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Wed Dec 14, 2011, 04:27 PM

Easier for GOP to Rig Voting Than Win Elections Fairly

Easier for GOP to Rig Voting Than Win Elections Fairly: Voter Restrictions Based on Shoddy Evidence

To rationalize the "war on voting," Republican policymakers point to the scourge of voter fraud. The problem, of course, is that the allegations of fraud are largely imaginary, and GOP officials are really just looking for excuses to block traditionally-Democratic constituencies from voting.

But wait, Republicans say, occasionally there really is fraud. In fact, the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) released a report last week to document all the cases of voter fraud that have been prosecuted over the last decade.

And what did the group turn up? A grand total of 311 cases. Given the larger national context -- over 131 million Americans voted in 2008, for example -- that's an infinitesimally small number.

But as Julia Krieger explained, that's really just the start of the problems with the RNLA's findings.

"What's more, the RNLA is dishonestly representing their data when they describe it as "in the past decade": A quick gander at the website's evidence shows citations going as far back as 1997. Although they claim to have evidence of 46 states with voter fraud prosecutions in the last decade, their website only lists 44 states. For two of those 44, there are only examples from the 1990s up to 2000, bringing the state count down to 42. To be clear, that's eight states where they identified no instances of voter fraud in the last decade."

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