Some good, old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting by a couple of reporters found this shocker: Corpses are casting ballots in Colorado. Via CBS4:
A CBS4 investigation has found multiple cases of dead men and women voting in Colorado months and in some cases years after their deaths, a revelation that calls into question safeguards designed to prevent such occurrences.
“We do believe there were several instances of potential vote fraud that occurred,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams after reviewing the CBS4 findings. “It shows there is the potential for fraud.”
This news must have come as a shock to the New York Times. Just three days before the story broke, the Times editorial board wrote about the myth of voter fraud. The editorial didn’t just say voter fraud is rare; it actually said the word “never” bests describes how often voter fraud happens in America. It’s a myth driven by electoral politics, they said.
This is rich, considering that a pair of Colorado TV reporters were able to uncover numerous instances of dead people voting for years after they died in this battleground state, which many are predicting could decide the 2016 presidential contest. [Update: Dead voters were also discovered voting in Harrisburg, Virginia, days later, prompting a federal investigation.]
The 78 dead people the secretary of state confirmed were still on voting rolls? Child’s play, said the Chicago Tribune in an editorial:
As Chicagoans, we have one thing to say: amateurs. The Denver investigation turned up only four confirmed cases of corpses actually casting ballots.…
Comedian Mort Sahl has explained why he plans to be buried in Chicago: "When I die, I want to still remain active politically." It's been said that we know Elvis is dead because he's registered to vote here.
But these jokes are not based on mere rumors. They emerged from our city's long and extensive history of turning out the graveyard vote. This miracle was the product not of Aunt Lucy honoring her late husband's wishes by punching a straight Democratic ticket, but of trained operatives using an organized system.
Take Raymond Hicks, a Chicago Democratic precinct captain in the 27th Ward. His paychecks came from the city sewer department, but his fame came from his activities in election fraud. During a 1983 corruption trial, the Tribune reported that Hicks "told of visiting every hotel and flophouse in the West Side ward to pay for votes and lists of people who had died or moved and would not be voting." Another precinct captain attested to forging ballot applications for at least 30 people who were deceased or transient.
And then, of course, there was the 1960 election:
Earl Mazo, a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune, came out to investigate and was shocked by what he found. "There was a cemetery where the names on the tombstones were registered and voted," he said. Nixon decided not to challenge the results, but afterward, he recalled, his 12-year-old daughter Julie kept asking, "Can't we still win? Why can't we have a recount in Chicago?"
There is a long tradition of voter fraud in America that stretches from Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall to Nixon-Kennedy in 1960 to 2016 and beyond.
Perhaps this is why Americans overwhelmingly support voter ID laws. A recent Gallup poll showed 80 percent of Americans support voter ID, including 77 percent of nonwhites, who some allege are harmed by such laws.
Will voter ID prevent all election fraud? Of course not. Absentee ballots and early voting have added new wrinkles to the American voting system, and new ways to skirt it.
But let’s dismiss the Times’ naïve notion that voter fraud does not exist in America. Voting fraud is like cockroaches – for each one you spot there are 50 you don’t see.
Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has appeared in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Washington Times.