Don't penalize honest voters in East St. Louis

September 25, 2013 

We empathize with Matt Hawkins. He has been fighting the good fight in East St. Louis for many years, trying to ensure honest elections in a city that's had a lot of vote fraud. He is frustrated with a lack of progress.

But one solution he proposes in his recently filed federal lawsuit against the city's election board is as bad or maybe worse as having voters on the rolls who have died or moved out of the city.

He wants to require the board to send notices of suspension to each and every voter. To remain registered to vote, they would have to sign and return a card within 30 days.

That sounds simple, but it wouldn't be. The notices could get lost or incorrectly delivered. People could overlook a mailing, misread it or forget to return it in time. Honest voters could be inconvenienced and might even have their names purged from voter rolls simply for failing to follow directions.

We're all for catching fraudulent voters and cleaning up the voter rolls, but not at the expense of people who have done nothing wrong.

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