Voting fraud is a topic that is often discussed immediately after an election when one side or another happens to lose a major part of the ballot. Its clock-like regularity nearly disqualifies it as a complaint in some ways, but voter fraud is still a threat to a properly functioning democracy and should be taken seriously.
The problem with voter fraud is that it disenfranchises people by making their vote not mean as much as another’s. In a proper democracy, the people who are designated to vote are given one vote each and if someone takes two, well, that’s not fair and not how the U.S. government works.
In the 2012 election, there was some speculation that illegal immigrants had voted in the election when only U.S. citizens over the age of 18 are allowed to vote in federal elections. This would be a serious problem if it was widespread, as it would mean that people who had no real say in the election of officials had skewed the results of the election.
In reality, there was some voting done by immigrant residents during the election, but they were few and mostly the result of mistakes. Many people did not understand that they did not have the right to vote, for example permanent residents or convicted felons.
Regardless, more conservative lawmakers have started to use these small numbers as justification to start voter identification laws.
Voter identification laws have a history of being a tool for established members of society to oppress less privileged members of society by creating requirements that only the people they want to fulfil. In some cases in the past they were literacy tests, but more recently the tests have become a search for proper identification. Fortunately, these laws don’t seem to have much success when they are put up for a vote in congress.