New state voter fraud units finding few cases from midterms
A number of state-level law enforcement units were created after the 2020 presidential election to oversee voter fraud, but more than two weeks after the recent midterm elections they have found no instances of systemic problems in our voting system. Many election experts expected this result and have described the creation of voter fraud task forces as more of a political move than an actual effort to combat potential cases of electoral fraud. When asked about the voter fraud agencies created by GOP governors in several states, Paul Smith, the senior vice president of the Campaign Legal Center, said, “The whole concept of voter impersonation fraud is such a horribly exaggerated problem. It doesn’t change the outcome of the election, it’s a felony, you risk getting put in jail and you have a high possibility of getting caught. It’s a rare phenomena.” The lack of fraudulent voting in the midterm elections is especially important after the lies spread by former president Donald Trump and his allies gained significant traction among Republican voters, so much so that 45% of Republicans polled said they had little to no confidence that votes would be counted accurately in the midterms. Florida’s newly created Office of Election Crimes and Security has been the the most visible effort to curb “voter fraud,” the unit created by Governor Ron Desantis was criticized after arresting 20 citizens for illegally voting in prior elections, even though many of the people arrested registered to vote and had no knowledge that they were committing a crime. In reference to Florida’s new agency specifically, Smith said that the threat of voter fraud is, “a myth that’s created so they can justify making it harder for people to vote,” a devious tactic which may have benefitted Desantis and his allies, who carried all statewide races in the midterm election.