Jennifer Merino

COPY EDITOR

Ever since the “hanging chad” debacle wherein, partially holepunched ballots were counted during the 2000 election, most of the United States has wondered if voter fraud is legitimately a problem. Personally I believe the 2000 election opened our eyes to voter fraud and the possibilities for unassessed votes in determining our future Presidents. The incident placed a giant invisible question mark over the legitimacy of voter counts in Florida. 

According to the New York Times’ David Barstow, “The flawed votes included ballots without postmarks, ballots postmarked after the election, ballots without witness signatures, ballots mailed from towns and cities within the Unites States, and even ballots from voters who had voted twice. All would have been disqualified if the state election laws had been strictly enforced.” This means that Florida found a loophole that helped grant the win for George W. Bush, leading the population to believe that voter fraud may be a leading issue in declaring a true winner for the presidency. 

This also raises the question: Who allowed these otes to be counted as legitimate. If there are guidelines to how votes are counted and processed, why were these votes not held to the same standards? 

Some say that since George W. Bush’s brother Jeb was the Governor of Florida there was a conspiracy, but no factual evidence of fraud or vote tampering was ever found. The rebuttal comes down to the “hanging chad” votes that were wrongfully hole-punched, which lead to the re-count that allotted George W. Bush his win.

CNN Politics’ Wade Payson-Denney argues that “the studies also show that Gore likely would have won a statewide recount of all undervotes and overvotes, which are ballots that included multiple votes for president and were thus not counted at all. However, his legal team never pursued this action.” 

Al Gore gracefully accepted his defeat despite a possible case of voter fraud, leaving the general public filled with confusion over the validity of voting. This, in retrospect of this election, lead the general population to believe that there is a faulty polling system. 

Currently, President Trump promises to finally rid our voting system of voter fraud. There are states that have deceased people still in the system as registered voters, causing some to believe that there are people who can fly under the radar and vote as a deceased person. These are all alleged claims of possible voter fraud, but there is no actual proof in the voting system that anyone has done so. 

In retrospect, Fox News’ John Fund  believes, “These blatant attempts to prevent states from learning if they have a real problem with illegal votes makes it impossible to learn if significant numbers of noncitizens and others are indeed voting illegally, perhaps enough to make up the margin in some close elections. There is no question that there are dishonorable people who are willing to exploit the loopholes in our honor system.”