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Voter Fraud and Fairy Tales

Despite GOP claims of rampant voter fraud in Wisconsin and elsewhere, it is nowhere near a serious problem. In fact, widespread voter fraud does not exist.

After investigating complaints of the Racine County District Attorney announced there is no evidence of any crimes committed.  A statement reads that "Some of the information that was provided was anecdotal, as opposed to firsthand eyewitness accounts. Much of what was reported as fraud was more appropriately categorized as rule violations that are under the jurisdiction of the Government Accountability Board."

This echoes comments recently made by the GAB regarding allegations of voter fraud in the election between . GAB Executive Director Kevin Kennedy stated that evidence supporting allegations of tampering with ballet bags does not exist. The board said allegations of voter fraud are unsubstantiated.

Regardless of what politicians and party officials claim, voter fraud is not a problem in Wisconsin. It is not a problem nationwide either. Numerous studies have concluded that the rate of voter fraud in American elections is just about zero.

The New York Times released an investigation in 2007 noting that only 86 people across the nation had been convicted of voter fraud in the previous five years. The majority were honest mistakes on registration forms or a genuine misunderstanding of eligibility rules. But no real evidence of organized efforts to tamper with federal elections.

A group that has studied the issue for many years, The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, released a report stating that “by any measure, voter fraud is extraordinarily rare." Examining Missouri elections in 2000, they found that out of more than two million votes cast, the verified fraud rate was 0.0003 percent.

Another study investigated allegations of 300,000 fraudulent votes cast during the 2004 election cycle. The conclusion? Only 185 votes were even potentially fraudulent.

The most common cases of voter fraud involve absentee ballots of voter registration fraud. Photo ID laws will not stop those from happening. If people are worried about someone impersonating someone else at the polling place, there’s absolutely no evidence of that happening on a large scale.

Back to Wisconsin

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus claimed that widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin means that Republican candidates "need to do a point or two better" to win a statewide election. Politifact Wisconsin recently labeled that claim false. GAB’s Kennedy said that dating back to 2000, the board found no more than 20 instances of voter fraud in any statewide election.

So if voter fraud is not a problem in Wisconsin or anywhere else, why does the GOP work so hard to pass Why do they insist that voter fraud is a serious problem when there’s hardly any evidence to support those claims? Why do they diligently look for solutions to a problem that does not exist?

The people most likely to not have a photo ID? Minorities, students, and the elderly. For example, various studies have shown that 25 percent of minority voters don’t have a photo ID compared to 8 percent of white voters. Traditionally, those are groups who tend to vote for Democrats.

This is not an argument against photo ID laws. But the GOP is using heated rhetoric and scare tactics in an attempt to convince people of a problem that is not real.

Widespread voter fraud is a fairy tale.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dave Koven July 22, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Keith Best...For once, look beyond your crappy political party and ask what can be done to help the incumbent President bring this country back to a more solid footing. Stop the finger pointing. This is a job that will require both parties working together EXTREMELY well.
Keith Best July 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Dave Koven....the country will start to come back to a more solid footing once Obama loses. HIs policies are failing, don't you get it? We need a president who understands the free market, who understands how business works. Currently we have a chief executive who has never even run a lemonade stand.
Dave Koven July 22, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Keith Best... His policies are failing because there is no cooperation between the parties. Every time he proposes something, it is rejected, out of hand, by Republicans, without any thought to the urgency of coming up with a workable solution that does the job...not just to make a particular party look good. You do not have to be a businessman to understand business or economics. I'm not seeing any "trickle down" at all from the wealthy who were supposed to create so many jobs . I AM seeing more and more people suffering as they slide out of the middle class. Remember, Obama is a President, not a dictator. The Presidency depends on many disparate groups working together for the common good of people, even the poor.
John September 03, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Guess the writer didnt see the study just released 60% of wisconsin registered dem voters from 2008 no longer exist. They went door to door to confirm and found out most addresses were commercial addresses and only 30% of those szo called registered voters even existed in reality.
Randy1949 September 03, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I haven't seen that study either. Would you care to share the link?

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