How widespread does the problem have to be to warrant a “major investigation of voter fraud” into things like illegal registration and voting by non-citizens (both of which are federal crimes), or whether state and local election officials are ignoring federal requirements to maintain clean voter rolls, enabling voting by or in the names of ineligible people?
The number of illegal votes cast in 2016 may be less than 3 million, but it is certainly more than zero. As John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky explain, figuring out how, and how many, illegal votes are being cast is why the Trump administration’s announced investigation is overdue.
The real problem in our election system is that we don’t really know to what extent President Trump’s claim is true because we have an election system that is based on the honor system.
What we do know, despite assertions to the contrary, is that voter fraud is a problem, and both sides of the political aisle should welcome a real investigation into it — especially since the Obama administration tried so hard for eight years to obfuscate the issue and prevent a real assessment.
Fund and von Spakovsky say the Obama Justice Department’s “blatant attempts to prevent states from learning if they have a real problem with illegal votes” by, for example, stonewalling states’ requests to compare voter records to federal immigration databases and suing states that require voters to provide proof of citizenship, “makes it impossible to learn if significant numbers of noncitizens and others are indeed voting illegally, perhaps enough to make up the margin in some close elections.”
There is no question that there are dishonorable people who willing to exploit the loopholes in our honor system. . . . How common is this? If only we knew. Political correctness has squelched probes of noncitizen voting, so most cases are discovered accidentally instead of through a systematic review of election records.
The danger looms large in states such as California, which provides driver’s licenses to noncitizens, including those here illegally, and which also does nothing to verify citizenship during voter registration. . . .
Conducting an investigation that will help resolve the size of the voter fraud problem is straightforward. The Department of Homeland Security should cooperate with states wanting to check the citizenship status of voters on their rolls. The Justice Department should put pressure on, or sue, counties and states that refuse to clean up their rolls. . . .
Our honor system for voting doesn’t work. We don’t know how big of a problem voter fraud really is because no systematic effort has ever been made to investigate it. But the public doesn’t think it’s as insignificant as the media insists.
It’s time to learn more about just how many people are exploiting weaknesses that damage election integrity.