The Republican party is certain that U.S. elections are rife with voter fraud. How are they so sure of that? Apparently because Republican operatives are the source of most of it.
This past Tuesday, Adam Ward of Bassett County Virginia pleaded guilty to 36 counts of voter fraud and perjury in connection with an attempt to help Newt Gingrich reach the number of signatures required to appear on last year’s Virginia presidential primary ballot. Ward collected over 11,000 signatures on behalf of Gingrich, over 4,000 of which, according to investigators, could not be verified. According to RawStory, the Virginia campaign of Texas governor Rick Perry faced a similar dilemma, with almost half the 11,900 signatures collected on his behalf failing verification. No Perry supporters are currently facing criminal charges.
A variety of Republican-controlled state legislatures passed “anti-voter fraud” legislation in 2012, in what was considered by many to be a blatant attempt to disenfranchise traditional Democratic constituencies such as minorities and college students. These measures typically centered around enhanced ID requirements for voters. Courts blocked the implementation of many of these laws in time for the 2012 election, but left open the possibility that they could be permitted to go into effect in the future. The Minnesota Post reported that an analysis of over 2,000 cases of voter fraud revealed an “infinitesimal” rate of fraud, and that “in person” fraud of the type that is targeted by voter ID laws is “virtually non-existent.”
The irony of the big GOP push for voter ID laws seems to be that when it comes to actual voter fraud, Republicans are often the ones who are most responsible. Consider the following examples of voter fraud that have been committed over the past few years:
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has recently closed two cases involving Strategic Allied Consulting, a Republican hired vendor. Although investigators found at least 11 voter registration forms that were of questionable authenticity, no charges were filed due to lack of evidence. Strategic Allied Consulting is the subject of three ongoing cases in Florida. A FDLE spokesperson said that no details could be provided regarding those cases.
- Last November two Republican voters in separate states decided to prove how easy it would be to vote illegally. Both were arrested and charged with voter fraud.
- In February 2012 a jury found Indiana’s Republican secretary of state, Charlie White, guilty on six counts of voter fraud, theft, and perjury.
- Four staffers of Republican congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) were indicted last August, charged with submitting over 1,500 “forged and falsified” signatures in what the Michigan attorney general, also a Republican, called a “blatant” and “disgraceful” attempt to qualify the congressman for last year’s ballot.