I appreciate Professor Hasen responding to our post on Project21. However, there is one overall problem with Professor Hasen’s response; he can only cite partisan sources. Our original post relied mostly on examples supporting ID and opposing Vote Fraud from Democrats or truly non-partisan sources. Professor Hasen is merely echoing the far left with his response. On his specific points.
Point 1. Hasen writes “There’s no reason to believe that impersonation fraud prosecutions would be undercounted.” Prosecutions are not the standard to measure vote fraud. Led by Al Sharpton and groups like the Brennan Center any effort to even INVESTIGATE let alone prosecute vote fraud is met with charges by the left of partisanship, voter suppression and racism. In the last year at the home of Sharpton and the Brennan Center, New York, the police have been threatened with prosecution for exposing how easy it is to commit vote fraud.
But again, let me cite a liberal source on why prosecutions are not the correct standard. As the liberal African American Rhode Island State Senator Democrat Harold Metts stated in support of the need for voter ID:
The old system was not set up to readily weed out fraud; and it would be very hard to prove. Moreover, winners on election night would soon forget about any fraud, while the losers’ concerns would be dismissed as sour grapes. We know that many rapes and other crimes go unreported. Does this mean that unreported rapes did not occur? We cannot allow the integrity of our system to be violated.
Point 2. Hasen writes “Justin Levitt has been collecting all reported cases he can find of credible voter impersonation”
Do you think police witnessing voter impersonation should count? In Levitt’s narrow definition it does not. For that is exactly what happen in Levitt’s backyard during the 2013 New York City’s Mayoral elections. Of course, the police could not do anything about it because it was not in the “purview.”
This is not an unusual occurrence but suffice it to say that Levitt’s definition of “credible and all” and a neutral person on the issue would be very different. It is why the bipartisan Carter-Baker report came out for ID.
Point 3. Hasen writes “Iimpersonation fraud requires a large conspiracy of individuals being sent into the polls claiming to be someone else.” Voter ID stops other kinds of fraud beside voter impersonation fraud. Let me give you just one example. Professor Hasen can you pull out your Driver's License? This has your address on it. Because of the efforts of the far left and despite laws and bipartisan support, it is almost impossible to remove a person from the voter registration list. Thus if you were a visiting Professor in Chicago last year and registered to vote there, it would be very easy for you to vote there in 2014. Illinois has a very unpopular and vulnerable Democrat Governor and may have a very close race this year, unlike most races in California where you live now. Without an ID requirement, you and others like you could easily vote for Governor in Illinois despite not living their currently or intending to live there. No one would be impersonating you. (You could also vote at old addresses you lived in California in a different Congressional District that is targeted this year.)
Now California to Illinois is a long trip. (Although at least one Californian bragged in the Milwaukee Police Report about voting in Wisconsin over their California residence so their vote for President would “count.”) But Milwaukee to Chicago or vice versa is an easier commute than most people have coming to your school of UCI in California on a daily basis. If you don’t think that happens, you did not read the Milwaukee Police Report.
Point 4. Hasen writes “Stop the bait and switch of calling people on the left ‘vote fraud deniers.’” One can deny impersonation fraud is a problem “
That is the problem, Professor Hasen. By focusing on impersonation fraud as the only type of fraud you are very much in denial. By using prosecution as the only means to measure fraud while the far left are fighting every effort at prosecution or even investigation, you are in denial.
I will cite just one example of the latter; the reason the far left fights every effort to clean up voter lists because they know sloppy lists make prosecution difficult or impossible and fraud easier, in this case double voting (again not impersonation.) As the Task Force of the Milwaukee Police Report stated:
Two of these persons were tried in Federal Court, resulting in one finding of ‘Not Guilty’ and one ‘hung’ jury, where no verdict could be reached. In both instances, jurors responded after the trials that although there appeared to be evidence that these individuals voted more than once, the mismanagement of the voting records by the Election Commission presented them with questions about the record system and they could not find guilt ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’…The Milwaukee Election Commission, through their ineptitude, raised enough reasonable doubt to prevent further criminal prosecution. It was impossible to ask a jury to believe that records were accurate as they related to those persons being prosecuted, while admitting that there were numerous errors committed throughout the election process.” [The Report Page 55, Emphasis in Original]
More prosecutions did not happen not because of innocence of the fraudsters, but the incompetence of election officials and sloppy voter rolls. This is an ongoing effort by the left. By calling any effort to fix voter rolls “list purging” the left is ensuring that prosecutions are more difficult.
Point 5. Hasen writes “And, by the way, the report has nothing to do with impersonation fraud, the whole point of voter id laws.” This is a misreading of the police report. Again, unlike Lonnie Minnette who you cite, an extreme partisan, the NONPARTISAN police wrote about Voter ID stopping more than impersonation fraud:
In a targeted state in a Presidential election year thousands of out of state volunteers for the Democrat Presidential campaign descend on Wisconsin and worked to get out the vote. Perfectly legal and good. However, the Milwaukee Police found that a number of these volunteers that they investigated were taking advantage of the same day registration laws and voting in Wisconsin. This is not in dispute as they readily confessed it to police. The fact the police caught people from upper management to canvassers shows it was widespread. This is not impersonation however as they all voted for themselves. But this is vote fraud that ID could stop as none had intent either to reside or live in Wisconsin or to obtain a Wisconsin ID. From the report:
Where proof could not be provided to Election officials that these staff members could vote in Milwaukee, other staff members who were registered voters vouched for them by corroborating their residency. More alarmingly, other staff members who were deputy registrars for this election simply registered these individuals as Milwaukee residents, bypassing Election officials altogether. The actions of the listed campaign and 527 staff members appear to be violations of State of Wisconsin Law as it relates to registering of voters and the casting of ballots in an election. . . .
The belief of the investigators is that each of these persons had to commit multiple criminal acts in an effort to reach their ultimate goal of voting, showing that the act was a conscious, intentional effort to commit a crime. Each person described above committed at least two criminal acts associated with their effort to commit voter fraud. In the case of several of these individuals, additional criminal acts were committed by other persons in the completion of a criminal act. Registering a person to vote that was known to be ineligible, registering to vote when ineligible and the actual process of then voting are all crimes under Wisconsin State Statues. . . .
The investigators found, through media and Internet sources, that the two organizations, in their own words, placed thousands of staffers and volunteers in Wisconsin during the course of this election cycle….[T]he persons described in this section represent multiple levels of both of the organizations; from upper management to the street level canvassers. …There does remain a strong possibility that the discovery of these random staffers voting illegally is the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’ as it relates to an illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome of an election in the state of Wisconsin.” [The Report, Page 51-53 Bold and Italics in Original, Underlined added.]
The police felt this fraud was strong enough that there was a “strong possibility” that it led to a narrow Democrat victory and the delivery of the state’s electoral votes by fraud to the Democrat candidate for President. It was in an effort to stop this in the future that the police came out in favor of Voter ID:
As an alternative, if On-Site registration is to continue in its present form, then the presentation of a government issued identification card that includes the voter’s name, address (including city) and date of birth should be presented before that person is allowed to register and vote.
While I disagree strongly with your reliance of liberal accusations and ignoring bipartisan reports and studies, maybe we can agree on the need to clean up voter rolls. That would be a step. I hope all but the far left will agree it is important to having more open, honest and fair elections.