More Exaggerated Voter Fraud Claims Debunked


As usual, a conservative group is wildly exaggerating the existence of voter fraud to further their political agenda of suppressing the poor and minority vote. This time it’s the Club for Growth claiming that there were thousands of fraudulent votes in Minnesota in 2008:

“In Minnesota, well over 6,200 election-day registrations from 2008 proved fraudulent,” the group charged in its newsletter. “Post-election efforts to verify names and addresses revealed one or both to be fictitious in that many cases.

“Remember, 2008 was the election that made ‘Saturday Night Live’ clown Al Franken Minnesota’s junior (U.S.) senator, furnishing the crucial 60th vote for the monstrosity of ‘Obamacare.’ Franken’s winning margin? 312 votes.”

PolitiFact shows why this claim is wildly off the mark:

Asked for evidence to back its claim, Club for Growth Wisconsin pointed to an opinion article by Republican state Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer that was published in a Stillwater, Minn., newspaper in October 2012. Kiffmeyer served as Minnesota secretary of state from 1999 through 2006, heading the office that oversees elections there.

In the 2008 presidential election, Kiffmeyer declared, “we have more than 6,200 ballots out of 23,000 cast by voters who still cannot be found.”

But while Kiffmeyer raised concerns about election integrity in her article, she did not state that the 6,200 ballots were fraudulent.

That figure was generated nine months earlier, in a January 2012 report by Minnesota Majority. The group describes itself as a state watchdog that promotes “traditional values” such as “limited government, lower taxes, parental rights, free markets, protecting our borders and a strong national defense.”

The report contends there were 6,224 “unverifiable voters” in the November 2008 election and that Minnesota’s system “provides a window for fraudulent voting by use of false identities and/or addresses.”…

But Minnesota Majority overstates the number of same-day registrants who couldn’t be verified, according to the Minnesota secretary of state.

Patricia Turgeon, spokeswoman for the office, said only 2,873 same-day registrations were flagged because of address problems.

Turgeon said most of the 2,873 postcards likely were returned to local election officials because the voters moved sometime between the election and when the verification cards were mailed. She said there were also other reasons postcards couldn’t be delivered, including: data-entry errors by local election officials; the voter’s handwriting on the registration form was illegible; or voters were living somewhere where they cannot receive mail, such as in a battered women’s shelter or on the street.

As for actual cases of fraud, another secretary of state official, Beth Fraser, said there were about 140 convictions for election fraud in the November 2008 election.

The vast majority of those voters were ineligible because of felony convictions. She said the state was not aware of a single fraud conviction from that election that was due to a voter providing a false name or address.

140 out of 2.8 million votes, or .00005%. And none of them due to voter impersonation, but rather people who actually thought they were eligible to vote and were allowed to register. This technique of using postcards is the same thing done in voter caging efforts, but there are lots of reasons why a postcard might get returned. And when they produce these lists with huge numbers of “unverifiable” or “suspect” registrations, the numbers are always wildly exaggerated and off by orders of magnitude.

Comments

  1. MikeMa says

    If the politicians didn’t lie, many would have little or nothing to say and no way to rouse their base. It would be more helpful but less ideologically pure to get on with the business of governing even though the excitement of debating and passing bills is less than scaremongering. But as actual governance is now forbidden by the tea party, scaremongering and lying is all they can think of to garner support.

  2. anubisprime says

    It does not matter that irregularty in listed data can be explained and disregarded…it does not suit those that prefer the slur to the reality….and they will not be bother with such pesky traits such as honesty or integrity.
    That is the last if not totally ignored aspect of launching claims that seem to caste them as the ‘victims’…and that is a lesson learnt from xtian whining 101.

  3. brucegee1962 says

    Our local representative in Virginia (an Attorney General candidate) is pushing some state laws on voter fraud. Here’s one of his mailings:

    Dear Friend,

    Elections are intended to reflect the will of the voters. But too often these votes are offset by those who are not legally eligible to vote. After the 2008 election, State Police issued 39 warrants for voter fraud, and identified another 194 instances where a violation likely occurred. Last fall, for the 2012 election, Democratic field operative Pat Moran, was caught on camera talking about how to “forge” a utility bill to make it easier to commit fraud.

    If anyone knows anything that would debunk these claims, I’d love some help trying to fight these proposals.

  4. John Hinkle says

    I’m trying to figure out the fraud that voter caging is supposed to expose. Is it just a voter with a supposed bad address, and therefore ineligible to vote? Or are the supposed fraudsters registering in different areas with bogus addresses in order to vote more than once, like we do in Chicago?

    I’m guessing it’s the first. In reading about caging, one of the tricks they do with the mailings is to mark them “do not forward.” Nice.

  5. Shawn Smith says

    140 out of 2.8 million votes, or .00005%.

    Umm, it is a ratio of 0.00005, or 0.005%. Your point is not changed, but no need to exaggerate.

  6. slc1 says

    Remember, 2008 was the election that made ‘Saturday Night Live’ clown Al Franken Minnesota’s junior (U.S.) senator,

    Rather interesting, this putdown of Al Franken, graduate of Harvard, considering the affection that these clowns have for Ronald Reagan, star of Bedtime for Bonzo.

  7. No One says

    brucegee1962

    Our local representative in Virginia (an Attorney General candidate) is pushing some state laws on voter fraud. Here’s one of his mailings:

    Dear Friend,

    Elections are intended to reflect the will of the voters. But too often these votes are offset by those who are not legally eligible to vote. After the 2008 election, State Police issued 39 warrants for voter fraud, and identified another 194 instances where a violation likely occurred. Last fall, for the 2012 election, Democratic field operative Pat Moran, was caught on camera talking about how to “forge” a utility bill to make it easier to commit fraud.

    Actually he was approached by Project Veritas on hidden video. It wasn’t his idea, it was theirs. Watch the video here:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/10/25/jim-moran-son-vote-fraud-video/1656981/

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