President Donald Trump and others have long claimed, without evidence, that there is widespread “voter fraud” in America. Some have pointed to the mounting evidence of fraud in North Carolina as proof that voter fraud is a real problem. Yet, I would argue that the situation in North Carolina proves nothing of the sort. There, a political operative who was working for a consulting firm hired by the Republican candidate is accused of directing an illegal scheme involving absentee ballots. What occurred in the Tarheel State wasn’t voter fraud. It was election fraud. And unlike allegations made by the President about voter fraud, there’s actual evidence that election fraud may have occurred in North Carolina.
Voter fraud usually has one of two definitions.
The first is that someone ineligible to vote in an election is casting a vote in said election. This could be a Massachusetts resident casting a vote in New Hampshire (something that the President alleged and that has been debunked).
The second is when an individual is pretending to be someone else when casting a ballot. There’s no evidence that this happens with any real frequency either.