Voter impersonation fraud, the type of voter fraud which could be prevented by the types of voter ID laws that have swept through mostly Republican-controlled state legislatures over the past few years, is virtually nonexistent, according to a new study.
News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, sent public information requests to all 50 states (though not all of them responded) and found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter fraud since 2000. Out of the 146 million registered voters in the U.S., that number represents one case of voter impersonation fraud for every 15 million potential voters. Of the 10 cases of voter fraud, five of them involved family members illegally voting on behalf of relatives.
“The fraud that matters is the fraud that is organized,” Lorraine Minnite, author of “The Myth of Voter Fraud,” told News21. “That’s why voter impersonation is practically non-existent because it is difficult to do and it is difficult to pull people into conspiracies to do it.”
News21’s analysis found that other types of fraud, like absentee ballot fraud, were more common. Out of the 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases examined, 491 of them involved absentee ballot fraud.
Conservative columnist John Fund admitted last week that Republicans often focus on voter impersonation fraud over absentee fraud because conservatives have a perceived advantage in voting via mail. Absentee ballot fraud, he admitted, was the “tool of choice amongst fraudsters.”