The voter fraud controversy invented by conservatives is a thinly veiled cover for their reasoning behind archaic voter ID laws. In order to sound believable, conservatives spread around
facts and studies invented statistics, speculation and skewed numbers from studies. Typically just a headline is enough, considering most of the new base of imbeciles can’t read, but sometimes a compelling set of numbers, percentages and cherry picked information is warranted for those who actually click the links rather than just the Facebook “share” button.
The most recent “study” comes from The Washington Post, using numbers from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) as its source. The body of the post suggests that Senator Al Franken from Minnesota “may have” won his seat because of the votes cast by non-citizen voters. The conclusions they come to from interpreting the data in the study is to say the least…questionable:
Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study(CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.
How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010..
Hmmmm…According to the study, 339, or slightly more than one percent, of respondents identified themselves as ‘non-citizens.’ A further look into the study shows that more than 2,300 of the respondents also identified themselves as ‘not registered’ to vote. How many of those not registered were also non-citizens isn’t asked, nor is it addressed in WP’s ‘study.’ Considering the non-citizen respondents make up the
largest only demographic ineligible to be registered, one could argue they consist of up to 339 of those who answered no to the registered to vote question. 756 people answered “I am not registered” as their reason for not voting.
Somehow, someway, 339 respondents who are ineligible to vote making up less than 1% of a large study turns into 6.4% of all non-citizens voting, 80% of them for Democrats. Since the CCES study doesn’t include names or a question specifically asking non-citizens if they voted or who they voted for, “our best guess” turns into a game changing victory for Al Franken:
Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina.
“Could have.” By their own research, a magical wonderland where you can extrapolate your own results, 5 of 339 non-citizen voters were self reported and confirmed having voted. They list self reported and/or verified at 38 and may have used a 16 sided die from Dungeons and Dragons to determine the actual number to be 21, or 6.4% of all adult non-citizens.
If you’re not following the math I’ll summarize it for you: A load of bullhonkey. With nothing but straight numbers, some from unknown sources, that don’t take into consideration a lack of information to draw any conclusion on the subject matter, Al Franken was given his seat by hordes of non-citizens voting in Minnesota. Well how do you like that. Conservatives don’t need to read or understand the faults of the study, they only need to share it and a scandal is born, or in this case, re-born.
Faulty logic finds nearly 36,000 cases of voter fraud in North Carolina.
This study is nothing new. In April, 2014, North Carolina released what Republicans considered ‘proof’ that voter fraud exists on a massive scale. It was determined that more than 700 people registered to vote in North Carolina had also voted in other states. No data was made available about who they voted for, and we’re not talking about non-citizens anymore, so anyone’s guess is as valid as the next. They also concluded that 50 people voted after their death. All of these numbers fall within the margin of error to be expected by name checkers at polling places of a state the size of North Carolina. Not mentioned.
While these numbers aren’t game changing and don’t identify which party may have benefited from these votes, the next point of contention is aimed at the massive wide scale voter fraud we should all be concerned with.
It seems that 35,700 people with the same first name, last name and date of Birth voted in both North Carolina and 1 other state. Their social security numbers weren’t a match, but that didn’t sway Republicans from declaring voter fraud to be a dangerous tool used by Democrats to win elections.
“I think the big bombshell today is that you have documented voter fraud that has occurred,” said Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. “We have over 36,000 people who apparently voted in this state illegally and committed felonies. I would say, if you’ve got a first name, a last name and a date of birth, you’ve got the same person. What are the odds of that?”
Well, let’s see. Depending on how common your name is, the chances are quite good. If your name is “John Richards,” there are 2751 people in the US with your name. That means 7.5 John Richards on average share a birthday every day of the year, slightly less on a leap year. People with my name, which is much less common, (my real name not my pen name), numbers 540, meaning 1.5 of me are having a birthday today, no matter what today is.
If you’re looking for something consistent with North Carolina, there are 11,895 people named “Robert Lee.” That’s 32.5 per day.
Republicans will never stop justifying their war for voter suppression laws, because unlike their voter fraud claims, voter suppression actually does influence elections. Don’t for a second think that the laws are aimed solely at poor minorities, either. College students from out of state, new residents who fall within the time limits allowed to change their ID, military personnel and those who don’t drive and use a passport for ID have also fallen victim and been turned away.
Low voter turnout historically leads to Republican victory. That and that alone is the reason for voter suppression in the US. It’s the wave of the future for them. They long for the days when hanging chads could lead to the Supreme Court appointing a Bush president. Whatever trick they decide to pull out of their hat, one thing is certain. It’ll be dirty.