Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How Frequent Is Voter Fraud? How Frequent Is Voter Suppression?

Here is the entire first page of Google hits for the question "How frequent is voter fraud?"

    The disconnect between voter ID laws and voter fraud - The ...
    The Washington Post
    Oct 13, 2014 - But voter ID laws would rarely prevent the most demonstrated kind — or ... It whittles down common stories about thousands of fraudulent votes  ...

    Is Voter Fraud a Real Problem? - US News & World Report › Debate Club

    U.S. News & World Report
    The drive is aimed, the state says, at countering voter fraud. Last month, Florida election officials announced that by cross-referencing voter rolls with driver's ...

    Voter Fraud Is Rare, but Myth Is Widespread - The New York ...

    The New York Times
    Jun 10, 2014 - Is vote fraud common in American politics? Not according to United States District Judge Lynn Adelman, who examined the evidence from  ...

    Myth of Voter Fraud | Brennan Center for Justice

    Brennan Center for Justice
    But we must be careful not to undermine free and fair access to the ballot in the name of preventing voter fraud. The Brennan Center's ongoing examination of ...

    Debunking The Conservative Media's 2014 Voter Fraud ...

    Media Matters for America
    Oct 30, 2014 - Do we have proof of voter fraud? Are Democrats registering fraudulent voters? Is voter fraud becoming more common? Are voter ID laws really  ...

    Voter fraud is no myth -- it's more common than you think ...

    Human Events
    Nov 1, 2012 - Op-ed: The liberal Advancement Project claims "you're more likely to get hit by lightning than find a case of prosecutorial voter fraud." Perhaps ...

    Charts: UFO Sightings Are More Common Than Voter Fraud

    Mother Jones
    A 2005 report by the American Center for Voting Rights claimed there were more than 100 cases of voter fraud involving 300,000 votes in 2004. A review of the ...

    Voter Fraud: It's Real, But Rare - ABC News

    Sep 12, 2012 - Voter Fraud: Non-Existent Problem or Election-Threatening Epidemic? ... "The driving factor is common sense," Metcalfe told ABC News. "It only  ...

    Voter Fraud: A Massive, Anti-Democratic Deception - Forbes

    Nov 6, 2012 - I knew something wrong was afoot when my wife reported that a 90-year-old woman had to be turned away from voting early at our local polling ...

    Comprehensive Database of US Voter Fraud Uncovers No ...

    Aug 12, 2012 - SIDEBAR: Exhaustive Database of Voter Fraud Cases Turns Up Scant .... analysis shows this is one of the most frequent instances of fraud.

Pax On Both Houses: Compendium Of Voter Fraud And Voter Suppression Posts


In-person voter fraud ‘a very rare phenomenon’

With less than two months to November’s presidential election, voter laws have taken center stage. The latest area of contention is Pennsylvania, where the outcome of the state’s new voter identification law is before that state’s Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania’s law, signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett in March, follows similar laws in states such as Georgia, and it is scheduled to take effect in time for the November general election. Pennsylvania’s law would require voters to show an official ID -- including a state driver’s license, government employee ID or a state nondriver ID card -- to cast a ballot. Thirty-one states have laws in place that will require all voters to show ID at the polls this November, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

As in other states, supporters say the law is necessary to combat voter fraud; opponents say the new law disenfranchises poor, minority and elderly voters who are less likely to have the approved IDs. Opponents also say the voter ID laws are unnecessary because the voter fraud used to justify the laws doesn’t exist. Politifact has done extensive research on the issue of voter ID laws and the impact on voters and Election Day turnout.

The NAACP, working with a variety of civil rights groups opposing the state’s law, held a news conference in Philadelphia last week warning about the possible negative impact the voter ID law could have on Pennsylvania’s eligible voters.

In an announcement about the news conference, the NAACP said that "Since 2000, only 10 cases of in-person voter fraud have been proven nationally."

That number the organization used is very specific for a 12-year period. The NAACP figure deals only with "in-person voter fraud." And only with cases that have been "proven." This type of voter fraud, experts say, is extremely rare.

PolitiFact Georgia wondered how the civil rights organization had arrived at its conclusion. What was the criteria examined for the voter fraud cases? How was the fraud proved or disproved? And is the number correct?

We asked the NAACP about the basis for its claim and found that the group used statistics from a nationwide analysis of 2,068 cases alleging election fraud that were reviewed by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project staffed by college journalism students.

Results of News21’s seven-month analysis were released in August. The claim made involves a narrow type of election fraud, in-person voter fraud, that voter ID laws are intended to prevent. The News21 team defined that type of fraud as that involving individuals who vote in person on Election Day by impersonating another registered voter.

To get the data, News21 reporters sent records requests to elections officers in all 50 states seeking every case of fraudulent elections activity, including registration fraud, absentee ballot fraud, voter impersonation fraud and casting an ineligible vote. News21 said it received no useful responses from several states. With some states, including Massachusetts, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota, the cases included in the database came from a survey of alleged election fraud conducted by the Republican National Lawyers Association. And in some states, some but not all local jurisdictions responded, and some responses were missing important details about each case. Despite those issues, News21 defends its work as "substantially complete" as the largest collection of election fraud cases gathered by anyone in the country.

After compiling all the information into an election fraud database, News21 found that 207 cases of other types of election fraud existed for every case of voter impersonation.

"It’s difficult to study the issue of impersonation fraud, which I understood [from the News21 case analysis] to be really just allegations," said Michael McDonald, an associate professor in the department of public and international affairs at George Mason University whose electoral system research was compiled as The United States Elections Project. "Still, yes, it’s plausible and occasionally people have done it. ... But by all accounts it’s a very rare phenomenon."

In Georgia, for example, News21’s database includes 301 cases of reported election fraud and no cases of voter impersonation. Twenty-three total election fraud cases were listed for Pennsylvania; none were for voter impersonation.

The data compiled by the News21 project have been used widely by various civil rights groups and cited in several news articles as the issue of election requirements -- specifically voter ID laws -- has intensified. For the most part, the News21 analysis has been unchallenged, with the exception of the Republican National Lawyers Association, which has supported voter ID laws.

News21 began gathering data in January by reviewing about 375 cases of alleged voter fraud collected by the RNLA. The News21 analysis found that the RNLA cases consisted mainly of newspaper articles about various election issues with little supporting evidence of actual in-person voter fraud.

In an email response to PolitiFact Georgia, Michael Thielen, the RNLA’s executive director, classified News21’s analysis involving the in-person voter fraud cases as "highly flawed in its very approach to the issue." And, by stating that voter impersonation is the only type of election fraud that voter ID laws could prevent, the News21 report was result-driven, attempting to prove that voter ID is not necessary, Thielen said.

Thielen and the RNLA maintain that voter ID laws would prevent several types of election fraud, including voting in multiple states, noncitizen voting and voting in multiple jurisdictions within a state. He referenced the RNLA’s December 2011 Vote Fraud State Survey, a compilation of limited searches for election law crimes within the 50 states in recent years. The RNLA is working on a detailed response to News21’s report, Thielen said.

The NAACP’s claim -- actually, News21’s -- that only 10 provable cases of voter impersonation have occurred in the country in the past dozen years is based on extensive analysis and data received from the actual elections officials in charge of handling these issues. Without doing a repeat of the 50-state data collection and review, it is impossible to re-create the same type of research.

Supporters of the voter ID laws, including the RNLA, still defend them. But the RNLA’s own research alleging that more cases of fraud exist than the News21 claim includes several other types of election fraud, not just voter impersonation.

The NAACP’s claim, and in turn News21’s, appears mostly accurate, with an extensive database supporting it. There are a few missing pieces, however, in the data.

We rate the claim Mostly True.

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