BREAKING: Voter Fraud Continues to Be a Non-Problem

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Dave Weigel highlights the following from Fox News:

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Wednesday that his office found 17 non-citizens illegally cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election — and has referred the case for possible prosecution… Husted also found that 274 non-citizens remain on the voting rolls. President Obama beat Mitt Romney in Ohio by just 2 percentage points in November 2012.

Hmmm. So how does 17 citizens compare to Obama’s 2 percent winning margin? Weigel does the math. That’s 17 out of a winning victory of 166,272 votes. Not exactly a deal breaker.

Oh, and these 17 all had driver’s licenses, so a photo ID law wouldn’t have helped here. Nor was there any plot to steal votes. Just a minuscule thimbleful of random folks who cast votes they shouldn’t have. Maybe by accident—in fact, maybe not at all, since how these cases often turn out—but in any case, an absolute maximum of 17. Weigel concludes by comparing this to the 200,000 votes that were spoiled in Ohio in the 2004 election:

The situation’s improved since then, but there remain many, many more votes lost because of flawed ballots or attritition from long lines than votes canceled out out by the confirmed ballot of a non-citizen. And a great deal of legal work has come up dry in the hunt for the mythical “buses of illegal voters” being spirited in from cities or campuses to stuff the polls.

But if you just read Fox, you’ve learned that the voter fraud problem is very real.

Roger that.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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