You’re more likely to get hit by light­ning than to be im­per­son­ated at the polls

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Sub­jec­tive fear and para­noia, con­tra­dic­tor y to all avail­able ev­i­dence, should not form the ba­sis from which a leg­is­la­tor votes.

Over­whelm­ing data shows that voter fraud in the United States is vir­tu­ally nonex­is­tent. The find­ings of re­search on voter fraud show Del. Deb Rey (R-St. Mary’s) cast the Gen­eral As­sem­bly’s lone dis­sent­ing vote out of ig­no­rance in 2015 against the ver­sion of Mar yland Se­nate Bill 97 that came to the House of Del­e­gates, and passed there as well. This bill, now law, counts the prop­erly cast vote of some­one who dies be­fore that vote is can­vassed.

In 2016, more than 135 mil­lion Amer­i­cans voted, declar­ing Don­ald Trump the win­ner and pres­i­dent of the United States. The Wash­ing­ton Post de­bunked the myth that that more than 3 mil­lion il­le­gal bal­lots were cast in the 2016 elec­tion. Its in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that out the mil­lions of bal­lots cast, only seven cases of voter fraud oc­curred.

Typ­i­cally, false claims of voter fraud are made by the loser of a close race, but in this elec­tion, we had the win­ner dis­put­ing the re­sults. While many Democrats dis­agree with whom was elected, not even they protest the process of our elec­tion.

In 2014, Justin Le­vitt, a law pro­fes­sor at Loy­ola Law School and a na­tion­ally rec­og­nized scholar of con­sti­tu­tional law, pub­lished an ar­ti­cle based on his re­search of voter fraud claims in the United States, and sim­i­larly con­cluded the claims of voter fraud are sta­tis­ti­cally ir­rel­e­vant. The study found there were 31 cred­i­ble in­stances of voter im­per­son­ation fraud from 2000 to 2014, out of more than one bil­lion bal­lots cast. Le­vitt’s in­stances counted all cred­i­ble claims, not just those brought forth in the le­gal sys­tem. Based on his re­search, Le­vitt over­whelm­ingly con­cluded that voter fraud is sim­ply not a fac­tor in our elec­tions.

The Bren­nan Center for Jus­tice at New York Univer­sity School of Law con­cluded that while voter fraud claims make head­lines, al­le­ga­tions are of­ten greatly ex­ag­ger­ated. Its re­port closely ex­am­ined seven elec­tions for cases of voter fraud, and con­cluded it played no role in the out­come of the elec­tion. Al­most 4 mil­lion peo­ple voted in New Jersey’s 2004 elec­tion, but the voter fraud rate was a mi­nus­cule 0.0004 per­cent. In 2002 and 2004, New York had more than 22 mil­lion bal­lots cast, with only two cases of voter fraud con­firmed.

The study ul­ti­mately con­cluded an Amer­i­can is more likely to be struck by light­ning than be im­per­son­ated by an­other voter at the polls.

With­out any fac­tual ba­sis to sup­port her po­si­tion, Rey’s lone vote against the 2015 bill jeop­ar­dized the rights of de­ployed sol­diers to par­tic­i­pate in Amer­ica’s core in­sti­tu­tion: democ­racy. Worse, Rey of­fered an amend­ment un­founded in ev­i­dence and prop­a­gated con­cern among Amer­i­cans that their sys­tem of democ­racy has a se­ri­ous flaw. The data sim­ply does not sup­port her po­si­tion.

Lastly, in Rey’s Face­book re­sponse, she con­tin­u­ally claims to be a “rogue del­e­gate.” Lead­ers should not pride them­selves on dis­hon­esty and un­prin­ci­pled rea­son.

Elected of­fi­cials should have guiding moral prin­ci­ples, re­search their po­si­tions, ground them in facts and vote for poli­cies pred­i­cated on ev­i­dence.

Robert Bell, Great Mills

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.