Let’s take a look at how “rampant” voter fraud is in the US.
Yesterday the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the voter ID law in Texas stating that it violated the 1965 Voter’s Rights Act. The three-judge panel unanimously ruled that even though the Texas ID law wasn’t a poll tax per say, it did discriminate against minority voters.
It’s important to note that multiple voter ID laws came into vogue around the 2012 elections when many state governments were enacting the law to combat voter fraud. Many of these states, including Texas, required voters to provide certain forms of ID before a ballot was given to them. An unfortunate consequence of this law – and by “unfortunate consequence” we mean “completely by design” – was that many minority and low-income voters were blocked from voting due to the statutes.
But you know what, we’ll give conservatives the benefit of the doubt here. Say voter ID laws are actually put in place to stop voter fraud. Then let’s see how bad voter fraud actually is in the US.
Guys, it’s time to rev up that Mystery Machine, we’re on the case!
Back in 2014, the Washington Post did an investigative study to see how bad voter fraud in the US had become, due to a number of voter ID laws popping up in states. The author of the piece, Justin Levitt, has been tracking down allegations of voter fraud for years. After looking at over 1 billion (!!) ballots, he only found 31 instances of voter fraud from the 2000 to 2014 elections. In the article itself he actually documents the specific cases, if you want to check his work.
Right now you’re probably asking yourself, “cool, the instances of voter fraud in the US are extremely small, good to know.” But I don’t think you understand how rare it actually is!
Based on Levitt’s data, let’s say that 31 instances of voter fraud were accounted from a billion ballots – actually there would be more than a billion, but for this scenario we’ll just say a billion – based on these numbers, the odds of you finding a fraudulent ballot by picking one at random in the US are, drum roll please:
32 BILLION TO 1!!!!
Now you are telling yourself again, “ok I get it, the chances of voter fraud in the US are slim, you proved your point!” But I still don’t think you understand how slim they actually are. Here is a list of things that are more likely to happen than you finding a fraudulent ballot in a US election:
- Being struck by lightning (576,000 to 1)
You becoming a pro basketball player (6,864,000 to 1)
You dating a super model (880,000 to 1)
You winning the Powerball Jackpot (175,223,510 to 1)
You becoming the next US President (10,000,000 to 1)
You dying by being fatally pushed in front of a subway train, in New York City, as a tourist! (2,211,000,000 to 1)
So until you have either been struck by lightning, won the Powerball Jackpot, go on to play professional ball for the Chicago Bulls, slept with Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr, became President of the United States, or die fatally in front of a subway train while visiting New York City…
Then please, just shut the fuck up about voter ID laws or specifically how voter fraud is a problem in the US. As yesterday’s decision from the court shows, no one want’s to hear your bullshit!
(Photo Credits: Google Images)