The surest sign that the election season is upon us is the revving up of the fake outrage machine claiming that vast hordes of people in the United States are risking criminal convictions to commit “voter fraud” to cast one vote in an election. The latest installment of the dog and pony show used to create an increasing number of hurdles to registration and voting involves an actual canine.
A man in Bedford County, Virginia placed his dog on a mailing list to receive magazines several years ago and included a date of birth. Most magazines sell their lists and, as a result, the dog’s name ended up on a commercial database. The Voter Participation Center (VPC) uses these databases to mail voter registration forms to encourage registration when a person turns 18. As a result of the placement of the dog on a magazine list and the inclusion of a date of birth, VPC mistakenly mailed a registration form to the owner’s house in the dog’s name.
Now the voter suppression crowd is using this incident to justify greater restrictions on registration and voting. They don’t appear to want the following facts to get in the way.
- Any person can obtain a voter registration form, so merely mailing the form to a home is no more likely to result in voter fraud than allowing a person to download it or pick it up from the local board of elections.
- Voter registration fraud is a serious crime that would only result in the addition of one vote to a candidate’s vote total, which probably explains why people are about as likely to commit voter fraud as they are to get struck by lightning.
- VPC has helped over one million Americans register to vote since 2004 using sophisticated list matching services provided by a nationally-recognized data vendor.
- Dogs can’t vote. In a Supreme Court case in which Indiana defended its voter ID law, the state was unable to produce evidence of a single person who impersonated another voter at the polls. This type of impersonation would be required for somebody to vote under a dog’s name, but the truth is that almost no people risk criminal charges by committing this act.
Click here for a VPC video responding to this “controversy.”