On CNN, Voter Fraud Expert Debunks Myths Behind Strict Voter ID Laws 

Michael McDonald: "Incorrect Allegations Of In-Person Voter Fraud Are Used To Justify Voter ID Laws That Courts Find Discriminatory"

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the August 4 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:

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CAROL COSTELLO (HOST): Just tell us how much research you poured into to finding out if there really is a widespread problem with voter fraud in the United States. 

MICHAEL MCDONALD: Well, I'd like to start off by just giving a big thank you to all the election officials. They're working hard right now to make sure that everyone has a pleasant voting experience and the elections are going to be conducted in a secure manner. And that said, whenever you have millions of people engage in any activity, you're going to have a couple bumps along the way. That's just human nature. So we shouldn't let those little molehills get blown out of proportion into mountains. Yes there are isolated instances of vote fraud, but upon further examination, most of those allegations turn out to be incorrect. Let me give you an example since we are talking about voter ID as well. One of the sponsors of voter ID Law in North Carolina was accused of voting twice. Election officials went back, looked at the records, and what did they find? They found that his mother had signed on his line of the poll books. So his vote had been -- a false vote had been recorded as him voting twice. In most of the allegations, when we start looking very closely at the allegations, that's the study you reference, when we start looking very closely at these allegations, they just don't pan out. And so to Donald Trump, and anybody else who's very concerned about vote fraud, let me tell you this, that in November, the overwhelming number of votes will be cast and recorded correctly and that we can be assured that the results will be right. 

COSTELLO: So Michael, when you say, when you say there are tiny bumps, like give us a perspective. Like how many cases of voter fraud -- true voter fraud did you find in what period of time? 

MCDONALD: Well, the study I looked at was a particular state and it looked at sort of these record issues of matching and trying to find double voters. And, again, all of the allegations that we looked at in that particular study appeared to me just to be mistakes and it wasn't a real case of vote fraud. Another study on voter impersonation, not double voting or multiple voting, found 31 allegations -- and these are only allegations -- of vote fraud between 2000 and 2014. Thirty-one out of a billion votes cast. So in order to change the outcome of the election, 31 votes just isn't going to cut it. 

COSTELLO: So why do politicians, and it's not just Donald Trump it's other politicians as well, why do they insist that there's widespread voter fraud in this country? 

MCDONALD: Well what are the allegations? They first come out and it sounds like there's thousands of people engaged in this activity. And those are the initial stories that come out. And then the further investigation we find out that's not really true. And so we're left with this impression that things are going really wrong but the reality is that the elections are being run really smoothly. There's also unfortunately a political component to this too. Because these allegations are then used to justify laws like voter identification which the courts are now determining that they are discriminatory and that we shouldn't have them in place for our elections. 

COSTELLO: Yeah, and just to review, judges in North Dakota, Kansa, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Texas, have softened voter ID laws because they suppressed minority votes. So, when you talk about an election being rigged is this more of an example of an election being rigged than people voting 20 times? 

MCDONALD: That's an excellent question. So when I'm talking about rigged elections, I'm talking about the administration of the elections. There's a higher level of manipulation of elections that can occur which is through the laws that set the playing field how the elections will be run. And those rules unfortunately over the history of our country, have suppressed votes at one time or another and have shaped the contours of the electorate. I'm not talking about those laws. What I'm talking about is someone who's going to go in and vote. You can be assured that your vote will be recorded correctly. 

Previously:

Trump Invokes Right-Wing Media's Voter Fraud Myth To Support Voter ID Laws 

CNN's Carol Costello Calls Out Trump Supporter For Pushing Voter Fraud Myth

31 In A Billion: Election Expert's Report Shatters Right-Wing Media Voter ID Myths 

Posted In
Elections, Voting Rights & Issues
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Carol Costello, Michael McDonald
Show/Publication
CNN Newsroom
Stories/Interests
2016 Elections
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