Threat of Vote Fraud Is Real

There has been much debate in the past few weeks over whether vote fraud exists, with many liberals claiming that it does not exist at all.

Rejecting the idea that vote fraud does not occur as "lunacy" during an interview on MSNBC, RNLA's Vice President for Election Education, Mark Braden, recounted an instance of vote fraud that he encountered personally:

Well, our election system actually works quite well. . . . But the notion that vote fraud doesn't exist, is, of course, lunacy. People steal cars, people steal money, why anybody would think you wouldn't steal votes is a mystery to me. Vote fraud is rare but it absolutely occurs, and sometimes occurs on a massive basis. I did a recount in Illinois of the governor's race. I went to the Chicago Board of Elections, where they explained to me that vote fraud was a Republican illusion. And a Chicago Times reporter explained the same thing to me. But when we got done with the recount, the grand jury report showed that 10% of the Chicago vote was made up on election night. That's 110,000 votes. So the notion that vote fraud doesn't happen is a joke. It does happen. 

Mark Braden went on to emphasize that just because there are unfounded accusations of fraud, we should not assume that vote fraud does not occur, and that well trained poll workers and observers are some of the best protections against fraud:

Well, I've seen people make unfounded accusations of fraud. [P]eople make wild accusations. One shouldn't let the nonsense of wild accusations blind [one] to the possibility of real indiscretions. So it’s a balancing act. 

Most of our elections work extremely well, but there are places where they don't. And in those places, we need to be concerned. Asking people to be poll workers and working in our polling places are, in fact – that's the best guarantee for a good system. A good system has people working for both parties in polling places around the country as poll workers watching the process.

Forbes contributor George Leef summarized the problems with denying the existence of vote fraud and especially using that denial to overturn voter ID laws, as the Fourth Circuit did in striking down the North Carolina voter ID law: 

[T]he nation does face a grave election integrity problem. It goes way back in time and has been worsening in recent years as techniques for manufacturing votes have been sharpened. . . .  

Judge Motz also resorts to the assertion that vote fraud is a problem that doesn’t exist, which raises a logical question: how does she know that it never happens or only with extreme rarity? How can anyone claim knowledge that things are not happening? Anyway, there is abundant evidence that vote fraud does happen and with regularity. 

Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund . . . points out, that the late Senator Arlen Specter acknowledged that in Pennsylvania vote fraud was common and notorious. Fund also quotes former Philadelphia City Councilman Jimmy Tayoun (who went to prison for corruption) on the tactics of fraud: “You can flood a lot of phony names and phony addresses, and there’s no way they’re going to check.” 

Invalidating a law over nothing more than assumptions about bad motives in enacting it is politicized judging at its worst. This National Review editorial puts the point well: “The Fourth Circuit went out of its way to ignore evidence, impugn the motives of North Carolina’s legislature, and concoct specious legal rationales to forward a political agenda.”

While tools such as poll watchers and voter ID help to ensure that elections are open, fair, and honest, vote fraud does happen.  It is irresponsible and naive to claim otherwise.