How extensive is voter-fraud, especially among non-citizens? Just bring up the question, or suggest we need to have voter-ID at the polls like every other advanced democracy, and the answer will be instantly supplied: You’re a racist. But as Dan McLaughlin points out over at The Federalist, Democrats seem to win a suspiciously high number of close elections, well beyond what a random statistical trial would suggest.
There’s a bombshell academic study out on this issue right now that the media is mostly ignoring (the only exception being the Washington Post’s very fine wonky MonkeyCage blog), in part because it appears in an obscure academic journal, Electoral Studies, that is behind an expensive subscription paywall, and in part because any reporter who does a story about it will be called a racist. Since I’m an academic these days, I’ve got access to the article, “Do Non-Citizens Vote in U.S. Elections?”, by Jesse T. Richman and Gulshan A. Chattha of Old Dominion University and David C. Earnest of George Mason University.
The conclusion of the abstract alone ought to set off alarm bells:
We find that some non-citizens participate in U.S. elections, and that this participation has been large enough to change meaningful election outcomes including Electoral College votes, and Congressional elections. Non-citizen votes likely gave 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.
Using data from the Cooperate Congressional Election Study, which sampled 32,000 voters in 2008 and over 50,000 voters in 2010, the authors conclude that as many as 14 percent of non-citizens—potentially as high as 2.8 million—are registered to vote. The authors conclude that a mid-point estimate of 1.2 million non-citizens cast votes in 2008:
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.
The authors think that non-citizen votes not only tipped the 2008 Minnesota senate race to Al Franken, but also tipped North Carolina’s presidential vote that year:
[T]he analysis suggests that non-citizens’ votes have changed significant election outcomes including the assignment of North Carolina’s 2008 electoral votes, and the pivotal Minnesota Senate victory of Democrat Al Franken in 2008.
An important caveat is that a voter ID requirement is not necessarily a barrier to non-citizen voting. Many non-citizen voters in this sample had IDs and were able to cast votes. But in some cases an ID requirement did prevent illegal votes:
In 2008 14 respondents indicated that they did not vote because “I did not have the correct form of identification,” and in 2010 29 indicated that they did not vote because of the absence of necessary identification.
Nonetheless, identification requirements blocked ballot access for only a small portion of non-citizens. Of the 27 non-citizens who indicated that they were “asked to show picture identification, such as a driver’s license, at the polling place or election office,” in the 2008 survey, 18 claimed to have subsequently voted, and one more indicated that they were “allowed to vote using a provisional ballot.”
So how do we know these non-citizen votes redounded to the benefit of Democrats and not Republicans? This is easy: if Democrats really think the effect of non-citizen voting makes no partisan difference, then why do they put up such a fuss at every proposal for assuring voter integrity? QED.
Keep you eye on the ballot box next week.