With regard to vote counting, Mexico has “a lot to teach the United States.”

July 10, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More

The Wall Street Journal argues that Mexico is far ahead of the United States with regard to preventing voter fraud.  That’s good news in close election such as the one that just occurred in Mexico.  As the Wall Street Journal reports:

Mexico has developed an elaborate system of safeguards to prevent voter fraud. Absentee ballots, which are cast outside the view of election officials and represent the easiest way to commit fraud, are much harder to apply for than in the U.S. Voters must present a valid voter ID card with a photo and imbedded security codes. After they cast a ballot voters–just like those famously pictured in Iraq last year–also have a finger or thumb dipped in indelible purple ink to prevent them from voting again.

In the U.S. opponents of such anti-fraud measures as photo ID laws claim they will disenfranchise many voters and reduce voter turnout. But John Lott, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, notes that in the three presidential elections Mexico has conducted since the National Election Commission reformed the election laws “68% of eligible citizens have voted, compared to only 59% in the three elections prior to the rule changes.” People are more likely to vote if they believe their ballot will be fairly counted.

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in April “80% of Americans favored a photo ID requirement, with only 7% opposed.” Yet every Democratic senator opposed the McConnell amendment.  This Wall Street Journal editorial calls this “a clear sign that key liberal interest groups must feel threatened by the idea of ballot security.”

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Category: Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erika Price says:

    In my state, and all around the country, liberal Democrats have waged a war of sorts on independent voters and candidates, especially Greens. The Republican Party shares this contempt, but tends to victimize Libertarian voters and candidates. In this case, party lines don't matter, intent and tactics remain the same: poorly run elections not only keep independent parties powerless, they give voters a sense of apathy because real change seems futile. When voters feel apathetic, independents and moderates drop from the radar, and only the loyal party voters return to the polls.

    Mexico doesn't suffer from this problem, I would venture, because they have a multi-party system. Without our rigidly defined two-party dichotomy, no party in Mexico has the power to pull such self-preserving strings as Republicans and Democrats can in the US. The same goes with Iraq, except that Iraq also had the benefit of no stable parties whatsoever, since any kind of democracy had just started.

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