Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Voter Fraud

I have to admit, I'm not fully in favor of a voter ID. I tend to agree that there isn't much evidence that there's "widespread" fraud, and an ID requirement wouldn't necessarily fix all of the problems. I don't buy in to the whole "disenfranchise" thing either, though. I feel if we were to implement a voter ID (or federal ID) people would just do it. All that said, I do support efforts to maintain voter integrity and to keep voting honest and fair. I have wanted to do away with same day registration and have emailed as many politicians as I could about it. From the JS:

Same-day registration. Republicans pushed through an Assembly committee a bill that would end Wisconsin's decades-old practice of letting voters register on Election Day, saying it invites fraud. One out of every five voters in the November 2006 election registered on that day, records show.

The party-line, 5-3 vote of the Assembly Elections and Constitutional Law committee sent the bill to the full Assembly for debate. Decker said the Senate won't take up the measure because the Democrats who control that house believe it would create barriers that would discourage people from voting.

"Wisconsin's high rate of voter participation is something we should be proud of and other states should be following our model," he said.

The bill would require voters to prove their residency and register 14 days before a general election.

Republican Rep. Robin Vos of Racine said the current system invites fraud, because it allows anyone to register to vote on Election Day by providing nothing more than a utility bill.

This just makes sense. In fact, one can make the argument that same day registration causes as much disenfranchisement as does voter ID. I've ben in lines when people in front of me have registered. It takes time and causes long waits. Plus, this seems to be where and when the bulk of fraud has occurred. By having people register in advance, it makes the voting list accurate, makes the process go faster, and eliminates the type of fraud we've seen in the past several elections.

Don't get me wrong. I'd support a voter ID bill. But this is a better and an attainable first step.

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