Maryann Tobin

In the past two years, more than 30 states have enacted new voter ID laws and other restrictions to keep Americans from voting.

Republicans claim that purging voting rolls is necessary due to illegal voting. But there is little physical evidence to suggest that voter fraud has ever been a problem in the United States.

Case studies show that voter fraud in the U.S. is virtually non-existent, so Republican claims that it is rampant are misleading and false.

In every state studied since 2000, the incidences of voter fraud has turned out to be such a low percentage, the number of individual voter fraud cases could be counted on one hand.

“Two reporters attempted to probe the accuracy of New York’s voter rolls by comparing them with death records and with the rolls of other states. The reports led to inflated claims of widespread fraud, of the sort commonly used to support restrictive identification requirements for voters at the polls. We examined each of the allegations of fraud by individual voters -- the only sort that ID could possibly address -- to uncover the truth behind the assertions," according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

"In a review of at least four different elections, the allegations yielded only two substantiated cases of individuals knowingly casting invalid votes that counted – two voters who voted twice. Given the number of votes cast in these elections, this amounts to a rate of 0.000009%. Neither of these problems could have been resolved by requiring photo ID at the polls.”

Critics claim that Republicans are trying to stack the deck against the Democrats by targeting specific voting groups that tend to vote Democratic. The theory is that if only Republicans can vote, only Republicans can win.

Is it a coincidence that the Florida voter purge currently being attempted by Republican Gov. Rick Scott, is aimed overwhelmingly at Latinos?

“Latinos are not voting in numbers that fully reflect their potential strength, leaving Hispanic leaders frustrated and Democrats worried as they increase efforts to rally Latino support,” according to the New York Times.

There is further evidence that non-white voters are being targeted.

“In addition to being inaccurate and outdated, the list the State of Florida sent to local elections officials to trigger the re-verification requirement letters, disproportionately targets Hispanics... analysis of those singled out to prove their citizenship, 61% are Hispanic when only 14% of registered Florida voters are Hispanic."

"By contrast, only 16% of those on the state’s purge list are identified as white when they compose approximately 70% of Florida voters,” according to the Miami Herald.

Taxpayers are funding what some believe is a witch hunt for a problem that never existed in the first place – namely, voter fraud.

In a time when Republicans are preaching about fiscal responsibility, are they really doing the public justice by spending millions of dollars to purge what in fact may be just a few hundred voters, out of millions?

The more Republican governors go after non-white voting groups, the more it looks like their intentions are not honorable.

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