John Fund of the Wall Street Journal has a post at the National Review Online pushing the absurd idea that voter fraud is a serious problem that requires making it far more difficult for people — well, minorities and the poor — to vote. He writes:
Critics of voter ID and other laws cracking down on voter fraud claim they’re unnecessary because fraud is nonexistent. For instance, Brennan Center attorneys Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt claimed last year: “A person casting two votes risks jail time and a fine for minimal gain. Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike.”
Well, lightning is suddenly all over Cincinnati, Ohio. The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud that occurred when Ohio was a focal point of the 2012 presidential election. A total of 19 voters and nine witnesses are part of the probe.
But as Media Matters points out, even on face value this amounts to a whopping .0045% of the more than 400,000 votes cast in that county. And 17 of the 19 cast provisional ballots that were never counted and had nothing to do with a lack of photo ID:
Look more closely at the Hamilton County investigation, and things look even worse for the voter ID crusade. Ohio law currently requires voters who show up at polling places on Election Day to present some form of identification (driver’s license, utility bill, pay stub, etc.) to cast a regular ballot. If they don’t have an acceptable form of ID, they may cast a provisional ballot. Voter ID proponents like Fund insist that government-issued photo IDs must be required to vote in person. Of the 19 voters who are under investigation in Hamilton County, most voted early via absentee ballot and then went to cast provisional ballots at their polling place on Election Day. In each of those cases, the provisional ballot was rejected. So even if they were attempting to knowingly and fraudulently double vote, the system was already in place to catch them, and their second votes didn’t count.
In fact, a review of the investigation indicates there were only two instances of ballots being cast in person under the same name at two different locations. One woman voted absentee in-person at the Board of Elections office, and says someone else cast a ballot using her name on Election Day. Another woman apparently cast a provisional ballot at her current precinct polling location, and then cast another ballot in her old precinct. That’s two votes out of nearly 422,000 cast*.
And of the two that are left, one of them said the only reason she showed up to vote was because she didn’t think her absantee ballot had been received in time to be counted. Yet another voter fraud claim debunked.