COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – WTVM won't be endorsing a presidential candidate, but we do think it's important for voters to be informed.
One of the hottest issues right now is whether or not voter fraud might play a deciding role in the upcoming election. Voter fraud may not be widespread, but history and current events prove that it does indeed happen.
First, some history.
After the 1960 presidential election, historians agreed that John F. Kennedy benefited from voter fraud in Texas, Illinois and West Virginia. It was a razor-thin race and Kennedy's opponent Richard Nixon was urged by no less than President Eisenhower himself to contest the results. Nixon declined to do that and Kennedy took the oath of office.
President Johnson's biographer Robert Caro documented proof of voter fraud in 1948 that helped Johnson win his first Texas Senate Primary. And in the Illinois governor's race in 1982, more than sixty people were convicted of voter fraud. It does happen. And voter suppression, through poll taxes in the south, has been well documented, too.
But if that seems like ancient history, consider this: right now the state of Indiana is investigating voter fraud in 56 counties. In Texas, authorities are investigating what they call a voter harvesting scheme involving mail-in ballots. Other voting investigations are underway in Oklahoma, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
And who can forget that George Bush won the presidency in 2000 (after a Florida recount and a bitter supreme court fight) even though Al Gore won the popular vote and claimed irregularities in voting?
It seems clear that voter fraud and questionable voter registration cases do exist. But is that enough to swing a national election?
It will always be hard to know. We do know elections matter, your vote matters and what matters most is that when all the votes are counted, we all move forward together with a new president...whoever it turns out to be.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to email@example.com or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906