Election integrity laws protect the value of your vote.
The right to vote is about more than casting a ballot. It is about protecting a fair and honest election system that ensures every lawful ballot is counted and defends against fraud. After all, a ballot is just a piece of paper or a digital file; it can be tampered with or destroyed. It can be nullified by someone else’s illegal vote. Without meaningful protections against election wrongdoing, voters can cast their ballots and still be disenfranchised. In other words, election integrity laws ensure that your vote has value.
If you don’t believe that happens, consider the case of Penny Hubbard’s 2016 Democratic primary race in Missouri’s 78th House District. She won the primary by a mere 90 votes. When Bruce Franks Jr., her opponent for the Democratic nomination, contested the results, it became clear that Hubbard had won thanks to a lopsided absentee vote tally that heavily favored her. After a judge ruled that enough improper absentee votes had been cast to affect the outcome, a new election was held and Franks trounced Hubbard in the rematch by an incredible 1,500 votes.
Absentee balloting is particularly vulnerable to fraud and abuse, but however it is perpetrated, election fraud disenfranchises voters, dilutes the impact of lawful votes, and undermines the legitimacy of the democratic process. When it is organized, it can subvert the will of an entire community. That’s why voting rights depend on election integrity laws: they help to keep elections fair, honest, and fraud-free.