Speaking of grove-variety pecans, “progressives” are in a tizzy-fit over a finding by Kim Strach, North Carolina's director of elections, that suggests nearly 36,000 people with the same names, birth dates and Social Security numbers voted both in the Tar Heel State and other states in 2012. Another 81 North Carolinians voted after they died, reports The Washington Times. But remember, voter fraud is a figment of the conservative imagination. [Bolding in original.]Still is.
Here's the story:
This week, officials at the North Carolina State Board of Elections announced they had discovered possible evidence of widespread voter fraud in the battleground state.You might ask, where did they get this information? Did they generate it themselves? Is the source partisan or non-partisan? And how reliable is it?
By cross-checking North Carolina voter rolls with those in 28 other states, leaders of the board told state lawmakers they had found 35,750 records of people who voted in North Carolina and whose first name, last name and date of birth matched people who had voted in other states. More surprisingly, it also revealed 765 North Carolina voters in 2012 whose last four Social Security digits also matched those of people who voted in other states that year.
All good questions. Here are some answers:
The cross-check of North Carolina voters was conducted by the office of Kris Kobach, the controversial Secretary of State in Kansas. A long-time Republican political operative, Kobach is known nationally as the architect of legislation cracking down on immigrants in Arizona and elsewhere, as well as severe voting restrictions.Wow. Five million? Is that evidence of five million double (and therefore felonious) votes?
Kobach launched the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program in 2005 as a free service to states — almost exclusively those led by Republican lawmakers — to flag voters who may be casting ballots in multiple states in the same election, which is a felony. In a traveling PowerPoint presentation Kobach’s office uses to pitch the program (for example, this recent presentation [PPT] in Indiana), they say it’s grown from four Midwestern states sharing 9 million voter records in 2005 to more than two dozen states states sharing 110 million files today.
Here’s how it works: A participating state sends its voter file to Kobach’s office, which compares it — free of charge — against the records from the other states. In 2013, the program flagged a staggering 5 million records of people whose names and date of birth appeared to match.
No. Did you know that the same Kris Kobach did the same sort of "research" for the State of Pennsylvania? And did you know that they admitted a high number of "false positives"? I'll let Vic Walczak of the Pennsylvania ACLU explain:
But the same materials, produced by the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office, candidly acknowledge that many of those potential duplicates are false positives: “Experience in the crosscheck program indicates that a significant number of apparent double votes are false positives and not double votes. Many are the result of errors voters sign the wrong line in the poll book, election clerks scan the wrong line with a barcode scanner, or there is confusion over the father/son voters (Sr. and Jr.).” The program thus flags a huge number of voters as potential duplicates, but admits a high error rate, elevating the ACLU’s concerns about how precisely Pennsylvania will handle voter-registration cancellations.But that's not all, my friends. No no. There is more.
In hearing of this report Dick Morris wrote about the "widespread voter fraud" in North Carolina based on this research (or better, "research"). And doncha know, Politifact rated it false.
Their ruling? Take a look:
Morris said that the large number of North Carolina voters matched with records in other states was proof that over 1 million people voted twice in the 2012 election. While Morris admittedly was extrapolating from the North Carolina data, his conclusion is flawed on several fronts.False. Scaife's braintrust really needs to do better than this. But we all know they can't.
The head of North Carolina’s board of elections did not claim that even the closest matches on name, birth date and Social Security numbers was conclusive evidence. She said more investigation was needed. The track record of the Interstate Crosscheck project shows that a tiny fraction of all potential matches represents any kind of voting fraud. In Kansas, out of more than 850,000 votes cast, only 14 names were recommended for prosecution and the Kansas Secretary of State reported no convictions.
In other states, database quirks, human error and the statistics of large numbers have been shown to trim the initial reports of widespread fraud down to the barest sliver of actual cases.
We rate the claim False.