Tortured Logic, How the Left Is Highjacking the Voter ID Debate

Former Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Emmert writes “How would the left, the media, or anyone for that matter, know how pervasive in-person voter fraud is? The answer is they don’t, nor do they want to.”

I’ve grown weary of hearing how infrequent in-person voter fraud is nationally and particularly in Texas. I have a simple question for the people spinning that tale: How would you know?

I’ve heard the left’s talking points for years now. They say, “Well, so few people are getting prosecuted for it, so it must not be happening.” Then, recognizing the failure of logic in that statement, they throw in a few racial arguments about how minorities usually vote Democrat, and since minorities apparently cannot get a picture ID, this all must be a scheme by Republicans to keep them from voting.

Geez, give me a break.

The mainstream media is complicit in this fable. They write stories parroting those talking points and using the same tortured logic all while lamenting Texas’ efforts to disenfranchise voters at the ballot box.

How would the left, the media, or anyone for that matter, know how pervasive in-person voter fraud is?

The answer is they don’t, nor do they want to.

When there is no way to confirm the person who shows up to vote is the person whose name is on the voter registration card, how do you know they are who they say they are?

It is impossible to quantify an act that is not measured.

It’s like the old question about the tree falling in a forest and whether it makes a sound. This is the modified question of the Democrats: “If someone votes with another person’s voter registration card, and no one catches them, is it still fraud?”

Of course it is. Let’s be intellectually honest about it.

As the Republican Chairman of the second largest county in Texas for the past five years, I have a little bit of experience in this area. In my estimation, the only thing we can say for sure is that impersonation voting fraud does happen and that no one can say just how pervasive it is.

That’s why it’s so important that we take some reasonable steps to make sure people are who they say they are.

In the days before the Texas Voter ID law, election workers were required to give a ballot to anyone with a voter registration card. There was absolutely no provision in the law that allowed them to ask for any type of verification. None.

In today’s society, you rightly cannot look at the surname on a voter registration card and make an educated guess about the veracity of a person’s identity. With cultural blending, it’s unfair to stereotype people based on their name.

The result is that if someone showed up with a valid voter registration card, there was no mechanism in place to inquire, much less determine, if they were who they said they were.

A valid voter registration card was like a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket. If you have one — or two, or three — there was no way to stop someone intent on committing voter fraud. They could just go to a different early voting location and vote with impunity.

This was of particular concern in Dallas County several years ago when the Elections Department reprinted and mailed duplicate registration cards to about half the registered voters. How many of those cards found their way to someone other than the intended recipient?

Here are some real world examples:

I’ve talked with people who went into the polling booth and voted “on behalf” of one of their family members. Perhaps for an elderly parent or grandparent who “just can’t get out anymore.” Even if well-intentioned, it is still fraud.

I wonder how many times it happens with ill-intentions. Maybe on the last day of voting, a registered voter hands off their card to a family member or friend who votes in their place. Fraud.

I’ve heard directly from a son who voted for his father who had passed away a few weeks before the election. Again, fraud.

The left doesn’t know how often this happens and I don’t think they want to know.

They counter with, “Even if all this is happening, it’s such a small percentage that it’s not going to change the outcome of an election.”

That’s a dubious argument at best.

Elections are often won or lost by a single percentage point. I could point you to a handful of races decided by razor-tight margins. But that’s beside the point.

A democracy is built on the integrity of the election process. A society that turns a blind eye to the underpinnings of democracy is a society that takes voting for granted.

So my question is this: “If an election is held, and no one believes in the outcome, are we still a democracy?”

Originally published on QuotumReport on August 22, 2016.