In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, “The laxity of our locally enforced election laws is an invitation to cheat.” John Fund via NRO:
Yes, Donald Trump has muddied the issue of possible voter fraud in the November election with his comment that the only way Hillary Clinton can win Pennsylvania is by way of stolen votes. There doesn’t seem to be an issue that Trump can’t handle without hyperbole and exaggeration. But the media pile-on that Trump has experienced over his call for election observers to monitor the polls in Pennsylvania is unfair.
And it’s based on the lie that voter fraud is nonexistent. Pennsylvanians know it’s a lie. Like Chris Matthews, the liberal MSNBC host from Pennsylvania who in 2011 described this common fraud scheme:
People call up, see if you voted or you’re not going to vote. Then all of a sudden somebody does come and vote for you. This is an old strategy in big-city politics. . . . I know all about it in North Philly — it’s what went on, and I believe it still goes on.
Like Jimmy Tayoun, a former Philadelphia city councilman who went to prison in the 1990s for corruption, who knows how easy it is to cheat: “People working the polls don’t ask for ID. You can flood a lot of phony names on phony addresses, and there’s no way they’re going to check.”
In fact, Philadelphia is currently being sued over its lax voter roll maintenance. Add that to the list of voting “irregularities” identified by city commissioner Al Schmidt in his investigation of Philadelphia’s 2012 primary election – including people illegally voting who weren’t citizens, weren’t registered, were in the wrong district, voted twice, or impersonated another voter – and Pennsylvanians are right to be concerned about voter fraud.
Fund continues, “The way to avoid disputed elections and political turmoil is to make sure as few problems as possible happen while votes are being cast.” How can voters make sure?
As in most states, Pennsylvania election law recognizes poll watching as an important component of election transparency and accountability, allowing each candidate and party on the ballot to appoint watchers to observe the voting process inside the polls. (Pro tip: People standing outside polling locations and interacting with voters are not poll watchers or election observers.)
Candidates, parties, and voters concerned about honest elections who fail to appoint or serve as poll watchers are leaving a civic duty to their community undone, while members of the media and academia who intentionally conflate appointed law-abiding voters observing the process inside the polls with random angry people harassing voters outside the polls are discouraging legitimate civic participation.
The laxity of our locally enforced election laws is an invitation to cheat. However unartfully expressed, what Donald Trump was warning against in Pennsylvania is a legitimate concern. Rather than dismiss such concerns out of hand, the media might want to visit Philadelphia and other cities and be educated on what really can happen there on Election Day if the integrity of the voting process is put at risk.