Thursday, January 2, 2014
Voter Suppression Group’s Poll Finds Most Do Not Consider ‘Voter Fraud’ A Significant Problem
A new poll by a pro-voter suppression group asked 1,000 American adults about the issue of voter fraud in the United States. And despite their arguably slanted question, just 36 percent of those polled agreed with the group’s premise that it is a “major problem.”
Judicial Watch, a right-wing group and leading player in the push for more voting restrictions, joined with the conservative Breitbart.com to sponsor the December poll. After asking questions about general corruption in Washington, D.C., the pollster (a GOP-connected firm called the polling company, inc./WomanTrend) posed the voter fraud question. “Voter fraud occurs when people who are not eligible to vote do so anyway, or when one voter casts multiple ballots in a single election,” they asked, giving respondent the options of “a major problem in the U.S.,” “a minor problem in the U.S.,” “not a problem in the U.S.,” and “don’t know/can’t judge.”
Just 36 percent indicated that voter fraud is a “major problem in the U.S.” Thirty nine percent indicated that it is a minor problem and 15 percent more said it was not a problem at all. While Judicial Watch announced these findings as “Three-quarters (75%) of adults recognize voter fraud as a problem in the United States,” a closer inspection of the crosstabs shows that 54 percent believe voter fraud to be a minor or non-existent issue. While 53 percent of the Republicans polled consider it a major problem, just 26 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of independents shared with that view.
Chris Farrell, a spokesman for Judicial Watch told the American Family News Network that the poll showed “great concern over the ability of the country to have honest elections,“ falsely claiming that “three quarters of adults say that voter fraud is a huge problem in the United States.”
The actual results suggest that fewer Americans are concerned about voter fraud than they were two years ago. A 2012 Washington Post poll found 48 percent of Americans believed voter fraud a major problem in U.S. presidential elections, while 33 percent said it was minor problem and 14 percent said it was not a problem.
Judicial Watch and other conservative groups have used the specter of voter fraud to push for strict photo ID laws for voters and other restrictions on the right to vote. But, in truth, the overwhelming evidence shows that voter fraud is extremely rare in the United States. Indeed research has shown that voters are 39 times more likely to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud at the polls, and 3,500 times more likely to report a UFO encounter.