Voter ID

Voter Fraud: Is It Really a Thing?

Is voter fraud rare or is it just rarely discovered?

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Voter fraud has become a divisive political-campaign issue and given rise to proposals for new voter-identification legislation in 14 states this year. A Texas law passed last year was struck down by federal judges Thursday for failing to prove it wouldn't unfairly affect poor and minority voters.

Some advocates for voter-ID laws point to findings that, in some jurisdictions, registration lists include a large proportion of names that don't belong—sometimes as high as 3%. Meanwhile, researchers studying voter fraud—a term used to refer to cases in which one voter impersonates another at the poll to cast a fraudulent vote—say they have so far found little direct evidence that the practice is common enough to affect the results of elections, even close ones.