The intrepid investigative journalism team at Fox News has uncovered a scandalous trend of voter fraud in the state of Ohio. Led by Fox News reporter Eric Shawn, the team delved into data provided by Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted. Here is what they found.
Husted revealed that records indicate that seventeen undocumented immigrants actually voted in the 2012 election. In a swing state like Ohio that translates to about 0.0003% of the more than five million votes cast. Since President Obama won the state by 449,000 votes, the seventeen “fraudulent” votes would have had a negligible effect on the outcome.
It also needs to be considered that the votes deemed fraudulent may have been inadvertent or not even fraudulent at all. In prior assertions of fraud of this nature, it later turned out that there was merely a discrepancy between the status of the voter at the time of their registration and the actual voting day. In other words, the voter registered prior to officially becoming a citizen, but whose citizenship was complete by election day. That is perfectly acceptable and is not fraud. There were other cases where an undocumented resident simply misunderstood the technicalities of election law and overstepped his privileges. That is not fraud either because there was no intent to deceive.
In any case, Fox News failed to disclose any of the details of the seventeen cases they discovered. So it is difficult to draw a conclusion as to whether there was any fraud. But even if there was, it was at a level so low that it could not have possibly affected the outcome of any race. Since the whole controversy over the new laws proposed and passed by Republicans in the past few years is centered on preventing tainted election outcomes, these revelations of a handful of disputed cases don’t come close to justifying measures that result in thousands of legitimate citizens being denied their right to vote.
However, as we know, these voter suppression laws are not meant to prevent fraud, but to prevent Democrats from getting elected. It is a brazen effort to stack the deck in favor of Republicans under the guise of voter integrity. But you can hardly call it vindication when the best the advocates of voter suppression can do is scrape up a measly seventeen instances of fraud that might not actually be fraud. Nevertheless, Fox News can be counted on to hype the story to help their ideological allies on the right.