Thursday, September 22, 2016

Texas Lawmakers Take Up Issue of Voter Fraud

Texas House lawmakers tackled Voter Fraud in Elections during a Committee hearing at the State Capitol Wednesday.

They discussed the accuracy of Voter Registration rolls, Mail-Ballot Fraud, and Campaign Finance laws. Both Democrat and Republican leaders voiced concerns over voter fraud, specifically when it comes to mail-ballots.

"Voting by mail is extremely important," said Bill Maxey with the Texas Democratic Party.

Mail in ballots are meant to help senior citizens, people with disabilities and those who are out of the county during elections. "But we have loopholes in the law that are allowing people, I think to, work the system," says Maxey.

At Wednesday's hearing, he told House lawmakers that 9,500 mail-in ballots came from an RV park in Texas that has only 138 lots. He says Republicans from other states are driving their RVs to Texas to vote, in order to avoid paying income taxes in their home states.

He says private ballot-by-mail companies are part of the problem. "The fact that there’s a mail service forwarding ballots around the country should be taken out of the law," said Maxey.

Williamson County Republican Chairman Bill Fairbrother testified about his concern that a Democrat caught voting twice didn't face real consequences. "The election code read that if you vote twice in a general election, it’s a felony, but if you vote twice in a primary, it’s only a Class C misdemeanor," said Fairbrother.

That means no jail time. "And that’s one area where we think a fix is needed," Fairbrother said.

While their agendas differ, both Maxey and Fairbrother share the same goal. "Ballot fraud affects the government, affects who represents us, and we need to be vigilant that there is no fraud," said Fairbrother.

He suggested adding Unique Identifying Codes to voter registration cards or other forms of identification to avoid fraud.

He also suggested having the state keep an email on file for voters, so they'll get an alert if someone uses their name to vote.

I have spoke about this issue for a number of years. First, Photo ID has no affect on Mail-In ballot fraud. Fairbrother's idea of Unique Identifying Code is the right idea but should be mailed separately then printed on the ballot. Then it has to be entered on the ballot form by the voter, helping to protect the voter's vote, either mailed-in or when online voting is implemented.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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