Politics & Policy

Ballot-Box Zombies

Screen shot from a Project Veritas video in which a New Hampshire poll worker hands a ballot to an investigator whom she believes is Reynold Caron, who died months earlier
Dead voters prove the need for photo ID at the polls.

Liberals love to laugh off voter fraud. It’s “a made-up problem invented by GOP operatives,” Robert Koehler snickered in the Huffington Post on January 5. Regarding ballot hijinks, Democratic national chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz chuckled: “There is almost none.” Attorney General Eric Holder tittered, “In-person voting fraud is uncommon.”

But the recent news is not so funny. One probe recorded on tape how easily anybody can vote on behalf of dead Americans. Elsewhere, the total ballots cast by the dead exceeded the winning margins in several high-profile elections. These cases confirm the urgent need for all voters to prove that they are alive and to identify themselves correctly via photo ID — just as Americans do on non-election days.

James O’Keefe — the conservative video journalist whose hidden-camera sting operation doomed ACORN — struck again during the New Hampshire primary. O’Keefe’s organization, Project Veritas, dispatched three videographers to the Granite State. On January 10, they visited precincts in Manchester and Nashua and asked poll workers, one by one, if their voter rolls bore the names of several deceased people. Believing that O’Keefe’s collaborators were those registered, the poll workers handed out 10 ballots, and never once asked for photo ID.

#ad#“Live Free or Die,” a poll worker reassured one investigator whom she thought was Reynold Caron, who passed away last October 14. “This is New Hampshire. No ID needed.”

O’Keefe’s men immediately gave back each ballot and insisted that they wanted to leave each precinct and return with photo ID, although none was required. O’Keefe’s team members never cast these ballots. They returned them, unmarked, to precinct workers.

All of this is available on videotape at ProjectVeritas.com.

New Hampshire Democrats seem unconcerned that their voter rolls contain the names of dead people and that, absent ID rules, fraudsters conveniently could vote the ballots of the expired. Instead, Democrats want to indict these whistleblowers.

“They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, if in fact they’re found guilty of some criminal act,” Democratic governor John Lynch told WMUR-TV.

Republicans, however, consider this deadly serious.

“Despite the Governor’s veto of the photo ID bill last year, the House will begin again this year to restore confidence in our elections by passing legislation to require a photo ID,” New Hampshire’s Republican house speaker William O’Brien said on January 13. Following Project Veritas’s revelations, Granite State legislators recently began debating two photo-ID bills.

Meanwhile, South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson told the U.S. Justice Department on January 19 that his office has documented 953 cases in which ballots have been cast by dead voters in the Palmetto State. Democrats can giggle all they want, but 953 is a potentially game-changing number of votes.

Recall that Willard Mitt Romney originally won the Iowa caucuses by just eight votes, only to have a closer count reveal that Rick Santorum actually prevailed by 34 votes (with eight precincts’ votes still missing).

After an indecisive November 2008 election, Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) eventually won a final recount in which he defeated GOP incumbent Norm Coleman by 312 votes.

And, of course, 537 ballots gave George W. Bush Florida’s electoral votes and, consequently, the White House in 2000.

Thus, 953 haunted ballots could have reversed any of these races. Perhaps they already did.

The easiest way to disfranchise the dead is to require every voter to show photo ID. Those who lack identification should get it for free. Reasonable accommodations can be made for the infirm.

And let’s not hear the Left’s scratched record about how mandating photo ID for voters is step one on the road to lynching. If that were true, then demanding photo ID at America’s airports would make the TSA the KKK. The Left’s oft-cited claim that blacks are too befuddled to possess or acquire photo ID is pure racial profiling. Just how lame does the Left think black Americans really are?

ID cards would help cleanse America’s increasingly soiled voting system. Photo IDs also would allow dead people to rest in peace rather than rush to the polls every Election Day.

— New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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