The foundation of our Republic is a fair and honest voting system. For the U.S. to survive our citizens must believe their vote counts in a voting system that is without fraud and corruption.
In the 19th century the Democrat Party’s New York political machine known as Tammany Hall set the stage for the “blue” New York we see today. I am concerned that we do not have the safeguards in place to prevent the re-emergence of the old political cliché attributed to Tammany Hall’s most notorious leader “Boss” Tweed:
“…Vote early and vote often.”
Historical accounts abound of Tammany Halls’ ability to turn out the vote. Tammany Hall’s corrupt leaders devised methods to enable their supporters to fraudulently cast as many as three votes in an election for the same Democrat candidate.
The reach of Tammany Hall’s corruption extended far beyond voting. The one-party control that fraudulent voting practices created laid the foundation for bid rigging on government projects, land speculation, and grifting on a monumental scale.
In fact, Tweed often commented that there was such a thing as “good greed or grift.” He suggested that taking advantage of one’s political position for financial gain was a good thing as long as the public was served. Grifters, from the past and today, will justify their actions in such a way.
Fortunately, greed got the best of “Boss” Tweed, and he was eventually convicted of his wrong doings. Ironically, he was brought to justice due to a political cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast and published in newspapers. Authorities were able to locate and apprehend Tweed after the fleeing grifter was recognized by informants who had seen the cartoon.
Due to voting irregularities in the 2020 presidential election, we are at a crossroads when it comes to the integrity of our voting system.
There are those who believe in a robust ID system for voters, limited early voting, and increased monitoring of mail-in voting. Their stance on voting procedures seek to ensure our tradition of “one man, one vote.”
other end of the spectrum are those who advocate for a more open system with little ID requirements and a loosening of voter registration procedures. Their rallying cry of “voter suppression” claims that more stringent voter ID and registration policies would result in disenfranchised voters.
My answer to the “voter suppression” crowd is this. You need an ID to purchase a six-pack of beer. I think voting for our political leaders is slightly more important than making sure you have an adult beverage to watch the football game on T.V. Also, with technology, we can make it convenient and easy for all legal voters to obtain ID’s and be registered to vote. No voter suppression here.
While I don’t claim to have all the answers, I think a few commonsense steps could go a long way towards eliminating voter fraud and ensuring that all legal citizens who want to vote can vote. My 7-Step Voting System Integrity Plan includes the following:
1. Only legal citizens can vote.
2. Audit of voter rolls to ensure correct information.
3. Elimination of early voting.
4. Stringent controls over who can vote by mail limited to our military and the elderly, disabled, or infirmed who are unable to travel to voting sites. Vote by mail should not be a “convenience” option.
5. Voter ID’s with pictures to clearly identify voters.
6. No drop boxes or “harvesting” of ballots.
7. A national no-work holiday on election days so there is no excuse for legal voters to make it to the polls.
In closing, while I used Tammany Hall and its abuses as an illustration, it can be argued that voter fraud and political corruption is not limited to one party or another. Indeed, both major political parties and more importantly our country would be stronger and secure with a voting system free from the potential for fraud and political corruption.