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Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Big Lie

Voting fraud is demonstrably a trivially small phenomenon

By Mitchell Zimmerman, frequent Progressive Charlestown contributor

Many of those few cases that were prosecuted led to
convictions against Republicans
This article originally appeared in the Washington Post and is reprinted here with permission of the author

The Dec. 21 front-page article “GOP fraud units fail to find a vast voter plot” devastated phony Republican claims of voter fraud by showing that the efforts of right-wingers to generate evidence of significant voting misconduct have failed. 

Voting fraud is demonstrably a trivially small phenomenon. But the article erred in calling these phony efforts a “crackdown on voter fraud” and in referring to the state agencies as “election integrity units.”

Because voter fraud is insignificant, there was nothing to crack down on. The actual purpose of these units is not election integrity but voter suppression. 

They seek to deter people of color, young people and likely Democrats from voting by raising the specter of prosecution for imaginary violations of election law. 

In Florida, for example, many felons whose voting rights have been restored are nonetheless afraid of exercising their constitutional rights because of threats from these units.

Republicans aren’t disappointed by the laughably small number of prosecutions for voting misconduct because the very existence of these units tends to support the “big lie” and because attacking voting rights is now the leading strategy of the Republican Party. I appreciated this article for revealing the emptiness of this excuse.