Maintaining election integrity

This is the line we hear as an excuse for many of the recent election laws changes either proposed or passed recently. All they want to do is maintain election integrity. Because, what they are doing is needed in order to make sure that people who are not eligible to vote are not able to cast a ballot in an election. Seems reasonable, right? Only those eligible to vote should vote.

I just finished watching Recount on HBO. It was a good movie and a good reminder of what happened. One criticism I would have on it was that it didn’t effectively explain the reason why Gore could only request a recount in several counties. The reason was that if the elections results from a sampling of ballots did not cause the results of the election to change, there would be no reason for the other counties to continue manually recounting the votes.

However, that is not the point of this post. The one major injustice that was done in 2000 that could not be dealt with in the 2000 protest and contest phases was the purging of voters from the lists who were eligible to vote but whose registrations were similar enough to a felon that it was deemed to be close enough to be removed from the lists.

We saw a similar thing happen this year in Florida, with the state seeking to remove people who they thought might be illegible. We have a GOP leader in PA stating that the purpose of having voter law changes would be to help Mitt Romney to win (and then PA election officials saying that voter fraud was not a problem in the state). We also have election officials in Ohio planning to keep conservative leaning counties open longer than liberal leaning counties .

So don’t talk to me about election integrity when you have these shenanigans going on.

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