Prior to the November elections, Republican efforts to overhaul voter identification laws, according to the White House, congressional Democrats and most of the mainstream media, were nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to prevent legal Americans (especially minorities) from voting.
These entities contended that must be the case because after all, there is no widespread voter fraud in the United States, so any effort to prevent it must be suspect, right?
This attitude was embodied by Brennan Center attorneys Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt, who claimed last year, "A person casting two votes risks jail time and a fine for minimal gain. Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike."
If that's true, then lightening has been striking folks a lot around the country, considering the fact that a growing number of President Obama supporters are admitting they committed voter fraud on Election Day. This is especially true in Ohio.
According to local reports in Ohio, the Hamilton County Board of Elections has investigated 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud that occurred when Ohio was a focal point of the 2012 presidential election.
'Yes, I voted...twice'
One of the alleged perpetrators was none other than Melowese Richardson, a Democrat and poll worker who admitted she voted twice in November.
"Yes, I voted twice," she admitted to a local television news team. "I, after registering thousands of people, certainly wanted my vote to count, so I voted. I voted at the polls."
This is how WCPO reported and summarized the case:
According to county documents, Richardson's absentee ballot was accepted on Nov. 1, 2012 along with her signature. On Nov. 11, she told an official she also voted at a precinct because she was afraid her absentee ballot would not be counted in time.
"There's absolutely no intent on my part to commit voter fraud," said Richardson.
The board's documents also state that Richardson was allegedly disruptive and hid things from other poll workers on Election Day after another female worker reported she was intimidated by Richardson.
During the investigation, she also said she voted on behalf of her granddaughter, India Richardson, who was a first time voter in the 2012 election.
Unbelievably, Melowese Richardson remained defiant in the face of the allegations against her: "I'll fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama's right to sit as president of the United States," she said.
Which begs this question: Do you think Richardson would be so understanding and defiant if, say, it had been discovered that some voters in her district voted twice for GOP candidate Mitt Romney (especially if Romney had beaten the president in the general election)?
Following her admission of guilt, elections officials got wind that she may actually have voted under the names of four more people as well, and cast a total of six ballots for Obama last November.
We're not sure what is worse - her brazen, arrogant admission of guilt or her incomprehensible inability to see that she's done something wrong.
"I can't understand these charges against me of voter fraud," she told the local news. "Have they never heard of . . . overlooking mailing in a ballot or registering to vote at a precinct after you've forgotten that you've mailed in a ballot or you've been told that the ballot may be too late?"
Being 'outraged' isn't enough
Richardson has since appeared before the Hamilton County Board of Elections, along with five other Ohio voters accused of voting, or attempting to vote, twice. One individual, believe it or not, revealed she was unaware that it was illegal to vote twice.
"I'm outraged, and every voter, regardless of their political affiliation, should be outraged," said Hamilton County Board of Elections member Alex Triantafilou, who is also chairman of the county Republican Party. "It causes folks to have real doubts about the fabric of our very democratic process, and it's dangerous. It is disconcerting that someone would be so bold as to admit their conduct in such a fashion ... We fully intend to prosecute these cases."
Let's hope so, because, according to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, Ohio - a key battleground state - seems to have a big problem with voter fraud:
More than one out of every five registered Ohio voters is probably ineligible to vote. In two counties, the number of registered voters actually exceeds the voting-age population: Northwestern Ohio's Wood County shows 109 registered voters for every 100 eligible, while in Lawrence County along the Ohio River it's a mere 104 registered per 100 eligible. Another 31 counties show registrations at more than 90 percent of those eligible, a rate regarded as unrealistic by most voting experts.
We'll see if the state's officials can get their voter rolls cleaned up before the next election, but honestly, we don't hold out much hope.