Another Voter Fraud Investigation Comes Up Empty


Another Republican launches an investigation into “rampant” voter fraud only to come up pretty much empty in finding actual cases. This time it’s Iowa, where Secretary of State Matt Schultz has spent the last year and a half looking for cases and found a whopping five of them, most of whom had nothing to do with actual voter fraud.

To date, his investigation has yielded 5 guilty pleas and 5 dismissals…

One woman, Beth Ann Gallagher, cast an absentee ballot on behalf of her daughter, who had recently moved to Minnesota and thought she wouldn’t be eligible to vote there. However, after she mailed the ballot, her daughter texted her that she had been eligible to vote, at which time Gallagher self-reported the incident to the Delaware County auditor’s office. She plead guilty and paid a $147.75 fine.

A man, Terry Hambrick, registered via the Motor Voter Act while attempting to steal his dead brother’s identity. Hambrick was trying to acquire a driver’s license under the name of a brother who had died of sudden infant death syndrome in 1991, and accidentally registered to vote. He was caught not by Schultz’s probe, but after he was arrested for drunk driving and law enforcement officials determined that he was, in fact, Terry Hambrick.

Another man who pleaded guilty, Jason Rawlin, was also a victim of the Motor Voter Act. Rawlin, a felon, was attempting to acquire a nonoperator ID card, he registered to vote without realizing that he attested to not being a felon. When he received a voter card in the mail, he self-reported to authorities. Schultz initially charged Rawlin with felony election misconduct, but he ultimately plead guilty to misdemeanor fraudulent practices.

The two other guilty pleas were also from convicted felons, neither of whom knew that their voting rights had not been restored. Five other cases are currently pending.

So none of the whopping 5 cases actually involved an attempt at voter impersonation or fraud. In 2012, Iowans cast 1.6 million votes in the November election.

Comments

  1. Loqi says

    That’s a whopping .000003125% of voters. We can shorten that number to 3125%. So for every voter, there are 31 frauds!

    /Republican math

  2. says

    So none of the whopping 5 cases actually involved an attempt at voter impersonation or fraud.

    Obviously we have to dig deeper to find the real voter fraud.

    In 2012, Iowans cast 1.6 million votes in the November election.

    You say you’re a defender of democracy, Ed Brayton, and yet, bafflingly, you continue to advocate against laws intended to protect elections from being tainted by illegitimate votes*. These early investigations have proven that about half of all votes are illegitimate*.

     

    * “Illegitimate vote” = “A vote for a Democrat”

  3. says

    What GOP thugs are really saying is, if a black man can win the presidency, voter fraud must be rampant. Every single thing conservatives do can be translated, using the Rosetta Stone of rationality, to reveal a secret (or not-so-secret) language of racism, xenophobia, hate.

  4. zmidponk says

    Assuming the two men concerned were not such complete blithering imbeciles that they didn’t fill out a voter registration form and sign a form saying, quite clearly, ‘I AM NOT A FELON’ without realising it, there must be something very wrong with a system where you can register to vote and attest to not being a felon by accident.

  5. says

    zmidponk,

    When I registered a few years ago while renewing my driver’s license, the registration was completely electronic, and the clerk hurried through the questions. Assuming impatient, half attentive customer and clerk, I can see the question getting misunderstood or glossed over.

  6. cry4turtles says

    Awww come on Conservative Newswire, the Republicans can’t be racist. I’ll bet most of them have black friends!

  7. A Masked Avenger says

    Any sitting official who prattles about “voter fraud” is either engaging in intentional misdirection, or else has an acute craniorectal inversion. To look for voter fraud, you should go to place like the law books and the congressional record. There you’ll find gerrymandering, onerous rules that suppress third parties and independent candidates, and various “reform” laws that ostensibly fight political corruption while instead giving rise to PACs, Super PACs, and all manner of increased corruption (which I would argue was the general intent all along).

    There’s a raft of actions by our rulers that serve no clear purpose other than cementing incumbents into their seats. Directing public anger at mythical van-loads of “illegal aliens” going from polling place to polling place is at best a side show.

  8. Chiroptera says

    Huh. Why, it’s almost as if Republicans’ continuing efforts to put obstacles in the way of voting and registering to vote have nothing to do with combating fraud but have another purpose altogether.

  9. Nathair says

    Something’s wrong when a felon can register by mistake, and then be prosecuted for it.

    Something is very, very wrong when a felony conviction transforms you instantly from a citizen into a “felon” stripped of the right to vote.

  10. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    Hambrick was trying to acquire a driver’s license under the name of a brother who had died of sudden infant death syndrome in 1991, and accidentally registered to vote

    attempting to acquire a nonoperator ID card, he registered to vote without realizing

    sounds like their web site is a tad confusing.

  11. colnago80 says

    At least the Rethuglican candidate for Virginia Attorney General has thrown in the towel after a recount increased his deficit some 600+ votes. There were indications previously that he might go to the House of Delegates, controlled by the Rethuglicans, in an attempt to steal the election.

    http://goo.gl/1f7OiH

  12. Robert B. says

    His investigation – of the entire state of Iowa – has “yielded” five convictions, two of which turned themselves in and one who got caught by accident in an arrest for a different crime. That’s some fine police work there, Lou.

  13. freehand says

    In the meanwhile, in my home state of Washington, mail-in ballots are sent to voters, filled out by somebody, and mailed in. Filled out by whom? The thief who emptied the mailbox, the daughter of the old woman with Alzheimer’s, the bullying husband, the bratty kid, and the voter too busy / dead / illiterate / senile to notice.

    But I don’t really expect more than a few dozen of these cases each election statewide – the fraud, intentional or not, can’t happen on a mass scale.

  14. caseloweraz says

    Ah, but there are five more cases in the Iowa pipeline. These are never mentioned. Yet another attempt to sweep the massive corruption of our electoral system the Republicans are targeting under the rug.

    Think of the effect five cases of cynical voter fraud could have on the choice of our next president!

    Checkmate, liberals!

  15. says

    Basically, the law in Iowa is that felons can having their voting rights restored, but they have to apply with the governor’s office. The two previous governors, Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver, automatically restored everyone’s voting right with no application required. Now, Terry Branstad is governor again and is back to making people apply. Some people probably didn’t catch onto this.

    It seems only one case found an actual vote cast, and that was by someone who turned herself in, so he actually discovered 0 voting fraud.

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