Letter: No serious objection to protecting ballot box integrity


To the editor:

Like me, several recent Bulletin correspondents just can't let go when, so to speak, they have an issue by the tail. So we are told, once again, that several recent proposals intended to safeguard the integrity of our elections are little more than a Republican plot to suppress voter turnout (i.e. Democratic turnout).

Assuming, of course, that Democrats, if they had the opportunity, would not be party to such dastardly deeds. (Remember, in this regard, that Voltaire is said to have said that virtue is mostly lack of opportunity.)

Which is not to say that voter participation is a trivial matter. It is, rather a legitimate concern. And shame on those, Democrats or Republicans, who would intentionally disenfranchise legitimate voters. That said, I for one can see no serious objection to an arrangement — perhaps a voter ID requirement — that would protect the integrity of the ballot box. Apart from that, I think that there is another relevant point that has been overlooked by those who are "terrified" by what they view as institutionalized schemes to keep Democratic voters away from the polls. And that point is simply this:

Republican operatives have claimed that several hundred ineligible voters — whether deliberately or inadvertently— cast ballots in Minnesota in the 2008 elections. If true (and I think that it probably is true) if follows that several hundred invalid ballots were counted, including in the state's 2008 vote tallies. Which is to say that an invalid vote, once cast, is recorded as a valid vote.

So what to do? Go back and "adjust" the vote count by the number of verified ineligible votes? Hardly. The bad ballots have been counted: no going back. Unless, of course, our leftist friends can think of some ingenious, after-the-fact method by which we can separate the wheat from the chaff. Or unless we adopt a come one, come all, no-questions-asked policy like that suggested by those who think that raw voter turnout trumps all other concerns and considerations.

Thomas St. Martin