This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Kenneth Blackwell was published June 16, 2015 by The Washington Times.
When two of the nation’s most prominent liberals claim that a political phenomenon does not exist, you know you’ve hit a sore spot.
Last week, in a major campaign speech at Texas Southern University, Hillary Clinton dismissed the “phantom epidemic of election fraud.” A couple of days ago, blogger Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos website, dismissed voter fraud as a “lie” and a “myth.”
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” as Shakespeare put it. If you really believe something doesn’t exist, you don’t waste your time denying it. There’s no such thing as an Easter Bunny deniers’ club.
It’s far more likely that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Moulitsas are fully aware that vote fraud is thriving in the United States. They don’t only know it exists, they’re counting on it, because they fear liberalism cannot win without cheating.
As a former Ohio secretary of state, I’ve learned a thing or two about vote fraud. To bring it off in large enough numbers to swing a statewide election, you need two crucial elements: a heavily populated area, so you can manufacture enough votes to count; and a jurisdiction with one-party rule, so you won’t be challenged. Inner cities are the ideal environment. During the 2012 elections, a total of 58 Philadelphia precincts registered no — zero — votes for Mitt Romney, and in 2008, armed thugs chased Republican poll watchers away from the polls.
While denying that vote fraud exists, Hillary demanded a set of electoral reforms that, taken together, would “nationalize” our election process — something our Founding Fathers deliberately avoided. She called on the federal government to institute mandatory 20-day voting periods, ease online registration, and automatically register every American to vote when they turn 18. The Constitution specifically reserves the power to regulate voting to the states, not the federal government, but the left has not allowed the Constitution to stand in its way for years.
Early voting has been adopted in many states, though, interestingly, not in Mrs. Clinton’s own New York. It makes observation of polling more difficult as it’s challenging enough to find volunteers to watch the polls on Election Day, much less the three weeks before Election Day.
Online registration would make impersonation of legitimate voters and creation of dummy voters much easier.
Automatic registration would be a vote fraud nuclear bomb. Under the present system, voter registration constitutes a major impediment to voter fraud, because you can’t cast a vote without first registering. If everybody is registered, however, there’s no need to chase down unregistered voters. A corrupt city administration could simply check the election records, determine who habitually does not show up to vote, and fill out fraudulent absentee ballots in their names.
Controlling the electoral process is a major pillar of Hillary’s campaign this year. According to The New York Times, “Democrats allied with Hillary Rodham Clinton are mounting a nationwide legal battle 17 months before the 2016 presidential election, seeking to roll back Republican-enacted restrictions on voter access that Democrats say could, if unchallenged, prove decisive in a close campaign.”
Hillary’s legal team has already filed lawsuits in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, with more suits expected to come in several other states.
It’s obvious that she plans to run another Obama-style divide-and-conquer, demonize-the-opposition campaign. She is falsely accusing Republicans of trying to disenfranchise her key constituencies — minorities, the poor and young voters — as if anybody is disenfranchised by having to show a state-issued ID to vote.
Mrs. Clinton needs the votes of angry victims. With a lack of achievements, a disastrous record in foreign policy, and a tawdry history of political corruption, all that’s left to do is cheat, rile up your base, and try to convince voters that the other guy is even worse.
In a sharply divided, rancorous nation, that’s no strategy for a statesman.