The usual “voter identification law” proponents merely cherry-pick others’ empirical data that specifically lend credibility to their arguments, and often they reject even the proper context. For years, Hans von Spakovsky (a former federal election commissioner and U.S. Justice Department official, currently a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow) has juxtaposed the Pew Center’s numbers with a 2000 Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation of Georgia voting records. That newspaper reported initially having exposed 5,400 instances of the deceased being recorded as having voted. Von Spakovsky has used this source repeatedly to support his argument and has proffered that this article’s findings are “substantial to me.” Consistent with von Spakovsky’s routine, Jane Mayer, a New Yorker investigative journalist, noted he did not mention in their interview that the article’s findings were revised. Mayer’s investigation found that the Journal-Constitution ran a follow-up article after Georgia’s secretary of state’s office indicated the vast majority of those cases appeared to reflect clerical errors. The newspaper admitted that even its lone specific example of a deceased voter casting a ballot did not prevail. A living voter’s ballot was credited to a dead man whose name was almost identical.
Von Spakovsky and others are persuading the public, as well as state legislatures and courts, that illegal immigrants, unscrupulous voter registration activists and vote buyers are stealing elections. Claims of voter malfeasance have “justified” tighter voting restrictions. Yet, these claims have been found repeatedly and empirically to be “myths” (and I can cite 28 scholarly or empirical sources). The evidence is astonishing.
In a 2015 personal communication, von Spakovsky expressed clearly that not even a single, empirical or peer-reviewed research report supporting his viewpoints existed, nor had even one university press published a book. It appears self-incriminating that he offers no specific rebuttal to the endless empirical evidence specifically against his unsupported claims. Additionally, I could find nothing to indicate that neither von Spakovsky — nor anyone on his behalf or support from him of anyone else making similar claims — has attempted to argue the merits of his claims against his critics. The only exception is when he insisted nebulously that he never has “been credibly rebutted nor shown to be incorrect.”
Full Article: Voter ID laws are reaction to nonexistent problem.