For Immediate Release
Will Mickey Mouse Vote?
Wang is the vice president for research at Common Cause.
She said today: "It is unfortunate that some would seek to distract us
from the real work that needs to be done to ensure a fair election in
which every eligible voter can cast a ballot and all the ballots are
counted. While there is simply no evidence of voter impersonation fraud
at the polling place, there is ample evidence of real people's votes
that may go uncounted due to unfair practices of voter purging and
other vote suppression tactics. Ultimately all this underscores the
need for a system in which the government shoulders its fair share of
the responsibility to ensure that Americans are properly registered and
Hasen is the William H. Hannon Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola
Law School. He said today: "So even if Mickey Mouse is registering, he
is not showing up on election day to cast ballots, and so far as I am
aware, there have been no cases of phony voter registrations leading to
the casting of votes in any election that have been on any large scale
-- much less affected the outcome of elections. So we should all agree
that those who submit fraudulent voter registration forms should be
punished criminally, but that such activity is not going to affect the
outcome of the presidential election. ... But cries of voter fraud
allow for harsh purging of voters from the rolls. Because of
decentralization of election authority and a lack of administrative
competence or will, the rolls are inaccurate in many states. Careless
purging -- driven by unsubstantiated fears about voter fraud -- can
lead to many eligible voters being incorrectly removed from the polls."
Background: In an op-ed published last year, Hasen wrote: "But perhaps
most importantly, the idea of massive polling-place fraud (through the
use of inflated voter rolls) is inherently incredible. Suppose I want
to swing the Missouri election for my preferred presidential candidate.
I would have to figure out who the fake, dead or missing people on the
registration rolls are, then pay a lot of other individuals to go to
the polling place and claim to be that person, without any return
guarantee -- thanks to the secret ballot -- that any of them will cast
a vote for my preferred candidate. Those who do show up at the polls
run the risk of being detected and charged with a felony. And for what
- $10? Polling-place fraud, in short, makes no sense. The Justice
Department devoted unprecedented resources to ferreting out fraud over
five years and appears to have found not a single prosecutable case
across the country. ... The idea that there is massive polling-place
voter fraud has, perhaps irrevocably, entered the public consciousness.
It has infected even the Supreme Court's thinking about voter-ID laws.
And it has provided intellectual cover for the continued partisan
pursuit of voter-ID laws that may suppress minority votes."