Cue the Monty Python references. Bring out yer dead!

Do you remember all those arguments from Democrats against voter ID laws and how it’s a solution in search of a problem because there’s no actual voter fraud going on? They might want to have a chat with the folks out in California who have now apparently taken a page from the playbooks of Chicago and New York City. There’s no sense discriminating against anyone when it comes to voting and we should obviously extend those rights to our citizens who may be suffering from the disadvantage of no longer being among the living. (CBS Local)

A comparison of records by David Goldstein, investigative reporter for CBS2/KCAL9, has revealed hundreds of so-called dead voters in Southern California, a vast majority of them in Los Angeles County.

“He took a lot of time choosing his candidates,” said Annette Givans of her father, John Cenkner.

Cenkner died in Palmdale in 2003. Despite this, records show that he somehow voted from the grave in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

But he’s not the only one.

CBS2 compared millions of voting records from the California Secretary of State’s office with death records from the Social Security Administration and found hundreds of so-called dead voters.

First of all, hats off to David Goldstein for doing the long, hard, slogging work of actual journalism. It can’t have been much fun to go through miles upon miles of voter records and then create a database to match them up against Social Security’s death records, but he got the job done and it turned up an instructive treasure trove of data. The aforementioned Mr. Cenkner was far from the only person who seems to have miraculously risen from the grave like a vampire on election day for five out of seven years. There were nearly three dozen dearly departed who managed to vote in eight different elections during the period under review after they had reached room temperature. One incredibly patriotic woman managed to cast a ballot in 2014, a full 26 years after she was buried.

As the report indicates, these aren’t examples of simple administrative errors where someone with the same name voted elsewhere in the state. These were specific voters in known precincts who continued to cast ballots at the same location for years after they died. And the corruption in Los Angeles County wasn’t limited to just the Democrats. We need to be fair here and point out that while the majority were voting for the Party of the Donkey, they also dug up (sorry about that) 86 Republicans who were so active in our democratic process that they weren’t going to be stopped by a little thing like shuffling off this mortal coil.

Now let’s compare that to the situation in Texas, where advocates of their recently passed voter ID law are fighting tooth and claw to hang onto it. (Texas Tribune)

A top lawyer for Texas fiercely defended the state’s strictest-in-the-nation voter identification law on Tuesday, in a high-profile case that could ultimately determine at what point states that assert that they are protecting the integrity of elections cross over into disenfranchisement.

Standing before all 15 members of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller argued that judges were wrong to conclude in two previous rulings that the Texas Legislature discriminated against minority and low-income voters in passing a 2011 law that stipulates which types of photo identification election officials can and cannot accept at the polls.

As I’ve long maintained, a lack of widespread convictions for voter fraud is not an indication that it’s not taking place. The fact is that we don’t devote any resources to identifying and prosecuting this particular crime. It’s so ridiculously easy to get away with and so difficult to detect that there’s very little stopping anyone from doing it. We can barely keep up with the number of people who are killed or go missing every year. We simply can’t be checking into every vote that’s cast. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to ensure that the people showing up to vote are actually who they say they are?

Or at least take a stab at making sure they’re still among the living?

MontyPython