Without much evidence to support their claim, legislators across the country have introduced a string of restrictive voter ID laws with the intention of curbing “voter fraud.” The only problem is that there is no problem. Election experts agree that modern-day voter fraud is a very rare occurrence in the U.S., leaving many to speculate that supporters of these restrictive laws are using “voter fraud” legislation to disenfranchise large groups of voters—i.e. racial minorities, immigrants, and low-income voters—who may vote for the “wrong” candidate.
The Immigration Policy Center released an updated Fact Check that dispels the myth of voter fraud and provides much-needed context to this “solution in search of a problem”:
- · “At least 180 restrictive bills introduced since the beginning of 2011 in41 states,” according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Bills requiring voters to show photo identification in order to vote were signed into law inAlabama,Kansas,Rhode Island,South Carolina,Tennessee,Texas,Wisconsin, andPennsylvania. Additionally,Alabama,Kansas, andTennessee also required voters to present proof ofU.S. citizenship in order to vote.
- · “Government records show that only 24 people were convicted of or pleaded guilty to illegal voting between 2002 and 2005, an average of eight people a year,” according to a report by Project Vote, The National Journalalso points out that “a five-year investigation by the Bush Justice Department…turned up virtually no evidence of widespread voter fraud.”
- · According to Lorraine C. Minnite, an expert on voter fraud, allegations of voter fraud “shrewdly veil a political strategy for winning elections by tamping down turnout among socially subordinate groups” such as racial minorities, immigrants, and the poor.
To read the Fact Check in its entirety, see:
- · Chicken Little in the Voting Booth: The Non-existent Problem of Non-Citizen “Voter Fraud” (IPC Fact Check, updated July 2012)