James O’Keefe Proves That Pointless Form of Voter Fraud Is Possible

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In a new video, a member of James O'Keefe's "Project Veritas" manages to enter a D.C. polling station and receive a ballot for none other than Attorney General Eric Holder, simply by providing Holder's address.

Assuming the video isn't deceptively edited — and it doesn't appear to be, but that will always be a concern with O'Keefe — it does do a good job of demonstrating how easy it is to carry out voter fraud without voter I.D. laws.

The question is whether anyone should really care. Yes, if you wanted to, you could risk five years in prison and a $10,000 fine to vote for someone else, but we're not sure why you would, since a single vote, or even a few votes, will never make a difference. (Okay, almost never.) Could a group of hundreds or thousands of fraudsters be mobilized to go around to different polling stations on election day and vote for one particular candidate or issue, possibly altering the outcome of an election? It would be difficult to organize surreptitiously, but sure, it's probably doable. But it has never happened. As the Brennan Center for Justice notes:

Because voter fraud is essentially irrational, it is not surprising that no credible evidence suggests a voter fraud epidemic. There is no documented wave or trend of individuals voting multiple times, voting as someone else, or voting despite knowing that they are ineligible. Indeed, evidence from the microscopically scrutinized 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington State actually reveals just the opposite: though voter fraud does happen, it happens approximately 0.0009% of the time. The similarly closely-analyzed 2004 election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of 0.00004%. National Weather Service data shows that Americans are struck and killed by lightning about as often.

There are a lot of disruptive things that people are capable of doing that they nevertheless don't do, and which we consequently don't need to freak out about. Someone could, hypothetically, go to a local supermarket and lick all the apples, just to savor the essence of apple without coughing up 30 cents. That doesn't mean we should lock up all the apples behind a plexiglass barrier.