Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content

Absentee ballot fraud true culprit in U.S.

Profile image for Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial
Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is considering a case concerning how to prevent voter fraud. The state of Texas -- meaning Republican lawmakers want to require voters to present a valid photo identification card at the polls -- driver's license or such.

The NAACP and other civil rights lawyers allied with Democrats argue that the photo ID requirement discriminates against poor minorities who lack transportation or face other obstacles to obtaining a photo ID.

This is a great example of lawyers slogging through legal weeds while arguing about the wrong things.

Voter fraud at the polling place -- meaning people voting twice or pretending to be someone they are not -- is virtually nonexistent.

By contrast, absentee ballot fraud is rampant. This is the system that allows voters to receive ballots in the mail, fill them out at home and then mail them back to the county election office to be counted.

Absentee voting is supposed to be for the elderly, the disabled and for people who will be out of town during early voting or on election day. And, yet, virtually anyone can apply for a mail-in ballot.

No identification is needed -- photo ID or otherwise -- to vote absentee.

Unscrupulous vote harvesters target senior citizens by encouraging them to vote by mail and then show up on doorsteps to "help" them vote for the right candidates. Sometimes, the harvesters just steal the ballots from mailboxes, mark the ballots and forge the voter's signature on paperwork.

If NAACP lawyers are truly concerned about crooks taking advantage of minority voters, they should train their sights on absentee ballot reform. Same for the Republicans who run state government.

If they want to tamp down voter fraud, they should tighten laws on what happens behind closed doors when the voter's home becomes the polling place.