Mark Obenshain: Wait, what? Voter fraud?

obenshain2Democrats are alleging massive voter fraud … wait, what? Coming from the party that routinely denies any possibility of voter fraud, Richmond Democrats’ new-found obsession with the issue is highly entertaining.

In the Democratic Party-run firehouse primary to choose the party’s state senate nominee in the 16th District special election, Democrats — free to adopt any voter identification standard they wished, or none at all — opted for requirements considerably more stringent than those contained in the state law they denounce, actually going so far as to require that IDs show the address at which the individual is registered.

Your ID shows your old address? Sorry, you’re out of luck. Can you imagine the outcry if the state adopted that sort of standard? What happened to the piercing cries by elected Democrats that require an ID is but a thinly veiled effort to suppress voter participation. It is unlikely that an explanation of that double standard will be forthcoming anytime soon.

But that was nothing compared to what happened after the votes were counted. When the party establishment’s candidate lost, the cries of massive voter fraud started rising from the most unlikely of places, with the local Democratic committee refusing to certify the election results, citing possible voter fraud.

An emergency conference call was scheduled, led by Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones — who also happens to be the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia. But as the DPVA always tells us, voter fraud doesn’t exist.

At this time, it appears likely that the Senate District Committee won’t hold up certification past Friday, but according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, an appeal from one of the losing candidates may be forthcoming, citing improperly conducted curbside voting and even the pocketing of ballots.

I don’t know what happened in the 16th District — whether this is just sour grapes from party leaders who didn’t get their way, or if there were in fact irregularities. That’s for the Democratic Party to sort out. But isn’t it ironic to see all these Democrats screaming “voter fraud” after spending so much time assuring us that voter fraud is a merely figment of our imagination?

One doesn’t have to believe that voter fraud is widespread — I don’t — to see the value in a process with uniformity and integrity. Democrats in the 16th District required ID, but right now there’s a question of whether they did so consistently, and of course the separate question of whether all ballots were counted. Even if the results are accurate, I’ll bet they wish the process had been run in such a way as to give the voters confidence in the integrity of the outcome.

Mark Obenshain is a member of the Virginia State Senate.


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