Telling the truth (the whole truth) about voter fraud

Delegate Rob Bell
In an email sent to supporters on January 25, Delegate Rob Bell (R-HD58), a candidate for Virginia Attorney General, takes issue with those who oppose laws that require a photo ID to vote and argue that there is no evidence of extensive voter fraud.

To rebut those claims, Bell links to a 2012 news article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which, as he says in the email, notes

38 charges of voter fraud from the 2008 election. Most of these have resulted in convictions. In another 194 cases, the state police found likely evidence of fraud, but the local prosecutors declined to prosecute.

(Bell links to the same article from his campaign web site.)

What Bell omits, however, is this sentence from that same Times-Dispatch article:

None of the cases appeared to involve someone who misrepresented his or her identity at the polls to vote.

In other words, the sort of legislation that Bell is advocating — requiring a photo ID as proof of identity in order to be permitted to vote — would not have prevented any of the numerous cases of voter fraud that he cites as justification for passing the bill into law.

Bell’s bill on voter ID has been designated HB 1787 and has been referred to the House Privileges & Elections Committee. Bell’s opponent for the GOP nomination for Attorney General, state Senator Mark Obenshain (R-SD26) has submitted similar legislation: SB 1256 has been referred to the Senate P&E Committee, which Obenshain chairs.

For perspective, see this Bearing Drift post of mine from August 2012 about the extent of voter fraud in Virginia over the past decade.

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