The national media is missing a major aspect of the new North Carolina North Carolina voter ID law. There is absolutely no proof that requiring voters to show photo IDs prevents voter fraud.
In fact, there is evidence that just the opposite is true and that valid Photo IDs, such as driver’s licenses, can be used to promote voter fraud.
What is really strange about the rash of voter ID laws is that they are being pushed by Conservatives, who normally think that the big government is never the way to go.
But in this case, the Conservatives who back these voter ID laws are convinced that the government can do a better job of preventing voter fraud that the people can.
For a Conservative, that kind of thinking is bass-ackwards, but that’s where Conservatives are right now.
The problem is that there are virtually no controls on State issued Photo IDs, such as driver’s licenses.
Take the case of Richard and Kathleen Miller of Kendall, New York, who committed voter fraud for years by voting illegally in the Village of Brockport elections, even though they lived in a totally different county.
Richard M. Miller and Kathleen M. Miller both had valid New York State driver’s licenses which erroneously stated they lived in an abandoned funeral home at 52 State Street in Brockport, NY, directly across the street from the Municipal Building where they committed voter fraud year after year.
They actually lived more than 15 miles away at 16729 Lakeland Beach Rd. Kendall, NY .in an affluent beach-front house on the shore of Lake Ontario.
Kendall is in rural Orleans County, while Brockport is a college town in heavily populated Monroe County.
The key to the Miller’s voter fraud is that Brockport is a college town and Rich Miller is a college landlord who rents converted single-family houses to college students. Before his arrest for voter fraud, Miller was very active in the local Republican Party and threw his weight around in village politics.
For example, Miller funded and ran the dirty “No More Jo” campaign that defeated incumbent Mayor Josephine Matela in 2005. Miller was livid that Matela had implemented a program to enforce the village housing health and safety code.
Strict code enforcement would have reduced the profit that Miller and other landlords made by renting substandard housing to college students.
There is a critical shortage of dormitory rooms at SUNY Brockport, and juniors and seniors at the college are willing to pay exorbitant rents for third rate off-campus housing because they are desperate for a place to live, and there is no housing available for them on campus.
Miller and other landlords take advantage of the situation, and Miller was even willing to vote illegally in an attempt to influence the outcome of village elections and to protect his profit margin,
The dead funeral home that Rich and Kathleen Miller claimed was their primary residence is only 150 feet, directly across the street from the Brockport Municipal Building, which is the polling place for village elections.
Even though virtually everybody in Brockport knew that Rich Miller was committing voter fraud, nobody would challenge him because Miller has a reputation for being both dishonest and violent, so village residents feared that Miller would attack them if they challenge him when he voted illegally in a village election.
Miller lived up to his reputation during the investigation into his illegal voting.
It all came to a head on June 15, 2010, during the Village election for Village Trustee and the possible dissolution of the Village.
A newcomer to village politics, who was serving as a poll watcher for one of the candidates that Miller opposed, challenged Rich and Kathleen Miller’s right to vote in a Village election.
A week later, the poll watcher filed a formal voter fraud complaint with the Monroe County Board of Elections and the Brockport Police Department about Rich and Kathleen Miller voting illegally in a village election.
The Brockport Police Department conducted an extensive investigation to determine the Miller’s legal residence. The investigation determined that the Millers actually lived at 16729 Lakeland Beach Road in Kendall, Orleans County, which is 15.8 miles northwest of Brockport.
The Millers didn’t even live in Monroe County, but the investigation revealed that Rich and Kathleen Miller both had valid, government issued photo IDs (New York State driver’s licenses) which erroneously stated that they lived in the dead funeral home at 52 State Street in Brockport.
On April 5, 2011 Rich Miller and his wife Kathleen were arrested by Brockport Police and charged with one count each of Perjury (a misdemeanor) and 3 counts each of Illegal Voting (felonies), because they had both voted in Village Elections on June 15, 2010, June 16, 2009, and November 3, 2009 even though they did not live in the Village.
On August 25, 2011 Rich Miller and Kathleen Miller pleaded guilty to a Class A Misdemeanor, attempting to vote illegally. The Millers now have criminal records to go along with their government issued photo IDs.
The only way to prevent voter fraud is to have an honest and courageous voting public that is willing to challenge those who openly commit voter fraud, like the Millers did; and to have a police force that will diligently investigate a claim of voter fraud.
Without those two pieces of the puzzle, you can’t prevent voter fraud
Rich and Kathleen Miller are living proof that requiring voters to show photo IDs does not prevent voter fraud.
In the irony of ironies, former Mayor Connie Castaneda, whose campaigns Rich Miller supported and helped to fund, was convicted on Wednesday of multiple village code violations. She now faces up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
But at least Castaneda lives in the village.