George Hiner: Baseless voter fraud allegations need to stop
I think it is useful to shed some light on the facts behind the charge of “voter fraud.”
President Trump was upset about the 2016 vote results and said so in a Jan. 17, 2017 one-on-one interview with ABC anchor David Muir. Trump strongly suggested that there was quite possibly 3 million to maybe 5 million illegal votes cast and that he was investigating it. The investigation task force leader was Kris Kobach, former secretary of state for Kansas.
On Feb. 13, 2017, Mr. Kobach was on CNN and stated they had found nine illegal ballots so far with a mix of Republican and Democratic voters. That is the only reference I could find about the task force or its findings, so I don’t believe they ever issued a formal report. When asked about the task force in a few press conferences along the way, the president just said they were working on it.
It should come as no surprise the Kobach investigation was unable to unearth any meaningful fraudulent activity because the issue has been studied time and time again with always negative findings. For example, the Heritage Foundation, the “granddaddy” of conservative Washington, D.C., think tanks, studied roughly 60 million votes over a 20-year period and found slightly less than 1,300 fraudulent votes. If you do the math, that is a decimal point followed by four zeros or .0002. Personally, I would put those odds about the same as being hit by lightning not once but twice.
Those odds match the findings from Washington, a state with 100% mail-in voting. Kim Wyman, the Republican secretary of state, brought is an independent consulting firm to evaluate the 2018 election. There were roughly 3.8 million votes cast and 178 were found to be fraudulent. Again, that is a decimal followed by four zeros or .00005. The most common fraud … someone died after receiving their ballot and others sent it in “knowing the deceased’s wishes.”
I think it is time to accept the fact that no election is going to 100% perfect in all aspects. Rather, let’s focus on the fact roughly 150 million votes were cast and, other than long lines, how few problems there were.
My concerns at this point are first how all this posturing and fruitless lawsuits can erode confidence in the core of our democracy — the right to vote and have that vote counted properly. The second concern comes from the 9-11 Commission. They felt the delay (because of the Bush/Gore recount in Florida) in getting President Bush’s team in place, especially the defense and national security members, quite possibly contributed to a lack of preparedness prior to the 9/11 attack.
We can’t afford either of those things, so we need to move on now!
George Hiner lives in Nevada City.
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