ELECTIONS

How much voter fraud exists in US elections?

Oct 23, 2020, 5:06 PM | Updated: Oct 29, 2020, 3:36 pm
Voter fraud...
President Donald Trump stands on the balcony as he returns to the White House on Oct. 5, 2020 after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

It is more likely . . .  that an American ‘will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.’

 

Perhaps reports of dead people voting inspired this quip from Gov. Earl Long: “When I die, I want to be buried in Louisiana, so I can stay active in politics.”

Vote twice?

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in voting this year in the United States is fraught with fraud. In fact, during a trip to North Carolina he encouraged residents to vote twice (once by mail and once in person, which is a federal crime) to test the worthiness of the voting system in the state.

Recently, Mr. Trump has even suggested he won’t commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses in November because of mail-in ballots.

“We’re going to have to see what happens,” the president said during a news conference Sept. 23. “You knew that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster. Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.” 

 

 

 

 

“If it’s as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote,” Trump said.

Posted by Business Insider on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Although Mr. Trump has blasted mail-in voting as “RIPE for FRAUD” on Twitter, the president himself has used the method. When asked by a reporter about his vote by mail in the Florida presidential primary in August, Mr. Trump said he did that “because I’m allowed to.”

But how much voter fraud is happening now in this presidential election and how much has occurred in the past?

After unsubstantiated claims that “millions and millions” of fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election and had cost him the popular vote, in 2017 Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to investigate claims of voter fraud. 

But the commission disbanded seven months after its first meeting without establishing a report on fraud. The White House blamed the cost of potential lawsuits and uncooperative states for the failure to produce evidence of widespread voter fraud, according to an investigation in USA TODAY published Oct. 20.

How much or little voter fraud is out there?

The Brennan Center’s seminal report on this issue, The Truth About Voter Fraud, found that most reports of voter fraud are traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data-matching practices.

The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud and found incident rates between 0.0003% and 0.0025%. Given this tiny rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report said, that an American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

comprehensive 2014 study from 2000 to 2014 in The Washington Post found just 31 credible instances of impersonation fraud out of more than 1 billion ballots cast. 

“The verdict is in from every corner that voter fraud is sufficiently rare that it simply could not and does not happen at the rate even approaching that which would be required to ‘rig’ an election,” the Brennan Center concluded.

Attempts to block the vote

  • Last month, a Nevada judge dismissed a case filed by Trump’s re-election campaign that tried to bar the state from mailing ballots to all active voters.
  • Two conservative operatives were charged earlier this month with using a hoax phone call to discourage Black voters in Illinois from mailing their ballots. In the call, a woman’s voice tells voters their personal information would be added to a public database and that they could be arrested for outstanding warrants or be forced to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials, according to a report Oct. 6 by Politico.

“Don’t be finessed into giving your private information to ‘the man,’” the woman said. “Stay safe and beware of vote by mail.”

  • And, lastly, in the largest effort to suppress the vote in the United States, President Trump in August said he opposed including $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service in emergency funding included in a coronavirus-relief bill.

“They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Mr. Trump said during an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business. “If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.”

On Mr. Trump’s attempt to suppress voting by starving the beleaguered Postal Service during a pandemic, former President Barack Obama said: “What we’ve seen in a way that is unique to modern political history is a president who is explicit in trying to discourage people from voting. What we’ve never seen before is a president say, ‘I’m going to try to actively kneecap the Postal Service to encourage voting, and I will be explicit about the reason I’m doing it.’ That’s sort of unheard of.”

NAACP President Derrick Johnson told BuzzFeed News in August that the Trump administration’s interference with the Postal Service was “the most blatant attempt to suppress voters in modern history at least since the voter suppression tactics of the 1960s.”

Today’s Top Stories

Elections

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson wants his old job back. ...
Mark Jones

Rocky Anderson announces bid to run for SLC mayor in 2023

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced Wednesday that he is seeking reelection to get his old job back.
4 days ago
A ballot drop box is pictured. Those wanting to vote in the utah primary election can still vote in...
Sydnee Gonzalez

Analysis shows ‘sizable’ gap in Salt Lake’s west side/east side voter turnout

Voters on Salt Lake City's west side turned out for the 2022 midterms at a much lower rate than their east-side counterparts.
11 days ago
FILE: Former President Donald Trump, seen here on May 28, filed his paperwork on November 15 establ...
Gabby Orr and Fredreka Schouten, CNN

Former President Donald Trump says he’s launching another White House bid

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump announced that he will run again for President in 2024.
19 days ago
Rep. Kevin McCarthy was nominated by a secret ballot of his peers to replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi if R...
LISA MASCARO and FARNOUSH AMIRI Associated Press

McCarthy wins nomination for House speaker, but grind ahead

McCarthy won the nomination Tuesday from his GOP colleagues in a secret ballot election. But it's just the start.
19 days ago
utah house members...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah welcomes new house members in both parties

There are three new party members in both the Utah House and Senate, and a full female line-up in the Utah Democrat's leadership.
19 days ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the press on the grounds of his Mar-a-Lago resort on mi...
Gabby Orr and Steve Contorno, CNN

Trump is on the defense as he prepares for expected 2024 announcement

It's a concern Trump allies are confronting head on as they privately explore ways to make the monstrous pile of cash he has raised since leaving office available to him as a presidential candidate.
19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
How much voter fraud exists in US elections?