It’s time to face reality: there’s no significant problem with voter fraud in Florida. If it does exist, highly trained investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have been unable to find it. Late last month, the law enforcement agency quietly closed two high-profile cases, having found no fraud of any significance. The first case involved a group called Florida New Majority Education Fund, which sought to sign up voters in under-represented groups that tend to vote for Democrats. In this case, no arrests were made. The second case involved Strategic Allied Consulting, a vendor for the Republican Party of Florida. In this case, one arrest was made. A man admitted to stealing the identify of a former girlfriend’s ex-husband and filling out two false registration forms. While other cases are pending, there’s nothing to suggest the epidemic of voter fraud trumpeted by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
At the time, the governor and state lawmakers played up fears to pass a law that reduced early voting days from 14 to 8, restricted voter-registration drives and created long lines on Election Day — six hours long at some Miami-Dade precincts. Fortunately, some of those “reforms” were undone in last spring’s legislative session.
Without question, local supervisors of elections should ensure voter rolls are accurate by regularly combing them for people who’ve died, moved elsewhere or lost their right to vote. We pay these people good money to ensure the voter rolls are accurate — and it appears they’re doing a pretty good job.
But given what is now known, the governor and legislative leaders should stop pounding the table about a voter-fraud threat not proven to be substantive.