It's common knowledge that there are more registered voters in Philadelphia than there are people living in Philadelphia because dead and moved-away voters have not been stricken from the list. Similar accusations have been made in a dozen other states.
In Minnesota, we were entertained for weeks with news of the recounting of votes in the 2008 Minnesota election for U.S. Senate. Al Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes out of 3 million votes cast.
After all was said and done, Minnesota discovered that 289 convicted felons had voted illegally in Hennepin County, 52 had voted illegally in Ramsey County and many others voted illegally who were dead or who voted multiple times. That is reason enough for the U.S. Senate to use its constitutional power in Article I, Section 5, to unseat Franken.
In a shocking case this fall, a good-looking Arkansas state legislator, Rep. Hudson Hallum, pled guilty to election fraud by bribing voters to vote their absentee ballots for him. He had applied for and distributed the absentee ballots, and the voters then gave the ballots to him in unsealed envelopes. If they were marked for Hallum's opponent, they were pitched.
The wide use of absentee and mail-in ballots has destroyed our traditional American secret ballot. This is a major loss of an important American right and an open door to election fraud.
It's important to know that it's much easier to prevent vote fraud beforehand than it is to overturn an election suspected of being plagued with fraud. Can individual citizens do something to prevent vote fraud, or can we count on the government to protect us from the cheaters?
There are things you can do right now before the election. You can volunteer to be a poll watcher, sometimes called poll observers or challengers or checkers, and usually at least one watcher is allowed to be close enough to the election officials to be able to compare the voter's signature with the verification record.
State laws vary about the rights and duties of poll watchers, and how many can be in a polling place. You can get some helpful advice and good instructions by contacting www.truethevote.org.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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