Voter fraud a nonexistent threat

June 1, 2014

As an immigrant arriving here over 40 years ago, I have become increasingly astonished as various factions within this country attempt to restrict voting, in some cases successfully, with the result that many Americans are denied their birthright.

By focusing on so-called voter fraud, which to date has never stood up to any close investigation as being a significant factor, the anti-voter faction seeks to instill a sort of xenophobia on peoples’ minds such that they fear the bogeyman of voter fraud and support any restrictions that may make voting more difficult for people who are not like themselves. In reality, all such actions only serve to disenfranchise a group of citizens who, by and large, tend to be poor minorities.

Reading the North Carolina scare statistics in the latest Cape Gazette letters I immediately Googled “voter registration fraud in North Carolina” and found that the issue was not even the subject of an official state investigation - it was a partisan-run campaign by an out-of-state political hack who purported to show that hundreds of thousands of votes in North Carolina had been cast by voters in more than one state. Furthermore, it appears that measures such as voter ID, which address voter impersonation, would have no effect on such voting in multiple states.

So we are back to square one – one faction is trying to disenfranchise voters who might vote against it. The possibility of illegal immigrants voting is such a no-brainer that it hardly merits further examination. Do people who think this really believe that such immigrants, who know that they are here illegally and could be deported at any moment, would really put themselves and their families in jeopardy by trying to vote? If so, I fear that this exhibits a considerable lack of deductive logic.

While same-day registration may not be the answer, a statewide campaign, going door-to-door to register voters and offer whatever voter IDs are required free of charge, would be the only fair way to address purported voter fraud, that I still consider a non-existent threat. Is it too expensive? It will certainly not be cheap, but the alternative is to disenfranchise citizens who may not otherwise be able to register for lack of money, transportation, time off from work, etc.

One of the letters in the latest Cape Gazette from a state senator who should know better, stated he had heard a colleague in the General Assembly tell him “a little fraud won’t hurt anything.” The answer to that is that a lot of disenfranchisement will hurt a lot.

Modern American politics seeks to race America to an exceptional place - at the bottom of the table of industrialized democracies in the world. Even Afghanistan and Iraq can hold elections despite their war-torn states, why cannot America do better? This is certainly not the same America I came to 40-plus years ago.

Richard Freeman

  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 650 words or fewer.  We reserve the right to edit for content and length.