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Voter Fraud

Transparent Statement:
Voter fraud is a much smaller issue than campaign fraud.

Voter fraud refers to ensuring a person is who he/she claims to be. The goal is to prevent a person from voting as someone else. This is not a major issue in Washington with our mail-in ballots. (But it is a concern in other states.

On a side note, I am a huge fan of mail-in ballots. Granted, as a treehugger, I hate the huge amount of paper involved. But as a voter, I appreciate the ability to vote on my own time, not have to take time off of work, not standing in line to vote, and being able to fully consider all issues and candidates when voting. Our State provides an amazing service to voters with the voter's guide that it sends every year, which includes candidate statements.

As a candidate, I want every voter to have a chance to vote — yes, even if that means they do not want to vote for me. Democracy is not about suppressing the votes of people who do not agree with you. It is about giving everyone the opportunity to vote. Anything that prevents that — whether intentionally or accidentally " is a disservice to the ideals of democracy.

At first glance, it would seem that efforts to prevent voter fraud are perfectly valid. After all, we certainly want to avoid fraud. It seems perfectly reasonable to require a government-issued photo ID and even a utility or other bill as proof of address. Personally, I would not expect either of these to be a major hurdle.

But as it turns out, these are issues for many voters who are elderly or poor, particulary for communities of color. Given the extremely low instances of actual voter fraud, I must question the motives behind these policies. They seem intended specifically to disenfrachise a certain class of voters. When you compound that with a single voting day that forces people to take time off of work, which many people cannot afford to do, these present an unreasonable hurdle to democracy.

The bigger concern is about voter fraud, but campaign fraud. There are a lot more issues of candidates with misleading ads, supposedly "non-partisan" groups misrepresenting their funding sources or direct support for a particular candidate, and other efforts to suppress the votes of those supporting a different candidate. These have a much greater impact than any voter fraud issue ever will.

Steve Rubenstein for Governor | Privacy Policy