Ms. Brunner then took the extraordinary step of refusing to provide the mismatched voter data to county election officials. After vigorous objections by Ohio Republicans and the free-market think tank the Buckeye Institute, a federal district court and its appellate court ordered her to make the information available. The matter made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that federal courts lacked jurisdiction. Republican lawyers are now arguing the case before Ohio's Supreme Court.
Ohioans, I suspect, find Ms. Brunner's protestations curious. They want Ms. Brunner to make sure the voter rolls are correct and fraud free. In fact, voters across the country want that too. They do not want to be embroiled in months of post-election litigation and uncertainty. Imagine a repeat of Florida 2000 occurring in Ohio or in multiple states across the country, with disputes over who was properly registered, where fraud occurred and which votes should count. It will make the "hanging chad" debacle look like a walk in the park.
This, however, can be avoided by closely examining suspicious registration and voting activity now, while there is still time to prevent these fraudulent votes from entering the system. Fraudulent activity undermines the fundamentals of democracy. Voter fraud contaminates the integrity of our election system.
The right to vote is one of our most basic rights, and it is subverted whenever a qualified voter's ballot is denied or when a legal vote is nullified by a fraudulent vote. Our election process must therefore receive the most vigorous protection possible, to ensure that all legal votes are counted, while all illegal votes are not. To protect the integrity of their vote, citizens can go to websites like www.DefendMyVote.com and give added voice to a national effort to stop fraud.
To their credit, many states have initiated investigations into voter fraud, and some courts have acted to force officials to examine or adjust their voting practices. But leaving the future of our country in the hands of others is never a wise idea.
A clear message from the voting public is the most effective way to ensure that secretaries of state and other authorities vigorously protect voters - and this country - from unsavory activists who are looking to subvert the election.