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The Voting Dead

In the debate over Voter ID, opponents routinely claim that there is no voting fraud, and the ID requirements are just a Republican scheme to keep poor people from voting.* 

Saying there is no voting fraud that would be prevented by an ID requirement because we haven't seen the fraud is kind of like saying Saturn didn't have rings until Galileo looked through his telescope.  Just because you don't have the capacity to see something does not mean it isn't there and you shouldn't acquire the capacity to see it.

Fortunately, there is a way to check to see if one form of voter impersonation is occurring.  NBC Bay Area (San Francisco, not exactly a hotbed of Republican activism) did an investigation on the deceased.  Not only are lots of dead people still on rolls, but far worse than that:

NBC Bay Area found several other examples, too. People like Sara Schiffman of San Leandro who died in 2007 yet still voted in 2008, or former Hayward police officer Frank Canela Tapia who has voted 8 times since 2005, though he died in 2001.

County election officials are responsible for removing names from the voter rolls.

NBC Bay Area gave Contra Costa County Clerk and Recorder Steve Weir a list of more than 100 voters in his county who may have passed away. Around half a dozen of these voters have recorded votes since their death.

"This is embarrassing," Weir said. "This is something we should have caught."

It's more than embarrassing.  It's criminal.  In an election decided by the thinnest of margins, fraud could determine the outcome.  
*A personal note:  My wife works in a government clinic.  Most of the patients are on Medicaid.  They all have IDs and have to show them when they register for services.  It's not a problem for poor people to show IDs to receive government services specifically for the poor, so how can it be discrimination against the poor to show IDs to vote?

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