Voter Fraud: Hysterical Hoax to Suppress Voter Participation

The GOP has alleged that rampant voter fraud provides justification for a range of Draconian strategies that suppress voter registration and voting among populations that lean Democratic while purportedly protecting us from voter fraud.  But the Brennan Center questions whether voter fraud even exists. So what is the true purpose of these GOP engineered ‘protections?’
voter-fraudThe Brennan Center’s ongoing examination of voter fraud claims reveal that voter fraud is very rare, voter impersonation is nearly non-existent, and much of the problems associated with alleged fraud in elections relates to unintentional mistakes by voters or election administrators.Brennan Center’s report: the-truth-about-voter-fraud reveals that almost all allegations of fraud turn out to be baseless — and that of the few allegations remaining, most reveal election irregularities and other forms of election misconduct–NOT VOTER MISCONDUCT.

The Brennan Center conducted three case studies of voter fraud alleged in New Jersey, Missouri, Wisconsin. Despite allegations that thousands of individuals had cast ‘double votes’ or had been cast by individuals who were dead or ineligible to vote, these studies found that voter fraud was almost non-existent ranging from .00002% to .0003% or at most 3 fraudulent votes for every one million votes cast.

So if voter fraud is virtually non-existent, what is the purpose of voter ID laws and other barriers to voter registration?  For years, researchers warned that laws requiring voters to show certain forms of photo identification at the poll would discriminate against racial minorities and other groups. Now, the first study has been released showing that the proliferation of voter ID laws in recent years has indeed driven down minority voter turnout, and by a significant amount.

In a new paper entitled “Voter Identification Laws and the Suppression of Minority Votes”, researchers at the University of California, San Diego — Zoltan Hajnal, Nazita Lajevardi — and Bucknell University — Lindsay Nielson — used data from the annual Cooperative Congressional Election Study to compare states with strict voter ID laws to those that allow voters without photo ID to cast a ballot. They found a clear and significant dampening effect on minority turnout in strict voter ID states.

For example, the researchers found that in primary elections, “a strict ID law could be expected to depress Latino turnout by 9.3 points, Black turnout by 8.6 points, and Asian American turnout by 12.5 points.”

The impact of strict voter ID was also evident in general elections, where minority turnout plummeted in relation to the white vote. “For Latinos in the general election, the predicted gap more than doubles from 4.9 points in states without strict ID laws to 13.5 points in states with strict photo ID laws,” the study found. That gap increased by 2.2 points for African Americans and by 5 points for Asian Americans. The effect was even more pronounced in primary elections.

“Voter ID laws may represent one of the nation’s most important civil rights issues”, the paper concludes.


Professor Andrew Appel Hacked This Voting Booth in Seven Minutes

Princeton Professor Hacks Voting Booth in Seven Minutes 

While the GOP frets that the election may be stolen via an avalanche of illicit voters, the far easier means of stealing an election was demonstrated by Princeton Professor Andrew Appel, pictured at left. This link how-to-hack-an-election-in-7-minutes-politico-magazine will take you to the Politico article that describes the process.

“Look, we could see 15 years ago that this would be perfectly possible,” Appel tells me, speaking in subdued, clipped tones. “It’s well within the capabilities of a country as sophisticated as Russia.” He pauses for a moment, as if to consider this. “Actually, it’s well within the capabilities of much less well-funded and sophisticated attackers.”

Voter suppression efforts can do nothing to prevent this kind of cyber attack which is far more likely to impact election results than .00025% of voters voting twice.

Retake the Roundhouse is working with other progressive groups in New Mexico to create the New Mexico Progressive Platform. The Platform will be published soon in draft form for your input. It will include language calling for a statewide Ethics Commission to govern elections, public financing of statewide elections, and the creation of automatic motor-voter registration such as that practiced in Oregon.


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