When the Republican party started losing national elections on a regular basis, they realized they had to do something about it. To a large extent, their solution has been to pass tough new voter ID laws in states where they have the political power to do so. The reason for these laws, they claim, is to put an end to “voter fraud.” Over the past few years a variety of organizations have looked into Republican claims that elections are being stolen by massive voter fraud. What these groups and researchers have found will probably not surprise you.
The Washington Post’s “Wonkblog” offers a summary of studies and investigations that have examined the issue of voter fraud. These studies have been conducted by academic researchers, news organizations, and state governments. They all produced similar results: The massive “in person” voter fraud that Republicans claim is helping Democrats steal elections simply does not exist.
Out of all of the research cited in the story, the investigations conducted by various states are the most interesting, because they were conducted by states that are currently controlled by Republicans. For example, the Kansas secretary of state took a look at 84 million votes cast in 22 states, trying to find duplicate registrations. The result? They referred 14 cases to prosecutors. Fourteen. Out of 84 million votes.
North Carolina also participated in the multi-state voter “cross check” program. Their survey of 28 states turned up 765 people with the same names, birth dates, and whose Social Security numbers ended with the same four digits, who voted in North Carolina and another state, according to the Charlotte News and Observer. There is no word on how many, if any, of those people will be prosecuted. Even if all 765 were guilty of voter fraud, it is still a tiny percentage of the nearly seven million votes cast in North Carolina in 2012, and certainly not enough to sway the outcome of an election.
Iowa’s Republican secretary of state Matt Schultz spent two years, and over a quarter of a million taxpayer dollars, to find 117 possibly fraudulent votes, leading to only six convictions. Of those who were convicted, three were felons who believed that their right to vote had been restored.
Even though voter fraud does not exist on the level that Republicans claim that it does, there are instances of possible voter fraud in almost every election. Here are a few examples:
- Last year in Virginia, Adam Ward pleaded guilty to faking hundreds of signatures that were needed for Newt Gingrich to be eligible to appear on the state’s primary election ballot.
- In 2012, Charlie White, Indiana’s Republican secretary of state was convicted of six felony counts of voter fraud.
- Also in 2012, four staffers of Michigan Republican congressman Thaddeus McCotter were found guilty of forging over 1500 signatures in an attempt to qualify the congressman for the ballot.
- Wisconsin Tea Partier and Scott Walker supporter Robert Monroe has been charged with casting multiple ballots in several elections.
Given that most of the verified cases of voter fraud in recent years have been committed by Republicans, maybe they should abandon this strategy and try to win elections the old-fashioned way — by coming up with policies that would get them more votes than their opponents.
Photo: Donkey Hotey.
More on GOP voter fraud.
- Tea Partier Indicted for Massive Voter Fraud!
- Richard Nixon’s Son-In-Law Accused of Voter Fraud! (Video)
- Obama: ‘Real Voter Fraud’ Perpetrated by Those ‘Who Try to Deny Our Rights’ (Video)
- Wisconsin Republican ‘Embarrassed’ By Own Party’s Voter Suppression Tactics: ‘There is No Massive Voter Fraud