Is Voter Fraud Real?

Over the course of several elections, there has been a lot of conversation regarding voter fraud. Does it really happen? One thing is certain-democracy, voting, fair elections, and equal rights are among those ideologies that humans must constantly work to preserve, update, and protect. If we don’t, things might unravel.

In this country, those aforementioned ideologies are still new. It has not yet been 100 years since women were granted the right to vote, and not yet half a century since the Equal Rights Amendment was made into policy. When consideration is given to the reality that some Southerners still refer to people across the Mason-Dixon Line as “Yankees,” well, it is apparent social change doesn’t occur overnight. Changing a belief system is often harder than changing a law, and many systems of belief are rooted in the American soil. So, we must continue to work. Things like fair elections are grown off the backs of those people who have fought and died for such causes. These new systems of belief and ideologies that contribute to the positive advancement of human rights and a productive society must constantly be nourished, or they die.­

Did you know voter-roll housekeeping is perfectly legal? Voter roll, purging inactive voters, was used in Florida and Ohio, both before and after the 2000 Presidential election; however, the 2000 election brought new attention to the practice. This gave rise to a wave of efforts, mainly carried out by Republicans during elections between 2000 and 2012, to suppress a Democratic vote by trying to pass voter ID laws, restricting voting hours, and limiting polling places, thereby disenfranchising voters. This is not fraud, but it is using the voting system as a tool to suppress a certain population.

American elections are not consistent because of the way the voting system has evolved historically. New York’s poor election administration can date back to 1980, or even earlier. Considering the history of New York State, including FDR and Tammany Hall, it’s easy to understand the state’s issues with voting. Look at the history of each U.S. state and how it approaches voting, and it’s not hard to see the tapestry of inconsistencies working underneath the Federal government’s watch to ensure Americans have a right to vote.

But again, this is not voter fraud. This also doesn’t mean the United States can’t and doesn’t hold fair elections. Also, this is not to say that what happened in some states during 1980, 2000, 2010, and 2012 will always happen. My point is that a healthy society is a work in progress, and we all have a part to play. Politics is a science with trials and errors.

This is a voting system that needs updated, streamlined, purged of inconsistencies, and, many argue, restructured for a popular vote. It won’t be easy and will involve the re-education of society; but, society has been re-educated many times before and will continue to educate itself. As long as we unite and discuss ideas for the forward advancement of society, and not divide, surely we will continue progressively toward the future.