A growing trend in the Detroit area (especially within the city proper) is to blame voter fraud when a candidate loses. As a former political advisor, it concerns me that blaming a campaign loss on voter fraud in the Detroit area. Accusations like this lower a candidates future trustworthiness, it insults the opposition, it insults the opposition’s supporters, it costs taxpayer money, and reminds Detroit of days that it wishes to forget.
Days Detroit Wishes to Forget
I should start out by pointing out that there have been times in the past in which there have been officials in Detroit that have been arrested for voter fraud. In fact, there are many investigations that are listed in the, “Sources,” section that tell of elections that may have been skewed by voter fraud. The Detroit area, and especially Detroit, has done a lot in the last few years to get away from the overtones of corruption. Blaming an election loss on voter fraud just raises more doubt in the election system.
Lowering Candidate’s Future Trustworthiness
Even though there has been corruption in the past that has led to voter fraud in, and around, Detroit, voters do not want to remember it. As a political advisor, a person who presses on voter fraud when they clearly lost the election shows that they are either in self denial, or they just wish to have the election thrown out. Can you really trust a politician that can’t admit when he or she lost?
Insulting the Opposition and Supporters
By pointing to possible voter fraud in a Detroit area election, the losing candidate makes a statement that he or she does not think that the opposition could have won an election on his or her own. This is an insult to the newly elected official, and to the supporters of that official that voted that person into office. Instead of bowing out gracefully, the losing candidate is ending the run by giving a slap to the faces of the opponent, and his or her backers.
Costs Taxpayer Money
Every accusation of voter fraud has to be investigated by multiple parties. The Democrats, Republicans, city, state, and other groups all have to get involved in the investigation. Ultimately, this not only costs the taxpayers of that city a lot of money, but the rest of the state as well. Pointing to voter fraud when there is none can equal taxpayers an amount that is close to the overall election fund for either candidate.
What to Do
If the city of Detroit were to ask my opinion, I would tell them to hire an independent group to monitor the polls. A private firm would cost a lot less money to the city than an investigation into voter fraud in Detroit. It would also lower the number of candidates that cried foul when they lost.
I am not saying that all cases of voter fraud are fake. In the Detroit area, though, it is hard believe that all of the cases in the last five years where voter fraud might have taken place were real. There are too many losing politicians that have cried wolf for the problem to be believed.
Detroit Channel 4 News