Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Politics:  The Truth About Voter Fraud

The Republican National Lawyers Association -- devoted to promoting "open, fair and honest elections" -- frequently cites the figure of 375 cases of voter impersonation fraud.

But News21, a national investigative reporting project funded by the Carnegie-Knight Initiative, investigated each of those cases and found that not one showed evidence of impersonation fraud. News21 reporters also reached out to election personnel in all 50 states, requesting information on every single reported case of alleged fraud at the polls. The organization's analysis of 2,068 cases found only 10 related to impersonation. Using those figures, the frequency of poll impersonation is about one in 15 million.

Although the News21 study doesn't reveal evidence of impersonation in voting booths, it does show that other types of voter fraud -- especially in voter registration and manipulating absentee ballots -- are alive and well. The data contain 400 cases of registration fraud and 491 cases of alleged absentee ballot abuse.

If legislators in Texas, Pennsylvania or the seven other states with similar laws on the books genuinely cared about combating voter fraud, they'd do well to police the areas where there still is evidence of scamming. Any legislation against "voter fraud" should attack fraud, not voters.

For more, see The Truth About Voter Fraud by Editorial Board, August 13, 2012 at The Washington Post.

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