The Democratic Party line treats voter fraud as little more than a GOP fever dream — yet the party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden spent decades of his career sounding the alarm about it.
Biden, the Democratic standard bearer, consistently shared GOP concerns about voter fraud during his 36 years as a United States senator from Delaware.
“Should Voters Be Allowed To Register On Election Day? No,” Biden wrote in an op-ed to a now-defunct Wilmington, Del. newspaper in 1977. He even chided President Carter for proposing it.
A “reservation I have and one that is apparently shared by some of the top officials within the Department of Justice is that the president’s proposal could lead to a serious increase in vote fraud,” Biden wrote.
He has since reversed course. In an internet conversation with 2020 running mate Sen. Kamala Harris this month, Biden said, “When you and I get elected, God willing, we’re going to push hard to make voting, Election Day, a national holiday so people don’t have to take off work. There should be same-day registration.”
Voter fraud has become an increasingly partisan issue in recent years. Republicans have warned that mail-in ballots, same-day registration and lack of voter ID laws create ripe opportunities for liberal mischief. Democrats counter that efforts to curb those things are part of a larger plot by the GOP to suppress voting from poor and minority communities, core Democratic constituencies.
“Voter fraud is, by and large, a myth,” said Georgia Democrat and one-time veep candidate Stacey Abrams in April. Sen. Bernie Sanders has called President Trump’s warnings of coming fraud “delusional.” DNC boss Tom Perez has mocked that “you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning” than finding it.
Biden has derided White House fears of mail-in ballot fraud as “unfounded,” despite evidence of how easily mailed votes can be tampered with.
“He’s already trying to undermine the election with false claims of voter fraud and threatening to block essential COVID assistance if any extra funds go to the U.S. Postal Service,” the former vice president claimed about Trump during an April online fundraiser. “What in God’s name was that about other than trying to … make it very hard for people to vote.”
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Biden worked closely with now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stiffen penalties for voter fraud.
In 1988 — the same year his son’s drug record was being expunged — Biden introduced the “Anti-Corruption Act,” which McConnell co-sponsored. The bill would have enacted penalties for anyone who deprived anyone of “a fair and impartially conducted election process through the use of fraudulent ballots or voter registration forms or the filing of fraudulent campaign reports.”
Biden and McConnell tried again in 1989. Sen. Strom Thurmond was also a co-sponsor of the bill.
“Current law does not permit prosecution of election fraud … This bill makes it a federal offense to corrupt any state or local election process,” Biden argued on the Senate floor. McConnell noted in his own floor assessment that it would “raise the maximum penalty for both election fraud and public corruption to 10 years in federal prison and a $10,000 fine.”
The 1989 version also died as a standalone bill. Undeterred, Biden tried to shoehorn the voter fraud elements into the Federal Crime Control Act, in 1989 and the National Drug Control Strategy Act of 1990 — they went nowhere.
When Biden introduced the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1993, McConnell — his faithful partner on the effort — snuck in voter fraud provisions as an amendment. But the bill died.
McConnell introduced the act on his own in 1995 without Biden’s participation — it died again.
By the time he served as vice president to Barack Obama, Biden had fully, and publicly, abandoned his former views.
“Why, without any proof of voter fraud, have 81 bills been introduced in state legislative bodies … to make it harder for people to vote,” Biden asked an audience at South Carolina’s Allen University in 2014.
New York Post
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