On Super Tuesday, thousands of Vermonters voted in the Primaries. Unfortunately, a few people voted that shouldn't have
Project Veritas, the conservative political group led by James O'Keefe, has released a video of their members fraudulently checking in to voting areas around the Green Mountain State. The point of the video was to show that voter ID laws are needed to crack down on voter fraud. The video shows members of the group checking in to various voting areas by assuming the identification of people who are either deceased or no longer residents in the area.
While the point they are trying to make may be a good one, the group unfortunately created more problems than solutions. For example, aside from this act of fraud, there was no other voter fraud to speak of in the state. Nor has there been in the past. Furthermore, the group deliberately and clearly broke the law in order to show that breaking the law was possible. This is like explaining to a police officer that you were speeding just to prove that it could be done. It's a bit of a stretch to say that this group thought out their video.
Voter ID laws may be an answer to a problem that hasn't arisen yet, but that doesn't mean we should just jump to prevent fraud before it's an issue. As some of the lawmakers from the state have noted, this doesn't justify scrutinizing the existing laws, it just means that voter registration rolls should be kept in better order. Those who have died or moved should be taken off the list in a more timely and efficient manner. I think that, if laws were strengthened around keeping registered voter lists up to date, you would have the same level of fraud prevention without infringing on the rights of the citizenry to vote.
Project Veritas may have tried to make a good point, and in some ways I agree that there are issues with the voting system. But voter ID laws are not the answer. And neither is breaking the law. The group should be held accountable and brought to court over the acts they clearly committed in their video, and we should take what lessons we can from them about how to strengthen our system while preserving it's core values.