When discussing the right to vote — the most fundamental right in our democracy — it is important to separate fact from conjecture, myth from reality. Unfortunately, the recent op-ed from the organization Americans First Inc. about President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission fails in that regard. Focusing solely on allegedly bloated voter registration rolls, the op-ed suggests that voter fraud is widespread. It uses unreliable studies based on Census estimates, not hard data. It fails to acknowledge that Trump’s commission is hardly bipartisan and does not have the support of any serious academic in the election law field. Let’s separate the facts from hyperbole.
Fact: Voter registration rolls are always slightly outdated because people die and move all of the time. There is nothing fraudulent about a voter registration list that still includes some of these people.
For example, one studyshowed that between 2000 and 2014, there were only 31 credible allegations of illegal voting out of over 1 billion votes cast across the country. The Washington Post found just four instances of possible voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election. Even an investigation by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is leading Trump’s commission, failed to turn up much voter fraud.