My Opportunity for Voter Fraud

The hot voter ID button seems to only be getting hotter these days.  Many arguments have been floating around as to why or why not HB 351, “Restore Confidence in Government,” should be passed.  I would like to share a slightly different perspective on the issue.

In the 2008 General Election I found myself in a very odd situation – one that might have been easily avoided if voters were required to show photo ID.  As I walked into a Wake County polling center I was greeted with news that I had voted earlier in the day.

A vote had been cast in my name but the voter had not been me.  I was still able to vote, because in less than five minutes the poll worker decided that my father had voted in my place earlier that day; a poll worker mistakenly gave him my label to vote.  My father and I share the same name, he is the third and I am the fourth.  It was decided that whoever helped my father had not noticed the difference in our names and ages.

The poll worker’s judgment call allowed me to vote a regular ballot that I placed in the tabulator.  At the time, I was grateful for their decision as it facilitated my voting process.  In retrospect I believe it was a risky decision.  I should have been required to cast a provisional ballot and let the county board of elections rule on the matter.  It is disconcerting that a poll worker could make such a decision without truly knowing if it was my father who voted earlier that morning.

Ironically, the poll worker asked me to show her my ID before casting my ballot.

The poll worker’s guess fortunately turned out to be true, but if I were a dishonest man, her decision would have facilitated fraud.

When my father checked in to vote, the only verification he provided was his name and a verbal “yes” when asked if he lived at a certain address. This means that if I was aware that my neighbors were out of town and did not fill out an absentee ballot, I could walk up and cast their vote myself.  From there all that stands in my way is my ability to say “yes” and smile as they read off an address.

The current law requires that voters state their name and address.  It only takes five minutes worth of memorization to be able to recall someone’s name and address when prompted.

HB 351 seems to be a no-brainer and is heavily backed by North Carolina citizens.  A poll put on by the Civitas Institute shows that nearly 70 percent of voters support the bill.  However, Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the bill saying that it would create a burden and “unfairly disenfranchise voters.”  It does not make sense that she would veto something so widely supported.  Perdue argues that the legislation will harm the African-American voting community.

Over the July 4th weekend, however, the Rhode Island legislature enacted a similar law requiring voters to present a photo ID.  The bill was co-sponsored by state senator Harold Mets, an African-American Democrat.

Mets defended his actions by saying, “As a minority citizen and a senior citizen I would not support anything that I thought would present obstacles or limit protections, but in this day and age, very few adults lack one of the forms of identification that will be accepted, and the rare person who does can get a free voter ID card from the Secretary of State.”

North Carolina’s voter ID legislation has similar requirements to Rhode Island’s law.  As a possible veto override approaches, let’s hope the North Carolina legislature sides with the public and takes the necessary steps to prevent voter fraud and reconsider a fair, but firm, voter photo ID bill.

Will Garvey is an intern at the Civitas Institute in Raleigh ( This op-ed originally appeared in Wake Weekly and the Lincoln Tribune.

This article was posted in Elections & Voting by Will Garvey on July 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM.

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Comments on this article

  • 1

    Debbie Maritato
    Debbie Maritato Jul 26, 2011 at 11:11

    We need more than photo id since phony id seems to be the norm these days amongst illegal immigrants. I am an office manager and on a daily basis I see phony DL and phony SS cards. We need to go further than photo id – we need to verify citizenship upon registration.

    This is America where English is the chosen language, instructions should only be posted in English, as a requirement for citizenship in this country one must be able to read and write in English therefore there should be no reason to accommodate the non english speaking/reading population.

    We have to take back our Country, a Country that was founded on immigration – but founded on immigrants that wanted to truly be a part of this country – embracing the laws and the culture.

    Voting is a right of citizens – if you want to vote – become a citizen.

  • 2

    Rusty Holt
    Rusty Holt Jul 27, 2011 at 6:46

    The scenario described happens nearly every voting opportunity at my polling place. I share my name with my father and son, all with different suffixes. My son and I have the same address. The poll workers that know my family get it right but we frequently have to straighten out who has voted with the supervisor. Interestingly they ask for an ID to verify and make it official. Valid proof of age or identity is required to do many things, voting should be one of them. I have witnessed what I perceived to be voter fraud and was told that it was allowed by the poll worker. Actually their answer indicated it was a frequent occurrence. Somehow we need to have a consistent enforceable process to ensure legitimate voting. I think requiring an ID to vote is a start.

  • 3

    Encee Dubya
    Encee Dubya Jul 27, 2011 at 8:48

    I agree 100% with Debbie Maritato. I am older than dirt and have voted in every election but one since 1952. I could not vote then as I was hospitalized in 1964 after the great Alaskan Earthquake. I have witnessed every type of voter fraud and complained each time. The easiest method to prevent voter fraud is to require a photo ID. I have witnessed no such fraud in thousands more transactions in banks where the requirement of a drivers license is required to cash a check. I view voting as valuable as a check cashing!

  • 4

    perry Jul 27, 2011 at 11:03

    she vetoed it because she knows mexicans vote democrat,look how many votes the dems would get from illegal mexicans.NC needs to do want Alabama done ,they are going to keep a count of illegals in the school system ,so they will know how much its costing them because of illegals. Also we should do like Ohio done they are putting Obama care on the ballet in 2012 and, let the people vote on it Why can’t we do this

  • 5

    Philip Jul 27, 2011 at 12:41

    It only makes logical sense that we provide an i.d before we get to vote. It would ensure us illegal aliens aren’t voting in our elections. all the talk about being disenfranchised is coming from the minorities with no proof at all, of there false claims. they want no i.d. to be shown so they can keep continuing there crimes against our elections process. if these minorities want third worldism then get out of her, and leave for your own country of origin, where ever it might be. Us Citizens have wearied of your shenanigans and law breaking.

  • 6

    Starving Artist
    Starving Artist Jul 27, 2011 at 13:47

    …as a requirement for citizenship in this country one must be able to read and write in English therefore there should be no reason to accommodate the non english speaking/reading population.

    Hmmm, it seems that foreign countries have certainly made an effort to learn English or provide English when they are likely to come in contact with Americans in their daily lives (see Japan, China, and pretty much any country in Europe) and I see no reason why we shouldn’t do the same for Hispanic people. If you immigrated to one of those countries, how would you like it if they intentionally barred you from information you needed? Do you speak another language yourself? If you had to learn one right this second, how long would it take you? It’s hard to learn a language, too, when you’re afraid to talk to the people who speak it because they’ve got in in for you.

  • 7

    Starving Artist
    Starving Artist Jul 27, 2011 at 13:58

    @Debbie again
    We have to take back our Country, a Country that was founded on immigration – but founded on immigrants that wanted to truly be a part of this country – embracing the laws and the culture.

    I’ll remind you that the very first immigrants to this country completely decimated the Native American population, destroying their laws, cultures, land, lives, etc. We don’t exactly have a clean history of that ourselves, so I wouldn’t go around patting America on that back in that regard.

  • 8

    Starving Artist
    Starving Artist Jul 27, 2011 at 14:13

    @Perry and Philip

    I would vote Democrat too if I were Hispanic and the only Republicans I knew were guys like you who could only see me as an “illegal,” an “alien,” or a “minority,” not as a person with a life. No matter how much you disagree with their behavior as a group, they’re still people, individual people with jobs and families and lives that actually aren’t terribly different from your own. And if they continue to be able to vote in elections (and I don’t see why they shouldn’t, if they’re living here like the rest of us shmoes), Republicans aren’t going to have much sway with them as a voter group until you can address them as people, and not just demean them with negative labels.

  • 9

    Pat Jul 27, 2011 at 15:22

    I saw in the Winston Salem journal this morning that one of Perdue’s excuses for veto was the fact that 147,000 people didn’t have id’s and so it would hurt Obama’s chances of getting re-elected…hmmmm did she mean he needed illegal voters in order to win????
    How in this day and age can anyone not have an id and function?

  • 10

    Sal DiSciascio
    Sal DiSciascio Jul 27, 2011 at 22:10

    The poll worker should NOT have read off the address. That is not the way it is supposed to be done. The voter states their name then verifies their address by reciting the address while the worker confirms. I was a worker in Pamlico and the woman next to me consistently read off the address even after she was corrected more than once. Needless to say, she wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree.

  • 11

    Ahmed Habibi
    Ahmed Habibi Jul 27, 2011 at 22:15

    Pat wrote: “How in this day and age can anyone not have an id and function?” Two ways:

    1. ID’s? We don’ need no stinkin’ ids!!!

    2. Dey sits on de po’ch and rock and rock all de day away… Dat be how.

  • 12

    Mel Morganstein
    Mel Morganstein Aug 02, 2011 at 13:15

    The louder the Democrats scream and caterwaul about why we should not pass a voter ID bill, the more you can see right through all the hysteria and know that they have something to hide and something to protect. With “early” and “straight ticket” voting, you know they have been given every opportunity to stuff the ballot box using straw voters, etc.
    NC Delegate Jim Gully took his elderly mother to the polls to vote for him (of course) and she was told that she “…had already voted…” He knew darn well that the opposition was mining the voter roles and using voter fraud to grab every ballot they could. To top it off, only an eyewitness could file a vote fraud complaint, which is the reason that the Dems can claim that “incidents of voter fraud are so low!” Yea, sure. Because they have made it impossible to file complaints.
    Note too that Governor Perdue hosted a reception for government interns at the governor’s mansion and her invitation noted that “Picture ID’s Are Required” to gain admittance. Huh?

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