The Left likes to shoot down the initiatives like Voter ID laws by claiming that there is little to no voter fraud in America. Conservatives know that they could not be further from the truth. Fortunately for us, the Heritage Foundation has been compiling a list of all the voter fraud cases around the country. As of right now, they have counted almost 300 of them. They have published the whole list in PDF form, which you can peruse at your leisure. However, as the Daily Signal explains, what happened in the 2003 East Chicago, Indiana, Democratic mayoral primary election particularly stands out:
The fraud was so pervasive that the Indiana Supreme Court overturned the results of the primary and ordered a new special election that resulted in a different winner.
A local judge found “direct, competent, and convincing evidence” that supporters of the election’s apparent victor, incumbent Mayor Robert Pastrick, orchestrated an elaborate scheme of absentee ballot fraud.
Pastrick won the primary by garnering more absentee ballot votes than his nearest opponent, George Pabey, who received more in-person votes. Once that result was overturned, a new primary election was held and Pabey prevailed.
State and local officials convened a voter fraud task force to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this scheme.
The task force secured 46 convictions over a few years.
Many of these would-be election thieves submitted absentee ballots despite not even living in the city of East Chicago.
The fraud committed was so extensive that a judge had to throw out the original election results. In other words, there goes one of the Left’s other favorite memes about voter fraud: that the cases of it are not significant enough to alter elections.
Furthermore, in case they try to claim this was only an isolated incident, the Daily Signal gives two other examples in the same post. In Knott County, Kentucky, two consecutive judge executives (the chief executive of counties in the state) along with a co-conspirator in one case were sent to federal prison because of voter fraud. Meanwhile, in Lincoln County, West Virginia, six Democrats pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges that they were involved in a vote-buying conspiracy. In the same county a few years later:
Local public officials pleaded guilty in 2012 to falsifying absentee ballots and stuffing the ballot boxes in an effort to rig the 2010 Democratic primary. A judge overturned the results of one of the primary elections after throwing out 300 fraudulent ballots.
So, the next time the Left tries to dismiss voter fraud as a non-issue, we can refer to this list. We should also make sure to point out that the overwhelming majority of these cases involved Democrats.
One particular lesson to glean from this is that voter fraud is most damaging at the local level, where a few extra ballots can actually alter the results of an election. Furthermore, there are fewer officials to buy off, and the ones that aren’t bought off are usually either appointed or blackmailed by the guys in charge.
The second lesson is that voter fraud is not only used against ideological or partisan opponents. As the list shows, the perpetrators are all too willing to take out adversaries in their own party, if need be.
The third lesson to take from this is that we need to do a better job protecting our electoral system. One of the easiest ways to do this, as Heritage notes, is through the passage of Voter ID laws, and we also need to take steps to ensure our voter rolls only contain citizens who are legal residents of their precinct. We might not be able to stop every attempt at fraud, but these steps will make it much harder to commit.