Friday, October 10, 2008

Why Federal Court ruling on voter registration is so important

The Help American Vote Act was supposed to address various concerns by the public to ensure the sanctity of the voting process. In Ohio, we have a state law that closely mirrors HAVA. The most critical aspect of the voter registration process is to ensure that each person who is eligible to vote gets to do so. That also includes ensuring that people who are NOT eligible to vote do NOT do so.

One aspect of both the federal and state laws is to verify all voter registration cards not just against the voter database in the state, but also against an outside database, like the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration.

This outside verification does several things. It confirms that such a person with a particular social security number does, in fact, exist, and it verifies that the person is a resident of the state.

Implicit in the outside verification is the notification that any discrepancies in the verification process are communicated back to the individual boards of elections for them to follow up on the lack of identity confirmation.

If the outside data base is not checked, any person can provide a fake name and give any four numbers as the last four digits of a Social Security number, get registered and then vote. So long as no one else used the same name and same four numbers in another county, there would be no indication that this particular voter was eligible to cast a ballot.

The same person could then go to another polling location and do the same thing, thus voting more than once, or twice, or however many times they wanted.

There is a check to the process in that all voter registrants are supposed to be mailed a card by the local board of election to ensure it is a valid address. But all that requires is one or two people in various locations to agree to have their address used for this purpose. When the post card arrives, they just throw it away. This is especially easy to do with college and apartment addresses. So long as the BOE postcard is not returned, there is nothing to indicate the fraudulent nature of the registration.

Now, if Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner follows the law, which she hasn't been doing, and checks these names and SS numbers against either the BMV or SS databases, the fact that these names and numbers don't exist would show up. Furthermore, if she then notifies the local BOEs, they can attempt to contact the person to gather more information - or, hold the registration and set aside the ballot until the identity can be confirmed.

If the identity cannot be confirmed, the ballot does not get counted, then a fraudulent vote will not have been cast.

But if the Secretary of State wins her appeal of the Federal Court ruling, there will be no way to check any of this ... and groups like ACORN will continue to submit voter registrations that they admit are a fraud. The end result is that an election is stolen - because the safeguards in place to ensure the sanctity of the elections are intentionally ignored.

So why would Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner NOT want to do her job? And does this dereliction of duty rise to the standard of malfeasance for which she can be removed from office?

I would think so.


gordon gekko said...

I found it more than hypocritical that on my absentee ballot I had to note either my driver's license number or the last four digits of my social.

It seems to me that in order to register, you should need to supply the same.

Maggie Thurber said...

Gordon - you do have to show that. The problem is that someone can give any four numbers and say it's their ss#. Without going outside the secstate database, how will anyone know if you lied on your registration form????

That's where the problem is.

Tim Higgins said...


I thought only Republicans stole elections. How can such a thing be possible under an enlightened, compassionate Democratic leadership?

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