How Safe IS Our Vote?

April 25, 2012

Just how are we to insure that our vote is not diluted by election fraud? In order for our democratic republic to function and thrive, elections must be free of fraud.

The Texas Legislature and Governor thought a good solution to reduce election fraud in this state was to pass into law requiring individuals to show photo ID before voting. The bill lists several forms of government-issued photo ID to be accepted at polling places, including identification issued by DPS (for most this will be a Texas driver's license or ID card); a military identification card that contains the voter’s photograph; a United States Citizenship certificate that contains the voter’s photograph; a United States passport; and a license to carry a concealed handgun issued by the DPS. The bill requires DPS to provide a free photo election ID to registered voters who request an ID. The bill also provides reasonable exceptions to the photo ID requirement for indigent and disabled voters and allows individuals not carrying photo ID to vote provisionally, as long as they provide verification of their identity within six days of the election.

A University of Texas-"Texas Tribune" poll in February 2011 found that 75 percent of Texans agree "with the idea that registered voters should be required to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls before they can be allowed to vote." Even 54 percent of those who identify themselves as "strong Democrats" agree with a photo ID requirement. Independents show strong support for photo ID: 69 percent. Requiring a photo ID before you can vote has strong state bi-partisan support.

David Simcox, former Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies released a study in early October 2008 that said an estimated 1.8 million to 2.7 million non-citizen immigrants in the United States may be illegally registered to vote and over 300,000 of them are from Texas, thereby potentially influencing the outcome of the upcoming presidential and congressional elections

A few people still recall reading about how in 1948 the future President Lyndon B. Johnson was certain to lose the election for the US Senate, when a protégé of George Parr, the "Duke of Duval" and political boss of the heavily Hispanic counties in southern Texas, "discovered" 200 allegedly uncounted ballots in Box 13, in Alice, Texas. These 200 "voters" cast their ballots 198 to 2 for Johnson, putting him over the top by 87 votes.

More recent and closer to home, on March 2006, voter fraud occurred in Calhoun County with the help of a former Port Lavaca city councilwoman.>

Now, the United States Justice Department has opposed the right of Texas as a state to ensure that eligible, qualified citizens are able to exercise their right to vote under a secure system that prevents election fraud.