NC voter fraud headlines
When the North Carolina State Board of Elections released the results of its participation in Interstate Crosscheck in early April, some media outlets seized on it as evidence of widespread voter fraud. Despite similar claims in other states, Crosscheck has yet to lead to a conviction for voter fraud.

After initial hysteria, back-pedaling over NC voter fraud claims

Last week, top staff of the N.C. State Board of Elections made a presentation to legislators about the state of voter registration in North Carolina. Out of the board's 58-page PowerPoint presentation [pdf], only two of the slides (34 and 35) related to the Interstate Crosscheck, a project run by the Kansas secretary of state to root out suspected voter fraud.

But the findings of North Carolina's involvement in Crosscheck quickly ignited a media firestorm, especially in the conservative media: "N.C. State Board Finds More than 35K Incidents of 'Double Voting' in 2012" trumpeted National Review. "Oh My: Audit Finds Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud in North Carolina" blared Townhall.com.

Dick Morris, the conservative comentator and former political operative, made even more wild claims, claiming in an editorial for The Hill that North Carolina's findings offered "concrete proof that massive voter fraud might have taken place in the 2012 election, sufficiently widespread to have tainted more than 1 million votes nationwide."

CROSS-CHECK'S CHECKERED HISTORY

As Facing South was one of the first to report, however, the North Carolina election board's data offered little proof of rampant fraud. The 35,750 figure represented people who, when plugged into Crosscheck's database of voter files from 28 states, had the same first name, last name and date as birth of people who had voted in other states in 2012. But many of those can be explain by clerical errors and the fact that a surprisingly large number of people in different states share the same names and birthday.

The seemingly more troubling figure was 765: That was the number Crosscheck flagged as people whose names, birth date and the last four digits of their Social Security matched as having voted in North Carolina and another state in 2012. Hans von Spakovsky, a voting fraud crusader who used to work for the Federal Elections Commission and is now based at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that was proof North Carolina "had the goods."

Yet the history of the Crosscheck program offers little evidence to suggest such "goods" -- in the form of verifiable, prosecuted cases of voting fraud -- will ever emerge. The fact-checking group PunditFact, in a report drawing on Facing South's analysis, rated Morris' claims as "false," noting that Kobach himself admits few of the potential fraud cases have resulted in proof of criminal wrongdoing.

In a September 2013 presentation about the program, Crosscheck founder Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, readily acknowledges that out of 84 million records analyzed, only 14 had even been referred for prosecution. Kobach's presentation doesn't list any cases of a voter actually being convicted of fraud. Furthermore, in Crosscheck's 2014 participation guide for states, they admit that "a significant number of apparent double votes are false positives and not double votes. Many are the result of errors -- voters sign the wrong line in the poll book, election clerks scan the wrong line with a barcode scanner."

PunditFact interviewed Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University, who described other clerical mistakes that can lead to false claims of double-voting:

You find missing data, or worse, a missing data code. They might plug in '9999' when they don't have a Social Security number and people are getting matched on that missing data code.

WALKING BACK THE HYSTERIA

A week after the initial news reports had declared the board's cross-check "suggests widespread fraud," editorials in North Carolina newspapers urged caution.

Writers for the Capitol Press Association, The News & Record of Greensboro and The News & Observer of Raleigh decried the rush of Republican lawmakers to declare the board's preliminary report as as proof of fraud and argued for patience as the state board further investigates each case.

Many pointed out that N.C. State Board of Elections Director Kim Strach herself rushed to no such conclusions. When state lawmakers like Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland County) claimed Strach's April 2 presentation "documented ... that voter fraud occurred, Strach was cautious:

Could it be voter fraud? Sure, it could be voter fraud. Could it be error on the part of precinct officials choosing the wrong person? It could be. We are looking at each individual case to determine what in fact it is ... [I]f we have evidence that in fact a person did vote for someone else, then that is a criminal violation, and we will absolutely refer that (to the district attorney). But we have to make sure that's what happened, and that it wasn't an error on someone's part.

REAL SOLUTIONS FOR VOTER REGISTRATION PROBLEMS

While state Republicans seized on Strach's presentation as justification for a raft of voter restrictions passed in 2013 -- including a strict voter ID measure that would do nothing to prevent double-voting in multiple states -- there was little discussion of measures to modernize the state's voting systems.

As The Voter Update of the N.C. Center for Voter Education was one of the few to report, during the same April 2 elections hearing state board staffer Marc Burris discussed proposals to bring electronic poll-book software to all 100 of the state's counties. Currently, only 38 use it; 53 counties still use paper. According to The Voter Update, Burris argued that bringing the system statewide would improve efficiency and integrity in maintaining voter rolls.

Nationally, voting rights advocates at the Brennan Center and Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights have called for a federal investment in a Voter Registration Modernization plan. Stopping short of national universal voter registration, which has been fiercely opposed by Republicans, the proposal would allow voters to register any time they interact with a variety of state agencies, not just the DMV, ensuring more eligible voters are registered. It would make registration portable when a voter moves, easing the process for voters and minimizing duplication. It would streamline the registration process, eliminating duplication and saving states and localities tens of millions of dollars. (A full outline of the Brennan Center's proposal is available here.)

The plan also builds on efforts already underway in states like North Carolina to upgrade registration systems, as well as proposals offered by groups like the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration [pdf] in January 2014.

But so far, leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly haven't announced any broad plans to modernize the state's registration systems. In 2012, the General Assembly moved to cut the election board's budget.

The Brennan Center argues the time is now to upgrade our antiquated voter registration infrastructure:

Voter registration in 21st century America is a 19th century relic. At a time when smart phones and online banking are commonplace, a paper-based system just does not make sense for voters, and creates headaches for election officials. Perhaps no other government system is so antiquated, so bureaucratic, and so rife with error. Fortunately, there is a better way.

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When the North Carolina State Board of Elections released the results of its participation in Interstate Crosscheck in early April, some media outlets seized on it as evidence of widespread voter fraud. Despite similar claims in other states, Crosscheck has yet to lead to a conviction for voter fraud.
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Funny to watch the partisan

Funny to watch the partisan arguments (I would NEVER belong to a political party its completely counter to true democratic principle and corrupt) but to say that there is little to no voter fraud just because state and federal AG's don't prosecute Is moronic. Argue on zipperheads!

names and birthdates....

"But many of those can be explain by clerical errors and the fact that a surprisingly large number of people in different states share the same names and birthday." This is the most blatant lie I've read in the last 10 years. Checking names against birthdates is a standard form of identification used by law enforcement and other branches of government. This whole thing has the smell of a felony being covered up.

Voter Fraud has always been

Voter Fraud has always been very hard to prove in the court of Law for many reasons one of which is that even if a person has signed up to vote and walks into a voting booth there's still no proof of the person actually voting. Since in the U.S. a person is innocent until proven guilty it's all but impossible to prove. So bring charges against anyone for voter fraud is nearly impossible.

Those on the Left claim that since there are few voter fraud cases ever taken to trial that it's proof that voter fraud is rare and almost non existent. However the majority of those in the U.S. (By over 70%) believe voter fraud is a serious problem and agrees that Voter ID laws is the best way to solve the problem. However attempts to make laws for voter ID's are often stopped in court by the DEMOCRATIC Party. One can only wonder why..

Did we make a Left turn someplace?

Chris Kromm seems pretty darned popular with a number of left-leaning publications and media outlets. So, we are supposed to be suprised when Comrade Christ Kromm fabricates some statistics of his own to make his point then says Republicans / conservatives have a 'checkered past'? HA ha ha ha. Whew. funny. Especially when compared to democrats penchant for lying, stealing, cheating, misleading, bullying in order to achieve their ENDS! (Reid, Pelosi, Holder, Obama, Frank, Dodd, Acorn, and the list goes on - admitted liars, all)

Voter fraud is real. It has been exposed. It is being prosecuted. You, sir, are part of the problem.

So what you are telling us in

So what you are telling us in your report Mr. Kromm is that our entire election system is wrought glaring errors. Not one bit of fraud, just errors. Hmm, isn't that what President Obama said about the IRS Scandal? Deviations so gross that all elections will have to be checked and crossed check several times before it is possible to make an "educated" guess as to the outcome. The there is what to do about past elections. Was it Gore or Bush? So it stands that our entire Federal Election system is broken and needs to be reformed. Hey,just like Immigration so I am positive that Democrats would be all in favor.

voter fraud in N.C.

I am inclined to think that the extent (existence?) of voter fraud is greatly exaggerated by Republicans who want to keep certain people from voting. But this story of yours troubles me. While I can believe that the Kansas group might be biased, I can also believe that the "denials" put forth by the "good guys" might be biased. In fact, much of the "denial" is what came to be called "non-denial denial" back in the days of Watergate. The tactic is to call the other side biased and then list a few possible alternative explanations for their statistics. You don't need to supply statistics of your own to do that; and, sadly, that leaves a careful and honest observer without any basis for deciding who is lying -- or who is lying more egregiously. And, of course, without any sound basis for determining whether and to what extent voter fraud actually took place in N.C. in 2012. Sad.

Matches not unusual

I spent 30 years working with vital records information systems, including over a dozen statewide birth registration systems. For my work developing deduplication algorithms, I have studied large data sets extensively for commonality of data elements. In a data set as large as the voters in North Carolina, one can expect multiple persons born every day of the year with the same name. It is not unusual.

When you expand the population size to multiple states, you might have 100,000 such name and date of birth duplicates every year. Matching 4 digits of the SSN cuts that number to 100 per year of birth nationwide. You'd have to factor in the actual number of voters in the participating states, but based on my experience, the number 765 actually sounds on the low side to me.

So you're saying that about

So you're saying that about 1% of people in North Carolina have the EXACT same first name, the EXACT same last name and the EXACT same birthday and the EXACT same birth year. And you think this is a statistical anomaly. WOW.

voting statistics

Even in a universe of ~100,000,000 voters in 2012, the idea that more than 765 persons shared all these characteristics (legally), does not make statistical sense:
1) There are 10,000 possible SS#'s using only the last 4 digits. (100,000,000 voters/10,000= 10,000) persons in each 4-digit SS# group.)
2) They were born on the same day. For this exercise the range of birth years of the voters will be 72, representing age 18 to 90, multiplied by 365 days/year. (72*365)= 26,280 possible birthdays in each group. So, for each group, 10,000 voters/26,280 birthdays = .3805 shared birthdays per group x 10,000 groups = 3805 probable matches nationwide.
3) Of those 3805 people, how many are likely to have the same first & last name? I don't know, but it sure isn't 765, which is 20% of the people.
So, even if only 765 matches were discovered, it proves evidence of fraud.

First, you're making the

First, you're making the assumption that SS#s are evenly distributed. They're not, at least not in the databases. In particular, many longtime voters registered before SS# was required, so the database contains a default entry (usually '0000' or '9999') for them--that means a lot more than 10,000 voters are in those particular groups, which throws off the rest of your math.

More significantly, you've got an error of logic. He's not arguing that 765 people all match each other on name, date of birth, and SS#; he's saying that 765 people have AT LEAST ONE other person who matches all of these. How many John Smiths and Michael Davidsons and Helen Carters are out there? (The Interstate Crosscheck program doesn't use middle names.)

Hysteria writ larger and larger, fear rampant

Crosscheck founder Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, has run this program for a couple of years with apparently no controls or adults involved. The states that jumped in included ones infected by the Texas True the Vote (in NC the Voter Integrity Project (VIP), all populated by Teabillies on mission from their god(s) with their hair on fire.

Now, these are states, all of which have a permanent allergy and hatred for comprehensive lists of anything - car licenses, gun owners, etc. - why, cause someone is gonna take their freedoms - which they largely do not use anyway. If there was a national automobile licensing system these loonies could ask politely to cross check states for multiple domiciles, ta da. But, no we hates all these here lists, unless they are run by a complete psychopath, like Kobach with no adults in charge. These same people have helped screw up the NC voting law, including lots of ignorant crap which will foul up the system for real. Get ready for a doozie. And remember it was the Teabillies and particularly VIP in NC who caused it.

Vote Democratic next time. Worse and more to come from these freaks.

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