Like this piece on today's Tribune-Review op-ed page:
The liberal narrative that voter fraud is a figment of conservatives' imagination took an illuminating turn in Virginia, where a voter-integrity group has documented 5,500 noncitizen registrants between 2011 and 2017. At least 1,852 of them cast ballots during that time.If you are fact-checking at home (and that's something I'd encourage EVERY citizen of EVERY political persuasion to do - especially now in the Age of Trump) the first thing to check is this "voter-integrity" group named the "Public Interest Legal Foundation."
One noncitizen said she voted in 14 different elections and wasn't removed from the voter rolls until she, herself, reported being a noncitizen, according to a new report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation. Based on the group's findings, the largest number of ineligible votes cast in a Virginia election were 1,065 in 2008, a presidential election year.
Who are they? Who runs the shop? Do they do good work? And finally, is the Trib completely honest in calling them a "voter-integrity group"?
It's that last question where the Trib first trips up. This is how The Daily Signal describes the PILF in a piece on this exact report:
Virginia election officials removed thousands of voters from voter rolls between 2011 and May 2017, according to a conservative legal organization.And before you wonder whether The Daily
In a report released Tuesday, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group, found 5,556 voters were removed because they were noncitizens and that one-third of those removed voted illegally.[Emphasis added.]
More and more people are grabbing bites of news from mobile devices on the go—and they need a place where they can find digestible, trusted news on the most important policy debate of the day.So when The Daily
That’s why the Heritage Foundation team created a digital-first, multimedia news platform called The Daily Signal. [Emphasis added.]
So the first question you have to ask yourself right now is: Why doesn't the Tribune-Review editorial board want you to know that the PILF is conservative? It's certainly ok for the (Scaife-funded) Heritage Foundation to say so, so why not the Trib?
Do they think that it'll negatively frame your opinion of the report? Why would that be, exactly?
Now, let's look at whether the report can be trusted. At 24 pages, it's probably ill-advised to go page-by-page (I'd probably lose your interest at page 5 or so) so let's just look at one "astonishing" example.
This one, on page 17:
In one astonishing example, a non-citizen was invited to remain on the voter rolls even after he had informed election officials he was an alien.When William Leslie Gray registered to vote in 2007, he checked “yes” in response to the application’s citizenship question. In 2010, Mr. Gray renewed his driver’s license and on his application, he checked “no” to the citizenship question.There's an end note that leads to Exhibit 13. Take a look at the chronology here:
The inconsistencies in Mr. Gray’s answers alerted election officials that he might not be eligible to vote. His registration, however, was not cancelled. Instead, Mr. Gray was mailed an “Affirmation of Citizenship,” which asked Mr. Gray to affirm, subject to penalty of law, that he was a U.S. citizen. Mr. Gray signed the form and returned it. In May 2015, Mr. Gray’s voter registration was cancelled after election officials determined that he was, in fact, not a U.S. citizen. [Emphasis added. You'll see why in a few paragraphs.]
- 02/12/2007 - Gray's driver's license application, where he checks the "yes" box
- 02/18/2010 - Gray's renewal application, where he initials in the "no" box
- 05/10/2010 - Gray's "Affirmation of Citizenship" form, where he declares he IS a citizen.
And what do we see?
- 04/10/2010 - "Declared non-citizen cancelled" (this is AFTER Gray's license renewal form)
- 05/17/2010 - "Returned Affirmation of Citizenship"
- 05/18/2010 - "Reinstated"
- 02/12/2015 - "Deceased"
Now go back and look at how the report describes this paperwork.
This is the "astonishing example" they're using to prove non-citizens are voting in droves in Virginia. If such a big part of the report is so obviously wrong what does that say about the rest of it?
These are lies, plain and simple - it's hardly surprising they show up on the Trib's Op-Ed page.
UPDATE: I mislabeled The Daily Signal. Sorry.