North Dakota legislators have passed an updated voter ID bill. As I read the story something stood out to me as very strange.
“For those who don’t bring a valid ID to the polls, the bill allows voters to cast a ballot that’s set aside until they produce an ID.”
Yes, they’ll set your ballot aside until you can come back and produce an ID.
Isn’t the point of voter ID to reduce potential fraud? All I’m seeing here is a real nice opportunity to create some voter fraud.
Why would a law designed to have someone who first didn’t provide proper ID to legally vote have that person fill out a ballot, then, take that filled out ballot from them, set that “aside” and wait for them to return with a valid ID. Where are the ballots set aside exactly? How do we know election workers aren’t sneaking peaks at these limbo ballots? Who monitors these homeless ballots? What happens to these ballots if the voter never returns?
Here’s a scenario: Election worker sneaks a peak at a neglected ballot. They see that the missing voter filled it out for some candidates or issues they favor. Voter never returns with their ID. Election worker slips that ballot into the machine so it counts toward the official count.
Here’s another one: Election worker cares deeply about an issue. Election worker knows others who feel the same way. Election worker has them show up at their polling place. Friends “forgot” their ID but, hey, I can still fill out my ballot and come back with my ID. They never return with their ID and election worker slips filled out ID into the official count.
Are either of those scenario’s very realistic? Probably not, but they aren’t entirely impossible either. You know what else wasn’t very real in North Dakota? Voter fraud before voter ID laws were passed.
Lawmakers who are so worried about virtually non-existent voter fraud look to have just created a new and, if you think about it, much more real opportunity FOR voter fraud by allowing filled out ballots to be laying around in a polling place on election day.
You can read the bill here.