In the high heat of the election season, this common myth is constantly being sputtered on talk radio and the blogosphere. But consider these quick mythbusting facts!
FACT: One is more likely to be struck by lightning than to come across an actual case of voter fraud. Government records show that only 24 people were convicted of or pleaded guilty to illegal voting between 2002 and 2005, an average of eight people a year. This includes 19 people who were ineligible to vote, five because they were still under state supervision for felony convictions, and 14 who were not U.S. citizens; and five people who voted twice in the same election, once in Kansas and again in Missouri.
FACT: Most voter fraud allegations turn out to be something other than fraud. A review of news stories over a recent two year period found that reports of voter fraud were most often limited to local races and individual acts and fell into three categories: unsubstantiated or false claims by the loser of a close race, mischief, and administrative or voter error.” The report concludes that “when we probe most allegations of voter fraud we find errors, incompetence and partisanship.”
More mythbusting facts on this issue can be found in Chicken Little in the Voting Booth: The Heritage Foundation Sounds Alarm Over Non-Existent Problem of Non-Citizen “Voter Fraud”, a report from the Immigration Policy Center.
AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 08080665 (posted Aug. 6, 2008)
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