Voter Fraud Non-Existent, Partisanship at Heart of Voter Laws

Study report covered by the Voting News and Houston News: National: Study: Voter Fraud Non-Existent, Partisanship at Heart of Voter Laws <read>

This is similar to other recent stories. Much time and effort spent in search of voter fraud with little to show for it. It does exist but it seems to be a very few isolated events. Either a misunderstanding on the part of an illegally registered voter, or perhaps a very politically connected person that seems to have voted once, but in the wrong place, e.g.<here> or <here in our state>.

A couple of years ago we were researching the origins of the Secret Ballot and read The Hidden History of the Secret Ballot. One of the essays made the point that, like all election reforms, the Secret Ballot was proposed and passed for partisan reasons – to suppress the vote of illiterate African-Americans who would have trouble reading and correctly filling out their own ballot.  An important principle to keep in mind – both good and bad reforms are most often touted based on supposed political gain.

When it comes to voter fraud which realistically does not exist, Republicans in general, tout it as a reason to pass suppressive voter ID laws. On the other hand when it comes to voting fraud which is quite common via absentee voting, Democrats in general, ignore it while they propose unlimited absentee voting. Similarly Republicans tend to oppose, and Democrats tend to tout, in-person early voting for a variety of questionable reasons.

When it comes to voting laws, we focus on integrity balanced with costs and enfranchisement. In general, we find ourselves agreeing about 50% with Democrats, 50% with Republicans, and 50% with election officials. Partisans tend to favor laws that would tend to increase or decrease votes in their favor, focusing on costs and integrity issues on propositions they oppose. Officials tend to focus on costs only on those issues which cause them more work, tend to ignore costs and integrity when a change would reduce their effort.

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