After a Year of Intense Scrutiny, We Now Know that Voter Fraud is Even More Rare than We Thought
No one with any knowledge of the electoral process ever really believed voter fraud was a problem. Sure, after every election there are a few cases prosecuted, but no widespread attempt to steal elections and nothing that would change the outcome in state-wide elections. And, after a year of chasing down every wild accusation by Donald Trump and his supporters, we now know that voter fraud is even more rare than we thought,
As we have noted before, there have been many studies of voter fraud by academics, journalists, and government officials and they have all come to the same conclusion; voter fraud is extremely rare and has no measurable impact on US election outcomes. But, for a variety of reasons, the myth lives on. For instance, polling over the last year shows that about 60% of Republicans believe the "big lie" that President Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election resulted from massive voter fraud in six battleground states [Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin]. However, after a year of intense scrutiny of the election results by Trump loyalists, conspiracy theorists, and conservative media outlets, we now know that the 2020 election may have been the most secure in history.
The Associated Press reviewed every potential case of voter fraud in the six battleground states disputed by Donald Trump and found fewer than 475 instances of suspected fraud out of the more than 25 million votes cast in those states.
AP: "Democrat Joe Biden won Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and their 79 Electoral College votes by a combined 311,257 votes out of 25.5 million ballots cast for president. The disputed ballots represent just 0.15% of his victory margin in those states."
Election officials of both parties in the battleground states are unanimous in their disgust with voting fraud conspiracy theories.
AP: “Voter fraud is virtually non-existent,” said George Christenson, election clerk for Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, where five people statewide have been charged with fraud out of nearly 3.3 million ballots cast for president. “I would have to venture a guess that’s about the same odds as getting hit by lightning.”
So, why does the voter fraud myth persist? The dirty secret is that Republican officials don't believe in election fraud any more than Democrats, but they need a reason to pass restrictive voting laws in state legislatures.
Illuminate: "Republicans need their base to believe that voter fraud is a crisis in order to pass state laws making it more difficult to register and vote. Why would anyone want to make it harder to vote? Republicans realized quickly that state measures enacted in the last few decades to make registering and voting easier such as automatic registration, same-day registrations, early voting, and mail-in voting encouraged minorities, [younger voters] and the poor to vote. That was a problem for Republicans so they needed a reason to reverse the tide by enacting voter suppression laws."
More concerning is the new push by the GOP to control state offices that oversee and certify election results.
The Guardian: "The willingness to deny election results comes amid heightened concern that Republicans are maneuvering to take over offices that would empower them to block the winners of elections from being seated. Several Republicans who have embraced the idea that the election was stolen are running to serve as secretaries of state, the chief election official in many places, a perch from which they would exert enormous power over elections, including the power to hold up certifying races."
The Bottom Line: Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, expect Republicans to continue to push the "big lie." They are laying the groundwork for questioning election results this Fall and in the next presidential election.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content