There’s an excellent article here, and some highlights:
According to the self-appointed liberal guardians of the poor, practically every effort to legislate against or prosecute voter fraud is intended to keep minorities and the poor from voting at all. Concern over voter fraud, say some partisans, is simply Republicans’ cover to intimidate voters and raise obstacles to minority voting. Indeed, groups like the NAACP argue that racism and intimidation are the motivation for voter fraud prosecutions, and some prominent Democrats dismiss voter fraud as virtually nonexistent. As a result, prosecutors are intimidated from fighting vote fraud for fear of the political consequences, and elections continue to be stolen.
Greene County shows that these groups have it backwards. Voter fraud prosecutions do not intimidate voters; what does intimidate them is the knowledge that voter fraud is routine and goes unpunished. Too often, not only is no one willing to take action against it, but the organizations that victims expect to help them instead take the side of the vote thieves. In contrast to the views of such organizations, an overwhelming majority of citizens support such common-sense and nonpartisan reforms as requiring voter identification when an individual votes.
Further, the Greene County case demonstrates that voter fraud need not be partisan in nature. Partisan conspiracy theories about election reform just do not apply to intra-party voter fraud in primary elections in heavily Democratic or Republican jurisdictions where primary results determine who wins in the general election. The perpetrators of voter fraud, particularly in small rural counties, are often political incumbents whose control of local government is threatened by challengers from the same political party. In Greene County, almost all of the candidates, incumbents and challengers alike, were both Democrats and African–Americans.
Although some partisans will cling to their debunked conspiracy theories, those who honestly seek to protect voters’ rights must study the methods and means of voter fraud in order to combat it. Absentee ballot fraud in particular is difficult to control. It is “the ‘tool of choice’ for those who are engaging in election fraud,” as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded in its investigation of the 1997 Miami mayoral election. The results of that election were thrown out because of massive fraud involving over 5,000 absentee ballots. With the growth of no-fault absentee voting and all-mail elections, there is the real risk that fraud will affect more election results and even wipe out voting rights hard won by the Civil Rights movement.
The Greene County case is important, then, because it demonstrates the ease with which fraudulent absentee ballots can be used to steal elections, the tactics used to steal those votes, the complete failure of liberal advocacy groups to protect the interests of vulnerable voters who have been disenfranchised by fraud, and the value of vigorous law enforcement to protect legitimate voters’ rights. It also points the way toward common-sense solutions to make voting more secure and increase public confidence in the electoral process.