Political Fraud About Voter Fraud
October 22, 2016 § 2 Comments
Trump’s Premature Whining About Voter Fraud
It appears we have avoided the disaster of a Trump presidency. He has declared, as he has always done in the past when his mendacity, dishonesty and childish bullying has proved unsuccessful in some venture: He will sue everyone who has challenged him and find some public venue where he can continue to vilify the journalists and others who have exposed him to the public.
It is appropriate, therefore, to begin unraveling his claims that his rejection by the voters means that the system allowing them to judge him is “rigged” and riddled with “voter fraud”.
In his raving about this, he adorns his lies with the label of the Pew Research Center, a well respected source of information about many issues, including politics and voting. As usual, however, Trump misstates and skews the statistics he uses to mislead his adoring fans into thinking that Pew Research agrees that millions of voters vote multiple times by having multiple voter registration credentials; that a large number of voters are using credentials of dead people; that millions of voter credentials are inaccurate (implying some nefarious plot to “rig” an election) and on and on and on ad nauseaum.
I will cite some reliable sources in the remainder of this brief post so that you can read for yourselves accurate information about problems with voting in America. There are problems, but one of them is not voter fraud.
Multiple Voter Credentials
It is true that many Americans have multiple voter credentials, but the reason is that many Americans have qualified to vote in one State and then move to another state, where they qualify themselves to vote without canceling the credentials obtained in their previous residence state. There is no evidence this is motivated by or results in voting more than once in any election. It is only evidence that few of us see any reason to cancel our voter credentials when we move.
Inaccurate Voter Credentials
It is true that our system for recording and preparing voter credentials is antiquated and should be modernized and simplified. Addresses, birth dates and other information is often recorded inaccurately and, when the information is copied to official records from the paper forms filled out by the registrars, there are multiple opportunities for errors. There is no evidence this leads to voter fraud. It does, however, cause unnecessary expense and often interferes with the voters’ access to a ballot on election day.
Voter Credentials remaining on the Rolls After the Voter Dies
Because of the wide variation in the way voter rolls are maintained, those records often retain records of voters who have died. This does not, however, result from efforts to vote fraudulently and there is no evidence that it leads to fraudulent voting.
Common Sense is a Strong Reason Why Voter Fraud is Very Rare
Simple cost/benefit reasons argue against the kind of voter fraud focussed on by Republicans and candidates like Trump. All states have criminal laws against voter fraud as well as against facilitating voter fraud. So adding a single vote in an election is a foolish risk, given the likelihood of detection and the tiny benefit obtained.
Employer intimidation and control of employee votes is a far more efficient way to exercise control over voters than individual voter fraud. And, of course, the Republican lawmakers know very well how to limit and discourage voting in precincts well known to contain Democratic Party voters. They accomplish that by making the process of obtaining voter credentials as difficult as possible; limiting the period of time when early voting is available; stationing armed police near voting locations where the relations between the population and the police is notoriously fraught with suspicion and fear; changing locations for voting to make it more difficult for voters in known Democratic Party precincts to vote. These are tried and true methods for manipulating access to voting and getting away with it under the guise of “ballot security”
The Truth in a few Documents
The Washington Post has done an extensive investigation into the size of the “voter fraud” problem. Here is what they discovered:
The Pew Research Center has produced a report on voter problems in America. They do not include “voter fraud” in their report because it is not part of the problem. Here is a summary of their report:
The Brenan Center for Justice has sponsored an extensive study of voter problems in America. Here is a copy of their report.
It seems likely that Trump will lose this election. I don’t believe, despite his bombastic threats, he will file lawsuits against the women he has abused. He won’t do so because, if he does, he will be deposed under oath and, when he lies, he will be committing felonies. And, he will be facing prosecutors in Hillary Clinton’s Department of Justice.
I do believe he will find some TV platform to continue his assault on American justice, the American Constitution, American journalism and the American political system. A centerpiece of that campaign will involve the kind of lies and deception that the above cited sources address and disapprove. That is my reason for this post. Fortunately for all of us, my research did not require more than an hour or two on the internet. Our technology has armed us with easy access to the truth. Unfortunately it has also armed with our enemies with megaphones for their lies.