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October 11, 2012

John Fund takes on voter fraud, early voting at IPI lunch

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On October 10th, IPI hosted a lunch at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dallas featuring National Review Online editor John Fund, one the nation's premier experts on voter fraud and author of the new book: "Who's Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Steal Your Vote."

The audience comprised of elected officials including state representative Bill Zedler and Dallas County Commissioner Maureen Dickie, as well as former Dallas Morning News editor Bill Murchison, and various legislative staff, political activists, and concerned citizens.

Exactly how much of a problem is voter fraud? "It happens in close elections because there's much more of an incentive." Fund pointed to close elections such as Minnesota's 2008 senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, which allowed Franken to cast the 60th vote for ObamaCare.

"Look at the latest polls," said Fund, "I think we're going to have a very close election, which is why groups like TrueTheVote are out there-they want to monitor the polls, make sure absentee ballots are carefully scrutinized, and clean up voter registration rolls."

Fund pointed to the federal Motor Voter law as a major culprit for allowing voter fraud. "Motor Voter is an unfunded federal mandate preventing the states from cleaning up their rolls," he said. "We have two million dead people on our voter registration rolls. If you go and vote in the name of a dead person, they're not likely to complain. I believe we should honor the dead but I don't believe in representation without respiration."

Fund addressed critics of voter-ID laws who claim the measure is discrimination against minorities and the poor. "Clean and fair elections are good for everybody," he said. "How patronizing it is to say 10% of African Americans lack an ID. You need an ID for everything: to go the doctor, get a job, enter a federal building, check in a hotel, to travel. In every state that has a strict voter ID law, voter turnout has gone up, and it's gone up among minorities."

"I agree with Andrew Young, advisor and confidant to Martin Luther King, Jr.," said Fund. "We are doing people a favor to encourage them to get an ID because how can you participate in mainstream American life without one?"

Fund also took on the practice of early voting. "Before the last presidential debate, 85% of the country is able to vote. And 15% could vote before the first debate. Convenience voting is fine for people who are bedridden, traveling out of town, or have a disability. But North Carolina was sending out absentee ballots the morning after Barack Obama was nominated for president."

"The Constitution calls for Election Day-not Election Month, in which early voting, which is the exception, becomes the rule. Imagine you were in the middle of the jury trial, and in the middle of your lawyer's summation, three jurors get up and say: ‘We've heard enough, we're going to go vote now,' and then leave. How would you feel?"

In a Q&A session, several attendees asked what steps can be taken to address and diminish voter fraud, where in many cases, penalties for the committing the offense of voter fraud are a mere $50 fine. "Like shoplifting, if you don't put up any signs, or have any precautions, or don't make it a risk-free activity, you get more shoplifters," said Fund. "If you don't take voter fraud seriously, you'll get more voter fraud."

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