From the Washington Post, August 11:
A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent.
The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters.
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This should put an end to the discussion about rampant voter fraud. Impersonation is simply not a viable strategy for fixing an election. There are not enough incidents to make it worthwhile. And yet, Attorney General Abbott continues to make it a priority of his office. Voter fraud, at least in the form of impersonation–which is what Voter I.D. is created to prevent–is statistically rare.
Last fall McClatchy newspapers traced the origin of Voter I.D. legislation to Karl Rove. He alluded to the strategy in April 2006 when he discussed voter fraud in a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association, highlighting the importance of about a dozen election battleground states.
Fraud by impersonation is a myth, perpetuated by Republicans to justify Voter I.D. laws that suppress turnout. You’ll never convince me otherwise. It’s one of the worst things that has happened to American democracy.