Opponents of voter ID laws like to say that voter fraud doesn’t matter and never affects election results. But as we learned this week, voter fraud is the reason John Rizzo, a Missouri House representative, won in the state’s 19th House district
In the Democratic primary for the seat in 2010, Rizzo beat his opponent, Will Royster, by one vote. The district is heavily Democratic, so Rizzo was able to easily win the general election.
This all sounds fine until you look ahead to this week when John C. Moretina pleaded guilty to voting in the district, even though he did not live there. Moretina never said which candidate he voted for, but he is Rizzo’s uncle, so it isn’t too difficult to connect the dots there.
If Moretina hadn’t voted illegally, the race would have been a tie. If allegations that Moretina’s wife also voted illegally prove to be true, it will be safe to say that Royster lost his chance to be a state representative through voter fraud.
As the Kansas City Star is reporting, this local story could have important national ramifications:
The case revived bitter accusations of fraud in a local political primary, but it could have national implications, as well. It may provide supporters of stricter voter laws with a concrete example of fraud that conceivably changed the results of a race.
“It certainly provides something of an answer to people who take the position that we don’t need tougher voter ID or other safeguards,” said Woody Cozad, a former chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. “Just because (one-time Jackson County political boss) Tom Pendergast is dead doesn’t mean vote fraud has come to an end.”
This is just one example of how voter fraud can impact election results. Conservatives don’t want voter ID laws because they hate minorities. They want them because voter fraud compromises the integrity of our electoral system and validity of the results.