Voter Fraud is a Real Threat to Every Citizen's Constitutional Rights
by Judy Kent
Washington, DC - In a just-released paper analyzing the Brennan Center for Justice's role in minimizing the importance of election fraud across the nation, National Center for Public Policy Research Adjunct Fellow Horace Cooper concludes that the Brennan Center hasn't been telling the full story.
"Voter fraud and election mishaps in the U.S. are real, not isolated, problems, and notwithstanding the efforts of left-wing groups to minimize their impact, the American people are right to continue pushing their representatives for effective voter ID laws," Cooper argues in "The Brennan Center is Wrong: Voter Fraud is a Real Threat to Every Citizen's Constitutional Rights," his latest National Policy Analysis paper on voter fraud.
"It is perfectly legal for the Brennan Center to take more than $7 million from socialist tycoon George Soros, but when you get that much support it says a lot about just how left-wing the Brennan Center is," says Cooper.
"The Brennan Center consistently challenges the need for voter integrity policies, all the while pretending to do so as an objective and neutral source. However, its consistent failure to present the facts to the American people belies its stated goal of promoting access to the ballot," says Cooper.
In 2012 alone numerous cases of voter fraud were documented in court:
Virginia: The Richmond Times Dispatch reported in early July that convicted felon Sheila Peterson was one of 40 people who have been charged with engaging in voter fraud. Ms. Peterson, along with career criminal Michael Harris and several other felons, was targeted in an investigation that led to prosecutions of the crime of targeting felons for registration heading into the 2008 presidential election.
Texas: Testimony in the voting rights lawsuit Texas filed against U.S. Department of Justice efforts to block its voter ID program revealed that more than 50,000 dead people are registered to vote in Texas. The state can prove that at least 239 dead people voted in the May election -- 213 of them in person. A state senator testified that his long-deceased grandfather is among those recorded as having voted.
Kentucky: This year the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky brought a blockbuster voter fraud case involving drug dealers selling and exchanging marijuana and cocaine in order to manipulate the outcome of local elections. Drug dealers are accused of having spent nearly $400,000 buying votes at $50 apiece. In the last two years alone more than 20 public officials and others have either been convicted or pleaded guilty in various vote-buying schemes.
New York: Much of the state's media has been tracking and reporting on the trials and plea deals of officials involved in a scheme to shut out the Working Families Party's participation in the state's primary by casting forged absentee ballots. Four defendants have already pleaded guilty including a City Clerk and a City Councilman.
Pennsylvania: In July, Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt released a report focused on 16 of the nearly 1,700 polling sites in Philadelphia and found several instances of voter fraud, including "double voting," voter impersonation and voting by non-citizens. The report also documented 23 cases of people being allowed to vote despite not even being registered. One polling site recorded 6 more votes than the actual number of registered voters in the district and there were multiple instances of people voting in legislative districts where they didn't reside.
"When con artists, ghosts, ineligible convicts, and illegals vote - eligible American voters are shut out," Cooper argues. "The Brennan Center claims to support ballot access but it offers no solutions to prevent fraud."
"The Brennan Center's claim is that there aren't many prosecutions for voter fraud, so therefore it isn't a problem. But how many individuals are prosecuted isn't the primary test of the legitimacy of a law, " explains Cooper. "If the number of prosecutions were really thought to be a useful test for whether a law is worthwhile, the Brennan Center's standard would challenge a host of existing statutes."
"We've identified several prominent criminal statutes that are prosecuted far less frequently than voter ID violations are to demonstrate the folly of the Brennan Center's complaints," Cooper says. "Using their standard we should immediately repeal kidnapping laws, insider trading laws, and even income tax evasion laws because there are far fewer prosecutions for these crimes than there are for voter fraud."
Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University, is the author of a series of papers on election fraud published by the National Center this year.
Horace Cooper is an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, co-chairman of the African-American leadership group Project 21 and a legal commentator. He was a senior counsel to U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey.