I made the mistake of listening to KTLK’s Jason Lewis discuss potential voter fraud in Minnesota during my afternoon drive home yesterday.
He had on Jeff Davis from the “Traditional Values”* group, Minnesota Majority, to talk about what Mr. Davis considers a major problem voting fraud issue in Minnesota.
Jeff Davis and Jason Lewis don’t seem to be thinking rationally on this issue (which is probably their point). A rational person might say, “Wait a minute. Isn’t the penalty for casting more than one ballot in a single election a felony? Who in their right mind would risk a felony conviction in exchange for casting an additional ballot?” A rational person would see that the benefits of casting one additional vote do not outweigh the extremely high costs of getting caught.
Here are the issues that have Mr Davis’ panties in a bunch:
* POTENTIAL DUPLICATE VOTER REGISTRATION RECORDS: A total of 16,578 exact voter registration record matches using the criteria of first name, middle name, last name and birth year. When phone number is used instead of middle name as a matching criterion, there are a total of 488 matching records.
* VACANT AND NON-DELIVERABLE ADDRESSES: A total of 29,006 voters have a voter registration address which is flagged as being “vacant” by the United States Postal Service. A total of 62,822 voters list an address which is flagged as being “non-deliverable” by the Postal Service.
* DEFICIENT VOTER REGISTRATIONS DUE TO MISSING BIRTH YEAR: There are a total of 1,695 voter registrations with registration dates after August 1, 1983 when birth date was required by law.
* VOTER REGISTERING BEFORE THE AGE OF 18: Over 1,800 records have a voter registration date and a birth year that suggests the voter registered before the age of 18 years of age (some before they were born).
* VOTERS POTENTIALLY CASTING MORE THAN ONE BALLOT IN A SINGLE ELECTION: 76 cases in which it appears that a single voter may have cast more than one ballot, with thousands of additional records which merit additional review.
Let’s take a deep breath and look at whether the issues Jeff Davis and Jason Lewis are huffing and puffing about actually influence elections.
The first four examples show that our voter registration process could be more precise, but don’t suggest that people are voting more than once.
In the last example, they state that 76 out of 3,199,134 registered voters in Minnesota may have cast more than one ballot in a single election. Of course, there may be more than one person with the same name in the state of Minnesota or other circumstances that would explain these 76 cases.
If Mr Davis was serious about cleaning up the voter files, we would have started work on the issue before the 14th of October. Many of these issues go back to when former Minnesota Majority Executive Director, Mary Kiffmeyer, didn’t address them as Secretary of State.
* Am I the only one who thinks “Traditional Values” is code for using religious justifications to discriminate against non-white, non-heterosexual, non-Christian Americans?