Your View: Guest Column - Voter ID law can prevent potential fraud

Feb. 17, 2013 @ 08:10 PM

BY PHYLLIS PICKLESIMER

In light of Carl Routh’s Guest Column on the Feb. 11 Opinion page (“Voter ID laws are attempts to steal elections”), I felt it necessary to respond after information surfaced concerning Melowese Richardson, an “unofficial” poll worker in Ohio, being investigated for voter fraud in the past election.  Richardson has stated that she did nothing wrong in casting multiple votes for President Obama in November.  She said, “There’s absolutely no intent on my part to commit voter fraud.” She plans to vigorously defend her votes.
It appears Richardson filed an absentee ballot for herself before the election, then afraid that her absentee ballot would not be counted in time, she voted at the polls. She also sent in an absentee ballot for her daughter being again worried that her daughter might not vote.  And, lo and behold, her daughter also voted at the polls, surely mistakes that anyone could make. Richardson also sent in absentee ballots for someone who sometimes lived at her house as well as for her sister who did the same.  She says she had power of attorney to do this.  One can only be left to wonder whether these two individuals also voted at the polls.
She was one of 19 people named in Hamilton County (one county) for voter fraud.  According to Board of Elections information, people casting previous absentee ballots are supposed to have “absentee voter” next to their names.  In investigating, the board found that none of the absentee voters names were flagged.  Most interesting, staff could not locate that list when asked.
Richardson stated, “I, after registering thousands of people, certainly wanted my vote to count.  So I voted at the polls.”  Having cast absentee ballots in the past when I will not be in the state on Election Day, it is my understanding that absentee ballots are for those who will be unable to be at the polls on that day.
We are required to show a picture ID to cash a check, board an airplane, purchase alcohol, among many things, but to protect one of the most important rights of an American citizen to require identification to protect this right from the Richardsons of the country and to vote for the government we are to live under are, according to Routh, “… blatant attempts to subvert this political process and steal elections despite the will of the people.”  Considering how important the voting process of Ohio was in the last election, I do not believe that voter ID “will rig the elections in our state.”
Perhaps it will insure that future Melowese Richardsons won’t have the ability to vote a possible eight times and feel they have done nothing wrong.  After all, all she says she wanted was to be sure she got her vote counted!

Phyllis Picklesimer lives in High Point.