Writers on the Opinion pages regularly declare that voter fraud is a myth. There has always been voter fraud. The question is: How much?
In 2005, the Commission on Federal Election Reform, a bipartisan committee co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and James Baker III, produced its report. Several opportunities for fraud were reported, including:
— Absentee or mail-in ballots “remain the largest source of potential voter fraud,” the commission found. Carter himself urged the expansion of mail-in voting, but the study ultimately concluded that where such voting is offered, strict safeguards for ballot integrity must first be in place.
— While ballot harvesting was not so-named in 2005, the Carter-Baker commission stated, “The practice in some states of allowing candidates or party workers to pick up and deliver absentee ballots should be eliminated” to reduce the opportunity for fraud.
— Regarding out-of-date state voter registration rolls, the study stated that “invalid voter files, which contain ineligible, duplicate, fictional, or deceased voters, are an invitation to fraud.”
The study also addressed expanding voter ID, having reliable election observers, controlling media interference and a number of areas of potential election fraud and abuse. The Carter-Baker report was published almost 17 years ago. The three items delineated above are still points of contention today. The opportunities for fraud and the recommendations to correct it have been largely ignored. We should stop kidding ourselves.