A guilty plea in a Kansas City, Missouri, voter fraud case this week illustrates something the U.S. Supreme Court pointed out when it upheld Indiana’s voter ID law in 2008:
[F]lagrant examples of [voter] fraud…have been documented throughout this Nation’s history [and] occasional examples have surfaced in recent years that…demonstrate that not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.
On Monday, John C. Moretina pleaded guilty to a federal felony count of voter fraud in the August 2010 Democratic primary in Missouri’s 40th legislative district. Moretina falsely claimed he was living in the 40th district just so he could vote in the primary. This is a Democratic district where the winner of the primary, John J. Rizzo, was highly likely to become the district representative in the state house and, in fact, was elected. But Rizzo beat his Democratic opponent, Will Royster, by only one vote: 664 to 663.
Moretina did not inform the court whom he voted for, but since he is Rizzo’s uncle, it is not too much of a stretch to guess that he gave his nephew the winning margin of victory. Moreover, there were also allegations that Moretina’s wife fraudulently voted in this primary election as well, although she was not charged.
What is undeniable is that, as the Kansas City Star says, “the wrong candidate was declared [the] winner of the 2010 Democratic primary.”
Some opponents of voter ID mistakenly claim that this fraud shows that “stricter voter ID” requirements are not needed because voter ID would not have stopped this fraud. While no one claims that voter ID is a solution to all types of voter fraud, it is one of the critical steps that should be taken by states to improve the integrity of the election process.
As John Fund and I outlined in our book Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk and as the Supreme Court said, voter fraud is real, and it can change the outcome of a close election. It certainly changed the outcome of this state legislative race in Missouri.