Proponents haven’t shown how voter ID would prevent fraud
There are no documented cases of illegal registration or voter fraud that would have been prevented by voter ID. The secretary of state’s report does not even seem to prove widespread registration fraud or illegal voting, let alone make the connection to voter ID.
Editor’s note: This is in response to a column I (Heath Haussamen) authored this week about the secretary of state’s report on the voter rolls in which I wrote that McSorley is among those who have made erroneous claims that there’s not been one voter fraud conviction in the state’s history.
Thank you for your great coverage of the ongoing saga of the secretary of state’s investigation of the voter rolls.
My words have been taken out of context of “documented” cases of proof of people fraudulently registering to vote and illegally voting – and of proof that a voter ID bill would solve either problem. I have always spoken in the context of documented cases that could be prevented by voter ID.
First of all, we must distinguish between the crime of illegally registering to vote and the crime of fraudulently casting a vote. Then, the case must be made to demonstrate how voter ID would prevent either of these two crimes.
There are no documented cases of illegal registration or voter fraud that would have been prevented by the voter ID bill.
Not making the connection
The Republican Party published an editorial that tried to say there were two cases of fraud that would have been prevented by voter ID. One was the Sunland park judge candidate who illegally registered and voted for an office for which he was not qualified. There was no documentation offered that voter ID would have prevented either of these two crimes by this candidate.
The other was a claimed occurrence way back in the early 1970s. I could not find any evidence for that claim either. Not surprisingly, the Republicans never mentioned the case you cited implicating a Republican voter registrar in the crime of changing voter registrations.
But, in any event, these cases must be documented then distinguished as to the underlying crimes committed, and only then can they be analyzed in the context of whether they can be prevented by a voter ID law. There is a huge chasm between claiming illegal voter registration and illegal voting and showing how voter ID would prevent them.
My point has always been that there is a rush to claim that illegally registering to vote or illegally voting can be prevented by a voter ID law. So let’s have those who support voter ID prove their case that voter ID is required to solve the problem of people voting illegally. Bring us these documented cases and the connection to voter ID.
The SOS report does not even seem to prove widespread registration fraud or illegal voting, let alone make the connection to voter ID.
Not one legally qualified person should be denied the right to vote
I agree that one person voting illegally is one too many. No one condones even one illegal vote cast.
The government should take all reasonable steps to prevent those who are not qualified citizens from voting.
But, at the same time, we cannot deny the right to vote to anyone on unproven claims of fraud. So now that the SOS has possibly shown in her flawed investigation that there is no widespread fraud in people registering to vote and even possibly voting, let’s put this whole voter ID issue to rest.
After passing their voter ID law, in Indiana they found they created a significant problem. It has now been disclosed that there are 43,000 legally-registered voters without a government-issued voter ID. These voters will be denied their right to vote if they can’t get the state-issued picture ID. Getting that ID has proven problematic – so much so that many will not be able to vote.
In New Mexico no one has documented how many are legally registered and qualified voters who do not have a state-issued picture ID. The SOS report claimed 105 registered voters may not be U.S. citizens and maybe 19 of them have voted in N.M. elections. If New Mexico’s numbers are anything like Indiana’s, there seems to be a huge imbalance in our priorities when it comes to voter ID.
If it is true that not one person should vote illegally, then it is equally true that not one legally qualified person should be denied the right to vote.
The government should not erect any artificial barriers that will prevent qualified citizens from voting.
I am taking the time to write this because you work hard to get your facts correct. I hope I can trust you to keep covering the issues of documenting instances of people illegally registering to vote and people fraudulently voting, and whether they can be connected to the solution of state-issued picture ID.
McSorley, a Democrat, represents the Albuquerque area District 16 in the N.M. Senate.
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