Republicans took a ribbing during Iowa's recent caucuses because they did not practice what they preach. They did not require their own voters to show a photo ID card before allowing them to vote for a Presidential candidate.
Now some Republican dirty tricksters have tried to make their case for ID cards in a novel way—by committing a crime. They went to New Hampshire polls and got ballots for people who had just died. They filmed themselves doing it(embedded here). This is supposed to prove that ID cards are needed. Actually it proves something else.
Two things, in fact. First it proves the crime of impersonating a voter is already well deterred. The tricksters never cast the ballots that were given to them. They merely left the polling place as soon as they had been handed the blank ballot. Even for the sake of their propaganda, they knew better than to carry this crime any farther.
But if it's not worth the risk even in this case where they were in control of events, how much less is it worth the risk of actually casting just one fraudulent vote into a sea of thousands of legitimate votes? At one polling place the trickster was spotted by a poll worker who recognized he was using the name of a recently deceased man. This inconvenient fact was not included in the propaganda video. The likelihood of altering the outcome is so tiny that no voters ever take this risk. Voters are smarter than tricksters, as we shall see shortly.
The trick also reveals something else inadvertently–that the crime is so rare no good evidence of it exists. It has to be staged. Ask your friends if they know of any cases. Ask if they have ever gone to vote only to learn they had already been impersonated by a previous voter. Better yet ask our Secretary of State Schultz how many voters ever report to him that they have been stopped from voting for this reason. You won't find much evidence.
Now that video of this crime has been released, it turns out that merely “obtaining” a ballot in someone else's name is a crime. It wasn't necessary to cast the ballot. They may already be guilty.
Why didn't they stage this trick at the Iowa Republican caucus sites? Because it would have made Republicans look bad. It still does.
cross-posted at http://iowavoters.org/