Last week, I argued in this space that voter identification laws are important because it has been documented voter fraud is taking place. The question is not whether it is happening, but is it happening on a large enough scale to make a difference.
If you believe our President, per CNN this morning, three million illegal votes were cast in the last election. The President has launched a voter fraud initiative to determine the extent of the problem.
In accordance with what I wrote last week, this initiative is a positive step. Critical to a representative democracy’s traditional peaceful transition of power is a high level of confidence in the electoral process. We cannot allow confidence in our elections to erode.
All that said, it is being reported today the Trump Administration has requested from each State its voter registration rolls as part of this voter fraud initiative. Early feedback indicates significant hesitancy on the part of the States to comply with this request.
This is understandable. Our elections are decentralized. Each state conducts their own and reports the results. Any federal initiative aimed at determining if fraud is indeed widespread, needs to work in cooperation with the States – not demand information from the States.
The place to begin is in the States where news reports have shown some level of fraud. The public needs to know: One, how often does this state audit its voter registration rolls? And two, what were the results of the most recent audit?
Report the answers to these questions, and move on to the next State. This is transparency. It’s as simple as that.