Monday, April 24, 2017

Voter irregularitites only 0.01% in North Carolina; voter impersonation 0.00004%

[Data from Sam Levine's Huffington Post article.]

In the hotly contested race for governor of North Carolina last November, incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory refused to concede defeat, claiming widespread voter fraud.   The official results however eventually gave the win to now Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat.

Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit over the state's 2013 voter ID law was overturned on appeal and is awaiting a decision as to whether SCOTUS will hear the case, which rests on the claim that the law is needed to prevent voter fraud.   The chances of that probably shrank a bit with the release Friday of an audit of the 2016 election results, carried out by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

What this audit showed was that there were cases of voting irregularities, but all forms of irregularity, added together, accounted for only 0.01% of the nearly 4.8 million votes cast -- and would not have changed the results in any of the races, even if they had all been cases of voter fraud.

A breakdown of that number (0.01%) showed that the vast majority of irregularities investigated (441 out of 508) turned out to be suspected felons, who often do not know they are ineligible to vote or sometimes have been incorrectly listed as ineligible.  Non-citizens voting accounted for 41, and 24 were substantiated cases of double voting.   Other investigations have shown that these two categories usually have no fraudulent intent.

With all the campaigns' get-out-the-vote publicity, some non-citizens who have lived here a long time assume they can vote, especially if they have a green card.  Double voting most often occurs, not with any intent to do so, but with confusion about whether their absentee ballot was actually sent in;  so they go to the polls to check and records do not show it having been received;  so they vote again.

But here's the important finding -- and the only one relevant to voter ID requirement:   The North Carolina audit found only two cases of voter impersonation -- i.e. someone trying to vote using someone else's ID -- out of the 4,800,000 votes cast.

These findings are similar to what has been found in audits in other states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.   The NC evidence points to the fact that intentional voter fraud that would be detected by a photo ID was 0.00004% of votes cast.

Now that's hardly worth all the fireworks, is it?


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