A State-by-State Map Reveals There Is Shockingly Little Voter Fraud in the United States

A partnership of Slate and the New America Foundation.
Sept. 18 2012 8:00 AM

How Much Voter Fraud Is There?

A state-by-state map reveals the answer: almost none.

Since the 2010 elections, many Republican state legislatures (as well as Rhode Island's Democratic-controlled body) have moved to pass stronger voter ID laws. Though the supposed goal of this legislation is to stop voter fraud, the data on how much fraud is actually happening are hard to come by.

News21, part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, has mounted an intensive effort to try to flesh out that record. News21 students have requested and reviewed thousands of public records, court documents, and media reports to see how many prosecutions for election fraud have been made in each state. The result: "analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal." The map above illustrates the number of confirmed voter fraud cases found by News21 dating back to 2000. Out of hundreds of millions of ballots cast, they counted 633 incidents. Among states with voter ID laws on the books, Georgia and Kansas have seen the most prosecutions, with 80 and 97 cases respectively. In Pennsylvania, which may require voters to show identification on Election Day if the state’s Supreme Court does not block the new law from taking effect, the number of fraud cases was just five.

News21’s data-collection effort remains ongoing and incomplete, but the organization says that its database is the most comprehensive ever assembled. Want to hear more? At 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, former Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie will moderate a discussion with News21 journalists about the investigation at a New America Foundation event, “Suppressing Votes or Standing Against Fraud?

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.