The Richmond Times Dispatch has an article about voter fraud investigations in Virginia that begins by inaccurately saying that “an ongoing Virginia State Police investigation of voter registration irregularities from the 2008 general election may signal a more significant voter fraud issue than some state lawmakers realized.” But the actual facts of the article say the exact opposite:
As Virginia legislators hotly debated a voter ID bill that narrowly passed the General Assembly, many were unaware of a state police investigation that, so far, has resulted in charges against 38 people statewide for voter fraud. Warrants have been obtained for a 39th person who can’t be located.
A majority of those cases already have resulted in convictions, and 26 additional cases are still being actively investigated nearly 3½ years after the state Board of Elections forwarded more than 400 voter and election fraud allegations from 62 cities and counties to Virginia State Police for individual investigation.
“We believe these complaints ran the gamut from voter registration fraud issues through potential fraud at the polling place on Election Day,” said Donald Palmer, secretary of the Virginia Board of Elections, who was appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell in February 2011. “We do not have specific numbers on how the complaints broke down. However, (the state board of elections) is aware that arrests have been made over the past few years for individuals engaging in voter registration fraud.”
Almost half of those 400 are no longer being investigated. And most of the rest:
The majority of cases reviewed by The Times-Dispatch that resulted in arrests in central Virginia involved felons who either illegally registered to vote or who illegally voted in the general election, or both. Felons cannot vote in Virginia unless their rights are restored by the governor.
None of the cases appeared to involve someone who misrepresented his or her identity at the polls to vote.
Which means a voter ID law won’t do a thing to change it. And felons who have served their sentence should be allowed to vote without asking for permission. The vast majority of the ones here almost certainly didn’t know they weren’t allowed to vote under state law; they weren’t trying to steal an election, they were just trying to vote in their own country, for crying out loud. But bear in mind that there were 3.7 million votes cast in the 2008 election. That hardly justifies making it far more difficult for tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of people to vote.