- - Sunday, October 2, 2016

We are often told that there is virtually no voter fraud in this country and that those who worry about stolen elections are really just racists intent upon “suppressing” the votes of poor and minority voters. States requiring any form of voter identification face court challenges, and very few people who are caught casting fraudulent votes are ever prosecuted. This is because there are so few of them and they have no impact on elections anyway.

The federal government, concerned about the integrity of the electoral process in other countries spends millions so emerging democracies can implement voter identification programs that President Obama and his minions denounce in this country. Americans are apparently regarded as more honest than those in other countries and our politicians always play by the rules or have since the old Daley Machine collapsed years ago in Chicago.

There are a lot of ways to cheat. In old Chicago folks residing in the city’s cemeteries had a habit of returning to life on election day to vote for the machine’s candidates. And many politicians have in the past bought voters not with the free stuff Sen. Sanders and Mrs. Clinton are offering up today, but with cold cash, and they encouraged loyalists to “vote early and often.”

The most effective way to pad a candidate’s vote, however, is to fiddle with the results as the votes are counted. Or to find ways to get massive numbers of ineligible supporters to vote. Contrary to the chorus of denials, it appears that the Democrats have been doing a pretty good job of making it easier for noncitizens to vote in our elections, though their participation is clearly illegal.

In a 2014 study of non-citizen voting published by political science professors Jesse Richman and David Earnest in “Electoral Studies,” the professors, using empirical evidence, concluded that noncitizens do illegally vote in our elections. They also claimed that in 2008, votes cast by noncitizens probably gave the Democrats the 60 Senate votes they needed to pass Obamacare and allowed Barack Obama to carry North Carolina in his race for the White House. The study found that about 80 percent of the noncitizens who vote cast their votes for Democratic candidates.

The work received publicity at the time, but the authors came under attack for their findings. Those with an interest in assuring us that there is no election fraud panned the study’s results and raised questions about the professors’ methodology, expertise and motives. After the study got its 15 minutes of public attention, it vanished, though the authors contend that turnout among illegal non-citizen voters appears to be increasing.

In close elections the study proves that illegally cast votes can and do make a difference. Maybe that simple fact explains why certain politicians, for whom the ends seem to justify any means, would like to outlaw any attempts to protect the integrity of the nation’s electoral process.

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