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More evidence that election integrity is lacking

There’s good evidence voter fraud boosted a Republican candidate in a close congressional election. Perhaps Democrats will now start demanding measures to increase election integrity.

In North Carolina, witnesses say that Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., a political consultant, paid people to pick up absentee ballots from voters. The workers gave those ballots to Dowless. In North Carolina, it’s illegal for anyone but a relative or legal guardian to deliver someone’s absentee ballot. That makes sense. Allowing a third-party access to someone’s ballot gives that person an opportunity to commit fraud.

The election hasn’t been certified, and officials may call a new election.

But what’s illegal in North Carolina — third parties collecting ballots — is now legal in California. It’s called “ballot harvesting.” After Election Day, six Republican congressional candidates were ahead in the voting. But thanks to ballot harvesting — exactly what Dowless did in North Carolina — Democrats won all of those seats in California.

Did voter fraud help a Republican win in North Carolina and Democrats win in California? It’s impossible to know. That’s a problem.

Election officials and legislators who set election law have an obligation to create a system that actively guards against fraud. That’s not the case in Nevada.

It starts with voter registration. Election officials never verify the citizenship of new voters. They use driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers to verify identity — not citizenship. All noncitizen voters have to do is check a box saying they are a citizen. No verification required.

Critics will counter by demanding that you show them evidence of noncitizens voting. But that argument inappropriately shifts the burden of proof. The defendant in a criminal trial doesn’t have to prove he’s innocent. The government has to prove he’s guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In the same way, government officials have an obligation to show the elections process is secure.

That’s why Nevada’s electronic voting machines have a paper backup. You don’t have to take the government’s word about electronic totals. There’s proof.

The only guarantee that noncitizens aren’t voting is the honor system. Good thing there are no dishonest people in politics. Oh, wait.

It’s about to get worse. In November, voters approved Question 5, which will automatically register to vote anyone who gets a driver’s license. That includes more than 20,000 legal immigrants who have green cards.

Then there’s the lack of photo ID. If you know someone’s address, you could get their ballot by walking up and telling the poll worker his or her name. Nevada is begging for a James O’Keefe expose of an election worker offering someone Harry Reid’s ballot.

It doesn’t matter if the number of people voting illegally is three or 3 million. Both sides should want an election system without easily exploited weaknesses, but Democrats consistently oppose such efforts.

That isn’t conclusive proof that the left uses voter fraud to win elections, but it does look suspicious. Regardless, it shows that government has failed at one of its most basic duties — creating a system in which election integrity is certain, not just possible.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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