More Smoke Around Voter Fraud

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Basically, two things make it difficult to dismiss concerns about the potential for voter fraud.  First, given the size of government, the incentive to cheat is high, which combines in a dangerous way with the low likelihood of getting caught and (at least in Rhode Island) even lower likelihood of facing real consequences.

Second, powerful interests sure do seem motivated to amplify the first thing.  Christian Adams explains, for The Hill, that the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck is coming under attack with dishonest arguments about its accuracy:

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This year, more than five million potential duplicate voters were identified throughout the Crosscheck membership. Those research leads were turned over to local officials for further study and cleanup procedures where necessary. Like many systems built on common sense, Crosscheck is under emerging attack. A social media conspiracy turned Harvard studyseeks to cast doubts on the reliability of the compact and trigger its dissolution. The academic researchers fret that if states are limiting the factors by which a voter can be considered a duplicate, such as only looking at matching names and birthdates, they risk misidentifying voters 99 percent of the time. The actual Crosscheck program doesn’t operate by such simplistic methods.

Rhode Island isn’t one of the 30 states signed on to Crosscheck, although no state closer than Pennsylvania is, so the usefulness of the program mightn’t be what it is in states that are closer together.  However, Rhode Island does participate in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), which at least incorporates Connecticut.

Rhode Islanders should want these programs to expand, not contract, and we should look suspiciously at those who insist that voter fraud simply can’t happen and, indeed, ought to be tolerated in order to maximize the number of votes cast.



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