match those of the ID on the voter. (Maass, 2016) As a party, we think that taking a dead person’s voting rights (which they clearly don’t have anymore since they’re dead) is completely unjust and morally corrupt.
Solution (PART 1):
Our party does have a solution to this. Our solution involves a committee of workers in a special section of the government designed to prevent voter fraud. Employees of that committee will take online death certificates and scan them into a national online database. We will then have that database accessible to voting officials on election day via a laptop and mobile application.
How does it work on election day?
It’s works pretty simple from there. Once voters show up to the polls at their designated voting locations on election day, they must show their ID at the front table to sign in. If the ID they used comes up as a deceased person in our database, the person who’s attempting to vote is immediately is barred from entering the voting booths at that polling area. The person attempting to vote using a dead person’s ID will also have their identification taken down by police at the polling area and they will also be subject to arrest for Attempting to Commit Voter Fraud. There is no reason why voting fraud should not be treated as a crime, and to the same level as identity fraud or credit card fraud.
With our plan, we aim to make Voting Fraud exactly that. Under our plan, we will make Voter Fraud in the form of voting as a deceased person a Class B Felony crime, with a large fine, and if convicted, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If you are convicted of committing voter fraud, you will also receive a lifetime revocation of your United States voting rights. We live in a free country made up of a democracy. While it is definitely a right that every legal U.S. citizen has a right to vote once they turn 18, we believe having that right to vote is a privilege that cannot be abused. Americans should feel very fortunate having the right to vote, as citizens in some other countries such as China, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam, Belarus, and Qatar do not have.(ITV Report)
Other Types of Voting Fraud
There are more types of voting fraud though, than just voting as a dead person. Other types of voting fraud include people voting in more than one state or town.
In the 2008 general election a voter in Southern Idaho tried to do just that. Walter Coiner tried to vote once in his hometown of Ketchum, Idaho. He then tried to cast an absentee ballot in nearby Twin Falls, Idaho. Coiner was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation, 40 hours of community service, and was fined $375. He was then immediately eligible to vote in the following year’s election. (Snead, 2015). Coiner was far from the only person to be convicted of voter fraud. And it really gets worse than that. In Georgia a case of voter fraud actually impacted the decision of the local election. In 2007, Tom Raney was a candidate for city council seat in the city of Jackson, Georgia. Raney’s campaign worker, Debra Brown, plead guilty to conspiracy to commit absentee ballot fraud
From the Georgia Inspector General’s findings: “The inspector general determined Raney filled out two voter registration applications for electors; filled out and took possession of 48 absentee ballot applications for electors after they were signed; and filled in elector information on at least two absentee ballot envelopes for electors. Brown was found to have unlawfully “assisted numerous absentee electors” with voter registration applications and absentee ballots.” (Heritage Foundation)
From The Heritage Foundation’s Report on Raney: “Raney and his campaign worker, Debra Brown, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit absentee ballot fraud for mishandling more than 40 absentee ballots in the 2007 Jackson City Council race. Raney had won the election by 27 votes. Both were sentenced to two years probation. Raney was fined $158,000 and Brown was fined $20,000.” (Heritage Foundation)
Big time registration fraud in Colorado and Kansas.
In Colorado and Kansas alone up to 10,000 people are believed to be registered to vote in both states according to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Yes, 10,000 people! In an interview with CBS4 in Denver, Colorado Kobach goes on to say “any one of those 10,000 people could probably succeed in casting two votes.” Even if only half of those 10,000 people cast two ballots, that coul still drastically impact and election. (Maass and Ackerman) Our party is strongly against people being able to vote in more than one state.
SOLUTION (PART 2):
Our plan to prevent people from voting in more than one state is similar to our plan to prevent people from voting as deceased voters. At the polls on voting day, voters will again be asked to present their driver’s license, or state identification cards. Beforehand, every voter’s ID will be put into the same online database before election day that we’ll use for preventing people from voting in the names of deceased people. In that online database, it will show what state that person’s address is in. They can only register to vote in one state. They can only register one address in that one state. Whatever state that address is located in on that form of ID card, will be the only state that person is eligible to vote in. Once that person votes in their assigned polling place, it will be their only location they are allowed to vote in on election day that year. How will that work? Once that person has their ID card or driver’s license scanned at their assigned polling place there the online database will automatically make a note of it. If that person attempts to vote in another location or state that same day, they will be immediately caught once they go to scan their form of identification card at the second polling location. Once they go to scan their card at the second voting location, a police officer on duty will be notified imminently, and that person will be immediately subject to arrest for “Attempting to commit voter fraud.”
Just like with attempting to vote in the name of a deceased person, voters who are convicted of attempting to commit voter fraud will face steep penalties. Under our plan, we will make Attempting to Commit Voter Fraud in the form of double registration a Class B Felony crime, with a large fine, and if convicted, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If you are convicted of committing voter fraud, you will also receive a lifetime revocation of your United States voting rights.
Voegtlin, Stewart. “Raney, Brown Plead Guilty to Ballot Fraud; Judge Wilson Gives Both Two Years Probation.” Clayton News. Clayton News, 21 Apr. 2010. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.