Voting Goes to the Dogs in Virginia

Bring up the very real issue of vote fraud with a liberal and the response is almost always the same: the problem of stolen votes is too rare to be significant.  So much for the old slogan “an affront to one is an affront to all.”

There are concrete examples of actual vote fraud such as former county-level NAACP officer Lessadolla Sowers — who is currently serving a prison term — and former Troy, New York councilman John Brown — who has plead guilty and may be facing jail time — for abusing other peoples’ absentee ballots.

If that’s not enough, there are many cases of groups such as the now-defunct leftist organization ACORN involved in false voter registration scandals in places such as Nevada and Missouri.

Deluging election officials with voter applications is considered a common tactic of the left.  It’s something voter rights advocates say can facilitate fraud because not every new application may be able to be verified in time — especially if they filed in bulk so close to an election or if the fraud is perpetrated in same-day registration cases.  In such nefarious cases, legitimate and legal voters can be nullified.

The Voter Participation Center has tried to dispel concerns about voter registration fraud by blaming conservative critics for blowing the problem out of proportion — particularly in cases where animals are registered to vote.  On the VPC web site, a June 7 posting states:

For the past several election cycles conservative activists have tried to discredit the work of voter registration groups like The Voter Participation Center (VPC) which are registering voters by raising false and groundless claims about fraud.  A favorite tactic is to trot out a pet owner whose pet has mistakenly received a form in the mail to raise the specter of fraud and justify efforts to limit third party voter registration efforts.

VPC even posted a comical video that says “don’t sweat the pets” that get applications for voter registration because the problem is being sensationalized by those who don’t want “a bunch of people they might not agree with get a vote.”  The talking dog in the video informs the cat with an application that “you’re not 18.”

It might all be funny to some, but the problem of false voter applications should be particularly embarrassing to VPC right now because Mozart Morris of Bedford County, Virginia got an application from VPC right about the same time the group posted that video and telling everyone there was nothing to see.  “Mo” is a dog that died two years ago.  Had Mozart still been alive, however, he would have been a legally-acceptable voting age of 19 years old.

Did VPC seek out Mozart on purpose to perpetuate voter registration fraud?  Unlikely.  WSLS-TV in Roanoke reports that VPC told them the group is sending out registration applications blindly to purchased mailing lists and can’t always verify all the bona fides of the addressees.

So, even though VPC may not be able to determine whether the names on the lists they mail to are not felons barred by law from voting, people who are already registered, not dead or have opposable thumbs, they still send them partially-completed voter registrations?  Yeah, that makes perfect sense!

And those who oppose this just want to deny people they might not agree with a vote?  Makes perfect sense…not.

P21KevinMartinProject 21 member Kevin Martin figures this embarrassment to the Voter Participation Center and other groups that downplay attempts to protect the voting process aptly points out why there is a need for ballot protections such as voter ID at the polls and periodic checks of the legitimacy of voter lists.  Kevin says:

Where is the accountability?  We are told we need all sorts of increased access to the polls, but not increased security.

This example of Mozart the dog getting an application to vote in Virginia is yet another example of how unscrupulous individuals could abuse the system that has the ability to register almost anyone and anything to vote.  The Voter Participation Center may not have wanted to register Mozart the dog, but they nonetheless sent an application to Mo Morris — the name on a list VPC bought and mailed.  It was only Mozart’s former owner’s virtue that stopped this misguided attempt to build up the voter rolls in Virginia from being corrupted.

This is a very bad case of voter registration gone awry.  While some states such as Florida have sought to modernize and verify their voter lists, it is Eric Holder’s Department of Justice that seems more willing to stop ballot protection efforts and let the problems fester.

Voting is one our most sacred rights.  In this sad example, that right was nearly extended to a dead dog.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.