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