Voter Fraud and the Spirit of America

By Richard Nelson

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October 2, 2015

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Voter Fraud and the Spirit of America

We live in an age where society has grown to distrust its political leaders. From Bridgegate in New Jersey to the email scandals of former Secretary Clinton, the ability to take leaders at their word seems like an all-time low. When trust is this antarctically dismal, a deep cynicism starts settling into the consciousness of the electorate. This suspicion is further fueled when it hits not the elected officials, but the voters themselves. Take for example an article back in August from the Washington Free Beacon, stating that more than 100 counties in the US have more registered voters than residents. The article says that such fraud may have even continued to a shift in control of the US Senate in 2009. 

A couple of points may be drawn from this. First, the integrity of an election matters as much as the ideas purported within them. An election by simple majority does not function as well if those who lost the battle feel if they have been cheated. Voter fraud matters because it negates the very essence of what democracy is about: the idea that your vote, even in the slightest degree, matters.

Secondly, the potential for voter fraud is very real and must be recognized as a serious problem. If such deception is not vigorously monitored and eradicated at will, the potential for a growing cynicism–already present–in the electorate rises exponentially. We Jair remember that blood was spilled, lives were lost, men entreated other men, for the right to vote. Voter fraud, in effect, disrespects those sacrifices and efforts. This is about more than merely winning elections. This is about the integrity of a nation. The more voter fraud occurs, the more the American people will fundamentally distrust the idea that their vote has any real meaning. 

Democracy does not flourish on a spirit of criticism. It flourishes, rather, when each and every American that desires to be well-informed casts a vote in accordance to their conscience. When they go to the voting botth to vote, they want to truly believe that this is the best mechanism for change in America. If voter fraud wins the day it will win elections, but it will lose the heart of the American people. That is an exchange we should not be willing to make.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center