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Right Wing Mythology—Voter Fraud Edition

June 11, 2014

This is the second installment of a series of how the right wing is motivated more by myth than facts. This edition: Voter Fraud!

It appears to be tribal knowledge among the right wing of American politics that our electoral process is in grave danger from the scandal of in-person voter fraud. This is why, in nearly every State legislature controlled by Republicans there are right wing politicians working feverishly to pass laws that actually make it harder to vote. Voter identification requirements are not the only tool at their disposal, but it is the tool that is in the forefront of their defense of our sacred democracy.

On the surface, it makes sense. If we require a photo ID to have a driver’s license, why not the same sort of requirement to exercise the right to vote, they reason.

But as it turns out, these requirements will suppress the vote of the part of the electorate that Republicans would really rather not vote at all: minorities, new citizens, the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the young, especially students.

What a happy coincidence. Eliminate voter fraud and skew the electorate to the right. Two’fer!

Just for the sake of discussion, lets leave the realm of right wing myth and enter the realm of actual facts.

First of all, there does not seem to be any significant, actual in-person voter fraud. The Brennan Center for Justice finds the allegations either baseless or greatly exaggerated. Politifact rated Dick Morris’ allegation that there is proof that over one million people voted twice in 2012 “False.” Snopes rated various urban legend-type stories circulating as False. The New York Times finds “scant evidence” to support such claims.

Jay DeLancy of North Carolina is so convinced of rampant voter fraud that he has formed an organization an organization called the Voter Integrity Project which serves mostly as a voter vigilante organization to harass voters in Democratic precincts.

What? Democratic precincts? Anyone wonder why he is only concerned about fraud in Democratic precincts? I am sure it is just about the fraud.

Secondly, whatever fraud exists appears to be perpetrated by Republicans. Republicans or Republican operatives have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar in both Texas and Virginia. And lets not for a moment forget the Republicans who managed to lock themselves in the courthouse in Mississippi overnight with unsupervised access to the actual ballots.

Well, that’s awkward.

So it turns out that Republicans are doing nothing to eliminate voter fraud (in fact they appear to be the real perps) but they are managing to harass and suppress the part of the electorate that they would rather not vote.

I guess one out of two isn’t so bad.

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12 Comments
    • I never argued that these tactics were successful. My argument speaks to the intent, not the results.

      More to the point, where is the evidence that in person voter fraud is actually a problem, not not a right wing myth? And if it is not a problem (which the available evidence suggests) why does the right wing continue to ride this mythical hobby horse?

      Sent from my iPad

      >

    • Note that I did not argue that voter fraud never ever happens. One isolated case does not make a national emergency. No election results were corrupted and she was caught and punished.

      The evidence that I included about Republican voter fraud far outweighs one isolated case.

      If one case of petty voter fraud is going to provoke right wingers into hysteria, then they should get some help for these paranoid delusions.

      Sent from my iPad

      >

  1. I guess I have to concede your point. You are right if you ignore all the evidence and ignore anything you disagree with.

    • I put forth research from the Brennan Center for Justice and you counter with O’Keefe. Does it even sound like we are in the same conversation?

      As far as ignoring all who disagree…Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

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