Guest Post: Why Massachusetts Needs Voter Identification, or How to Put A Dent in State-Wide Corruption

Guest post by Joe Scarpato

After the recent mid-term elections in Massachusetts, it has become increasingly obvious that there may be something strange going on in our voting booths. Not only did the Republicans here not make big gains as they had just about everywhere else in the country, but not one Democrat lost a statewide race or any of the ten Congressional races. And only one of the latter races was even very close.

To put it into even more perspective, the Republican candidate for state Auditor, Mary Z. Connaughton, was, of all things, an actual auditor and probably the most highly qualified candidate for that office in more than a half century. Not only that, but she was running against a Democrat challenger, Susan Bump, who has been — to put it as kindly as possible — a tax evader.  Even much of the liberal media, including The Boston Globe, endorsed Connaughton for the position. Who won? Bump. That’s akin to putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

How did this happen?

It could be said that it’s because there are a lot more registered Democrats (35%) than Republicans (13%) in this state, but there are more registered Independents (Unenrolled) in this state than the combination of the other two, and this year they were far more likely to vote Republican than Democrat according to every poll.

It could be said that Democrat voters here were more energized than just about anywhere else in the country, but there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason to believe this. More likely, I believe, is that the Democrats were so concerned by the upset victory of Senator Scott Brown earlier in the year, they made an all-out effort to prevent it happening again. And here’s where I get concerned. Was it all on the up and up?

A friend of mine was a poll watcher in Framingham and she saw people bringing individuals with apparently severe mental  disabilities into voting booths to vote and basically voting for them in the booth. And there is photographic proof of this. When she questioned one of the people about this, the response was, “We’re helping them vote for the people who will help them the most.”

Of greater concern are the stories I’ve heard about Democrats in the larger polling stations using Poll Watchers to keep track of all registered Democrats who voted  and checking them off a master list and alerting a central location about who hadn’t yet voted. Presumably, efforts were made to contact those registered voters who hadn’t yet voted and to somehow get them to the polls.

And here’s the rub: because we have no voter I.D. requirements in Massachusetts — as 27 other states do — they could bring anyone into the polls to vote. All that’s required here is to give the name and address of a voter who hasn’t yet voted. Easy to do, if you know who hasn’t yet voted.

Now, I’m not saying that is what happened in the midterm elections here, but, thanks to our “no I.D. required” system, it could have happened.

Stories of voter fraud in Worcester are rampant. In his blog “Solomonia,” Martin Solomon details the extent of the alleged fraud throughout the city, organized by a group calling itself “Neighbor to Neighbor” and appearing to be a clone of the recently disgraced and disbanded Acorn group.

Desiree Awiszio, Deputy Campaign Manager for the Marty Lamb for Congress Committee, said on a recent radio show that she and others had submitted 12 pages of  alleged voter fraud violations to the Board of Elections Commission, and was told that the violations would be sent to the Secretary of State’s Office. Because Secretary Galvin is a Democrat, Awiszio presumes that nothing of any significance will be done about it.  She further claims that voter registration lists in Worcester have not been updated in years so that, in addition to lots of dead people still on the rolls, many people who have moved within the city may now be registered at more than one address and can vote multiple times. Listen to the rebroadcast here

Why don’t we have voter I.D. in this state? Because Secretary of State Galvin and the Democrats don’t want it. Why don’t they want it? They say because it could be “burdensome” to lower-income people. I believe that’s simply a canard, and apparently most states in the country agree with me. Heck, I had to show my HMO card and my driver’s license to get a flu shot a few weeks ago. It’s not that big a deal.

A wise man once said “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I don’t think anyone can deny that Massachusetts is one of the most politically corrupt states in the country. Almost every Massachusetts Speaker of the House in my recent memory has been indicted for some illegality, and every time the Globe or some other media entity decides to do a story exposing corruption, we see more and more politicians taking advantage of the system: double-dipping; hiring friends and cronies to positions for which they have no qualifications; establishing make-work jobs; receiving unbelievable medical and retirement benefits; etc.

It could be that Massachusetts voters want this kind of political leadership, but it’s also possible that the system is being rigged. An effective voter I.D. program, especially after this last election, may bring clarity to this question.

7 Responses to “Guest Post: Why Massachusetts Needs Voter Identification, or How to Put A Dent in State-Wide Corruption”

  1. Steve Shepard says:

    Whenever I vote and I am only asked for my name and address questions arise. What safeguards are there in place to stop one person, who knows that his neighbor is away, from voting in place of the neighbor? Anyone who knows that a person is not going to vote can very easily vote in place of him/her…without that person ever finding out.

  2. Johannes Hachmann says:

    I completely agree that it is unacceptable if the ID of a voter is not verified – in particular since you can’t even buy a beer without being carded. I also agree that blocking such a requirement for self-serving political reasons is despicable as it undermines the democratic process by casting doubt on the legitimacy of its outcome. Whether or not this actually had an effect on the past election results is a different question and – unfortunately – up for debate.

    It is not a healthy sign for the oldest modern democracy that every single election is tainted by allegations of fraud. The US is the only first world country where this happens at all, but here it happens time after time! It is beyond my comprehension that the people don’t demand the system to be fixed (not only wrt ID, but also voter registration and purging; vote validity and counting ambiguities; unsuitable voting machines; the electoral college; congress majority rules;…). Maybe OECD election monitors like in a banana republic would help…

    In the bigger picture I believe these kinds of problems are a direct consequence of small government ideology and excessive sectionalism, which prevent comprehensive, concise, clear, and uniform facilities of citizen registration for ID, residence, election, and tax purposes like in many other developed countries. With that the US may even be able to do away with future census, which should appeal to the GOP.

  3. Adam says:

    When I went to vote in the past election, I had mysteriously been taken off the list after voting at the same place for 13 years. even more disturbing was that they also told me I had not voted since 2005. In actuality, I have voted (at this same polling station for 13 years) in every election except for the two years I was in Iraq in which I voted with an absentee ballot. I even vote in the smaller town elections that don’t have any state wide or federal votes on the ballot. This even more disturbing that they had a table with two workers set up for people that had the same problem. I was told they had this at pols all over town. I was talking to the people in this line, as I was in it for over an hour because there was so many of us, and what a coincedence, they were ALL registered rebublicans. Go figure!

  4. Janet says:

    HHIS I shloud have thought of that!

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