Protect Your Voting Rights on November 6
Election monitors will be on hand this year as well, many from True the Vote, an organization committed to rooting out voter fraud that has been accused of intimidating minority voters. For its part, True the Vote cites a 2012 Pew research study's
findings that voter registration systems are outdated as evidence of the widespread potential for voter fraud. That study concluded:
Voter registration in the United States largely reflects its 19th-century origins and has not kept pace with advancing technology and a mobile society. States’ systems must be brought into the 21st century to be more accurate, cost-effective, and efficient.
Research commissioned by the Pew Center on the States highlights the extent of the challenge:
- Approximately 24 million—one of every eight—voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate.
- More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters.
- Approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.
Meanwhile, researchers estimate at least 51 million eligible U.S. citizens are unregistered, or more than 24 percent of the eligible population.
True the Vote also has a page that it says proves that there have been recent voter fraud prosecutions and convictions in 46 states. A cursory look at some of the links produced stories about absentee ballot fraud, a carpet-bagging candidate, a vote-buying scheme, and at least one case of illegal voting by a non-citizen. Others were stories about identity theft that did not mention voting. Still others involve cases under investigation that have not been resolved.
The Brennan Center says that its research finds that voting fraud is exceedingly rare. A 2012 analysis of more than 2000 alleged voter fraud cases by News 21 found "scant evidence that it happens." More importantly, they found no evidence that the voter ID laws passed in recent years were needed.
All eyes are on the U.S.
Finally, a personal note.
Last month, I spent a week in Nepal giving presentations on Minority Rights in Civil Society at the behest of the US Embassy there. The tiny nation between India and China has been in the throes of a constitutional crisis, trying to find a political model that will help members of historically-marginalized groups -- such as women, indigenous peoples, the Dalits, Christians, Muslims, disabled folks -- live and contend peacefully alongside former Maoist insurgents, monarchists, and Hindu nationalists. The Embassy brought me there for conversations about the degree to which the American struggle for equality holds lessons for the builders of civil society in Nepal. I found myself repeatedly stressing that the importance of equal access to the ballot and faith in the integrity of the voting process.
They are watching. Indeed, the whole world is watching.
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