Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Voting Issue

Jazz Shaw, over at Hot Air, looks at article at the Washington Post, and makes cogent comments about the issue of the case in Texas earlier this year, where a green-card holder, Rosa Ortego, was sentenced to eight years in the pen for voting illegally in 2012 and 2014.

The Post seems to think that this is excessive, that an eight year sentence is a bit draconian.  I've heard the argument made that voter fraud is so rare that it never changes the results of  an election.  The argument is basically that one vote won't change the results.  Until it does.

I recall a time in a small north Louisiana parish.  It was a tiny little parish, with one judgeship.  The local judge was revered, well loved, and died suddenly.  The Supreme Court appointed a retired judge to serve ad hoc until an election could be called.

Two of the local ambulance-chasers qualified for the election and the campaign began.  As voting day rolled around, and as the precincts were counted, everyone held their breath to see who would ascend to the judgeship.  The results came in at a dead tie.  Each candidate had garnered exactly the same number of votes.

That triggered a re-count, and after the re-count was complete, the tally was still a dead-tie.  Allegation flew back and forth, a lawsuit was initiated, and the state Supreme Court got involved.  The process finally shook itself out, but during the shaking-out, we learned that the Registrar of Voters had been (ahem) a bit less than enthusiastic about insuring the integrity of the voter rolls.

Yes, sometimes one vote matters.  Further, the integrity of the election process is integral to our system of democracy.


Old NFO said...

Excellent point, and yes, IMHO voter fraud DOES go on each election... sigh

Jonathan H said...

there are some jurisdictions that settle a tied election with a coin toss. It has the virtue of being quick and random, buu I think a better idea would eb to redo it...