Ohio has a voter fraud problem, but the problem apparently isn’t nearly as bad as some suspected. That seems to be the conclusion of a report released by Secretary of State Jon Husted. Husted, as part of an effort to separate fact from fiction on voter fraud, had ordered all 88 of the state’s county boards of elections to hold public hearings if they were aware of any credible voter fraud allegations or claims of voter disenfranchisement during the 2012 election. The statewide review resulted in 135 cases being referred for prosecution out of 625 red-flagged for voting irregularities. Most of the cases, Husted noted, were caught before fraudulent votes were counted. The report also showed no findings of suppression, actual in-person ballot denials or intimidation at the polls. While one case of fraud is too many, the 135 cases represent a fraction of the 5.6 million votes cast in November. That’s 0.002397 percent.
Husted did the right thing by ordering the statewide review earlier this year and the results show the system is working well. Most of the fraud had been detected through cross-checks with voter records in Ohio and 21 other states.
Now would seem to be a good time for lawmakers to take the next step and consider online voter registration.
Meanwhile, the best way to tackle voter fraud may be to prosecute those who intentionally cheat the system by double-voting, voting for someone else, or voting from an ineligible address.