If you listened to Republicans and conservatives, you would probably believe that “voter fraud” is running rampant across America, as dead voters and other illegal votes rise up and jam polling places from coast to coast, winning elections for Democrats at all levels as poor Republicans sit and look on, completely helpless before the onslaught.
But as is so often the case with a lot Republican hysteria, voter fraud claims are at best a tiny, minuscule, whimper, and not the national emergency you would assume it is based on Fox News and the rest. The New York Times looked into it after the 2016 election, and they found nothing:
In an election in which more than 137.7 million Americans cast ballots, election and law enforcement officials in 26 states and the District of Columbia — Democratic-leaning, Republican-leaning and in-between — said that so far they knew of no credible allegations of fraudulent voting. Officials in another eight states said they knew of only one allegation.
But inquiries to all 50 states (every one but Kansas responded), found no states that reported indications of widespread fraud. And while additional allegations could surface as states wind up postelection reviews, their conclusions are unlikely to change significantly.
The reality is, as far as statistics go, voter fraud may as well not exist it is such a small portion of the vote. Yet it is repeatedly invoked by conservative Republicans to pass measures such as voter ID and limits on early voting.
Why? Because “voter fraud” is an excuse and a smoke screen for Republican initiatives designed to cut down on the minority vote, particularly black Americans. It is also used to limit voter registration among young voters. Those segments have been targeted by the right for suppression because they vote overwhelmingly in favor of Democrats.
Conservatives believe that the best way to win an election is to stop certain key voting blocs from having their votes counted. And the phony “voter fraud” is a great way to get that to happen.
Featured image via Flickr