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Report: Voter impersonation a rarity

Aug. 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Just 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation have been identified since 2000, which prompts questions on stricter U.S. voter ID laws, experts say.

News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, analyzed 2,068 reported cases of fraud involving voting and found just 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation on Election Day since 2000, The Washington Post reported.

The analysis found that there is more alleged fraud in absentee ballots and voter registration than in any of the other categories, which included vote buying, false election counts, campaign fraud, the casting of ballots by ineligible voters, such as felons and non-citizens, double voting, and voter impersonation.

Legislatures in 37 states have enacted or considered tougher voter identification laws, which would not stop the more prevalent offenses, the report said.

Civil rights and voting rights activists say strict voter ID laws are a way of disenfranchising minorities, students, senior citizens and the disabled.

"It's simply a new big burden on the backs of people who just want to have their voices heard during elections," said Eddie Hailes, the managing director and general counsel of the Advancement Project, a civil rights group challenging voter ID laws in Texas, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

However, voter ID supporters argue stricter laws help ensure the integrity of elections, regardless of how many violations there have been.

"Whether you have proof of it or not, what in the heavens is wrong with showing an ID at polls?" asked Mississippi state Rep. Bill Denny, a Republican who sponsored his state's voter ID bill.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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