“Not Widespread” – Minimizing the Need for Voter I.D. By Cranking Up The Voter Fraud Threshold
Rep Charlene Lima (D-Cranston) has put in a bill to repeal Rhode Island’s new voter id law.
What’s interesting is that, in her arguments, Rep Lima is attempting to shift the metric by which the need for voter i.d. is measured.
Until now, opponents of voter i.d. have argued against its implementation by attempting to diminish the problem of voter fraud to the point of non-existence. It really wasn’t a problem. There had been no prosecutions. Voter i.d. had been “a solution in search of a problem“.
Now, however, as she has made the media rounds to discuss her bill, the rep from Lima … er, Rep Lima has moved the goalpost. Now we don’t need voter i.d. because voter fraud is “not widespread”.
Presumably, this pronouncement is intended to be reassuring. Upon reflection, however, it is difficult to find solace in it.
Firstly, its credibility. As WPRO’s John Depetro, among others, correctly pointed out, whether non-existent or widespread, it is not possible to quantify the extent of voter fraud in the absence of a voter i.d. requirement.
Secondly, the margin which it represents. Think about how many elections have ended in a vote count that was “not widespread”. You don’t have to ponder too long – Governor Chafee won by less than three percentage points.
Sorry, “not widespread” is not an acceptable level of voter fraud. Opponents of voter i.d. speak of protecting an individual’s right to vote. Indeed, it should be – the right of all legitimate voters for their votes not to be diluted or negated by fraudulent vote casting.