So we know that fake people are registering to vote, via the AP:
The stories are almost comical: Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, registered to vote on Nov. 4. The entire starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team, signed up to go the polls — in Nevada.
We know that sometimes, fake people vote fraudulently (note that it was by absentee. Hard to vote as Mickey Mouse in person, but it is really easy by absentee):
Republicans released details for 10 of those votes. The registration cards that were filled out had no social security numbers, drivers license numbers or birthdates for the voters.
We know that sometimes, fake people give to campaigns fraudulently.
Two thoughts. The first is that there should be accountability for this. As Patrick just noted, Barack Obama raised $150m last month, and only half of that money is disclosed. Now, I seriously doubt that Obama’s campaign is engaged in fraud. But they seem uninterested in identifying it.
They should, like the McCain campaign, put all that information online, regardless of how much was given, including all the information about address, employer, etc. It’s not that hard. They have the technology to do it. When he is getting $75m in a month from sources that are not publically identified, that’s a problem. In theory, these are all different people, but given the possibility for fraud (temporary credit card numbers can make it even harder to check), this does create yet another kind of crisis of legitimacy surrounding this election.
Second, Obama has destroyed the public financing system, handing conservatives a win on the policy, even if a substantial loss on the politics. Democrats said Republicans would do it, but they did. This is a good thing, long-term, and it should be replaced by full-disclosure of contributions within 24 hours of receipt of the donation. The easiest thing in the world with today’s technology. And it would allow individuals, groups, and the press to address the legitimacy issues in Obama’s donations (and others in the future).