To the editor:
Referencing Matt May’s May 3 letter, I must have read the same Heritage Foundation report he did. I had a different takeaway.
Heritage tells a cautionary tale, to be sure, and cites 1,071 proven cases of voter fraud. Keep in mind, that’s across our country’s history. Most of them stem from local elections in such bastions of progressivism as Alabama, Mississippi and – the largest portion – Kentucky, where some county commissioner, circuit clerk or other agreed to look the other way for a price and lost everything because of it. Lesson learned: The system works.
Here are the facts, as University of Massachusetts professor Erin O’Neill and others have called them: Voter fraud has not played out in a single New England state, or in any state where there is a strong check-and-balance system in place for preserving ballot integrity.
Across the country — and in more than 235-plus years of elections at every level: federal, state and local — voter fraud has played out so minimally as to be negligible.
Most states have sound systems in place for the absentee balloting that already goes on, from college students to senior citizens to military personnel overseas. It stands to reason, with skepticism noted, that the states can and, if necessary, should have a carefully crafted plan in place to allow voting by mail if the conditions we’re currently living under have not changed come November.
Most of us grew up learning the very real differences between possibility and probability. Anything’s possible. Just pick up a dystopian novel and start reading.
Probability, on the other hand, uses numbers, observation, testing, reporting and logical conclusion to determine what’s most likely.
“Alternate facts” aside, the evidence just doesn’t support widespread, significant voter fraud in any given election. Indeed, the worst offenses occur on the local level, and the perpetrators are severely punished.
So, let’s not rush headlong into any scheme. Let’s consider the times we’re living in, review our options and develop a responsible plan that will ensure every eligible voter has fair and equal access to the polls on Election Day.
What other choice could there possibly be?
Neil S. Lynch