There has been plenty of talk in recent weeks, much of it emanating from the White House, about voter fraud. Now, a new study released by the Brennan Center For Justice, entitled “Election Integrity: A Pro-Voter Agenda,” confirms in-person voter fraud is a rarity. The paper argues that the integrity of elections can be strengthened without discouraging eligible voters. On January 25th, President Donald Trump Tweeted “I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD…” Trump claimed millions voted illegally in the election: “You have people registered in two states. They’re registered in New York and New Jersey, they vote twice.” Without any evidence, the president has also claimed “3-5 million illegal votes” cost him a popular vote victory. This all comes after years of battles in the states over voting laws that some say make it harder for many citizens to participate in elections. Most people expect American elections are secure and free of misconduct, but some are doubtful. “I will say this. Of those votes cast, none of ’em come to me. None of ’em come to me,” moaned Trump.
Brennan found that although numerous studies have found that in-person voter fraud is quite rare, voter I-D laws have passed in some states that opponents argue disenfranchise many eligible voters. Jennifer Clark is counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. She attributes part of the problem to outdated, inaccurate voter-registration rolls. “Many states don’t have modernized voter registration systems. That means that many states are still relying on a lot of paper forms. They’re still relying on the mail and they’re not really harnessing the power of technology to keep the rolls cleaner, so lots changes that would modernize the rolls would also go a long way toward cleaning up the rolls.”
Clark says electoral integrity can be preserved without discouraging voters. “One big reform that would make a difference is automatically registering voters at state agencies, such as, for example, the DMV. Automatic registration means that rather than eligible voters be given the choice to sign up to vote, register to vote when they’re having a transaction at the DMV, they’re actually given the choice to opt-out. So it switches the voter registration system form an opt-in system, which most states have right now, to an opt-out system.
Full Article: Study Examines Modernizing Voter Registration | WAMC.