Democracy Has Prevailed.

January 23, 2012

Voter Fraud! Or Maybe Not

Loyal wingnuts that they are, the Tribune-Review's editorial board warns us, yet again, about the rampant voter fraud:
Among the Obama administration's re-election cheerleaders, none is more duplicitous than Attorney General Eric Holder, whose sis-boom-ba on "voter rights" is sorely out of sync with factual accounts of fraud.

Last month the Justice Department blocked a South Carolina photo-identification law, insisting it makes voting more difficult for minorities. At a rally in Columbia, S.C., last week, Mr. Holder said defending that cause is "a moral imperative," The Washington Post reported.

But Holder's presumptuous intervention in South Carolina backfired. In response, that state's attorney general, Alan Wilson, did some digging and found that at least 900 dead people voted in South Carolina's 2010 election, writes Peter Hannaford for The American Spectator. Mr. Wilson is going to court to restore the law.
Here's Hannaford's piece - and it's interesting to note the unquestioned frames: It's voter fraud and if it's voter fraud, then it's voter fraud in favor of the Democrats.

Too bad the data isn't so clear cut.
Hannaford frames:
Years ago the Democrats learned that the surest way to win a tight election was to have just the right number of dead people ready to vote. It worked in Texas in 1948 and Illinois in 1960 and may have worked in South Carolina in 2010 if Attorney General Eric Holder hadn't left well enough alone.
Here's some local reporting on the South Carolinian fraud (oops - I mean "fraud"):
It's the one right all Americans hold dear: the right to vote. But, according to an investigation from the Department of Motor Vehicles, 957 South Carolinian exercised that right from the grave.

"In my opinion, and I'm not an expert in this area, dead guys shouldn't be allowed to vote," said DMV director Kevin Shwedo.

Shwedo had his staff look at the list of people who cast a vote in 2010 then compared that list to the Social Security Administration's list of death certificates. The evidence showed, once again, 957 dead voters voted.
Now let's all take a deep breath and look again at what DMV Director Shwedo (who admitted he's not an expert on this issue - in fact he was only appointed to head the DMV by Governor Nikki Haley last January) found.  He found 957 names on both lists; the list of people who voted in 2010 and the list of people who died before hand.  No mention of who they voted for, is there?  It could easily be 950 examples of bad record keeping (this is the DMV, we're talking here)

But let's assume for the sake of argument it is voter fraud - what's the evidence that it's Democratic voter fraud?

There is none.

And even if it is exactly what Scaife's braintrust says it is - how big of a problem is it, really?

Let's run the numbers.  957 fraudulent voters vs the 1.27 million cast in the Senate campaign (and it's pretty safe to assume that's close to the total number of votes cast in South Carolina in 2010) we're talking about .07% of the total votes cast - if my math is correct.

Even if all the allegations are true - that's the extent of the voter fraud - .07%.

Tell me again how it's damaging enough to threaten the voting rights of tens of thousands of registered voters?  To make it harder for tens of thousands of people to vote?


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

But let's assume for the sake of argument it is voter fraud
Following the Democratic TPM/CAP/Media Matters talking point, you should be screaming.
I do love your attacking the messenger.
what's the evidence that it's Democratic voter fraud?
I don't know.
Maybe the fact that the Democrats are trying to prevent any Voter ID laws that would detect this voter fraud.

Ol' Froth said...

Could any of those voters cast an absentee ballot? There've been a number of cases I've heard of where a bedridden patient or nursing home resident casts an absentee ballot because they're incapable of getting to the polls, and then winds up dying before the election. Could a live person on the votor rolls have the same name as a dead person on the DMV's list?Just comparing a DMV list to a list of eligible voters is hardly a thorough, or even reliable, investigation.

EdHeath said...

So HTTT, if a poor person was born at home because the family could afford hospital charges, and if the birth was assisted by an illiterate midwife who couldn't file the paperwork for a birth certificate (illiterate because the state government couldn't be bothered to fund schools in poor counties), then that poor person without an official birth certificate is not entitled to vote. In fact, according to you, this person's very existence is a fraud.

Just under a thousand votes in a statewide election ... if all thousand are in one state or federal voting district then they could make a difference. But spread all across a state, to affect either statewide or district elections? Sounds to me like Froth's explanation might apply to most if not all of these situations.

Why have I never heard a conservative complain about the lack of a paper record of votes (either a receipt or a total record or both) for electronic voting machines? You won't answer.