Report: No voter fraud problem in Illinois

2012-10-09T18:08:00Z Report: No voter fraud problem in IllinoisBy Kurt Erickson | kurt.erickson@lee.net pantagraph.com

SPRINGFIELD — A new report is raising questions about Republican efforts to enact tougher voter identification laws in Illinois.

According to News21, a national investigative reporting project funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, of the 23 voter fraud cases logged in Illinois over the past 12 years, none has been related to someone impersonating someone else at the polls.

“The ‘rampant’ voter fraud alarm has been exposed as a myth and a deliberate falsehood,” said Michael Del Galdo, a Berwyn attorney who specializes in legislative efforts to address election fraud. “Having no cases of voter impersonation fraud here in Illinois in 12 years speaks for itself regarding the scope of the ‘problem.’”

The report comes as GOP lawmakers in Illinois and other states have been pushing proposals to require voters to show a driver’s license or state identification card to election judges before voting.

Among them is state Rep. Rich Morthland, a Cordova Republican who says voters need ID cards to drive and cash checks. “What’s wrong with making this activity more secure?” he said.

“Illinois is legendary for voter fraud. It seems surprising there isn’t more,” Morthland added.

State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, also has introduced a voter ID proposal that is languishing in the Democratic-controlled Illinois House.

He said he patterned the legislation after an Indiana voter ID law that has passed constitutional muster.

“I don’t think its asking too much for someone to carry a photo ID,” Mitchell said.

According to a recent poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, 9.4 percent of registered voters said they don’t have a current state-issued photo identification card and couldn’t show one at polling places if it were required to cast a ballot.

Of those, 14.6 percent were people with high school educations or lower, 16.2 percent were African Americans, 13.4 percent were voters younger than 35, and 14 percent were those in households with incomes below $50,000 annually.

Del Galdo said the low number of voter fraud cases indicates that lawmakers in Illinois and elsewhere could spend their time dealing with other issues.

“(T)he numbers of cases involved in each state over a 12-year period is so negligible that the issue hardly merits mention by responsible officials,” he said.

Copyright 2015 pantagraph.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. Jeff Strange11
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    Jeff Strange11 - October 10, 2012 6:11 pm
    Come on Pantagraph. You site a study by two groups both funded and allied with George Soros who is committed to the downfall of the United States and put it on your front page? The Pantagraph is a threat to our democracy.
  2. miniman
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    miniman - October 10, 2012 8:04 am
    Be rational; why would an illlegal alien risk deportation just to vote? Your claim does not pass the reasonability test.
  3. miniman
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    miniman - October 10, 2012 8:01 am
    Is this a case of "big government" Republicans looking for a solution to a problem that obviously does not exist? Or is it, as they have admitted in Pa., just an attempt at voter suppression in order to win an election?
  4. annieoakley
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    annieoakley - October 10, 2012 7:42 am
    Yea BC republicans are guilty of voter fraud when the democrats have owned this state for almost a century! bwahahahahaha that is real funny. Isn't it strange that the Constitution only speaks about the rights of CITIZENS of this country? It doesn't mention illegals or foreigners having any rights whatsoever! EVERYONE is required now to have a state ID card because in order to cash a check you HAVE to have a photo id. In order to have a bank account, you have to have a photo id. Look at the last election across the country BC! Acorn was registering cartoon characters to vote. The Chicago elections made sure those in JAIL got their absentee ballots but our military serving overseas didn't get theirs. I remember when Gore was running against Bush and he didn't want the military absentee ballots to be counted in Florida. Voter fraud? The democrats have owned this for decades, I do believe LBJ started it, a democrat down in texas.
  5. annieoakley
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    annieoakley - October 10, 2012 7:32 am
    What a scam! lmao Who are these people trying to kid? The no id thing because someone is poor is a lie. Why did Illinois raise their rates photo id's and drivers licenses? Of course they are going to pull this scam.
  6. BC
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    BC - October 10, 2012 6:58 am
    Chicago voter fraud is a thing of the past. Actually the number of actual voters versus the number of eligible voters shows a large portion of those eligible don't vote once, never mind twice. Felons in Illinois are allowed to vote once they have served their prison term, they can still be on parole or probation and legally vote. Illegal aliens have valid driver's licenses so that makes your claim iffy also. The older you get the less you are required to show a driver's license or photo ID. In fact the Republicans are ruling out a good sized portion of their own base with this. Most religious sects who refuse to be photographed do vote Republican. However, the wealthy who own property in multiple states are voting absentee in one and in person in another. A large portion of those are also Republican. This will backfire because nationwide private organizations are working to get such ID for poorer and elderly citizens who now don't have such cards. College students who presently can't use their school ID to vote legally use it for the purposes the whiners cite. They are bright enough and capable of obtaining a state ID, and they are. When the law backfires, and it will, Republicans will be launching a campaign to change it on Constitutional grounds. People have a year before it can go into effect, won't effect this election. Midterm should see those targeted equipped with proper ID. Then lets see who starts complaining.
  7. Wat Tyler
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    Wat Tyler - October 09, 2012 11:27 pm
    This is a joke, right? no voter fraud in Illinois? Not even Chicago? This is a fine case of circular logic. There can't be voter fraud because there are no prosecutions. There are no prosecutions because the fraudsters get their politicians elected. What elected politician is going to allow the thieves that stole our civil liberties get prosecuted while they are in office? The fact of the matter is that Illinois has a large number of illegal aliens and a lot of them vote democrat. There are many felons should should not be voting, voting.and you would think that the elections were held on Halloween in Chicago, given the numbers that rise from the dead to cast their ballots. I thought for a minute this was an AP story, it is so silly. But i was wrong, it is just Kurt Erickson, tongue in cheek.
  8. L1234
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    L1234 - October 09, 2012 9:57 pm
    Why do we hear everywhere that requiring an ID is such a ‘racist’ requirement when (in Illinois at least) 83.4% of the people with no ID aren't black?

    Maybe it's just ‘unfair to the poor' even though 86% make over $50K.
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