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.

GearHead July 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM
@Lyle...."What insight you share. We've only been hearing this same party message for the last year and a half. Next time you comment see if you can't come up with something new and original. Pull your string and it's the same old party line rhetoric." I'm referring, of course, to your demonstrated history of suggesting there is no problem that can't be solved with a tax increase and corresponding government program. Your last few Patch articles are exhibit "A"
Dirk Gutzmiller July 18, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Keith Best - Your speaking of voter fraud: "this is what they [liberal democrats] do for it is the only way they can win. To them, the end justifies the means." Back when we were in the primary grades, we learned talk like that was that of a poor loser. Keith, get some basic dignity. The Republicans lost in Racine, and therefore lost the Senate, and it was not due to cheating. You lost man, grow up.
Dirk Gutzmiller July 18, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Somehow, suburban Republican food just seems boring, and the clientele boorish.
Ima Hippee July 18, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Keith - are you off your teleprompter? Suppress the rights of millions? Why did attendees have to show identification to see Holder speak at the NAACP Conference in Houston? And Holder spoke about voter identification?
Lyle Ruble July 18, 2012 at 01:42 AM
@GearHead...What do you expect from a self proclaimed social democrat?
James R Hoffa July 18, 2012 at 01:46 AM
@Dirk Gutzmiller - How do do you reconcile liberal / leftist / Democratic pundits encouraging voter fraud? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB3j9fpTKkk Didn't Ed Schultz visit Racine just before this the recall election? And then you wonder why everyone is up in arms - seriously?!?! Maybe you should get your own people in order first before trying to lecture the other side of the aisle - just a thought!
Ima Hippee July 18, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Dirk - and Frosted Lucky Charms are filled with vitamins and nutirents. BTW - why the hate for DMV? You are helpless. It is amazingly simple, painless and easy to get an ID or drivers license at a DMV. The DMV is remarkably efficient, lines are short and fees appropriate and fair.
Keith Best July 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM
@Lyle Ruble--Does anyone tell YOU what to write? No one tells me what to write, I say what's on my mind. If you don't like it.....tough. DEAL WITH IT.
Keith Best July 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM
@Dirk Gutzmiller--- of course the loss in Racine was due to cheating. In my conversations with folks that were involved there, there are all kinds of irregularities and outright fraud that was ignored by the DA as well as GAB. All I'm saying is people are learning how it's done......and are determined to be more able to prove it in the future. Being a good loser is one thing, having something stolen from you is another. When you get right down to it, the win for Democrats is symbolic at best. The senate goes back to session in January, after the Republicans pickup 2-3 seats in November. And take back the majority. But in the meantime I will preserve my dignity by not being a sucker to fraud, corruption and dishonesty.
morninmist July 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM
MORE great news for all voters in WI. http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/07/11649/second-judge-finds-wis-voter-id-law-unconstitutional Second Judge Finds WI's Voter ID Law Unconstitutional by Brendan Fischer — July 18, 2012 - 8:11am Topics: Democracy Projects: ALEC Exposed A Wisconsin judge has found that the state's American Legislative Exchange Council-inspired voter ID restriction imposes an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, writing that the law "tells more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters who do not now have an acceptable form of photo identification that they cannot vote unless they first obtain a photo ID card." "That is a lot of people, and most of them are already registered voters," wrote Dane County Judge David Flanagan, making permanent the injunction he issued against the law in March. .................... Earlier this year, Dane County District Judge Richard Niess issued a separate opinion in a case filed by the League of Women Voters invalidating the state's ALEC-inspired voter ID law. Although Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is appealing Niess' ruling and will likely appeal Judge Flanagan's decision, the new voter ID requirements are not expected to be in place for the November 2012 elections. Supporters of the law would need to get both orders lifted for voter ID to be reinstated, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court has declined to take up the cases prematurely...............
Steve ® July 18, 2012 at 04:31 PM
David Flanagan, judge, recall petition signer. Where do they pull this 300K number from? Was it from the same 1 million signatures count from the recalls?
morninmist July 18, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Related story--and good to see this: Via @TPJustice: Obama Campaign Sues Ohio Officials, Calls New Limits On Early Voting Unconst... http://bit.ly/Nz9t9t | #p2 #law #justice
Dirk Gutzmiller July 18, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Steve - You are looking foolish on the global warming "myth".
Dirk Gutzmiller July 18, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Ima Hippee - From your sarcasm about the DMV, you make one of my points. Try getting to a DMV without taking off work, and without a car. The Repubs got so extreme in getting a voter ID, they blew it Constitutionally. Not a lot of savvy there in crafting a bill. They were full of more than Lucky Charms.
Dirk Gutzmiller July 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Keith Best - Your insistence that the Racine election was stolen puts you in an awkward and incredible position. Your governor and most of the legislators and most of the Supreme Ct. are Republicans. Why can't they do something in spite of the Constitution about this rampant and flagrant voter fraud thing you are imagining? Sounds to most of us like whimpering.
Dirk Gutzmiller July 18, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Hoffa - Ed Schultz does not speak for Liberals in the same way that Limbaugh speaks for the doting extreme right. Liberals are more discerning.
James R Hoffa July 18, 2012 at 05:28 PM
@Dirk - That's the biggest crock I've heard all year!
Johnny Blade July 18, 2012 at 05:37 PM
How many planks do you subsrcibe to DIRK the commie Biotch THE TEN PLANKS OF THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO. (Walk these planks at your own risk.) “These measures will of course be different in different countries. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable. 1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. 3. Abolition of all right of inheritance. 4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. 5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. 6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. 7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. 8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. 9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country. 10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production” (11)
Greg July 18, 2012 at 06:15 PM
The 300k number was an opinion by a UW poli-sci proff., not the actual data that was presented by the state. "Given the sacred, fundamental interest at issue, it is clear that Act 23, while perhaps addressing a legitimate concern, is not sufficiently narrow to avoid needless and significant impairment of the right to vote," Flanagan wrote.
Greg July 18, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Limbaugh does not speak for me at all, but Ed has to speak for Dirk because he has his lips sealed to Ed's butt.
Steve ® July 18, 2012 at 08:33 PM
So what is the real number and why am I not surprised a leftie judge is making an emotional ruling on false data and misty buys it hook line and sinker?
Dirk July 21, 2012 at 05:44 PM
So, if you don't need an ID to vote, then is it safe to assume you will not receive government or state benefits since you don't have an ID? Just wondering....
Eric July 22, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Integrity of the voting process and ease of access to vote are both desirable but conflict to some extent. The 2000 general election revealed major flaws in our democratic apparatus and an inability to determine a clear winner in a close election. As the so-called champions of democracy to the world, we were embarrassed globally. Many subsequent elections have continued to be very close. We should error on the side of insuring the integrity of our voting processes to maintain faith in the democratic system. In the recent state election Racine County reported voting results much later than the rest of the state and the vote tallies for party candidates for state senate and governor were incongruent. It would build confidence to hear why the delay occurred, a plausible and likely explanation for the incongruence, and hear of further steps being taken to improve the voting process integrity given we are likely to experience more close elections.
Dave Koven July 22, 2012 at 05:32 PM
"Voter fraud", abortion, gay marriage, immigration, to a certain extent, which candidates are rich, their religion, their sex lives , pointing the fingers of blame at politicians who are no longer in office. and etc. These are just some of the NON-ISSUES that are jammed in our faces to take our attention away from the fact that NOTHING is getting done in Washington to fix our economy and bring relief to the average citizen. The lobbyists and super PACs love this diversion of our attention. We are getting our middle class and schools destroyed while our attention is being diverted elsewhere. We didn't elect these people to go to Washington to do nothing, and that is exactly what is happening. What other employee of ours would we accept such irresponsible behavior from? If they don't move NOW, we could fall over an economic precipice in 2013 to another deep recession or worse. The country-wide drought isn't helping any, either.
Keith Best July 22, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Remember, it starts at the top. Obama has attended 106, (one hundred and six,) fundraiser parties and 0 jobs meetings. (zero). Now, every president has a right to campaign, but this guy believes golf and fundraisers are MORE important. Let's not forget his # 1 priority in 2009 was supposed to be jobs, but then he rammed thru Obamacare. He must be removed in November.
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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