Yes, Voter Fraud Remains a Concern in Missouri
The difference between winning and losing a political race can come down to a handful of votes. Every vote counts, and those votes change the public policies that we spend money on and are subject to. But what happens when votes are counted that shouldn't be? Voter fraud comes in many forms and may not significantly impact every race, but especially in tight races it can be the difference between holding office and setting policy, and not.
And to be clear, we know fraud happens, and that's why vigiliance in protecting the vote is so important. Photo voter ID is one item in that menu of reforms and we've talked about it at length before, but reform can't stop there, as an investigative report last week from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch bears out. An episode cited in the Post-Dispatch's report from a previous year stands out in particular; I've removed the names, but you can read the full article at the link.
The employee, a former supervisor, said that when large numbers of ballots were delivered, she would email other employees and bosses.
“I’d say, ‘Hey, we’ve received numerous ballots from the [ . . . ] campaign and it seems pretty suspicious and they need to be reviewed.’ ” Her emails would go unanswered, she said.
When employees refused to accept hand-delivered ballots, [an individual associated with the campaign] would complain directly to top Election Board officials, Bingham said.
Both former employees said ballots the department initially refused were sometimes slipped through the door, or mysteriously appear elsewhere in the office. Eventually, the employees said, the department would accept them. [Emphasis mine]
The entire article at the Post-Dispatch's website is worth your time. Particularly concerning are the reports about absentee voting irregularities, with absentee ballots dispatched for "incapacitated" voters who were anything but, and absentee ballot requests made by individuals other than the voter. The point is that the suggestion that voter fraud is somehow a fake issue is flatly wrong, and that insistence may have contributed to the wide berth into which this scandal just parked itself. Good government requires public confidence in our elections, and without a concerted effort to protect our ballot boxes against bad actors, our democracy will be at risk.