On first glance, requiring voters to have photo IDs in order to vote sounds like a good, common-sense idea. Voter ID cards make sure you are who you say you are before you cast your ballot, according to supporters of voter ID laws, many of which have already gained passage in a number of states. Advocates for tougher voter ID laws argue identification cards ensure the integrity of elections, making sure they are fair and free, and help to stop voter fraud from occurring.

Except there is no such thing as widespread voter fraud. Despite the many years Republicans in state legislatures have spent banging the gong about the boogeyman of voter fraud and then-candidate Donald Trump’s own allegation of “rigged” elections, there is no evidence to indicate that there is fraud being committed by voters.

Now, as president, Trump has waded back into the issue of voter fraud, alleging that his loss in the popular vote was the result of millions of unauthorized immigrants voting illegally. In an interview on ABC News this week, Trump repeated that claim along with the other GOP talking points about voter fraud — that dead people are registered to vote and that people are registered in more than one state.

When Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is apparently advising Trump in this folly, completed a review of 84 million votes that had been cast in 22 states, he found a fraud rate — hold on, here come a lot of zeros — of .00000017 percent. And a 2014 study by Loyola Law School found 31 cases of fraud out of 1 billion ballots cast since 2000, a number even the Brennan Center for Justice said was “inflated” because the study tallied more than just prosecutions and convictions. A survey of the 2016 election by researchers at Dartmouth University recently concluded there was “no evidence” of voter fraud, and even Trump’s own lawyers took that position in a filing to oppose a recount effort by Green Party presidential contender Jill Stein in Michigan. This week, the co-author of a 2014 study on illegal voting by Old Dominion University himself fessed up that he most likely “vastly overstated” the incidence of fraudulent ballots in the 2008 election.

For many years, Republican politicians and activists such as James O’Keefe of Project Veritas have pointed to the reality of voters being registered in more than one state as evidence of fraud, and Trump has repeated that assertion on Twitter and with ABC News. But you shouldn’t have to get up that early in the morning to spot that canard. The United States is one of the most mobile societies in the world, and chances are that as Americans move from state to state, they don’t check in at their local elections office to cancel their voter registration. According to recent reports, even Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, Trump’s daughter Tiffany, his treasury secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, and his top strategist and former Breitbart publisher Stephen Bannon (who has been writing Trump’s executive orders and likely wrote the one on voter fraud) all are registered to vote in more than one state. Oopsie.

If Trump and congressional Republicans, along with lawmakers in Republican-dominated legislatures want to address the problem of duplicate registrations, they can do it by increasing funding for state and county elections offices to hire more staffers to administer the voting rolls and to buy better equipment for record-keeping. And voters can do their part in treating their voter registrations as importantly as they treat their change-of-address notifications at the post office.

Trump repeats his claim about voter fraud in the face of reams of evidence to the contrary. But by recklessly repeating that old saw that the “enemy is us,” that whom we should be most wary of, most suspicious of, are our fellow Americans, Trump undermines our faith and trust in our elections, in our government and in our fellow Americans. These baseless, trumped-up allegations about fraud result in ever more disenfranchised voters — those made the victims of onerous voter suppression laws and those who choose to stay away from the voting booth altogether, convinced that their single vote won’t count anyway.

There’s your fraud.

(51) comments

CDReid

Will someone PLEASE tell me how the requirement of a voter ID card SURPRESSES minority votes??? Minorities are just as capable of getting cards as anyone else is, they just simply need to get off their butts and do it! They have the same rights as anyone else and the same access to government agencies as anyone else so I would say that anyone who does not want them required to get ID cards is a racist.

rpkrauss

I would refer you to my reply to Jerseygirl on Jan 27, 12:07 pm

nbouqu1

[thumbup]

TinaS

The idea that 3 to 5 million illegal votes were cast for Clinton in states she won, hands down, is ridiculous. If they were going to rig elections, why wouldn't they cast the 80,000 of those votes in states it would have given them the electoral votes to win?

threecents

What if the govt sets up a department to make national ID cards, and then someone figures how to make fake cards?...

public-redux

"Inconceivable!"

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

Let the government dig into the issue and come up with as assessment of the issue. Is there really a problem and do we need to fix it?

MAVRICKinc7

NO. But surely Trump will find someone in the tall weeds to justify at least 800,000 illegals participated in voter fraud. Didn't Trump pull the same stunt with a doctor, call his own, to certify his health condition?

Won't he eventually concede he lost the popular vote to Clinton?

ReadPhred

This issue has been looked at many times and is regularly reviewed every election. This is another of Mr.Trump's smokescreens. An issue targeting an emotional response from people who refuse to accept the obvious. It keeps people focused elsewhere instead of watching the things he doesn't want you to notice. It's the modus operandi of conjurers and snake oil salesman. By the way, how do like the cost of FHA mortgages going up? Hey conservatives, how about his statement, that's he now doesn't believe we need to shrink the national debt, "sometimes you have to stoke the well..." read spend money on my friends? What would you have said if Mr. Obama said that.

empathytest

FNP: "it's racist & illegal to gather data re voter citizenship"

T: "I suspect noncitizens vote"

FNP: "there's no data to support that"

Jim Hartley

So well reasoned and so clearly written. Very well done.

armillary

Voter ID is just a 'feel good' issue for Republicans. But they know that the fake news threats of paramilitary 'election watchers' is a far more effective tool to suppress voter turnout, and it was used by the alt-right and Trump himself before the November election. If anything, there should be a study of how many voters stayed home election day because they feared for their safety.

rpkrauss

Let's take a hypothetical look at how 3-5 million people would participate in a voter fraud conspiracy. For this model I will go with "the registered in two states" complaint and, using the presidents own words, the assumption all of them voted for Hillary. Simply put it means 3-5 million largely low income and inner city residents were able to secure out of state transportation to vote twice. We're talking about people who cannot afford to leave thier communities to buy groceries. In the end, the voter fraud argument does not hold up, it's too big and complicated to work.

DickD

Most likely they didn't even vote once.

MAVRICKinc7

But isn't Trump's family members and some of his closest administrators registered in two different States and jurisdictions?

jerseygrl42

Figures lie and liars figure, and after reading thru this diatribe I'm wondering why you would or might be opposed to a card that says who you are and where you can vote.....our most precious possession and you don't wish to protect it with an I.D. card...how do you feel about the I.D card for driving...I've never had an accident in many decades of driving so why should I need a drivers license?....such silly and one-sided commentary

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

[lol][lol][lol]

rpkrauss

Jersey, a few years ago I had to get my disabled son a state ID card. I will not bore you with all of the maddening details but suffice to say it took me four trips and the better part of a work week to get the job done. Also I had a car, time and resources at my disposal. If I had not done this for my son there is no way he could have. If you want everyone to have official ID cards 1) make it easier for people with limited resources to get them and 2) be prepared to produce your card when police start asking "let me see your papers".

FrederickFan

[thumbup]

richardlyons

"Papers Please" right out of the old WWII films.

phydeaux994

We haven't had the need for I.D. Cards for 200 years+-, why now? To suppress the minority vote? Seems you don't need the minority vote to win. So write down your reasons for voter I.D. here to make your case jersey and bosco.

Hayduke2

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] they can't phy...

MAVRICKinc7

Suppression of the vote today is nothing more than a repeat of the JIM CROW mandates that have existed over the past 125 years and ingrained in our WHITE society that remain so afraid of sharing their heritage with anyone not of their breeding and skin color. Any questions, look up Jim Crow on your google site. He lives on our back burners and doesn't come out very often unless provoked and during another election cycle. We've been doing this same thing, over and over again, but have yet to make one step forward and beyond our pride, prejudices, bias and bigotry that we can't bring ourselves to acknowledge, except from behind closed doors.

Hayduke2

jersey - when you last voted did you need to show your id card? Bet you didn't -did you commit voter fraud? This is just another way to suppress the vote - particularly since the Republicans apparently fear ALL Americans voting.

olefool

Almost every established investigative journalist has debunked Trumps claims of 3-5 million fake votes. They have asked Trump and his minions for proof and the best the Trumpers can come up with is "Mr. Trump believes his statements and assertions are factual".."What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence...

MAVRICKinc7

Those are called ALTERNATE FACTS.

threecents

Hello, the subject was whether or not there is a significant amount of voter fraud.
Additionally, the subject is why Trump says there it. I say it is because he is crazy.

threecents

Woops, "is" not "it".

Jim Hartley

Does "jersey" live in the United States? Very much ignorant and obviously unprincipled. Paid to be so, no doubt. So many of us are involved in government that Vladimir's rubles are well spent muddying the local waters here.

ReadPhred

Voter registration cards already exist. Drivers Licences already exist and should be kept up to date with your current residence. We don't need a new ID. But sometimes information is out of date. When you vote, your status is checked against current listings at the polling place. If there is a disconnect, you're given a provisional ballot until your status is verified. The system works and has been proven over and over again. This is a smokescreen that has three purposes. It fires up people who want to believe the left is working against them. It harasses those who can not easily get another card, typically lower wage citizens. And it provides an emotional reason to support further legal means of restricting lower wage citizen voting. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

glenkrc

As I said earlier in response to your October 30th editorial on this subject:

"I would not trust the conclusion of anyone who suggested that the likelihood of fraud in relation to any specific governmental activity is less than that of getting struck by lightning."

Hayduke2

Huh....

melbell75

glenkrc has no evidence to support his position or refute the other, so all that's just bloviating.

armillary

[thumbup]

glenkrc

The claimed reliability of the voting system against fraud is claimed to be less than 1 in 588 million (corresponding to .00000017%) or 1 in 32 million (corresponding to 31 per billion). I can think of no aspect of human behavior or human organizational process/procedure that performs with that reliability. Can you?

Off hand, consider the Super Bowl. There have been about 50, attended by an average of, say, 75,000. That's 3.75 million total attendees. Do you really think that the chance that someone found their way in without authorization (ticket or otherwise) over all those games is less than 1 in 150 (for 1 in 588 million) or even 1 in 8 (for 1 in 32 million)? I don't.

So I admit that, though lacking proof, I nonetheless have difficulty accepting the claimed reliability figures.

threecents

More bloviating.

public-redux

Avoiding driving accidents is in the ballpark for that level of human reliability.

So did you ever contact that CPA to check your accuracy in attempting to cause harm to his business?

melbell75

So in addition to not believing the voting fraud incidence, glenkrc has provided imaginary suppositions about Super Bowl ticket fraud as a counterargument. That is not how *any* of this works.

MAVRICKinc7

SO, why not hold these Super Bowl stats and Trump's 1.5 million inauguration attendance figures up to the light and see they are the same KIND of LIES we witness on a daily basis and provided by our elected leaders and our Nation's president. With a fact check and Trumps 70% confirmed LYING moments, over the last 20 months, shouldn't we at least question the credibility of Trump's presence on the international stage?

FrederickFan

Outstanding Editorial. One of those for which I wouldn't change a sentence. Bravo, FNP.

DickD

Let me share how elections are run in Frederick County. When a voter shows up, to vote, they go to the book judge and give their name, which is checked against the book registration records. The registration records show the address, date of birth and home address. The voter has to verify this information verbally and it must be a match to the registration records. Then they must sign a small print out stating it is true. From there the voter goes to a floor judge and is allowed to vote. If the voter is not at the correct polling location or there is not a match, the voter can only cast a provisional ballot, which is examined at a later date. All of this transaction can be observed by any party, by registering as an observer. The book judges and floor judges are made up of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans and there are two chief judges, one of each party.

Our County election Director is Stu Harvey, he does a wonderful job of training and running the elections. While the judges get paid the amount is relatively low for the number of hours required. Number of hours are roughly three hours of training, two or three hours of time to set up the computers the night before election and about sixteen hours on election day. The volunteers do a great service for the County and the country,

In ten years, there was never an incident of fraud, that I know of. A few mistakes, yes, perhaps a handful.

Are the records accurate? The records are as accurate as possible, knowing dead people do not tell you they have died, people fail to notify about moves, people go to the wrong polling place and are required to cast provisional ballots. But none of this is fraud, none of this is a rigged election. We have a great election system in Maryland, something to be proud of and in Maryland we also have a paper record for later verification.

Bailey2014

2 or 3 years a ago a local in Frederick was charged with voting twice. Once under her name and once under her mothers-a mistake or not?

gary4books

Good editorial. But if people want us to vote with ID cards, it might be easier to give everyone a card and move on. I am surprised that many who fought a "national ID card" now want all voters to have a picture ID.

Brookhawk

The problem with voter ID cards - where they are bring tried - is that who gets a card and how they get it have turned into sheer political posturing. For instance, in one state (TX I think) a gun permit was good enough to get you a voter card, but a student ID was not. Voter IDs have been used strictly to keep certain people (i.e. those who might not vote Republican) from voting. Voter IDs - good in theory, terrible in practice.

joelp77440

[thumbup] I am a democrat and agree with voter ID. Not that I believe in anyway there is fraud but we need proof to debunk straight lies like the stuff Trump promoting.

cogtooth

The News-Post needs to focus on real concerns with the incoming administration's policies, and not fall for the dead cat strategy that President Trump is using at this time.

Hayduke2

But there are so many...

melbell75

I disagree. We need to rebuild confidence in our democracy, because our president is making our institutions appear weak. Voter fraud is not a weakness we have to confront.

armillary


Trump's ego, his biggest obsession
friends and enemies wield with discretion
so Putin plays dove
gets from Russia with love
and the GOP, voter suppression.

Hayduke2

Good editorial. Thank you.

FrederickFan

You have a gift, my friend.

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