Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The reason voter fraud is not a common problem

We have argued that a voter ID requirement is a bad idea because it would exacerbate two problems Pennsylvania already has (voter turnout and a budget deficit) in an attempt to fix a problem we don't have (voter fraud).

The reason voter fraud is not a common problem

We have argued that a voter ID requirement is a bad idea because it would exacerbate two problems Pennsylvania already has (voter turnout and a budget deficit) in an attempt to fix a problem we don't have (voter fraud).

In the midst of a post about how voter ID requirements would also make voting take longer (and probably harm turnout as a result) Dave Davies explains why voter fraud isn't a common problem:

While political operatives will look for every advantage and some will break the law to win elections, I have to believe that sending people to polls to impersonate someone else is a pretty rare kind of fraud.

Think about it. How many people can you get to risk federal prosecution by walking into a polling place and pretending they're someone they aren't, to get a single illegal vote?

Every individual case of voter fraud is a high-risk, low-reward proposition, which is probably why there were only four voters out of six million convicted of voter fraud in Pennsylvania in 2008. And yet, Harrisburg pushes forward with its plan to require ID at the polls.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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