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Vote Fraud, Vote Suppression PS 450. Election fraud What treats are there to the integrity of US elections? – Trying to “steel elections” – Illegal cheating.

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Presentation on theme: "Vote Fraud, Vote Suppression PS 450. Election fraud What treats are there to the integrity of US elections? – Trying to “steel elections” – Illegal cheating."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vote Fraud, Vote Suppression PS 450

2 Election fraud What treats are there to the integrity of US elections? – Trying to “steel elections” – Illegal cheating – Who? – How?

3 Public Perceptions How common Voter Fraud Vote Theft Very26%23% Occasionally 36%37% Infrequently20%21% Almost Never 8%8% 2007 CCES

4 Public Perceptions How common voter fraud (vote more than once or if not citizen) DemRep Very15%35% Occasionally 36%37% Infrequently23%21% Almost Never 13%8% 2007 CCES

5 Public Perceptions How common vote theft (votes stolen or tampered with) DemRep Very23%20% Occasionally 38%36% Infrequently19%25% Almost Never 9% 11% 2007 CCES

6 Public Perceptions How common vote impersonation (claiming to be someone else) DemRep Very Often 6%11% Often 25%42% Rarely30%23% Very Rare21% 5% 2008

7 Which are a ‘threat’? Partisan Secretaries of State Forged petition signatures (initiatives) False voter registrations Buying votes, bribing Ineligible people casting votes Intimidation of voters Rigged voting equipment

8 Forged petitions Paid signature collection to qualify ballot initiatives Some evidence of fraud (MT, DC) – Very little (if any) in WA For-pay system has safeguards Who more likely to cheat, paid workers or volunteers?

9 Forged petitions Creates demand for restrictions on petitioning Is motive to kill initiatives? – Ban paying per-signature – ‘Scarlett Letter’ laws – Require petitioners register w/ state agency – Petitioners wear photo-ID – Petitioners swear affidavit on sig sheet All sigs invalid if not signed?

10 Partisan Secretaries of State Scheduling initiative votes Ruling on petitions Overseeing recounts Purging voter rolls Challenging eligibility of voters Locating polling places, staffing

11 Partisan Secretaries of State Examples Katherine Harris, FL, 2000 – Purging FL voter rolls Ken Blackwell, OH 2004 – Refusing to count provisional ballots, restrict distribution of ballots Missouri, Matt Blunt 2004 – Anti-gay initiative

12 Secretaries of State Proposal – Have office listed as non-partisan – Public campaign funds for the office

13 False Voter Registration Made famous by ACORN Workers paid per-registration – Does this create incentives to “register” Mickey Mouse, Homer Simpson? What evidence that falsely registered people cast votes?

14 False Voter Registration Creates GOP demand for voter ID at polls – Photo ID What % of voters lack photo ID – Utility bill Huge partisan split in perceptions DOJ challenging some ID laws in states covered by Voting Rights Act

15 Ineligible people voting Falsely registered – Ex-felons – Non-citizen immigrants – People voting in multiple jurisdictions – Voting other person’s mail-in ballots

16 Ineligible people voting GW Bush DOJ study found no systematic voter fraud (study killed)

17 Partisan Split, Photo ID Texas, 2011 House VoteSenate Vote Republicans Yes10119 Democrats Yes 0 0 Republicans No 0 0 Democrats No 4811 Floor vote on SJR 14

18 Partisan Split, Photo ID Montana, 2011 House Vote Senate Vote Republicans Yes 6527 Democrats Yes 0 0 Republicans No 2 1 Democrats No 3222 Floor vote on HB 152

19 Partisan Split, Photo ID Maine, 2011 House VoteSenate Vote Republicans Yes 7418 Democrats Yes 0 0 Others Yes 0 0 Republicans No 0 2 Democrats No6914 Others No 1 1 Floor vote on LD 1376

20 Photo ID Laws, Study of Indiana Drivers Lic DL or ID card White81%86% Black55%73%

21 Photo ID Laws, Study of Indiana White Black

22 Photo ID Laws Income LT $40K $40k-$80K Over $80K

23 Photo ID Laws, Study of Indiana

24 Photo ID laws Republican Democrat Ind.

25 Photo ID laws Uneven effects Modern Day poll tax?

26 Voter Intimidation At polling place Anecdotes – Orange Co, CA Scare off Latino voters – New Orleans 2002 Spread false info about voting dates

27 Vote Buying Paying people to vote for a candidate Isolated examples in small southern communities – DOJ prosecutes, convicts Difficult to orchestrate in election with large # of voters

28 Rigged Voting Equipment Vote Theft Diebold conspiracy – OH 2004 Exit poll results vs. phone surveys vs.. reported vote Can electronic systems be hacked Ballots w/o “paper trail”

29 Rigged Equipment Difficulties – Decentralized administration (OH) – Rigorous audits

30 Fraud, or suppression Instances of systematic fraud affecting elections rare, if not existent Anecdotes used by partisans to shape composition of the electorate in their favor


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