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Letter: Voter ID law attacks voters rather than fraud, he says

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TO THE EDITOR: Republican advocates of the voter ID laws claim that impersonation at the polls---more specifically, when someone shows up to vote pretending to be someone or something they aren't---is the biggest danger to democracy.

News21, a national investigative reporting project funded by the Carnegie-Knight Initiative, studied this issue. They connected with election officials in all 50 states and investigated alleged cases of voter fraud. They analyzed 2,068 cases and found that only 10 involved impersonation where an ID card might have prevented the ruse. This means that, across the U.S., the chance of voter impersonation is only one in 15 million.

On the other hand, News21 found that other types of fraud were more prevalent, specifically in voter registration and absentee ballots. Their research uncovered 400 cases of registration fraud and 491 cases of alleged absentee ballot abuse.

The problem with the voter ID law is that it aims at the wrong target. It attacks the voters rather than the fraud. If voter registration and absentee ballots are the more prevalent points of abuse, then law makers should target the fraud at those points and not at the polls.

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