Sunday, October 26, 2014

Patterico's Pontifications » WaPo Publishes Scientific Evidence of Voter Fraud on a Massive Scale — As Previously Predicted By This Here Very Blog

Patterico's Pontifications » WaPo Publishes Scientific Evidence of Voter Fraud on a Massive Scale — As Previously Predicted By This Here Very Blog

What you are about to read should be front-page news in every newspaper in the country tomorrow. You know it won’t be — but I want you to treat it as that important . . . because it is. Jesse Richman and David Earnest write in the Washington Post:
Could control of the Senate in 2014 be decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens? Some argue that incidents of voting by non-citizens are so rare as to be inconsequential, with efforts to block fraud a screen for an agenda to prevent poor and minority voters from exercising the franchise, while others define such incidents as a threat to democracy itself. Both sides depend more heavily on anecdotes than data.

In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races.

Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.
This is astonishing — but Richman and Earnest fail to convey just how astonishing it is . . . because they don’t explain how many people they are talking about.

Allow me to remedy that.

The progressive think tank Center for American Progress puts the number of noncitizens in the U.S. at 22.1 million in 2012. Of these, “13.3 million were legal permanent residents, 11.3 million were unauthorized migrants, and 1.9 million were on temporary visas.” These numbers are roughly consistent with numbers offered by the Department of Homeland Security (.pdf) and Kaiser Health News. So let’s take 22 million as our number of noncitizens.

Richman and Earnest estimate that 6.4% of noncitizens voted in 2008. 6.4% of 22 million is 1,408,000.

That’s 1.4 million illegal votes likely cast in the presidential election of 2008.

Richman and Earnest also estimate that 2.2% of noncitizens voted in 2010. (In off-year elections, such as 2010 and the approaching election in 2014, turnout is obviously lower.) 2.2% of 22 million is 484,000. That’s nearly half a million illegal votes likely cast in the election of 2010 (and the same number could be cast in the upcoming election).

How important is this? Richman and Earnest say:
Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.

I don’t like to say I told you so, but . . . ah, hell. Y’all know I actually love to say I told you so. And I have, repeatedly. In November 2008, I cited reports that huge increases in Latino voter registration had accompanied huge increases in illegal immigrant populations, and argued that this was probably not a coincidence. As I said then:
It certainly seems logically possible that there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal votes cast in this past election. If this is true, it is possible that illegal immigrants decided this election.

If Richman and Earnest are correct, there may well have been hundreds of thousands, indeed almost a million and a half, votes cast by noncitizens (including legal residents who may not vote in federal elections, as well as illegals). And I argued in 2010:
Over time, as our population increases, your vote becomes worth less and less. This problem is exacerbated by factors such as voter fraud. Oh, I know: the liberals all assure us that there is no such thing. But let’s just take one likely rich vein of illegal votes: votes cast by illegal immigrants. What’s that, you say? Votes cast by illegal immigrants? Yes. Estimates say that there are anywhere from 10 million to 18 million illegal immigrants in the country. This means millions are of voting age. What’s more, many of them are experts at obtaining false documents, allowing them to work, drive, and participate in all other aspects of civic life. Do we really think that none of them vote? None? Let’s go with a conservative estimate of 10,000,000 illegal immigrants. If only one percent of them vote — just one percent! — that’s 100,000 illegal votes. That is voter fraud on a massive scale — certainly enough to tip a close election. This sort of thing dilutes your vote.

One percent? In 2010, Richman and Earnest say it was more than two percent, and in 2008 it was more than six percent. And again, I overlooked the population of legal noncitizen permanent residents, which more than doubles the number of people we are talking about. But, although my numbers were conservative, I will modestly concede that I totally nailed the main point — which is: hundreds of thousands of illegal votes are potentially being cast in every federal election, and nobody talks about it.

Always trust content from Patterico.

P.S. I can’t leave this post without noting this by Richman and Earnest:

We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.
Really? That’s “strikingly ineffective”? (Well, yeah, it could be a lot better. But read on.)

The converse of that is that more than a quarter of the people who were asked for voter ID did not vote. We’re not told how many of the 1.4 million who voted illegally in the 2008 election were asked for IDs, but if voter ID laws were in effect in all 50 states, rather than only about 15 states, we might see over 25% of 1.4 million illegal votes prevented in a presidential election. That’s over 350,000 illegal votes that could potentially be prevented by voter ID laws.

Now: I’m perfectly happy to consider other means for preventing illegal voting. But voter ID laws work, and this study helps prove it.

This is hugely important, folks. Bookmark this post, right now. The next time people try to tell you there is no such thing as voter fraud, I want you to take this link and shove it right down their throats.

P.P.S. The authors do say: “Finally, extrapolation to specific state-level or district-level election outcomes is fraught with substantial uncertainty.” We can’t know for sure whether the extrapolation I present here is overstated, understated, or completely accurate. But one thing we can say: despite the false claims by the left, there is definitelymassive voter fraud occurring in every federal election.

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