Voter Fraud

October 15, 2008

It’s all Republican make-believe.  From Salon’s interview with Barnard professor Lori Minnite:

“Do you believe that voter fraud poses a threat to the validity of American elections?

No. No threat.

The statistics bear me out. From 2002 to 2005 only one person was found guilty of registration fraud. Twenty people were found guilty of voting while ineligible and five people were found guilty of voting more than once. That’s 26 criminal voters — voters who vote twice, impersonate other people, vote without being a resident — the voters that Republicans warn about. Meanwhile thousands of people are getting turned away at the polls.

Political parties and corrupt election officials, on the other hand, do seem to present a potential problem. We should be a great deal more worried about who has access to the ballots. In terms of illegal aliens voting and people voting twice — the popular images of voter fraud — no I don’t think that there is any risk at all.”

None of this, of course, should come as any surprise.  Odds are (knock on wood!) this election won’t be close, so the press won’t even take notice of the long lines and Republican foul play in Democratic-heavy districts.  Which, of course, means we’ll just be punting the issue to the next election.  One thing I disagree with from the article, though: I don’t think the Republicans primarily focus on the bogus issue of voter fraud in order to push further disenfranchisement.  I think that’s just a fringe benefit from it for them.  The principal reason is to push the press into framing an equivalency narrative: the Democrats say there’s disenfranchisement, the Republicans say there’s voter fraud.  That’s always the Republican game plan – if you’re doing X, falsely accuse the opposition of Y, so the press will report it all as he-said-she-said.

Read the whole article here.

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