Democratic State Representative Christina Ayala has been arrested and charged with 19 felony charges of voter fraud. Eight of the counts are for fraudulent voting. Other Ayala family members are under investigation, and criminal charges have been recommended but not made against one of them.
The press is letting Connecticut's Secretary of State claim that the Ayala prosecution proves that the Nutmeg State's elections system works, even though the charges go back to elections held as far back as five years. Why are we supposed to be impressed?
Here is an excerpt from a Saturday Associated Press report — a local targeted one, naturally, not seen at the wire service's national site (bolds are mine):
Conn. official: Arrest of state lawmaker troubling
The arrest of a state lawmaker on election fraud charges underscores the strength of Connecticut’s system of election law enforcement, Secretary of State Denise Merrill said Saturday.
Bridgeport state Rep. Christina Ayala was arrested on 19 felony charges of voter fraud - eight counts of fraudulent voting, 10 counts of primary or enrollment violations and one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
The arrest warrant alleges Ayla voted between 2009 and 2012 in various Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee elections, a municipal primary election and a state primary election in districts where she didn’t reside. The warrant also claims Ayala fabricated evidence about her address.
“While everyone is entitled to their day in court, voter fraud is a very serious crime for which we have zero tolerance,” Merrill said in a statement.
Still, Merrill said the high-profile arrest sends out a strong message to anyone who might be tempted to violate election laws.
Note how long it took AP to label Ayala a Democrat — and, even then, only indirectly.
It seems to me that Merrill's message is, "If you're more concerned about your party or candidate winning than you are about possibly being prosecuted years later, go ahead and commit vote fraud now, and take your chances that the cops won't catch up to you, or won't think that what you did merits prosecution."
Merrill's position would be like the police crowing about catching a con artist who has spent all of his victims' money with no hope of recovery. It's nice that the criminal got caught, but the irreversible damage is done. The real question is, "What are you doing to prevent voter fraud?" The answers should be strict voter ID requirements for voters whose registrations have previously been established. Unsurprisingly, Democrats in Connecticut have enacted potentially fraud-riddled same-day registration. Merrill, who introduced the legislation, therefore cannot credibly claim to care about voter fraud.
How many other less prominent people in Connecticut are doing just what Ayala has been accused of doing? It's reasonable to suspect that the answer is, "Far more than zero."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.