Thursday, September 2, 2010

Diana Maldonado and the Problem of Voter Fraud

Last week, the Liberal-Democrat insistence that "there is no evidence of voter fraud in Texas" took a serious blow when the King Street Patriots announced the discovery of thousands of possibly fraudulent voter registrations in Harris County.  About 5,000 registrations submitted by Houston Votes (allegedly a re-named ACORN group)either were incomplete, listed vacant lots as resident addresses, or named non-existent persons or previously registered voters. 

The problem for Texas Lib-Dems, is that they have been using the 'no evidence of fraud' argument as justification for opposing voter photo ID legislation. Never mind that Texas is somewhat historically infamous for voter fraud, due to the 1948 'Box 13' scandal.  Under current Texas law, voters may present various forms of non-photo identification, including a voter card, utility bill, or bank statement.  Even most rank and file Democrats recognize that requiring an ID at the polls is just common sense, and 82% of all Texans support voter photo ID laws.

However, the most liberal wing of the Democrat party is so afraid of voter ID requirements, that in the 2009 legislative session, they were willing to kill hundreds of bills beneficial to their own districts and constituencies in order to stop passage of the law. Representative Diana Maldonado (D-Round Rock) was among those who participated in the 'chubbing,' or filibuster, of Voter Photo ID.  Observers such as Will Lutz expressed surprise at Maldonado's actions:

There are significant divisions within the Democratic caucus about whether this was a good idea. Only a handful of Democrats in mostly safe districts partook in the filibuster. Rural Democrats and most of the suburban ones from swing districts (with the notable exception of Rep. Diana Maldonado [D-Round Rock] who chubbed) stayed away from the back microphone during this exercise.
Unfortunately for Round Rock and the rest of House District 52, Maldonado placed her desire to stop election workers from checking ID above the legislative needs of the district.  Among the legislation thwarted by chubbing was an especially important TXDOT Sunset bill.  I will be taking a closer look at some of the 'killed bills' in the coming weeks. 

While Democrats try to downplay the issue, preferring to call it 'voter impersonation,' evidence indicates that voter fraud continues to be a problem in Texas. Voter photo ID requirements cannot completely stop those determined to commit election fraud, but a well-crafted law will be a deterrent to the most egregious offenders.  Voters would do well to remember Representative Maldonado's actions in the 2009 Session, and limit her to a one-term-wonder.


Phillip Martin said...

Registering to vote is not the same as voting. Republicans will also make mistakes when registering to vote -- someone registers that didn't realize they already were, they use a maiden name instead of their official name, etc. Problems with voter registration do nothing to actually cause fraud. I don't expect a correction, but I do believe you should distinguish between the two if you want to be a bit more honest about your reporting. Thanks!

Holly Hansen said...

Phillip: Granted, incomplete voter registrations are not fraud per se, however, if erroneous registrations slip through, election workers must accept the voter.

The problems KSP discovered include registrations for up to 6 individuals living on vacant lots, deceased persons, etc., and imply an attempt to overwhelm the registration system.