Too Little Integrity, Too Late

Slate,  September 14, 2017

What no one did [at the second meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity] was demonstrate that voter fraud is a widespread problem. Ken Block, the president of a data-mining company used by government agencies, testified about his new report about duplicate voting. Paul Gronke, director of the nonpartisan Early Voting Information Center at Reed College, estimated this week that even the report’s overly broad definition of voter malfeasance found a fraud rate of 0.000323741007194, or three ten-thousandths of 1 percent—almost exactly the chance that a person will be struck by lightning in the course of their lifetime.

Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, a commission member, also testified about that organization’s “database” of fraud cases. The list includes cases going back to 1948. Just 105 of its 749 cases took place in the last five years, and the authors could identify only 10 cases in which one person impersonated another at the polls. (Total number of proven fraud cases in New Hampshire: six, involving seven people.) Von Spakovsky has been deeply involved in promoting the myth of widespread voter fraud. On Tuesday, an advocacy group released a February email in which he complained to a Justice Department employee about rumors that the commission, then in development, would be bipartisan.  …
[C]ommission member Matthew Dunlap, Maine’s Democratic secretary of state[, said] “that somehow people not updating their driver’s license is indicative of voter fraud is like saying the fact that you have cash in your wallet is indicative that you robbed a bank,” he said. “I have an awful lot of faith in the integrity of elections in New England.” Gardner sat with his eyes downcast and told Kobach that the election results in New Hampshire are “real and valid,” drawing the first applause of the day.

By Ruth Graham

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