With this November’s election looming just over the horizon, the topic of voter fraud is popping up much more frequently in our news feeds.
Progressives insist that voter fraud is a myth, a charade meant to justify repressive voting laws. The facts, however, tell a different story: Voter fraud is real, and if we ignore it, we leave our ballot boxes open to fraudsters who would rather steal elections than risk losing in a fair and open contest.
The Heritage Foundation’s “Does Your Vote Count” report identifies reasonable measures states can take to protect the integrity of their electoral systems without disenfranchising voters.
Many states have adopted these measures. Nevertheless, these safeguards, including voter ID laws, have come under scrutiny in state and federal courts. In the past few weeks, courts have struck down election integrity laws in Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin, although some provisions of Texas’ challenged election laws will likely remain in effect this election and a stay has been entered against the order striking down Wisconsin’s law.
Many on the left may celebrate the results in these cases, but it is increasingly difficult for them to deny the basic fact that election fraud exists. In fact, Heritage’s voter fraud database catalogues over 400 examples of individuals convicted of numerous offenses, from impersonation fraud at the polls, to duplicate voting, to schemes to buy votes and steal elections.
Some recent additions to the database include:
Ruth Robinson, the former mayor of Martin, Kentucky, was sentenced to 90 months’ imprisonment on a variety of charges that included vote buying, identity theft, and fraud.
With specific regard to the election charges, Robinson and co-conspirators James “Red” Robinson and James Steven Robinson threatened and intimidated residents of Martin in the run-up to the 2012 election, in which Robinson was seeking re-election.
The cabal targeted residents living in public housing or in properties Robinson owned, threatening them with eviction if they did not sign absentee ballots the Robinsons had already filled out. Robinson also targeted disabled residents, and offered to buy the votes of others. James “Red” Robinson was sentenced to 40 months in prison, and his son James Steven Robinson received a total of 31 months’ imprisonment.
Guadalupe Rivera and Graciela Sanchez illegally “assisted” absentee voters in Rivera’s 2013 re-election bid for city commissioner. Rivera won the election by 16 votes, but the result was invalidated after a judge determined that 30 absentee ballots had been submitted illegally.
Rivera pleaded guilty to one count of providing illegal assistance to a voter and was sentenced to one year of probation and a $500 fine. Sanchez also pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of violating Texas’ election code and was sentenced to two years’ probation.
Erin Venessa Leeper registered and voted in a 2015 school board election. As a convicted felon, however, she was ineligible to do so, and pleaded guilty to perjury last May. She was ordered to pay a $750 fine, plus $240 in court costs, and was sentenced to a suspended five-year prison term and two years of probation.
Robert Monroe pleaded no contest to 13 counts of voter fraud, making him the worst duplicate voter in state history, according to Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf.
The judge in the case rejected Monroe’s claim that he was insane at the time, concluding that Monroe’s mental state did not prevent him “from appreciating the wrongfulness of his votes or from conforming his actions to election laws.”
Monroe will serve up to a year in jail, in addition to a suspended three-year prison sentence, five years’ probation, 300 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine.
As the old adage goes, we are entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. These cases—along with the hundreds of other convictions Heritage has documented—are the inconvenient facts many on the left choose simply to ignore. Reasonable Americans should not follow their lead.
Elections—our most direct means of political participation—should be fair and untainted by fraudsters. Every time a vote is cast illegally, it nullifies a legitimate vote and undermines the entire system by eroding public trust in our political institutions. It is imperative that this not be allowed to happen.
By Peter Tapsak / Jason Snead / @jasonwsnead
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