Here’s a classic example of the voter-fraud bamboozle. A conservative group in Minnesota, which is still “fighting” Al Franken’s win over Norm Coleman in 2008, initially claimed that it had found 1,250 cases of illegal voting in that race. Then they dropped that number down to 450 and submitted their evidence to the local prosecutor. The prosecutor just finished reviewing that evidence and filed charges in 47 cases, or about 4 percent of the original claim.
The point in exposing this long-term “voter fraud” bamboozlement from Republicans isn’t that actual voter fraud doesn’t ever occur. It’s that instances of it are so small and isolated, that they are largely inconsequential. That doesn’t mean those cases shouldn’t be prosecuted but it does mean that the major impediments the bamboozlers want to raise to voting, including voter ID laws, are ostensibly to address a problem that is overblown. So then the question becomes why overstate the problem and propose draconian solutions to it?
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.