Long before Trump, bipartisan group of elder statesmen flagged mail ballot fraud risks

Just The News:

Forgotten 2005 report warned a small amount of fraud could swing close elections, urged voter ID requirements.

In recent months, the debate over mail-in balloting has evolved into a battle between Team Trump’s worries about fraud and the claims of Democrats and their news media allies that such concerns are an unwarranted effort at disenfranchising voters.

It wasn’t always this way.

Fifteen years ago this very month, a bipartisan panel of American statesmen and stateswomen — from ex-President Jimmy Carter and ex-Senate leader Tom Daschle on the left to former Secretary of State James Baker and former House Minority Leader Bob Michel on the right — studied the future of U.S. elections and issued strong words of caution that the expansion of mail-in voting that began a few years earlier in Oregon posed real fraud risks, especially in close elections.

“To improve ballot integrity, we propose that federal, state, and local prosecutors issue public reports on their investigations of election fraud, and we recommend federal legislation to deter or prosecute systemic efforts to deceive or intimidate voters,” the Commission on Federal Election Reform urged in 2005. “States should not discourage legal voter registration or get-out-the-vote activities, but they need to do more to prevent voter registration and absentee ballot fraud.”

Moreover, the commission strongly urged that voter identification was a key to preventing cheating, something some liberals today claim provides xenophobic “new barriers to the ballot box.”

“The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters. Photo IDs currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally important,” the commission said.

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