Less than two weeks until Election Day, concerns are brewing over the integrity of America's vote in the 2014 midterm elections.
With the leadership of the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance, the stakes are high and the temptation for some to commit voter fraud is even higher.
A Democrat activist in Arizona was caught on tape allegedly stuffing a ballot box with a box full of ballots serves as cause for alarm.
Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State for Kansas - where the election contest between longtime Senator Pat Roberts and independent candidate Greg Orman will play out in just over a week - has led the nation on voter ID laws that will be in place this election year. The "Secure and Fair Elections Act" was drafted by Secretary Kobach and passed by the state legislature on a bipartisan vote a few years ago. Kobach's law made Kansas the only state in the nation that requires voters to provide ID when they vote (in the form of a driver's license or non-driver's ID), provide a driver's license number and verify their signature in the event of absentee voting, and show proof of citizenship when registering to vote.
For his reforms, Secretary Kobach (who was also the co-author of Arizona's SB 1070) has taken a relentless pounding from progressives who stooped to the level of protesting on the doorstep of the private home where he resides with his wife and four young daughters.
Nevertheless, Secretary Kobach has been steadfast in protecting the right to vote, saying, "You can't cash a check, board a plane, or even buy full-strength Sudafed over the counter without ID. Why should voting be different?"
In the battleground state of Colorado, Secretary of State Scott Gessler is bracing for the first statewide elections in Colorado history to be administered by all-mail ballots, thanks to a new election law passed last year by the Democrat-controlled State legislature. While the new law certainly complicates the administration of an election for Colorado's five million residents, it likely won't be not too tall a task for Secretary Gessler who had his hands full administering last year's complex Colorado recall elections which ousted two state senators for their gun control votes.
The recall elections were the first to be subjected to Colorado's new voting laws and a high-ranking elections official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said there was undoubtedly voter fraud in at least one of those elections. The manipulation would have affected the margin of votes but did not change the outcome of the election. Had the race been closer, it would have.
As for the 2014 midterms, Secretary Gessler's office in Colorado will be on the lookout for what he calls the "most troubling" provision of the Democrats' loose voting rules which changed Colorado's residency requirement. To vote in Colorado now you don't have to live in a particular district, you simply have to declare to the elections official that you "intend to live" in that district. Secretary Gessler said, "Instead of voting in a district that has a very safe seat, a voter could engage in a race where there is a very close seat." In-state movement might not affect the Statewide contests such as the race for Governor or the race between Republican Cory Gardner or Democrat incumbent Mark Udall, but it could affect Colorado's State senate leadership which is now hanging in the balance by a one-Democrat-member margin.
While Secretaries Gessler and Kobach are practicing vigilance in their States, there is no guarantee that yours will.
As the saying goes, "All politics is local."
Turns out, so is voter fraud.
The truth is, each and every American must be on the lookout for voter fraud in their neighborhood this Election Day. To use a line from the NYPD and the Department of Homeland Security, "If you see something, say something."
You don't have to be an elections official to make a difference. If you see suspicious, irregular activity at a polling place, whip out your smartphone and film it. Ask poll workers and any other witnesses for their full names. Write down the exact address of the polling place. Then submit that information to local authorities, your local political party, a local media outlet, your Registrar of Voters/County Clerk, your Secretary of State, or the nationwide True the Vote project.
While our elected and appointed officials are formally tasked with protecting the vote, it is up to each and every one of us to ensure it is so.
The author served as an Assistant Secretary of State for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, where she and a team helped ensure the integrity of the vote in America's most populous state of 37 million people.
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