An election year is always a great year for Americans. It is your chance to choose the guy (or in about 200 years, a girl) who is going to be both praised and blaimed for things that may be out of their control. To many, the government is a large, shadowy institution where the common man gets stepped on. To many others, it is the place where we can make dreams come alive and help one another. But to everyone, your voice only seems to matter on Election Day.
Recently, Pennsylvania passed a Voter ID Law that now requires you to bring official proof that you are who you are as a voter, claimed to help stop the age old problem of voter fraud. However, many people and websites have pointed out that Pennsylvania has never had a problem with voter fraud, and even the Keystone State admitted that we have never had voter fraud happen before.
Okay, what? Nevermind, that's a different subject.
I understand the rationale--we don't want our election rigged, and we don't want people who shouldn't vote (illegal immigrants, felons, zombies) walk into the booth and vote. But stopping people at the booth is almost closing the barn door just when the horse runs out. They conned you once, what makes you think that they can't do it twice?
The saying goes, if you wanna kill a zombie, you aim for the head (I don't think anyone has said that before, but if you wanna quote me, you are more than welcome).
Voter Registration really spiked after the passage of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (a.k.a. the Motor Voter Act), which allows for an individual to apply to vote when applying for a drivers licence or social services. That in itself isn't a problem, since if you're going to commit fraud on social services or against the DMV, voter fraud isn't the biggest fish to fry. This Act also allows individuals to apply via mail-in forms, which is one I recently filled out when I turned 18. This, in my opinion, is much easier to commit fraud on, since you spend five minutes filling out a form (I did!), then you seal it properly and mail it off.
Now, if it's easy to fradulently sign up to vote, you would think that PA's Voter ID Bill would be a godsend for this "problem", except Mike Turazi said it's going to be used to get Romney elected. And with many voters concerned that it may disenfranchise other voters, or make it harder for elderly people to vote (like it needs to be any harder), this could spell a problem for voting in 2012.
Have you ever voted in Oregon? Now, I'm going to answer what that has to do with anything in a second, but have you? No? Probably not, since you would be telling everybody how easy it is to vote with their mail-in ballots and such. How would that help with voter fraud? Think about it; if you make it easier to vote for some people (many have suggested moving the voting day to a Saturday), the rationale for fraud would shrink. Also, most voter fraud does involve fake addresses, so you can't get your ballot with a fake address, and if someone has a discrepency with their ballot or registeration, you could throw out the vote. Or if you want to go extreme, we could turn into Switzerland, where you don't register to vote (that's a right of a citizen), but you get mailed the ballot, and list of proposed bills and who is being elected. Remember, Switzerland is not only smaller, but a direct democracy, so it's easier for them.
Here are some ways to fix our little problem; voter fraud. Or you could always do what my mother has always taught me: if it isn't broke, don't fix it.