Voter fraud

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Voter fraud is when individual voters attempt to vote illegally in a way that might change the outcome of an election. It is extremely rare, and has never influenced the outcome of a major election. The Wall Street Journal defines it as "a term used to refer to cases in which one voter impersonates another at the poll to cast a fraudulent vote".

Despite this, conservoid politicians and propaganda outlets like to claim that it is rampant and wide-spread, as justification for draconian measures to restrict voting access and reduce voting among disempowered groups who are more likely to vote against them.

Of the few instances of actual voter fraud found, the overwhelming majority were committed by conservoids attempting to prove the existence of voter fraud.

It is also important to note the contrast between the way the white defendants -- many of whom not only attempted but did in fact vote illegally were treated, versus how the two Black defendants (Crystal Mason and Pamela Moses) – one of whom never actually voted, and both of whom obeyed the instructions of election officials who had full knowledge of the defendants' legal status – were treated.


The term is often used in a way that includes other types of electoral fraud, but this is incorrect. Voter fraud is electoral fraud that is committed specifically through an attempted act of illegal voting – especially where that vote would give the voter more electoral representation than that to which they are entitled, which most often involves voting more than once.

Instances (actual, alleged, or claimed)

US: aggregate

  • 2020-09-13 How Widespread Is Voter Fraud in the US?
    • «Although the attempted double voting was caught and did not change voting tallies, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said he wanted each case investigated and prosecuted if determined to be illegal.»
    • «The Heritage Foundation’s database includes 1,296 “proven instances of voter fraud” out of the hundreds of millions of votes cast going back to 1992. Of those cases identified, 1,120 resulted in criminal convictions.» Less than 1300 instances, over 3 decades and 100,000,000+ votes.
    • «“There's actually more fraud occurring out there than actually gets reported and prosecuted,” von Spakovsky said.» ...with absolutely no evidence whatsoever.




Where Who
Chaffee County, CO Barry Morphew
Morphew has been charged with murder in the disappearance of his wife a year ago and with voter fraud for voting for Donald Trump using his wife's mail-in ballot.
Marple, PA Bruce Bartman
Bartman, 70, marked his deceased mother’s absentee ballot with a check mark next to President Donald Trump’s name, and mailed it in.
Las Vegas, NV Donald Kirk Hartle
Hartle, a business executive, voted in his dead wife's name and then claimed someone else had done it.
Delaware County, OH Edward Snodgrass
Snodgrass, «57, a Porter Township trustee and a registered Republican, admitted to casting a ballot for his newly deceased father after forging his signature on an absentee ballot. [...] Snodgrass told NBC News that he made "an honest error" by fulfilling "a dying man's wish."»
Orlando, FL Joan Halstead, Jay Ketcik, John Rider, and Charles Barnes
Four voters have been arrested for casting multiple ballots, after an investigation launched by Sumter County Supervisor of Elections Bill Keen. Two of them appear to have been registered Republicans at the time of voting[MSN], [OS], with a third being a Trump supporter.
Harris County, TX Mark Aguirre
NOT VOTER FRAUD Aguirre, a licensed private investigator fired from the Houston police in 2003, was indicted on an assault charge for running a man off the road and pointing a gun to his head because he thought the man was committing voter fraud.
Chester County, PA Ralph Thurman
Thurman, a 72-year-old Republican, was caught voting twice (once for himself and once for his son, a Democrat) by progressive pollworker Eric Frank.
Iowa (8 counties) (statistics)
NOT VOTER FRAUD Judicial Watch (JW), a conservoid legal organization with a poor record for accuracy, claimed in a press release on 2020-02-03 that «"eight Iowa counties have more voter registrations than their eligible voting-age population."» The data JW used appears to depend on a comparison figures from two or more sources which should not be expected to match up, and is therefore not evidence of voter fraud. Iowa secretary of state Paul Pate, a Republican, issued a statement noting that «official data compiled by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office shows this information is false.» and lambasting JW for spreading disinformation in an attempt to disenfranchise Iowa voters. Although JW president Tom Fitton denied that JW's findings indicated voter fraud, the findings were widely cited amongst conservoids as proving exactly that.
Scottsdale, AZ Tracey Kay McKee
McKee, 64, voted with her dead mother's ballot. She was sentenced to two years' felony probation, fines, and community service.

The KTAR article states that this is "one of just a handful of voter fraud cases from Arizona’s 2020 election that have led to charges", which presumably means there have been as many as ~5 other cases.



It may be illuminating to compare and contrast Crystal Mason and Steve Curtis, looking both at the severity of the offense and the punishment.


  • (Pine Knoll Shores, NC) NO FRAUD Jim Turner, apparently a Barack Obama supporter, said on social media that he voted multiple times (different districts) in order to "save our country from the world envisioned by Mitt Romney". It later turned out that he was joking, and had not actually voted illegally.


  • Wikipedia redirects to "electoral fraud", which covers other types of voting-related fraud as well, with emphasis on non-individual action
  • ConservapediaConservapedia is an unreliable source. «is the crime of a voter submitting a ballot he or she is not entitled to cast.»: This actually seems accurate. « has been estimated at 2,000 cases in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections combined. However, it is difficult to gauge the exact number, and many cases may go undiscovered or unreported. It can change the outcome of a close election.»: This, however, does not, and it cites only a paywalled Wall Street Journal article which notes that researchers «say they have so far found little direct evidence that the practice is common enough to affect the results of elections, even close ones.»
  • RationalWiki «a moral panic weirdly popular in the United States. As genuine cases of voter fraud are almost non-existent, it is almost always a dog whistle term for people of color voting.» This.
  • SourceWatch «refers to attempts by either individual voters or voting-focused organizations to affect the outcome of an election by casting votes with fraudulent identities or misrepresenting eligibility to vote.» The "or voting-focused organizations" part of that is a different kind of electoral fraud. Voter fraud is by definition only committed by individuals casting illegal votes.
  • Election Fraud Cases by The Heritage Foundation, a conservoid think-tank

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