Partisan Politics Clouds Clear Thinking on Election Fraud  

Reader reaction to my last column on voter fraud precisely proved my point.

We have become so consumed with spewing political snark in this country that we’re often blinded to our problems. We’re so busy throwing darts at those who don’t think exactly as we do that we fail to see the unraveling of our most basic systems.

“Voter suppression exists. Not voter fraud,” wrote reader Elizabeth Blackburn. “It’s just an excuse to keep minorities from voting.”

She missed my point.

Voter suppression was not the topic of my last column but I don’t doubt it exists. The last presidential election was also not mentioned but that didn’t stop readers from taking a partisan leap after I expressed concern about the existence of voter fraud in American elections.

“Did you notice that the nation is in an actual crisis over the moral bankruptcy of our fascist, racist, isolationist President,” Whitney Buchanan wrote to scold me. “Or maybe you think everything is fine because your head is also buried in the sand.” She then wished me a “speedy recovery.” Cute, but again way off the point.

It is as if Blackburn, Buchanan and the many others who wrote hadn’t even read the column in which I reported voter fraud facts from Ohio, California, North Carolina and Virginia. Officials in those states admit they have had a problem.

The names of dead citizens remain on the voter rolls and records show votes have been cast using their names. How is that not fraud?

Yet reader Critz George wrote to declare, “Academics have done research on this and none have turned up any evidence for more than a trivial rate of improper votes cast.” That made me wonder how many fraudulent votes we should feel comfortable with. My answer would be none. But then George seemed to say illegal voters should be rewarded!

“If that few care that much for the public weal, one could argue that they deserve a medal.” So, we should applaud those who illegally vote? I don’t think so, Mr. George.

I had reported another type of voter fraud as well. Election records show that some citizens who are registered to vote in more than one state cast ballots in two states in the same election. Maybe they got a mail-in ballot in one state and showed up at the polls to vote in the other state. Or, someone could have stolen their identity and cast a ballot in their absence. Either way, that is fraud. Disturbingly, when this criminal activity is detected there are few prosecutions.

If voter fraud is happening in the four states I mentioned you can bet it is happening in other states too.

This is the sloppy way in which we treat one of our most revered American rights? Common sense tells us that our right (and duty) to vote is one of the most important components of our Republic. We do not take sufficient care of that sacred system, in my opinion.

Voting rolls across the country are flawed and little, or next to nothing is being done about it because everyone is too busy hurling politically motivated put downs. Disturbingly, we have begun to embrace a deflect-from-the-topic way of thinking and conversing with each other. (Deflectivity, if I may coin a phrase.) Example: I say I’d like to improve my glass of milk by adding chocolate syrup and someone automatically argues, “But what about the rising rate of childhood obesity?” It’s a completely off-the-point conversation. It’s as if we’ve lost our ability to focus.

Back to my original topic. Do we investigate and really get to the bottom of how prevalent voter fraud is in this country or do we allow the problem to grow and fester?

I say every state should take a serious deep dive look into their particular situation. First, purge dead people’s names from the voter rolls with a quick check of the state’s death records. That should be easy to do.  And, maybe Congress passes a law banning voter registration in more than one state. If you’re lucky enough to own two homes pick one state in which you register to vote. If you move your residence from one state to another you should be responsible for removing your name from the voting rolls in the state you are leaving. Then, when you register in your new community you must swear, under penalty of law, that you are registered in only one state. Finally, prosecutors must make it a priority to arrest and seek convictions for those who participate in voter fraud.

These are some solid suggestions on how to strengthen our voting system. No snark, no political sniping – just solid ideas on how we might make the system more reliable.  It doesn’t mean we ignore instances of voter suppression or the annoying boasts of a president who continues to crow about his victory. It just means we tackle one problem at a time. Really, that’s the only way things get done.



  1. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Twitter Pal vickie vertel@vvertel writes:

    This is the over whelming example of government apathy concerning voter fraud, issues & to clean it up. Shameful. Bush/Gore!

  2. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 11:12 am

    ABQ Journal Reader Marilyn Novak writes:

    Dear Diane,

    The average voter/citizen, such as myself, would not know how to pick out dead voters, or those who own 2 or more homes and vote in every home’s area. This leads us to think of WHO the culprits are who DO know how, and have access to the relevant records..

    Although pretty great in number, these “active politically citizens” have a great hunger to be mixed up in the general political/voting activity in their home and affiliated areas. They are the angry folk, the meek folk who want to help in a campaign, the excited worshippers of the “more powerful than they are,,etc. They are the ones whom the party can draft to go through the voters lists and compare them with the death records from over the years. They are not necessarily evil, just wanting to be involved in something that is bigger than they are.

    It would be difficult to find out who they are, as they probably change with each election. BUT they are certainly smaller in number than the ordinary, honest voters all across America.

    One way to help stop this practice, initiated by smarmy, “important” folks who are somebodies in each election, is to make an announcement before each campaign, that such activity as matching dead folks with voter rolls is not to be done by campaign workers, but by the ELECTED state person who controls the voting process. In our state, New Mexico, it is the Secretary of State.

    Hope these ideas are helpful to you, and you probably have thought of this yourself, being as astute as you are.

    You are one of my heroes, honest, intelligent, and now that you have your own column, powerful!

    Please keep on digging out the dirt, such as the evil “guardian” series which you recently did in New Mexico. Without people like you, there is very little hope.

    Best Wishes,

    Marilyn Novak, R.Ph., MBA

  3. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 11:14 am

    California Reader Scott writes:

    Dear Diane,

    Good article about the importance of voter fraud contrasted with the political party echoes about the current state of affairs in their minds. One thing that is especially assuming and annoying is all of the Democrats and their comrades “up in arms” about voter ID laws disenfranchising the minority voters. This from the party that used literacy tests and registration stations with immobile lines to prevent black voter registration in the 1950’s and 60’s. I guess their defense could be that they know disenfranchisement so we should listen to them because they’re experts. I have heard that these voter ID laws have actually not reduced minority voter turn out. Also, I remember hearing about the assailant who shot-up a mall in Seattle. I heard that he is an illegal immigrant, sorry undocumented supporter of law enforcement and the economy, who had voted in multiple Washington elections. You have a great point that just checking the voter roles and comparing them to the mortality records for those states should be simple considering that we pay for workers to at least process the registration forms that are completed. It’s kind of like when propositions get on our ballots here in California, and they collect all the registered voter’s signatures. I presume that these signatures get checked for authenticity. One thing that I think is good about California is that they photocopy our ballots so that they are kept as physical records instead of just numbers on computers that can be hacked to contaminate them.

    Good Article,

  4. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Noozhawk Reader AN50 writes:

    Could it be that those on the left protesting investigations into voter fraud, do so because they know it exist on their side? No, of course not, how silly.

  5. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

    ABQ Journal Reader Gary Hoe writes:

    Wow – did you ever nail this one!

    Asking how many fraudulent votes we can stomach before we do something about it is akin to asking how many murders Chicago should allow before arresting someone, or how many cases of shingles you can stand before you get the vaccine, or how much money Congress can waste before we run out – Oh wait, that’ll never happen; the Feds own the mint.

    This is why those who want a “motor-voter” law to register customers at Motor Vehicle Department offices to vote when they get their drivers’ licenses, are the same ones who swear it’s too hard for those same driver/voters to show that license at the polling booth. That’s just a load of organic pasture fertilizer, but everyone is only too eager to accept the label of victimhood and make everything someone else’s fault but their own.

  6. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Reader Shari Reed writes:

    You columns on voter fraud caused negative reactions because readers saw a similarity between your comments and those of our president who has used allegations of fraud to shake the public’s trust in our democratic system.
    As you know voting is a local responsibility so there will be many interpretations of correct voting procedures.

    There will always be some fraud in voting. As soon as one problem has been solved another will appear. The real question is if irregularities effect election outcomes.
    Most academics who have studied the issue agree that changes in election outcomes are not effected, except in rare cases. So,how much time, effort and cost do we invest in trying to eliminate any irregularities? And is that goal even attainable? Are the fraud cases isolated or part of some broad effort to influence the vote? Most experts think that the fraud is not a part of some sinister grand scheme.

    So, by dwelling on the issue you merely cause an already distrustful public to become even more alienated from our government institutions. The real problem in the last election was 3 million votes that were not influential in our presidential election.
    Those votes were counted properly but were basically thrown away because of our electoral college system. That fact is far more important in undermining our democracy than a few college students who are registered to vote in two states.
    Shari Reed

  7. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 11:22 am

    ABQ Journal Reader Jerome Paul Shea writes:

    Good follow-up column this morning, Diane. But I think you had to write last week’s for this one to follow. You really stuck the landing.

    And I like “deflectivity” (even if my spellcheck doesn’t).

  8. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 11:30 am

    ABQ Journal Reader Mary Smith writes:


    Your column today is right on.,,,,,,. so clear and easy to understand.

    Soon after my husband passed away in 1995, I called to remove his name from the voter rolls. I thought everyone automatically did this. By the way, about
    8 years ago, someone voted in my name in an election before I arrived to cast my own ballot and was told it would have to be checked. It resulted with my
    vote being counted after all. It also happened with a close friend of mine whose name is not so common, so this tells me voter fraud has been around for
    quite awhile.

    The people who manage the voter rolls need to be honest and more thorough in how they run the whole office. I also thought they automatically checked
    death records yet I called to make sure my husband’s name would be removed because it is a common name (Robert E. Smith).

    I intend to pass your comments on to that office or to tell them to READ your column which is so thorough. I will enclose a copy with it.

    Mary K Smith

  9. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 11:31 am

    ABQ Journal Reader Judy Tafoya writes:

    Once again, you have proven to be my favorite columnist and I’m so sorry you received emails from those who are only focused on hate and not the situation you presented. I’m very happy you didn’t allow them to get you down and today stuck on the topic you were actually talking about.

    Keep up the excellent reporting. I read your column every Saturday and sometimes (not often) I disagree, but I would never send you a hate email. People are becoming too rude for my liking and I’m not happy that this happened to you.



  10. Diane Dimond on August 28, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Facebook Friend Bill Voinovich writes:

    When more DON’T vote than DO, but yet EVERYBODY complains, there’s a problem………
    Don’t care WHO, or WHAT PARTY you like, but if you don’t vote, YOU’RE what’s wrong with the system….

  11. Diane Dimond on August 30, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Reader Rae Lamothe of Los Angeles writes:

    I have been reading your columns in the Metropolitan News re: voter fraud.

    The problem in my neighborhood is not so much that a non-citizen might register to vote, but that without photo ID I could go and vote as often as I wanted.

    At the risk of sounding like my grandmother reminiscing about the good old days, our polling places used to be staffed with neighborhood volunteers – mostly retirees who knew everyone.
    Election day was rather like a homecoming.
    We got to see neighbors we hadn’t seen in a while.

    About 10 years ago, we started getting paid staffers at our polling places.
    I don’t know what list of unemployables these folks are selected from, but most are functionally illiterate and basically ask you to find your own name on the voter rolls.
    These folks literally don’t know if “Lamothe” is at the beginning, end, or middle of their register.

    I could vote as often as I wanted.
    It’s very sad.

    I don’t know if anyone actually takes advantage of the situation, but it would be super easy, and without the risk to the “voter” associated with fraudulently registering.

    Just my thoughts.


    Rae Lamothe

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