Via Ace of Spades:
Results of an ongoing Virginia State Police investigation of voter registration irregularities from the 2008 general election may signal a more significant voter fraud issue than some state lawmakers realized.
As Virginia legislators hotly debated a voter ID bill that narrowly passed the General Assembly, many were unaware of a state police investigation that, so far, has resulted in charges against 38 people statewide for voter fraud. Warrants have been obtained for a 39th person who can’t be located.
A majority of those cases already have resulted in convictions, and 26 additional cases are still being actively investigated nearly 3½ years after the state Board of Elections forwarded more than 400 voter and election fraud allegations from 62 cities and counties to Virginia State Police for individual investigation.
“We believe these complaints ran the gamut from voter registration fraud issues through potential fraud at the polling place on Election Day,” said Donald Palmer, secretary of the Virginia Board of Elections, who was appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell in February 2011. “We do not have specific numbers on how the complaints broke down. However, (the state board of elections) is aware that arrests have been made over the past few years for individuals engaging in voter registration fraud.”
Palmer added that recent indictments obtained by the Richmond commonwealth’s attorney’s office for voter fraud and the results of the state police investigation “remind us that unfortunately, fraud does exist in Virginia’s elections.”
Many opponents of the voter ID law maintained that there was no evidence of widespread election fraud in Virginia, and the law would suppress the vote of minorities and others who don’t have adequate identification. About 3.7 million Virginians voted in the 2008 election.
Richmond had by far the largest number of voter-fraud cases opened by state police — 124 — followed by Fairfax County with 37, Chesterfield and Prince William counties with 20 each, Alexandria with 19, Henrico with 17 and Petersburg with 13, according to state police data requested by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
A total of 194 cases statewide where police determined a violation likely occurred have been closed because the commonwealth’s attorneys in those localities declined to prosecute those individuals, police said.
For years the Democrats have been telling us to oppose voter identification laws because they claim they are unnecessary and racist. They claim they are racist because people of color are more likely to be poor and poor people are more likely to lack the requisite identification needed to vote under the proposed voter ID laws. But official identification remains cheap and easy to obtain for the vast majority of people and even welfare recipients need such identification to obtain benefits.
The Democrats also claim that voter ID laws are unnecessary because voter fraud is extremely rare. Now it turns out that may not be the case. I’m one of those people who prefers data to anecdotal evidence, but if voter fraud is not being investigated and/or prosecuted, where will accurate data come from?
I think the Democrats are barking up the wrong tree. As long as the laws provide adequate alternative ways that proper identification can be obtained by all eligible voters, what’s the hang-up?
Instead of showing us examples of eligible voters who can’t obtain ID they should spend their time and energy figuring out how to get it for them.