The rarity of ‘impersonation fraud’

With a federal judge ordering an extension of voter registration deadlines in my home state, expects to hear more complaints about fraud, especially if it looks like Donald J. Trump will go down in flames, as is likely. Richard L. Hasen offers an overview:

One should never say voter fraud is non-existent. In fact, it happens occasionally with absentee ballots and I’ve long said we need more action to stop it. I’ve also said we need to clean up voter registration rolls to stop registration fraud. What is extremely rare and has not affected any election we know of since the 1980s is impersonation fraud, the kind of fraud state voter ID laws are meant to stop. Yet Republican laws that make it harder to register and vote generally don’t go after absentee ballot fraud but are instead targeted almost exclusively to measures making it harder for those likely to vote Democratic to register and vote.


There’s no doubt a racial element to all of this. When Trump talks of voter fraud in “certain areas” (code word for voting by minorities, with the fix put in by local labor unions), he’s talking about impersonation fraud.

Remember the Black Panthers? FOX News got high ratings in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s first election for airing clips of how the organization purportedly intimidated (white) voters.

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