Trump Continues Proud GOP Tradition Of Voter Suppression, Election Fraud Fearmongering

Donald Trump sees the election slipping away from him. But he refuses to concede that his racism and misogyny, including his bragging about sexually assaulting women, might have something to do with it.

Instead, Trump is trumpeting a “stolen election” — a baseless conspiracy with undeniably racist undertones — and urging voter intimidation by telling his supporters to get a group of friends together and “go down to [polling places in] certain areas and watch and study.”

Some members of the Republican establishment are feigning astonishment and outrage that their party’s leader would stoop to such an embarrassing and disgusting low.

But here’s the thing: Voter suppression and disenfranchisement and “voter fraud” fearmongering, are longstanding Republican Party traditions, and not just among the fringe; it starts at the top.

Apparently GOP leaders forgot that the RNC is currently under a “longstanding consent decree” that bars the committee from engaging in Trump-esque voter suppression.

Prominent Republican Members Of Congress Promoted Claims Of Rampant Voter Fraud For Years

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

In 2006, Ryan Voted For Federal Voter ID Legislation Which His Office Said Would “Help Prevent Voter Fraud”

2006: Ryan Voted For Federal Voter ID Legislation That His Office Said Would “Help Prevent Voter Fraud And Uphold The Integrity Of Elections.” According to a press release from Rep. Paul Ryan’s office, “Legislation that would require individuals to present a government-issued, current and valid photo ID in order to be eligible to vote in federal elections passed the House today by 228-196. Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan voted in favor of this bill, the Federal Election Integrity Act (H.R. 4844), which will help prevent voter fraud and uphold the integrity of elections. Under this legislation, the photo ID requirement would take effect beginning with the November 2008 general election, and an additional criterion would apply as of November 2010, specifying that voters must provide a photo ID that could not have been obtained without proof of U.S. citizenship. ‘In order to make sure that legal votes are not cancelled out by illegal votes, it makes sense to ask for proof of identity and citizenship from voters,’ Ryan said. ‘This is a simple step that we can take to guard against fraud at the polls and help restore citizens’ confidence in the electoral process. Today, we are asked to show ID before we can board a plane, cash a check or, in some cases, make a credit card purchase. We should verify identity when it comes to voting too.’ To ensure that all citizens have access to the necessary ID, the bill requires states to set up a program to provide photo IDs which may be used to meet the bill’s requirements to individuals who do not possess a government-issued photo ID but who want to vote in elections for federal office. In addition, states must provide this photo ID free of charge for those who cannot afford to pay the fee, and the bill authorizes funds to reimburse states for this cost.” [Rep. Paul Ryan Press Release,9/20/06]

Ryan Was Affiliated With The American Legislative Exchange Council Which Pushed Voter ID Laws In States Including Wisconsin

Ryan Was Affiliated With The American Legislative Exchange Council. According to the Badger Herald, “Documents released last week show one-third of Wisconsin’s lawmakers are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization which supports free-market policies and helps to write state legislation alongside corporate sponsors. The internal records were made public by The Guardian in the United Kingdom, who exposed the records as ALEC conducted a conference for legislators and its corporate sponsors in Washington D.C. Keynote speakers at the conference included ALEC members U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.” [Badger Herald, 12/9/13]

  • NBC News: ALEC Pushed Voter ID Laws After The 2010 Midterm Elections, Including In Wisconsin. According to NBC News, “A News21 analysis found that more than half of the 62 bills were sponsored by members or conference attendees of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington, D.C., tax-exempt organization. ALEC has nearly 2,000 state legislator members who pay $100 in dues every two years. Most of ALEC’s money comes from nonprofits and corporations — from AT&T to Bank of America to Chevron to eBay — which pay thousands of dollars in dues each year. […] A strict photo ID law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, requires voters to show photo ID or cast a provisional ballot, which is not counted unless the voter returns with an ID to the elections office within a few days. Less-strict laws allow voters without ID to sign an affidavit or have a poll worker vouch for their identity — no provisional ballot necessary. The flurry of bills introduced the last two years followed the 2010 midterm election when Republicans took control of state legislatures in Alabama, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The same shift occurred in the 2004 election in Indiana and Georgia before those states became the first to pass strict voter ID laws. ALEC members drafted a voter ID bill in 2009, a year when the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization had $5.3 million in undisclosed corporate and nonprofit contributions, according to Internal Revenue Service documents.” [NBC News, 8/21/12]

Ryan’s Insistence On Sending An Update To The Voting Rights Act Through Committee Functionally Killed The Bill

Ryan Said He Wouldn’t Act On A New Voting Rights Act Bill Unless The Judiciary Panel Voted On It First. According to The Hill, “Wisconsin is also home to Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), a former Judiciary Committee chairman who’s been pressing his fellow Republicans to update the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) following the 2013 Supreme Court decision, which eliminated a central provision designed to fight race-based discrimination at the polls. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said he supports Sensenbrenner’s VRA bill but won’t act on it unless the Judiciary panel does so first. [The Hill, 4/6/16]

Ryan’s Approach Meant That The Proposal Was Likely Dead As The Judiciary Panel Was Chaired By Rep. Bob Goodlatte Who Opposed The Updated Voting Rights Act. According to The Hill, “Ryan’s ‘bottom-up’ approach likely means the proposal is dead this year, as the committee is headed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who opposes the legislation.” [The Hill,4/6/16]

Credited “Surprise” Turnout In “Urban Areas” For President Obama’s Reelection In 2012

Ryan Credited “Surprise” Turnout In “Urban Areas” For President Obama’s Reelection In 2012. According to the New York Times, “As Representative Paul D. Ryan casts about to find an explanation for the defeat of the Republican presidential ticket, on which he was Mitt Romney’s running mate, he is looking to the nation’s big cities for answers. ‘The surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race,’ Mr. Ryan said in an interview with WISC-TV back home in Wisconsin on Monday before returning Tuesday to Capitol Hill for the start of the lame-duck session. ‘When we watched Virginia and Ohio coming in,’ Mr. Ryan said, ‘and those ones coming in as tight as they were and looking like we were going to lose them, that’s when it became clear we weren’t going to win.’” [New York Times, 11/13/12]

CNN Correspondent Brian Stelter: House Speaker Paul Ryan Should Come Out And Say How Rare Voter Fraud Is Because “It Gets Overblown By The Press Sometimes By Conservative Media Outlets And That Does Harm To Our Democracy.” According to a transcript of an interview with Brian Stelter on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, “STELTER: I think the problem is that President Obama is not the right messenger. He’s not the right messenger for this. It should be conservative media leaders like Sean Hannity. It should be GOP leaders that should come out like Paul Ryan and say, ‘Yes, voter fraud happens once in a while, it is very rare, it is investigated, it is investigated when it happens but it’s very rare.’ It gets overblown by the press sometimes by conservative media outlets and that does harm to our democracy. We should be worried about that.” [Brian Stelter Interview – CNN Tonight8/8/16]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

McConnell Used The Threat Of “Possible Fraud” And An “Election Violation” In Mailings During His 2014 Reelection Campaign

McConnell And The Kentucky GOP Sent Out Mailers During His 2014 Reelection Campaign Reading “ELECTION VIOLATION NOTICE” And Warning Of “A Possible Fraud.” According to Talking Points Memo, “In a move that Democrats are lambasting as a voter suppression tactic, Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign and its GOP allies are distributing a mailer to Kentucky voters with the title ‘ELECTION VIOLATION NOTICE.’ It warns of ‘a possible fraud’ and reads, ‘You are at risk of acting on fraudulent information.’ It says it’s paid for by the Republican Party of Kentucky and authorized by the McConnell Senate Committee ’14. The mailer is ultimately a rather creative attack on Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, telling the voter that she is feeding them ‘fraudulent information’ and ‘blatant lies solely to deceive Kentucky voters’ about McConnell and her own candidacy.” [Talking Points Memo,10/31/14]

McConnell Showed Little Interests In Updating The Voting Rights Act

New York Times: Senator Mitch McConnell “Has Shown Little Support For Measures Intended To Strengthen” The Voting Rights Act Weakened By The Supreme Court.According to the New York Times, “Civil rights groups are now pressing Mr. McConnell to support a new wave of legislation that would curb racial profiling practices by law enforcement officials and that would restore voting rights provisions stripped away by the Supreme Court in 2013. That ruling allowed nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval, known as preclearance. Mr. McConnell has shown little support for measures intended to strengthen that law, noting more than once that “America is very different from what it was in the 1960s.” [New York Times, 7/10/15]

  • McConnell “Said There’s No Need For Congress To Restore” The Part Of The Voting Rights Act That Was Struck Down. According to USA Today, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose new memoir reverently recalls the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, said there’s no need for Congress to restore part of the law struck down three years ago. The Kentucky Republican said the heart of the historic anti-discrimination law remains intact, and the Supreme Court correctly ended the need for certain states to get federal permission before making any changes to their voting procedures. ‘What was struck down were the provisions that absurdly treated the South differently,’ McConnell told USA TODAY. ‘They don’t apply anymore. It’s 50 years later.’ His comments seem to doom any chance Congress will act this year to update the law and restore the strict federal oversight of cities and states with a history of discriminating against minority voters.” [USA Today, 6/1/16]

McConnell Sponsored An Amendment Requiring Voter Identification

2007: Mitch McConnell Sponsored Senate Amendment 1170, To “Require Individuals Voting In Person To Present Photo Identification,” In The Senate. According to Congress.gov, Sen. Mitch McConnell sponsored S. Amdt. 1170, “To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require individuals voting in person to present photo identification.” [Congress.gov, accessed 10/11/16]

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte

Goodlatte: “There Is A Serious Problem With Voter Fraud Across Our Country”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte: “There Is A Serious Problem With Voter Fraud Across Our Country.” According to PBS, “Virginia’s new voter ID law has Virginia Democrats worried after the state board of elections found nearly 200,000 registered voters don’t have a driver’s license. […]This will be the first election with the new law in place. Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He says it’s a welcome change. ‘There is a serious problem with voter fraud across our country. Just recently it was discovered that over 160 people had voted both in Maryland and Virginia in the last election. Voted in both states, in violation of the law.’ Those cases are still under investigation, but Goodlatte says the new law will help instill public trust in the system. ‘I think this will be a great thing in building the public’s trust in our election laws, which are really vitally important. Voting is one of the most important things one can do to protect our representative democracy.’” [PBS.org, 10/8/14]

Goodlatte Rejected A Proposal To Update The Voting Rights Act

Goodlatte Rejected A Proposal To Update The Voting Rights Act After Key Provisions Were Struck Down By The Supreme Court. According to The Hill, “House Republican leaders are slamming the brakes on voting rights legislation, insisting that any movement on the issue go through a key Republican committee chairman who opposes the proposal. House Democrats are pressing hard on GOP leaders to bring the new voter protections directly to the floor. That would sidestep consideration in the House Judiciary Committee, where Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has rejected a bipartisan proposal to update the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) in the wake of a 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted a central provision of that law.” [The Hill, 8/1/15]

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Grassley Supported Voter ID Laws

Sen. Chuck Grassley Supported Voter ID Laws. According to CBS News, “With its decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively left the fate of a key portion of the landmark 1965 law in the hands of Congress. The court ruled that Section 4, which provides the formula for determining which states must have any changes to their voting laws pre-approved by the Justice Department, is outdated and thus unconstitutional. If Congress wants to keep certain states (mostly southern states with a history of racism) under the Justice Department’s watch, it will have to rewrite Section 4. […]At least one Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he’d engage with Democrats who want to revise the law. ‘I’m open to looking at ways to address the issues addressed in the court’s decision,’ Grassley, another Judiciary Committee member, said in a statement. ‘The opportunity to vote is one of the most fundamental rights afforded to American citizens. And, as protectors of the Constitution, Congress must defend that right.’ Grassley did, however, say he thought the Justice Department had been misusing Section 4 to target ‘common sense measures such as voter identification laws.’” [CBS News, 6/25/13]

Sen. John McCain

McCain Warned During His Presidential Campaign In 2008 That The “Election Could Be Marred By Voter Fraud”

New York Times: Senator John McCain Warned At The Last Presidential Debate That Election Could Be “Marred By Voter Fraud.” According to the New York Times, “Senator John McCain warned at the last presidential debate that the Nov. 4 election could be marred by voter fraud and added that Acorn, an organizing group in minority and low-income communities, was ‘now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.’ The comments by Mr. McCain, the Republican nominee for president, threw another log onto a fire already burning in the conservative blogosphere and on talk radio, where McCain supporters contend that the Democratic nominee, Senator Barack Obama, is trying to ‘steal’ the election through groups like Acorn (an accusation the Obama campaign calls outlandish).” [New York Times, 10/26/08]

Using Claims Of Voter Fraud, Many States With Republican Legislatures Passed Laws Making It Harder To Vote

Arkansas’ Republicans Pushed Voter ID After A Previously Passed Law Was Ruled Unconstitutional

The Arkansas State Supreme Court Struck Down A Voter ID Law As Unconstitutional But Republicans Continued Efforts To Impose New Rules On Courts And Reinstate A Voter ID Law. According to the Associated Press, “Arkansas legislative leaders said Thursday they don’t expect to refer any proposed constitutional amendments to voters next year after Republican-led efforts to impose new rules on courts and reinstate a voter ID law faced resistance. […] The Senate panel’s party split also meant an uphill battle for another proposal to reinstate a voter ID law that the state Supreme Court struck down last year as unconstitutional.” [Associated Press, 3/19/15]

  • A Judicial Crisis Network Mailer Called A State Supreme Court Justice President Barack Obama’s “Rubber Stamp” For The Court’s 2014 Ruling Striking Down Arkansas’ Voter ID Law.According to the Associated Press, “One group, the Judicial Crisis Network, spent more than $600,000 on television ads portraying Goodson as an insider for accepting gifts and contributions from trial attorneys. A mailer called the justice President Barack Obama’s ‘rubber stamp’ for the court’s 2014 ruling striking down Arkansas’ voter ID law. ” [Associated Press, 3/19/15]

Arizona Republicans Pushed For Increased Voter Registration Scutiny Despite Zero Evidence Of Fraud

The Associated Press: Arizona Republicans Pushed A Bill To Expand Efforts Of The Secretary Of State To Match Voter Registration With Death Records “Even Though There Was No Evidence That Type Of Fraud Was Occurring In The State.” According to the Associated Press, “A bill to keep voters from casting ballots using the names of dead people received preliminary approval Monday in the Arizona Senate even though there was no evidence that type of fraud was occurring in the state. Arizona conservatives are pushing the legislation in the wake of legislative victories that include limiting the collection of early ballots and erecting more hurdles to get initiatives on the ballot. Republicans say the measures help protect against voter fraud while Democrats argue the moves limit voter participation. Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista, sponsored the bill that would expand efforts of the secretary of state to match voter registration with death records to check for instances of identity theft.” [Associated Press, 3/15/16]

The Republican Secretary Of State’s Office Acknowledged It Had Not Prosecuted A Single Case Of Such Fraud In At Least Five Years But Claimed To Support The Bill Because It Would Generally Support Any Legislation To “Make It Harder To Cheat.”According to the Arizona Capital Times, “The state, however, has not prosecuted a single case of such fraud in at least five years, said Matt Roberts, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office. ‘We support the bill because it does build on those efforts. Anytime you can introduce measures that make it harder to cheat, those are pieces of legislation that we would generally support,’ Roberts said.” [Associated Press, 3/15/16]

Colorado’s Republican Secretary Of State Condemned Laws To Increase Voter Access As “Bad Ideas” That Enabled Fraud

2014: Republican Secretary Of State Scott Gessler Said That New Legislation Approving Mail-In Ballots And Same-Day Registration Were “Uniquely Combined Two Bad Ideas, Both Of Which Open The Door To Fraud And Error.” According to the National Review, “In 2013, a new Democratic state legislature rammed through a sweeping and highly controversial election law and convinced Democratic governor John Hickenlooper to sign it. The law, known as House Bill 1303, makes Colorado the only state in the country to combine two radical changes in election law: 1) abolishing the traditional polling place and having every voter mailed a ballot and 2) establishing same-day registration, which allows someone to appear at a government office and register and vote on the same day without showing photo ID or any other verifiable evidence that establishes identity. If they register online a few days before, no human being ever has to show up to register or vote. A few keystrokes can create a voter and a ‘valid’ ballot. Once a ballot cast under same-day registration is mixed in with others, there is no way to separate it out if the person who voted is later found ineligible. Other jurisdictions that have same-day registration, such as Washington, D.C., treat the vote as a provisional ballot pending verification. Colorado immediately counts the vote.’ We have uniquely combined two bad ideas, both of which open the door to fraud and error along with creating huge administrative headaches,’ warns Republican Scott Gessler, Colorado’s secretary of state.” [National Review, 10/12/14]

Florida’s Republican Chief Elecions Official Opposed Online Registration, Warning “Forces Of Evil” Could Disrupt Elections

Gov. Scott’s Chief Elections Official, Secretary Of State Ken Detzner, Repeatedly Opposed A 2015 Bill Allowing The Online Registration Beginning In 2017, Warning Of “Forces Of Evil” That Could Go Online And Disrupt Elections Despite Every Supervisor Of Elections Favoring The Idea, Saying It Would Reduce The Chance Of Fraud. According to the Tampa Bay Times, “Though experts say voter fraud is very rare, that hasn’t stopped Scott’s administration from using it to resist change, a strategy that backfired. [Gov. Rick Scott’s chief elections official, Secretary of State Ken] Detzner repeatedly opposed a bill in the 2015 legislative session to give voters the option of registering online beginning in 2017. Every supervisor of elections favored the idea, saying it would reduce the chance of fraud, but Detzner warned of ‘forces of evil’ that could go online and disrupt elections in Florida. Detzner’s fraud talk stirred such controversy that the Senate waited until this year to confirm him so he could keep his job. Scott signed the online voter registration bill, and he too invoked fraud. ‘Fraud and identification theft issues arise whenever a new avenue for information transmittal is created,’ Scott said.” [Tampa Bay Times, 5/6/16]

 

Florida Governor Rick Scott Used The Specter Of Fraud To Resist Opening Up Voter Access: “Fraud And Identification Theft Issues Arise Whenever A New Avenue For Information Transmittal Is Created.” According to the Tampa Bay Times, “Though experts say voter fraud is very rare, that hasn’t stopped Scott’s administration from using it to resist change, a strategy that backfired. Detzner repeatedly opposed a bill in the 2015 legislative session to give voters the option of registering online beginning in 2017. Every supervisor of elections favored the idea, saying it would reduce the chance of fraud, but Detzner warned of ‘forces of evil’ that could go online and disrupt elections in Florida. Detzner’s fraud talk stirred such controversy that the Senate waited until this year to confirm him so he could keep his job. Scott signed the online voter registration bill, and he too invoked fraud. ‘Fraud and identification theft issues arise whenever a new avenue for information transmittal is created,’ Scott said.” [Tampa Bay Times, 5/6/16]

Georgia’s Republican Secretary Of State Pushed Voter Fraud Claims And Warned That Minority Voter Registration Hurt The GOP

Republican Secretary Of State Brian Kemp Accused The New Georgia Project Of Voter Fraud, But An Investigation Found Just 51 Potential Forgeries Out Of The More Than 80,000 Applications The Group Submitted. According to Democracy Now, “The Senate contest between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn is very close, within a couple percentage points, so these tens of thousands of voters could tip the balance, determining who ultimately controls the U.S. Senate. They are facing off to determine who will fill the seat of retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. The governor’s race in Georgia between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter is just as close. Earlier this year, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp accused the New Georgia Project of voter fraud, but an investigation found just 51 potential forgeries out of the more than 80,000 applications the group submitted.” [Democracy Now, 11/4/14]

Kemp Warned Fellow Republicans Democrats Might Win Because They Were Registering Minority Voters: “All These Stories About Them, You Know, Registering All These Minority Voters That Are Out There And Others That Are Sitting On The Sidelines, If They Can Do That, They Can Win These Elections In November.” According to Democracy Now, “In September, audio was released of Kemp warning fellow Republicans Democrats might win because they’re registering minority voters. The audio was released by Better Georgia and features Kemp speaking at a July 12, 2014, event in Gwinnett County. [SECRETARY OF STATE BRIAN KEMP:] After we get through this runoff, you know, the Democrats are working hard. And all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.” [Democracy Now, 11/4/14]

Illinois’ Republican Governor Cited The Threat Of Non-Citizens Registering To Vote In Vetoing An Automatic Registration Bill

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner Vetoed A Bill That To Automatically Register Millions Of Voters, Citing The Threat Of Non-Citizens Registering To Vote And Casting Ballots. According to ThinkProgress, “Late Friday afternoon, Illinois’ Republican Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would have made the state the sixth in the nation to automatically register millions of voters. […] While expressing support for the general idea of automatic voter registration, he wrote in his veto notice on Friday: ‘The consequences could be injurious to our election system.’ Urging the legislature to make reforms to the bill before sending it back to him, he cited the threat of non-citizens registering to vote and casting ballots.” [ThinkProgress, 8/12/16]

Indiana’s Republican Secretary Of State Backed A Voter ID Law Despite No Demonstrated Cases Of Voter Impersonation

Indiana’s Republican-Controlled Legislature Passed A Measure Authorizing Additional Party-Nominated Election Officers To Demand Proof Of Identification, Signed By The GOP Governor. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “In 2013, a Republican-controlled legislature passed a measure authorizing additional party-nominated election officers to demand proof of identification. The law was signed by a GOP governor. It was in effect for the first time in a major election in November 2014. ” [Brennan Center for Justice, 8/2/16]

Indiana Republican Secretary Of State Todd Rokita Backed A Law Requiring Voters To Show Photo Identification Despite Conceding The State Had Never Presented A Case Of Voter Impersonation, Which The Law Was Designed To Safeguard Against. According to CNN, “The Supreme Court on Monday backed Indiana’s law requiring voters to show photo identification, despite concerns thousands of elderly, poor and minority voters could be locked out of their right to cast ballots. The 6-3 vote allows Indiana to require the identification when it holds its statewide primary next week. It also will give most state legislatures time to revise their voter laws for the November elections. […]Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has conceded the state has never presented a case of ‘voter impersonation,’ which the law was designed to safeguard against. The 2005 Indiana law requires that a valid photo identification be presented by a person casting a ballot at a polling stations. Previously, most citizens needed only to sign a poll book to vote. […] ‘The real question is does it disenfranchise anyone?’ Rokita told CNN. ‘After six elections in the state of Indiana, the answer has been no. … That’s why the opponents to this keep losing in court.’” [CNN, 4/28/08]

Iowa’s Republican Secretary Of State Launched An 18 Month Long Six-Figure Investigation That Failed To Produce Any Statistically Significant Evidence Of Voter Fraud

Republican Secretary Of State Matt Schultz Launched An Eighteen Month Long $150,000Investigation That “Failed To Produce Any Statistically Significant Evidence Of Voter Fraud In Iowa,” Despite Schultz’s Claim That He Expected To Find “A Lot” Of Fraud.According to the Huffington Post, “Eighteen months and $150,000 later, a rigorous voter fraud investigation commissioned by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R) has failed to produce any statistically significant evidence of voter fraud in Iowa, according to The Des Moines Register. Since taking office in 2011, Schultz has made safeguarding the ballot box from fraud a top state priority, striking a two-year deal with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation in 2012 that directed $280,000 of federal funds toward voter fraud inquiries. Additionally, a full-time agent was hired and assigned to pursue voter fraud cases. Although Schultz had expected to unveil “a lot” of voter fraud cases, the investigation so far has yielded just five guilty pleas and five dismissals, The Des Moines Register reported late Sunday.” [Huffington Post,12/16/13]

Kansas’ Republican Secretary Of State Kris Kobach Allegeded “An Epidemic Of Ballot-Stuffing Across The Country”

Rolling Stone: Secretary Of State Kris Kobach Claimed “An Epidemic Of Ballot-Stuffing Across The Country.” According to Rolling Stone, “Election officials in more than two dozen states have compiled lists of citizens whom they allege could be registered in more than one state – thus potentially able to cast multiple ballots – and eligible to be purged from the voter rolls. The data is processed through a system called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which is being promoted by a powerful Republican operative, and its lists of potential duplicate voters are kept confidential. But Rolling Stone obtained a portion of the list and the names of 1 million targeted voters. […] The man behind crosscheck is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Yale-educated former law professor. After 9/11, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft tasked Kobach with creating a system to track foreign travelers. (It was later shut down over concerns about racial profiling.) He is best known as the author of Arizona’s ‘Driving While Brown Law,’ which allowed cops to pull over drivers and ask for proof of their legal status. He co-wrote the ultraconservative 2016 RNC party platform, working in a recommendation that Crosscheck be adopted by every state in the Union. He’s also the Trump adviser who came up with a proposal to force Mexico into paying for Trump’s wall. In January 2013, Kobach addressed a gathering of the National Association of State Election Directors about combating an epidemic of ballot-stuffing across the country.” [Rolling Stone, 8/24/16]

Kansas City Star Editorial: Kobach Was “Exposed As A Big Fraud On The Issue Of Voter Fraud, Which Studies Have Found To Be Almost Nonexistent In America,” Filing “A Puny Half-Dozen Cases” After Roughly A Year As The Only Secretary Of State With The Power To Prosecute. According to an editorial in the Kansas City Star, “Secretary of State Kris Kobach warned Kansas lawmakers last year that he knew of at least 18 suspected cases of double voting in recent elections. Wait, make that 100 cases! Kobach threw out these wild claims as he successfully pressed the Legislature to make him the only secretary of state in the nation with the power to prosecute in these matters. It was all part of Kobach’s continued loathsome attacks on U.S. immigration policy. He knew he could score political points with many Kansans by promising to stop ‘illegal’ voters from canceling out the votes of red-blooded Americans. But now Kobach has been exposed as a big fraud on the issue of voter fraud, which studies have found to be almost nonexistent in America. Since the law took effect July 1, 2015, the publicity-seeking Kobach had filed a puny half-dozen cases by early May.” [Editorial – Kansas City Star, 1/25/16]

A Mississippi GOP Senator Sponsored A Voter ID Law, Warning “The Integrity Of Our Entire Election System Is At Stake” Unless “People In The Cemetery” Were Blocked From Voting

A Photo ID Requirement For Voting Was Passed In 2011 By A Voter Referendum.According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “A photo ID was required to vote starting for the first time in 2014. Passed in 2011 by a voter referendum, the ID law initially required preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. But the measure was allowed to go into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted that provision in 2013. ” [Brennan Center for Justice,8/2/16]

Republican State Sen. Joey Fillingane Worked To Get The Law On The Ballot, Claiming “It Will Keep People In The Cemetery From Voting.” According to the Clarion-Ledger, “Supporters of the laws, mostly Republicans, say they help prevent fraudulent practices such as casting ballots under the names of dead people. State Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall[,] who worked to get Mississippi’s new law on Tuesday’sballot, said the new law isn’t a cure-all, but ‘it will keep people in the cemetery from voting.’” [Clarion-Ledger, 11/11/11]

  • Fillingane Sponsored The Initiative, Warning “The Integrity Of Our Entire Election System Is At Stake” Because Dishonest People Try “To Steal Elections By Voting In The Name Of Other People.”According to the Delta Democrat Times, “Initiative No. 27 sponsor Joey Fillingane said that initiative would help protect election results. ‘Why should you vote yes for voter identification? Because the right to vote is too important to allow dishonest people to steal elections by voting in the name of other people; often times the name of dead people or folks who are out of state on election day.,’ he said in a statement. ‘The integrity of our entire election system is at stake. ‘Voter ID will not cure all problems with the elections in Mississippi, but it will go a very long way to ensuring that the dead people do not vote – as has happened in Mississippi within the past few election cycles – and it will ensure that people only get on vote per election.’” [Delta Democrat Times, 10/26/11]

A Nebraska GOP Senator Sponsored A Voter ID Law, Not Citing Any Cases Of In-Person Voter Impersonation Fraud

A 2015 Bill Proposed In Nebraska Required In-Person Voters To Show A Non-Expired Photo ID At Their Current Address Despite Most Voter Fraud Occurring Through Absentee Voting; Proponents Of The Bill Did Not Cite Any Cases Of In-Person Voter Impersonation Fraud That The Bill Would Prevent. According to MSNBC, “One bill, proposed by state Sen. Tyson Larson, is similar to some of the stricter ID laws passed by other states: It requires in-person voters to show a non-expired photo ID issued by the state or federal government. The address on the ID must match a voter’s current address. Absentee voters wouldn’t be required to show ID unless they’re voting for the first time—even though most of the voter fraud that exists occurs through absentee voting. Nebraska would provide a nominally free ID for indigent voters—but who qualifies as indigent isn’t defined. That means some voters could end up having to pay for the documents needed to vote. Proponents of the bill haven’t cited any cases of in-person voter impersonation fraud in Nebraska of the kind that would be stopped by the ID requirement. Larson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.” [MSNBC, 1/2/15]

Bill Sponsor Tyson Larson: The Requirement Was Needed To “Protect The Integrity And Reliability Of Elections (And) Prevent Voter Fraud.” According to the Lincoln Journal Star, “But Larson said the requirement is needed to ‘protect the integrity and reliability of elections (and) prevent voter fraud.’” [Lincoln Journal Star, 1/23/15]

New Hampshire’s Republican Legislature Passed A Voter ID Law Based On A James O’Keefe “Sting Operation”

New Hampshire’s Republican-Controlled Legislature Overrode A Veto From The Democratic Governor To Pass A Voter ID Law. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “A photo ID is requested to vote. Passed in 2012, a Republican-controlled legislature overrode a veto from Gov. John Lynch (D). The state previously required no form of ID to vote. Prior to September 2015, the law included an affidavit alternative, or allowed certain election officials to vouch for the identity of voters. Starting in September 2015, these alternatives are eliminated, and the law now requires voters without acceptable ID to get photographed at the polls. The photograph will be affixed to an affidavit. ” [Brennan Center for Justice, 8/2/16]

  • The Legislature Passed The Bill After A James O’Keefe “Sting Operation” Purported ToShow That Poll Workers Provided People Posing As Voters With Ballots Bearing The Names Of Dead Residents. According to the Daily Caller, “O’Keefe pulled off a New Hampshire sting operation during the 2012 primary and showed that poll workers provided undercover journalists posing as potential voters with ballots bearing the names of dead residents. In response to that story, New Hampshire legislators passed a law to require voters to provide either a photo ID or to sign an affidavit in order to vote.” [Daily Caller, 2/10/16]
  • O’Keefe: “Without Identification And Confirmation, Someone Could Vote With A Made Up Name And Address And By The Time The State Found The Fraud, The Vote Would Have Been Long Counted.”According to the Daily Caller, “‘The problem is that without identification and confirmation, someone could vote with a made up name and address and by the time the state found the fraud, the vote would have been long counted with no way to correct the wrong,’ O’Keefe asserts in the video.” [Daily Caller, 2/10/16]

A North Carolina GOP Rep. Dismissed The Need To Show Voter Fraud Existed To Pass Voter ID Legislation

Voter ID Bill Supporter Rep. David Lewis: Just Because Voter Fraud Isn’t “Documented Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t Exist.” According to the Washington Post, “House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger tapped Rep. David Lewis, a tobacco and cotton farmer from the rural center of the state, to oversee the effort to pass a voter ID bill. In 2011, legislators passed a law requiring all voters to produce a photo ID, such as a driver’s license. But the state’s governor, then still a Democrat, vetoed the bill. In an interview, Lewis said he was driven by a deep concern about voter fraud, particularly people showing up at polls and deliberately impersonating another person. But there is little evidence that such fraud is a problem. A 2013 report by North Carolina’s Board of Elections showed that between 2000 and 2012, out of nearly 40 million votes cast, only two cases of in-person voter fraud were referred to a district attorney. Lewis and other Republicans insist fraud could be happening all the same. ‘Just because it’s not documented doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist,’ he said.” [Washington Post, 9/2/16]

Ohio’s Republican State Legislators Pushed Voter ID To Prevent Out Of State Double Voting

Republican State Representative John Adams Signed A Discharge Petition In Support Of A Voter ID Requirement, Challenging The Very Small Rate Of Voter Fraud By Calling Into Question The Incentive For Prosecuting Attorneys To Prosecute Fraud. According to Ohio Public Radio, “The bill, which would require voters to show a driver’s license or government issued id before casting a ballot, has been stalled in a legislative committee and hasn’t been brought up for a vote by the general assembly. Long says the measure is needed to prevent voter fraud, even though Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says there were only a little more than 2 thousandths of one percent of voter fraud cases in the 2012 election. ‘The reality is that even if there are a couple of hundred cases that we document, that undoubtedly means there are many, many more where the deceivers have been successful and have been able to vote without getting caught and so, the need for a photo voter id,’ says Long. But Republican State Representative John Adams, a legislator who has signed the discharge petition, thinks that number could really be much higher. ‘What’s the incentive for prosecuting attorneys to prosecute fraud? I mean they have a finite dollar amount in their budgets and I don’t think this is high on their priority.’” [Ohio Public Radio, 9/3/14]

Republican Lawmaker Andy Brenner: “There’s Been A Major Concern That People Have Been Voting Here And Voting In Their Home State.” According to Ohio Public Radio, “Republican lawmaker who is backing the effort to force a vote on the bill, Andy Brenner, says he’s heard reports of cases where students at universities have been allowed to illegally vote in this swing state. ‘Now I don’t have a problem if you are registered to vote here if you are voting in one place,’ syas [sic] Brenner. ‘But I think there’s been a major concern that people have been voting here and voting in their home state. And if you have a photo id, you can verify that and potentially, if there is any fraud or anything comes out, you can trace it back and verify to that state that this is where it is coming from.” [Ohio Public Radio, 9/3/14]

Top South Carolina Republicans Hyped Clerical Errors As “Dead People Voting” To Push Voter ID Legislation

Gov. Nikki Haley: “Without Photo ID, I Mean, Let’s Be Clear, I Don’t Want Dead People Voting In The State Of South Carolina.” According to an interview with South Carolina Governor Nikki on Fox News, “Without Photo ID, I mean, let’s be clear, I don’t want dead people voting in the state of South Carolina.” [Nikki Haley – Fox News via YouTube, 4/22/12]

As South Carolina Officials Sought To Impose The Voter ID Law, South Carolina’s Republican Governor And Attorney General Warned Of “Dead People Voting” After The Department Of Motor Vehicles Supposedly Found That 953 Ballots Were Cast By Deceased Voters. According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, ““We just recently learned that there are over 900 individuals who had died before the election (and had voted) and at least 600 of those individuals had died way outside the window that an absentee ballot could have been sent, so we know for a fact that there are deceased people whose identities are being used in elections in South Carolina.” — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R), on Fox News, Jan. 21, 2012 “We found out that there were over 900 people who died and then subsequently voted. That number could be even higher than that.” — Wilson, on Fox News, Jan. 12, 2012 “Without Photo ID, let’s be clear, I don’t want dead people voting in the state of South Carolina.” — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), in an interview that aired on Fox News, April 21, 2012 […] The Fox correspondent immediately followed her statement with these words: “Authorities say there is evidence that dead people voting is a real problem, according to a statewide investigation by South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles. In January, it found that 953 ballots were cast by voters who are deceased.” The allegations emerged as South Carolina officials sought to impose a new voter photo ID law during the 2012 election; a federal court delayed it from taking effect until 2013.” [Washington Post Fact Checker, 7/25/13]

  • The State Law Enforcement Division Found That The Alleged Dead Votes, Accounting For Less Than 2/10,000th Of All Of The Votes Cast In That Election, Were The Result Of Clerical Errors Or Mistaken Identities, Not Fraud.According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, “The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) conducted an extensive probe, which was completed May 11, 2012. […] It turns out the claims of 953 votes by dead people actually involved not one election but 74 elections over a seven-year period. So SLED’s investigation centered on 207 votes that allegedly were made by dead people in the Nov. 2, 2010 election — when a total of 1,365,480 votes were cast — after officials concluded that that batch constituted a “representative sampling” of the alleged voting irregularities. (Note that the number of alleged dead votes was less than 2/10,000th of all of the votes cast in that election.) The report confirms what the State Election Commission had found after preliminarily examining some of the allegations: The so-called votes by dead people were the result of clerical errors or mistaken identities.” [Washington Post Fact Checker, 7/25/13]
  • The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Gave South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s Claim Four Pinocchios.According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, “We are going to aim the Pinocchios at Wilson. More than anyone, he hyped these charges into certified ‘facts,’ even before any real investigation had taken place. Indeed, the miniscule percentage of alleged dead votes, out of the number cast, should have urged caution. Instead, he went straight to the television cameras—and then his office for months bottled up the report that revealed not a single claim was true. Apparently, officials were hoping the whole thing would remain dead and buried. But zombies have a way of coming back to life. Four Pinocchios[.]” [Washington Post Fact Checker, 7/25/13]

Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Pushed Voter ID WHile Saying The Number Of Fraud Cases Was Beside The Point

2011: “Conservative Leaders” Considered “Messaging ‘Widespread Reports Of Voter Fraud’ So We Are Positively Set Up For The Recount” In Case Their Supreme Court Candidate Lost. According to the New York Times, “Deep in a trove of leaked documents made public this week was the latest example of Republican candor over voter ID laws — this time in Wisconsin. There, as a tight race for election to the state’s Supreme Court came to a close in April 2011, conservative leaders wondered aloud how to respond should Justice David Prosser Jr. — a reliable opponent of legal challenges to the agenda of Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican — go down in defeat. A senior vice president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce, Steve Baas, had a thought. ‘Do we need to start messaging “widespread reports of election fraud” so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number?’ he wrote in an email on April 6 to conservative strategists. ‘I obviously think we should.’” [New York Times, 9/16/16]

Gov. Scott Walker: “I Always Tell Folks Who Oppose (The ID Law) Tell Me Whose Vote They Want Cancelled Out.” According to the Washington Post, “In July, U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson struck down parts of Wisconsin’s strict voter ID law, concluding that there is ‘utterly no evidence’ that in-person voter impersonation fraud is an issue in Wisconsin, or in the rest of the United States. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told News21 that the number of fraud cases is beside the point. ‘All it takes is one person whose vote is canceled by someone not voting legally and that’s a problem,’ he said. ‘I always tell folks who oppose (the ID law) tell me whose vote they want canceled out.’” [Washington Post, 9/1/16]

The Republican Party Included Concerns Of “Significant And Growing…Voter Fraud” In Their Official Platform

2012 Republican Party Platform: There Is A “Significant And Growing Form Of Voter Fraud.” According to the 2012 Republican Party platform, “We applaud legislation to require photo identification for voting and to prevent election fraud, particularly with regard to registration and absentee ballots. We support State laws that require proof of citizenship at the time of voter registration to protect our electoral system against a significant and growing form of voter fraud. Every time that a fraudulent vote is cast, it effectively cancels out a vote of a legitimate voter. Voter fraud is political poison. It strikes at the heart of representative government. We call on every citizen, elected official, and member of the judiciary to preserve the integrity of the vote.” [2012 Republican Party Platform, accessed 10/11/16]

2016 Republican Party Platform: “We Are Concerned…That Some Voting Procedures May Be Open To Abuse.” According to the 2016 Republican Party platform, “We are concerned, however, that some voting procedures may be open to abuse. For this reason, we support legislation to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote and secure photo ID when voting. We strongly oppose litigation against states exercising their sovereign authority to enact such laws.” [2016 Republican Party Platform, accessed 10/12/16]

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said he had “lived through seeing” voter fraud happen in Wisconsin

2012: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus: “I’m Always Concerned About Voter Fraud…Having Lived Through Seeing Some Of It Happen.” According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The chairman of the Republican National Committee claimed Wednesday that voter fraud in Wisconsin is far more pervasive than official reports have shown, and said GOP candidates need to perform 1 or 2 percentage points better than they otherwise would in order to overcome it. ‘I’m always concerned about voter fraud, you know, being from Kenosha, and quite frankly having lived through seeing some of it happen,’ Reince Priebus said. ‘Certainly in Milwaukee we have seen some of it, and I think it’s been documented. Any notion that’s not the case, it certainly is in Wisconsin. I’m always concerned about it, which is why I think we need to do a point or two better than where we think we need to be, to overcome it.’” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/30/12]

  • Priebus Previously Claimed That Wisconsin Was “Riddled” With Voter Fraud.According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “It’s not the first time Priebus has used strong language on the issue; late last year, he said on national television that Wisconsin was ‘riddled’ with voter fraud.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/30/12]
  • Priebus’ Claim That GOP Candidates In Wisconsin “Need To Do A Point Or Do Better” To Make Up For Voter Fraud Was Rated “False” By PolitiFact. According to PolitiFact, “In a May 30, 2012, conference call with reporters, Priebus said that because of voter fraud, Republican candidates ‘need to do a point or two better’ to win statewide elections in Wisconsin. Priebus, who headed the Wisconsin Republican Party before taking charge of the national party in January 2011, was referring to percentage points of the total votes cast. […]Priebus did not provide information that supports the claim. We rate his statement False.” [PolitiFact, 5/31/12]