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The Myth of Voter Fraud

Extensive research reveals that fraud is very rare. Yet repeated, false allegations of fraud can make it harder for millions of eligible Americans to participate in elections.

Overview

It is import­ant to protect the integ­rity of our elec­tions. But we must be care­ful not to under­mine free and fair access to the ballot in the name of prevent­ing phantom voter fraud.

Politi­cians at all levels of govern­ment have repeatedly, and falsely, claimed the 2016, 2018, and 2020 elec­tions were marred by large numbers of people voting illeg­ally. However, extens­ive research reveals that fraud is very rare, voter imper­son­a­tion is virtu­ally nonex­ist­ent, and many instances of alleged fraud are, in fact, mistakes by voters or admin­is­trat­ors. The same is true for mail ballots, which are secure and essen­tial to hold­ing a safe elec­tion amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bren­nan Center’s seminal report The Truth About Voter Fraud conclus­ively demon­strated that most alleg­a­tions of fraud turn out to be base­less and that most of the few remain­ing alleg­a­tions reveal irreg­u­lar­it­ies and other forms of elec­tion miscon­duct. Numer­ous other stud­ies, includ­ing one commis­sioned by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, have reached the same conclu­sion.

Voter fraud is unac­cept­able, but we must find solu­tions that address actual prob­lems instead of impos­ing policies that make it harder for millions of eligible Amer­ic­ans to parti­cip­ate in our demo­cracy.

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