Actual GOP voter fraud in Arizona

Arizona's John Enright
Arizona's John Enright

When Republican officials nationwide launched an aggressive voter-suppression campaign in advance of the 2012 elections, they did so under the dubious auspices of "voter fraud." The tactics are necessary, the GOP said, not to rig elections, but to protect the integrity of the process.

The problem, of course, is that actual, real-world voter fraud is exceptionally rare, as even most proponents of voter-suppression efforts are willing to admit. But I'm curious: why is it that when legitimate examples come to light, they always seem to come from one party?

A Pinal County supervisor candidate has withdrawn from the race in the wake of voter-fraud allegations involving a former companion who, records show, has continued to vote by absentee ballot in the five years since her death.John Enright, 66, had been seeking the Republican nomination for county supervisor of District 5, an area that includes Apache Junction and Gold Canyon.

Enright ended his candidacy last week, but his written statement failed to explain why he allegedly has been voting by absentee ballot for his former girlfriend.

It's also worth noting that voter-ID laws -- the preferred Republican method of cracking down on fraud -- wouldn't have prevented the kind of scheme Enright allegedly used in Arizona.

The news comes on the heels of Republican Charlie White, the former Indiana secretary of state, who was convicted earlier this year of several felonies, including voter fraud. (His crimes also wouldn't have been prevented by voter-ID laws.)

So, congratulations Republicans, we now have some actual examples of genuine voter fraud. Whether the GOP tries to use these examples to justify voter-ID laws is up to them.