More Voter Fraud Hysteria at the NRO

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.

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  • The only case of voter fraud — in this case attempting to vote twice — I’m aware of was the Republican in Nevada who pleaded guilty. Obviously she pleaded guilty because she got, you know, caught.

    Her stated purpose for her act was to prove how easy it was to get away with it. Oops!

  • unbound

    Not done in the same way, but there was voter fraud in Virginia with the trashing of voter registration forms by a GOP operative.

  • raven

    Oregon County Elections Official Under Investigation For Ballot … election/2012/…/ oregon-county-elections…

    by Aviva Shen

    By Aviva Shen on Nov 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm … A temporary election worker allegedly filled in a straight Republican ticket where voters … but, as Blue Oregon notes, this is not the first time Clackamas County has come under scrutiny for foul play.

    All the voter fraud or election fraud (in this case) in recent elections I’m aware of involved…Republicans.

    Like this case in Oregon where an election worker was caught filling in GOP places when the ballots weren’t marked.

    We know from past and present experience that the GOP will cheat to win elections whenever they can. Gerrymandering, voter intimidation, voter suppression, fraud, it is all just an attack on democracy.

  • raven

    News for Bend Oregon man tries to buy blank ballots


    Bend man convicted of offering to buy blank ballots for $20 each

    OregonLive. com ‎- 2 days ago

    A Bend man who ran a Craigslist ad offering to buy blank ballots for … It’s the first case of offering to buy ballots under the state’s system of vote-by-mail. … hang outside the local elections office buying blank Oregon ballots … rejected Hirschman’s arguments that he was only trying to cause a stir with his ad.

    “Mr. Hirschman gave a full confession,” Manning wrote in an email. “He stated in his interview and at trial that he is an Internet ‘troll’ and that he posted the ad to ‘agitate’ and cause a stir.”


    The ad, riddled with grammar and punctuation errors, went on to say that interested voters could meet him outside the county elections office in Bend near a ballot drop-off booth usually manned by a volunteer.

    Here is another case. No ballots were bought and this guy was arrested. No party affiliation is listed but He is a self described not very literate internet troll. I’m guessing GOP or Libertarian on that basis. They are the party of stupid and internet trolls after all.

  • scienceavenger

    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.

    How is it that these gits don’t understand the difference between ACTUAL voter fraud and POSSIBLE voter fraud. There is possible lightning all over Cincinnati, just like there is possible voter fraud. But the actual lightning, like the actual fraud, is very very tiny.

  • Wait. So the Democrat party is committing possible lightning in Cincinnati now, too?

  • caffeineme

    Ah, John Fund. He’s been trumpeting the horrors of voter fraud for years. In an interview on NPR he claimed that, in a 2008 voter registration drive in Clark County, Nevada, 48% of registrations turned in by Acorn were “clearly fraudulent”. That made me sit up, thinking “wow, that’s huge.”

    Well, the NPR interviewer didn’t challenge that astonishing bit of information, but I was curious enough to track it down. The first Google pass yielded something like “48 percent of those forms are clearly fraudulent” in an article by Fund quoting Larry Lomax, the Clark County Registrar of voters. “Those forms” sounded odd, and the next search got down to what I believe were the actual statements given to the Vegas Review-Journal in 2009.

    It turns out the 48 percent figure is the result of some interesting gymnastics: of 91,002 reg

    istrations turned in by Acorn, 28,136 were “duplicates or changes of name, party or address”.

    Of the remaining 62,905 new voter registrations, 23,186 actually voted in 2008. The article

    goes on to say “That means almost 40,000 of the new voters registered by ACORN didn’t vote, and of those, almost 19,000 had information on file that didn’t match what was turned in on the forms.”

    So the oft quoted “48 percent” figure refers not to the total number of forms turned in by Acorn, but to the forms with information that didn’t match SSID or drivers licence data out of the subset of registrants that didn’t actually vote. What’s really strange to me is that they could have more honestly claimed 21 percent of all forms were “fraudulent” (their standard for fraud is rather strict in this case – I’ve voted when my drivers license didn’t reflect my actual address, and SSID data can go stale for someone if they don’t file tax forms) but I guess 48 percent is just a much sexier number to toss around.

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics. John Fund has been playing this game for many years.

  • caffeineme

    Arg. Sorry about the misformat above, was iterating on fixing/previewing and hit submit by mistake. I don’t see an edit option.

  • Bring back the Poll Tax, Mr. Fund? Kept union members from voting as well. Win win for the WSJ, right?.

  • Then there is that infamous “The advanced race must prevail” editorial in the 1950s which suggested ways to keep a Black voting block from prevailing in tight elections, if memory serves. . Bring back the good old days, Mr. Fund?.

  • The editorial was written by William F. Buckley Jr. himself, I think.