Two stories in two local papers this morning point out what is driving the controversy over how to eliminate vote fraud while avoiding...or keeping...political advantage.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 900 voters were registered in both East St. Louis and other parts of St. Clair County or in more than one precinct in East St. Louis. The St. Clair County board approved an election reform resolution which calls for:
- procedures which would cross reference voter lists in East St Louis and the county.
- requiring the St. Clair County Clerk and the East St. Louis election board to perform audits of voter rolls to ensure precincts comply with the law as to number of voters per precinct. This could well eliminate 14 of East St. Louis' 44 precincts.
- Ask political parties to submit an audit for publication of their financial records after each election
- Better training of election judges
The 2004 election saw vote fraud in East St. Louis which led to the conviction of a number of political players from that city. The widespread publicity and the actual convictions seem to have nudged the couty board into action, but nothing will change until either the East St Louis election board is disbanded and comes under the county's clerk, the ESL election board cracks down on the ease of gaming the vote, or until county democratic leaders stop throwing money into ESL races.
In other voter news, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a lead editorial today taking strong issue with proposed legislation in the Missouri legislature. Someone working at the paper has a sense of humor or else is totally out of touch with past reality because the editorial was titled, "Pre-rigging the vote."
The PD does not want any part of the pending state requirement to have voters come to the polls with a photo ID. They claim this will disenfranchise 200,000 Missouri voters. This number looks to me like it was plucked out of thin air, but call me cynical. The editorial says:
"By amazing coincidence, those people who are most likely to be affected by the new law are also likely Democratic voters..."
Let's be honest here. "By amazing coincidence" it has been the democrats in both states in this region who have tried to rigg past votes. Think back to the November 2000 race where Missouri democrats went to court in an attempt to keep the polls open a couple extra hours as well as the 2004 ESL vote buying. Too bad they are being asked to clean up their act in ways that may be an inconvience.