Green Room

For voter ID, do not go ask Alicia

posted at 4:07 pm on April 25, 2012 by

By now, we’re all pretty familiar with the undercover journalism of James O’Keefe. His latest videos feature various phony voters requesting ballots in various towns/cities…and getting them, his point being how easy it is to commit voter fraud without Voter ID laws in place.

Expanding on this demonstration, he’s started sending voters into polling places to request ballots in the names of well-known people, usually ones who oppose Voter ID laws. Recently, one of these incidents involved the ballot of Alicia Menendez, a contributor at NBC Latino.

Here’s how it went down: one of O’Keefe’s workers went into a DC polling place and requested a ballot as Ms. Menendez…but was asked for ID because Ms. Menendez had already cast a ballot. So the poseur left, ostensibly to get her ID, and never returned. O’Keefe’s point was made, nonetheless: requesting ID from the voter was a good idea in this case, n’est ce pas?

Menendez, as you can imagine, was not amused. She wrote a column about the piece and also appeared briefly on an MSNBC show late morning where she made a variation on this point:

…there are already systems in place to assure that this type of thing (voter fraud) can’t happen. If two Alicia Menendez’s (sic) showed up at the poll, the second to arrive would have been given a provisional ballot, and only the real vote would have counted.

In the MSNBC interview, she phrased this slightly differently, saying that her real vote would have canceled out the phony vote. (Not really. If both votes were counted, the phony one would cancel the real one.)

But what if the scenario had been: the phony voter cast her ballot first, and Menendez was the “second to arrive?” Then, presumably, the real Menendez is given the provisional ballot while her identity is verified. Once it is, how would the poll workers know how to delete the phony vote to ensure “only the real vote would have counted?” Is Menendez saying that poll workers can go back through all the votes cast and remove a vote they deem “unreal”?

If so, I’d say that’s more a threat to democracy than Voter ID laws.


Libby Sternberg is a novelist.

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These people are desperate and idiotic. Bitter clingers, the lot of them. The ironic thing is some of them are dumb enough to believe voter ID would actually disenfranchise voters.

WeekendAtBernankes on April 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Positive voter ID is a must. Absentee ballots and early voting are very suspect. Voter rolls should be viforously purged of people who have moved, been convicted of a felony, or passed away. Integrity of the vote must be absolute.

Elric on April 25, 2012 at 4:29 PM

In this particular case it would be win win—two votes cast for democrats. What’s the problem?

arnold ziffel on April 25, 2012 at 4:46 PM

The way it was done in Nazi Germany and the old Soviet Union was to match the numbers on the ballots with the sign in sheet.

Where I vote they tear off the numbered tab before I deposit my ballot, But if an election official is dishonest, there are many ways to bypass these safeguards.

Of course the way this is done in actual election audits is to disqualify votes for Republicans.

halfbaked on April 25, 2012 at 4:58 PM

A reader has informed me that the fake Alicia Menendez’s ID was only requested because the impostor specifically asked if she needed ID and was told “sure.” Therefore, the request for ID had nothing to do with the fact that the real Menendez had already voted. If so, this makes the case for Voter ID even more clear.

Libby Sternberg on April 26, 2012 at 8:31 AM

The way it was done in Nazi Germany and the old Soviet Union was to match the numbers on the ballots with the sign in sheet.

halfbaked on April 25, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Didn’t live in Nazi Germany, so don’t know for sure, but in Soviet Union you brought your passport with you and signature in passport (as well as name, etc) was verified against the one you put on the ballot.

riddick on April 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I would point out that Alicia Menendez is the daughter of the infamous Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). I know, I get an email from her about every five hours begging for money to help Daddy stop the evil Republicans’ ‘money machine.’

SickofLibs on April 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I am strongly in favor of voter ID laws to slow down illegal voting, but the ID laws mean little when democrats are able to “find” boxes of ballots in their car immediately after a close election.

The ballots that matter most (unfortunately) often aren’t run through any ID process. Just ask Al Franken.

Parabellum on April 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM