Picture this: Hard-left activists busing thousands of the homeless and shelter residents to the polls for same-day registration and voting.
What could possibly go wrong? The mind reels: identity fraud, multiple votes, improper influence, bought votes, non-citizen voting, and on and on.
Unfortunately, that may be what’s in store for the State of Ohio.
The problem is an ill-conceived Ohio law allowing “no-fault” absentee balloting. This means that voters don’t need to provide any justification whatsoever for casting absentee ballots in advance of election day, beginning on September 30. No doubt the law’s backers had good intentions—hitting the polling place and waiting in line on election day can really be an inconvenience—but it throws open the election to massive opportunities for fraud.
If wide-open absentee voting weren’t bad enough, the state’s Democrat Secretary of State, Jennifer Bruner, has combined that law with another already on the books—requiring voters to register 30 days before voting—to create a massive loophole for would-be fraudsters. Bruner says that ballots don’t become “votes” until election day, which means that anyone can register up until October 6. That leaves a one-week window, from September 30 until the 6th, for one-stop voting.
That strained interpretation is being challenged in Ohio’s Supreme Court in a suit brought by two (legal) state voters.
And that’s got left-wing activists in a tizzy, accusing those fighting Bruner’s strange legal handiwork and protecting the security of the election of trying to disenfranchise legitimate voters. These same activists are similarly criticizing efforts to knock off the registration rolls voters who have moved away from their listed addresses, as evidenced by returned certified mail and foreclosure lists.
This overheated response is predictable and sad. Predictable, because many left-leaning activist groups cry “racism” and “disenfranchisement” in the face of any kind of common-sense effort to ensure that voting is secure and untainted by fraud—efforts such as voter identification that are supported by a majority of Americans. It is sad because wide-open absentee voting really does risk stolen elections, as has happened before. The result is that illegal votes are able to cancel out legitimate ones.
Thanks to the Secretary of State and a few of these activist groups, absentee voting in Ohio will be more wide-open, and more at risk of fraud, than ever before.