Voter fraud not a real con­cern

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

FROM: JIM MACMIL­LAN ELKTON

A re­cent writer stated, “there is no doubt in our minds that vot­ing tam­per­ing has taken place.”

The writer is cor­rect. Per a re­cent con­ver­sa­tion on the Bill O’Reilly show there were four ver­i­fied cases of in-per­son voter fraud in the en­tire coun­try for the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The writer ends by say­ing, “ques­tion­ing the in­tegrity of an elec­tion is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous, but un­for­tu­nately nec­es­sary.” No, ques­tion­ing the in­tegrity of an elec­tion is pretty much a witch hunt. The Oct. 29, 2012, is­sue of The New Yorker re­ported, “ex­perts agree that ac­tual in­ci­dents of in-per­son voter fraud, the type of voter fraud that stricter voter ID laws can pre­vent are vir­tu­ally non-ex­is­tent.”

In 2007, New York Univer­sity of Law’s Bren­nan Cen­ter for Jus­tice re­ported that, “voter im­per­son­ation is more rare than get­ting hit by light­ning.” The Wash­ing­ton Post Wonkblog on Aug. 6, 2014, cited a study by Loy­ola Univer­sity Law School pro­fes­sor Justin Le­vitt who found 31 in­ci­dents of in-per­son voter fraud since 2000 out of over 1 bil­lion bal­lots cast. The point is that to im­ply cur­rent voter reg­is­tra­tion laws are in­ef­fec­tive, and that there is a need for more strict reg­u­la­tions sim­ply is not con­sis­tent with any cred­i­ble find­ings. The New Yorker ar­ti­cle noted ear­lier sug­gests that, “the fears of voter fraud have been largely in­vented as a way to ex­cite the base.”

There is enough real ex­cite­ment in this elec­tion cy­cle. Peo­ple should stop try­ing to make voter fraud an is­sue, when it clearly is not.

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