Fox News pushes baseless fears of “voter fraud on a massive scale”

Fox News' Megyn Kelly said today that “there are reports of, quote 'voter fraud on a massive scale' with the intention of keeping Democrats in office.” Kelly hosted Michelle Malkin to provide evidence of fraud in four states, but Malkin got her basic facts wrong in at least two of her examples.

Let's take them one by one.


KELLY: You start with Colorado, where you say there is, in your words, an apparent scheme to foist some 6,000 shady voter registrations on the state. Six thousand shady voter registrations. Why?

MALKIN: Well, because they were submitted at the last minute and in fact, a judge rejected a petition by left-wing groups, big labor groups that were involved in submitting these voter registrations to somehow accept them despite a 20 day rule that the state of Colorado has passed. ... This is just one of many cases in which these left-wing groups have tried to submit these very suspicious voter registrations at the last minute and they're waging further war on this front despite this loss on Friday.

So a judge rejected a petition to reinstate 6,000 voter registrations that Malkin calls “suspicious” because, she claims, “they were submitted at the last minute.” They weren't. According to court documents retrieved through PACER, most of those registrations were submitted before the November 2008 elections. The registrations were canceled because of Colorado's “20-day rule,” and voter registration groups have been trying to get them reinstated since 2008. Around 2,000 of the 6,000 were submitted and canceled in the nearly two years between November 4, 2008, and this month. The other 4,000 were submitted before November 4, 2008.


KELLY: Well you talk about Arizona as well, where there was a massive attempt to get a bunch of these last-minute voter registrations through, despite some very curious facts about those voter registrations.

MALKIN: Correct. Arizona bloggers have found out that tens of thousands of these voter registrations submitted by a group called Mi Familia Vota ... Those tens of thousands of those voter registrations just happen to be, well, a majority of Democrat voter registrations and all sorts of watchdogs are raising questions and blowing the whistle over those shady registrations.

KELLY: Yeah, you said that there were 3,000 voter registration forms all dropped off at once by this one group on the deadline and that almost all of them were registrations for the Democratic Party, which is a statistical improbability at best.

On her website, Malkin cites a blog called Publius Pundit for this claim -- which is unfortunate because Publius Pundit misreads a Yuma Sun article and mistakes 3,000 people signing up for Arizona's permanent early voting ballots list for “3,000 voter registrations.” The blogger then claims “a source in the Yuma County Recorder's Office” said “these 3000 voter registration forms” were dropped off by one group, right on the deadline; that “almost all” of them “were for the Democratic Party, a statistical improbability at best”; and the Recorder's office found that “more than 65% of them are invalid.”

The Yuma County Recorder's Office tells Media Matters that those claims are “completely false.” Mi Familia Vota says they have registered 289 voters in Yuma County over the past two months.


KELLY: I want to move on -- you talk about Washington state where they now - Patty Murray now has illegal aliens canvassing for her, trying to get people to vote, saying they want to do their part. They say the campaign is about empowering immigrants who may not feel like they can contribute to a campaign because they can't vote.

MALKIN: Yes and this should make anyone who believes in electoral integrity very nervous because there's been a rather long-standing alliance between the illegal alien lobby and the Democrat party to try and leverage what I call the swing vote - the illegal alien swing vote. And although they say they're targeting naturalized citizens, Washington State has a long and sordid history of voter fraud in that state in very close elections.

So there's not even an allegation of voter fraud here. Illegal immigrants have volunteered for efforts encouraging naturalized citizens to vote. Malkin seems sure that will lead to voter fraud. Evidently, that's enough evidence for Fox News.


KELLY: You talk about Texas where at least four non-citizens have been registered to vote in Harris County and the Harris County officials registered them to vote anyway even though they were non-citizens and they checked the box “No” in response to, “Are you a U.S. citizen.” Moreover, a lot of them had different applicant names from their signature names. Harris County executives approved all those applications down in Texas.

For the claim that four non-citizens were registered to vote in Harris County, Malkin's website cites a Pajamas Media post by Hans A. von Spakovsky that in turn cites “True the Vote,” but doesn't provide further details. True the Vote, a project of the King Street Patriots group, has been accused of involvement in the intimidation of minority voters by poll watchers. If it is true that four non-citizens were registered to vote in Harris County, that hardly indicates that there is “voter fraud on a massive scale.”