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Monday, February 06, 2012

Voter Fraud Is Major Election Threat Based on Recent Cases, Analyst Says

Even as one election-fraud case in Lincoln County, W. Va., comes to a close, another case in Troy, N.Y., continues.Still, Attorney General Eric Holder asserts that voter fraud is “uncommon,” in defending the Justice Department’s lawsuit to stamp out voter ID laws in South Carolina and potentially other states.

Election fraud is a greater threat to the right to vote than poll taxes and other Jim Crow restrictions, said Horace Cooper, adjunct fellow with National Center for Public Policy Research.

The legal analyst cited “ghost voting” as the biggest problem.

The term “ghost voter” is used to describe dead people that remain on the voter rolls.

“Far worse, than standing up and being seen blocking the vote, this is the contravening of the vote without even having a record or a shadow of it happening,” Cooper told

Cooper cited voter fraud and election cases in West Virginia, Colorado, New York state, Wisconsin and various localities to make the point that voter ID laws are needed to protect the integrity of the electoral process.

“One of the problems with a ghost voting situation is that it’s very difficult to ascertain when it’s happening,” Cooper said.

Last year, eight states adopted voter ID laws.

Last December, the Justice Department objected to a new South Carolina law that requires voters to show photo IDs to vote and brought suit. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of voter ID laws in Indiana in the decision on Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.

There are more than 3 million dead people still on the voter rolls across America, according to a 2009 study by Aristotle International Inc., a technology firm specializing in political campaigns, while another 12.9 million remain on voter lists in areas where they no longer live. In total about 8.9 percent of all registered voters fall under the category of “deadwood” voters, a term for voters who should not be eligible to vote in a precinct, according to the study.


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