Vote fraud and voter intimidation (apropos Justice Stevens' refusal to stay the Sixth Circuit decision)

John Nagle John.C.Nagle.8 at nd.edu
Tue Nov 2 11:25:51 PST 2004


In his dissent this morning, Judge Cole seemed to answer Professor Fried's 
question by writing that "[w]hen the fundamental right to vote without 
intimidation or undue burden is pitted against the rights of those seeking 
to prevent voter fraud, we must err on the side of those exercising the 
franchise."  Judge Cole did not cite any authority for that proposition, 
and I am not aware of any.  Nor am I aware of any authority for the 
contrary belief that preventing voter fraud outweighs the right to 
vote.  Yet this choice seems to be at the heart of many of the disputes 
which have arisen recently.  Is there any authority that would weigh the 
balance one way or the other, and that predates the last few weeks? -- John



At 01:49 PM 11/2/2004, Charles Fried wrote:
>I wonder to what extent "voter intimidation" is a code word for effective 
>enforcement of  eligibility requirements. Is there some sense that it is 
>better that ten fraudulent ballots be counted than that one valid vote go 
>uncounted?  If so, notice that every ineligible vote counted dilutes the 
>vote of  lawful voters.  Or is the idea of a "lawful voter" unacceptable 
>and undemocratic--even if that voter does not exist, is a 
>phant                          om out of Gogol's Dead Souls?
>Charles Fried
>At 10:46 AM 11/2/2004 -0800, Volokh, Eugene wrote:
>>content-class: urn:content-classes:message
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>>         charset="utf-8"
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>>I worry both about vote fraud and voter intimidation, but I'm afraid I 
>>know little about what in practice poll-watchers and other observers can 
>>do and actually do (either good or bad).  Can anyone who is more 
>>knowledgeable on the subject enlighten us?  I ask this on this list 
>>because this factual backdrop would surely be relevant to the 
>>constitutional questions related to whether such practices ought to be 
>>allowed or forbidden.  Many thanks,
>>
>>Eugene_______________________________________________
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>
>Charles Fried
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>_______________________________________________
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