While Congress was certifying the election for Joe Biden, a collection of neo-Nazis, second Amendment proponents, Confederate Flag bearers, QAnon believers, a variety of other hate groups, and staunch Trump supporters overtook the Capitol police, and stormed the US Congress looking for either an opportunity to take selfies and post on their personal profile, or more sinister, find Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence and hang in them outside in the makeshift gallows. The underpinning of last week’s attack on the United States government was a belief in wide-spread voter fraud. Let’s acknowledge that a cornerstone of democracy is a free and fair election. The American people deserve to trust that the election infrastructure is secure and also of a vital national interest. Voting is a fundamental right secured by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Let’s take a look at what mechanisms protect against wide-spread voter fraud.
Laws and Protections in Place to Protect Against Voter Fraud
Federal laws establish national practice standards for voting. In 1993 Congress passed the Voter Registration Act which codified many practices for voter roll maintenance in order to help the states have unified practices. In 2002, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act to address problems that arose in the 2000 election of Bush/Gore. This federal legislation required states to keep centralized voter registration databases, allowing states to easily cross-reference duplicative voters. States utilize federal databases such as the US Postal Service National Change of Address database and the Social Security Death Index database in order to maintain accurate voter rolls. When voters move the election office sends a cancellation notice to the prior jurisdiction. When a vote by mail ballot is received, national standards exist for the election worker to verify the vote to see if the voter has already voted elsewhere.