That headline is correct … if you are trying to commit voter fraud.
A 58 year old Cincinnati poll worker is sentenced to 5 years in prison for voter fraud; she faced 12 years after pleading no contest to four counts.
Melowese Richardson boasted that she voted twice in last November’s presidential election … but she claims that she has a good defense. I’ll get to that later.
Originally, Richardson was charged with repeatedly voting illegal over 3 elections using the names of others … including her sister who has been in a coma for a decade.
She also used the name of her granddaughter; when the granddaughter was asked what she thought of the fraud, she replied, “It wasn’t a big deal.”
WASN’T A BIG DEAL?
That statement burns me up. No, using my voter ID is no different than using my car to go to the store, or using my hairbrush. That’s such a careless attitude about a basic privilege — and creates a “culture” of such indifference … unless you try to force Voter ID. Then you are accused of trying to take away “my voting rights”.
Voter ID is absolutely necessary to help prevent this kind of cheating at the polls … but too many start crying they would be disenfranchised, and it’s too hard to get a Voter ID — even if provided free and at multiple locations.
Those against Voter ID will always find some complaint, and most often, it hinges on claims of racism.
I would think African-American, Hispanic or other minorities who have legal rights to vote would welcome protections to make sure that their vote was safe from others “stealing” elections and voiding votes …especially in local elections.
During the Jim Crow era, illiteracy tests and poll taxes were used to deny citizens the vote, but the 24th Amendment ended those unfair burdens in January 1964.
This is 2013, and if Voter IDs are free and easily available, then you should have to have one to vote.
There are many other cases where you have to show an ID … to check out a library book, to get a fishing license, to get a job, to buy liquor, to collect on a big lottery ticket and numerous other instances. So, there is no reason to say that Voter ID is an unfair burden.
Judge Robert Ruehlman told Richardson, “You were the lifeguard, to make sure the system was conducted fairly, the greatest system on earth, the free election system. — Your job was to make sure it was conducted fairly, but what did you do? You used this position of lifeguard, this position of trust to vote illegally.”
But as I said in the beginning, Richardson had a defense.
To begin with, she cited her 25 years as a poll worker. (Now that fact scares me; how many times did she get away with fraud in the past?)
And if that’s not enough, she basically said, that what she did … didn’t change anything.
She said, “ I knew way before November 7 that Obama would win.”