Republican lawmakers are fond of talking about voter fraud to justify measures to make it harder to vote. Wendy Weiser of New York University’s Brennan Center of Justice put her finger on the nation’s biggest source of voter fraud when she said, “Every year, election officials strike millions of names from the voting rolls using processes that are secret, prone to error and vulnerable to manipulation.” So in the name of combating scandal officials perpetuate it by denying Americans one of their most precious rights. And instead of correcting the abuse, partisan lawmakers are busy erecting still more obstacles to voting.
The organized effort to suppress voting has reached the point that bona fide nonprofits are fearful of registering voters lest they face prosecution. If it isn’t already a criminal offense, it should be made one to knowingly deny anyone access to the voting booth without persuasive evidence. Cases of actual voting fraud are so few and far between that claims of suspected fraud should be viewed with utmost suspicion.
If lawmakers persist in attempting to suppress voting, extreme measures may be justified. One such step might be appealing to the United Nations to monitor the conduct of U.S. national elections. Super-patriots could be expected to create an uproar over foreigners having a say on U.S. elections, but the U.N. monitors elections all the time. Besides, if everything is on the up and up, there’s no harm in having disinterested monitors validate U.S. election procedures.
Knowing that the U.N. is in the wings just might rein in the partisan hotheads in state legislatures who would stop at nothing to win an election.