Monday, March 14, 2016


Texas governor Greg Abbott tweeted this today:

The link in that tweet is to a post at the Trailblazers blog of The Dallas Morning News:
Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that more Texans are voting than ever before and that Republican officials here are more concerned than Democrats like President Barack Obama about rooting out voter fraud.

Abbott was responding to comments that the president made during a Texas Tribune interview Friday during Austin’s South by Southwest Festival. Obama alleged that Texas officials “aren’t interested in having more people participate” in elections.

Obama said that voting laws in Texas like ones that require voters to provide photo ID at the polls are stifling turnout. He urged state governments to use technology to increase voter registration and engagement.

But Abbott said he wasn’t interested in methodologies that might increase the chances of voter fraud.
Now, I'm curious about Abbott's decision to link this post, because it goes on to say this:
There have been more than 80 cases of voter fraud prosecuted in Texas since 2002, a Politifact report found last year. Only a handful of those cases involved the kind of in-person voter fraud that Texas’ voter ID law aims to stop.
In fact, that Politifact report said that fewer Texas commit in-person voter fraud than get struck by lightning:
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., [said] on ABC’s This Week on Aug. 9 ...: "Take Texas for example, where Lyndon Johnson's obviously from, they passed these voter ID laws. In the decade before it, 10 years, they only prosecute two people for in-person voter ID, only two people. You're more likely to get struck by lightning in Texas than to find any kind of voter fraud."

... An expert from the National Weather Service confirmed to us that the probability of being struck by lightning in Texas is ... right around 1 in 1.35 million.

So how does this 1 in 1.35 million chance compare to the probability of finding voter fraud?

... [Lorraine] Minnite, [a] Rutgers professor, pointed us to 2012 court testimony from Major Forrest Mitchell, a criminal investigator with the Texas Attorney General’s office, in which Mitchell admitted that only about five of the more than 300 election fraud referrals that had been investigated since 2002 dealt with in-person voter impersonation. Mitchell’s testimony indicated that only two of these cases could have been prevented by a voter ID law. Three people were prosecuted, though, since one case involved two people. So Booker was off by one when he claimed two people had been prosecuted in the ten years before the ID law was implemented.

[Justin] Levitt [a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles] ... found only three credible allegations of fraud in Texas elections since 2000 that could have been prevented by an ID rule. Minnite found four cases of this kind from 2000 until 2014.

Four cases of fraud for 72 million votes makes the chance of voter fraud 1 in 18 million.

... Overall, we rate [Booker's] statement True.
Thanks for the link, governor. It certainly sheds light on your voting policies.

1 comment:

Never Ben Better said...

What does reality have to do with right wing theology?