There is a clear argument against the GOP’s assertion that voter fraud is ubiquitous in the US.
A man named Ralph Thurman reportedly walked into Sugartown Elementary School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, on Election Day last year to cast his vote. He reportedly inquired as to whether he was required to produce identification and was informed that he was not. He reportedly then asked if he should vote for his son, but was told that he couldn’t. He walked away.
Thurman (again, allegedly) reappeared 45 minutes later, wearing sunglasses. He pretended to be his son and requested a vote. People at the polling station somehow figured out what he was up to. Thurman is charged with felony fraud.
Before 2020, President Donald Trump believed voter fraud operated like this: people will register, leave, then return in a hat to vote again.
There was never any proof that this occurred on a daily basis, particularly considering the difficulty of pulling it off. Just as Mr. Thurman.
There was also less proof that a shadowy cabal was orchestrating systematic manipulation capable of swinging a presidential election, which Trump said was the cause of his 2016 popular-vote defeat.
Last year, as the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Trump shifted his attention. Out went the multiple-hatted con artists, and in came obscure charges of absentee ballot fraud.
A casual, nonchalant claim of rampant theft was also gone, replaced by a concentrated, hyperactive demand for it. That escalated after Trump lost his reelection bid and persists to this day, six months later: Trump and his party say that the 2020 election was tainted by cases of voter fraud.
Despite any of these allegations, and despite the Republican Party’s intense spotlight on the subject over the last six months, there is no definitive proof that any serious wrongdoing took place.
Sure, there’s a lot of fictitious facts, including random affidavits from nonexperts alleging reports about ballot tampering that are easily debunked.
However, after months and months of formal and informal investigation, no evidence of systematic attempts to commit voting fraud has been found.
In reality, a survey of local news stories reveals that even individual voter fraud is rare. Just 16 cases have resulted in felony charges as a result of someone attempting to vote unlawfully, according to our count.
This covers situations where it’s unclear whether or not a vote was drawn, but it prevents unsuccessful attempts to secure absentee ballots.
The incidents begin with the Thurman incident, but also include others. A man and woman from Austin are accused of attempting to vote in Illinois by pretending to live there. It’s unclear if they were able to collect ballots.
A person from Lisle, Illinois, is accused of signing a ballot certification in the name of someone else.
A man from Carol Stream, Illinois, is accused of filling out an online ballot questionnaire for someone of the same last name as him. It’s unclear if a vote was given out.
A woman from Naperville, Illinois, is accused of signing a ballot certification in the name of someone else.
A woman in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, is accused of signing a ballot statement on behalf of her deceased mother.
A woman from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, says she mistakenly mailed her mother’s vote after she died.
A woman from Milford, Maine, voted twice; once via absentee ballot at home and then in person at college.
A woman from Bowdoinham, Maine, who reportedly voted for a former roommate via an absentee ballot.
A woman from Cedarburg, Wisconsin, is accused of voting for a deceased person.
A man from Stockton, New Jersey, who reportedly cast a vote for a deceased citizen.
A guy from Carteret, New Jersey, is accused of voting twice under separate names.
A man from Woodbridge, New Jersey, reportedly registered at his workplace rather than his house.
A man from Media, Pennsylvania, confessed to voting for his deceased mother.
A man from Canton, Michigan, confessed to voting for his daughter when she was in college.
Out of approximately 200,000,000 peopled registered to vote in the United States, this is the entire list of incidents that are labeled “voter fraud.”
None of these occurrences suggest a larger conspiracy. There is no suggestion that either of these individuals cast hundreds of votes for their favorite candidates; however, the allegation mostly revolves about voting for somebody who is familiar to the individual facing charges.
It’s also true that not all of these votes were cast for Joe Biden. The resident of Media, Pennsylvania, voted for Trump. In most circumstances, it is unclear who the vote was meant for.
The resulting reaction from fervent defenders of the notion that rampant fraud happens is just a kind of insistence that these are just the cases we hear about, that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The 2020 presidential election has inescapably received more attention than maybe any other election in history, and it has been inspected like no other.
Despite all of the questionable allegations of forged votes and statistical anomalies, we have 16 cases in which individuals have been prosecuted, mostly for voting on behalf of deceased kin.
Another unavoidable reaction is that no fraudulent vote is appropriate. Of which the natural reaction is: Sure, that’s why these individuals are awaiting felony charges — except though the allegation seems to be based on a potential error.
Similarly, we strive to prosecute any murder that happens in the United States, but we recognize that certain murders can occur regardless.