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Fed up with fraud

By By Craig Ziemba / guest columnist
Oct. 27, 2002
Craig Ziemba is a pilot who lives in Meridian.
When Iraq's dictator won his recent election with 100 percent of the vote, Western reporters rolled their eyes and printed stories dripping with sarcasm at the bogus referendum. We Americans sniff self-righteously and cluck our tongues at farcical elections in other countries, but I'm afraid we have some serious problems of our own.
While it's hard to get accurate data on voter fraud, it's common knowledge that in Mississippi, dead folks vote, unions bus people in to stuff ballot boxes, and quite a few illegal aliens and felons go to the polls. I've heard folks brag about voting twice as if it's clever or cute. It isn't.
Eventually voter fraud leads citizens to distrust the legitimacy of their elections, and that will prove to be the death of democracy. One of the most damaging results of election fraud is that voters begin to feel as if their vote no longer matters and believe that the outcome of an election is determined more by fraud than the actual will of the people. Many who become disillusioned stop voting while others decide they may as well commit voter fraud themselves.
The flawed premise behind voter fraud is that the end (winning the election) justifies the means (committing a crime). That is sick. Many unions and special interest groups no longer desire fair, honest elections; they only want to win. They are destroying the very democracy that gives them the right to participate in government and are no better than the Third World goons they emulate.
I've witnessed first-hand an election cycle in a country where politicians are openly corrupt. Voters attend carnivals of food, alcohol and concerts paid for by their politicians in exchange for their votes, but then asked what they thought of the candidates, they just shrugged with resignation and said they were all crooks.
Since the elections are rigged, however, the people felt powerless to change the way things were and believed the only way to improve their lot in life was to kiss up to the illegitimate powers that be. It was not a pretty sight.
In Mississippi, attempts to restore honesty into the electoral process are fought tooth and nail by those who benefit from fraud. Even simple ballot integrity initiatives like requiring voters to show identification at the polls have been defeated by those who maintain political power through dishonesty.
By claiming that any sort of accountability or verification is a throwback to voter's rights abuses of the past, special interests have opened the floodgates of fraud. That's why you can go to multiple precincts and claim to be someone you aren't and vote.
In light of the enormous sacrifices that have been made by veterans, pioneers and patriots to give us the freedom to vote we have today, it should burn the heart of any American to know that some disrespect democracy to the point that they would cheat in an election.
It's high time that political parties, unions and special interest groups publicly disavow any form of fraud that would benefit their candidates and work with election commissioners to ensure free and honest elections.
As a member of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party in Lauderdale County, I insist that those who support our candidates do so legally and ethically. We would rather lose an election than lose our democracy.
I challenge members of other parties to do the same and serve notice to unethical political organizations that we are aware of your deceptive voting practices and stand ready to act. We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children, and most of all we owe it to the men and women who gave their lives to make this country free.