Scott Walker: Voter Fraud is Worth "One or Two Points" in Wisconsin

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 21 2012 9:13 AM

Scott Walker: Voter Fraud is Worth "One or Two Points" in Wisconsin

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PEWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 31: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Waukesha County GOP Lincoln Day dinner at the Country Springs Hotel on March 31, 2012 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. With less than a week before the Wisconsin primary, Mitt Romney continues to campaign through the state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Wisconsin native Steve Hayes offers a long, empathetic take on Scott Walker's attempt to survive a recall election. The highlight: An interview with Walker, who apologizes for nothing (why should he?) and tries to get inside the heads of the liberals who hate him. Why are they so adamant about reversing a voter ID law?

"I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud. One or two points, potentially."
That’s enough to change the outcome of the election. “Absolutely. I mean there’s no question why they went to court and fought [to undo] voter ID.”
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There might be some question. The voter fraud issue was investigated in Wisconsin fairly recently, in the form of an Election Fraud Task Force and a deep dive into 2008's vote results. The yearlong investigation charged 20 people -- this in an election with around 3 million ballots. For fraud to equal "one or two points" in that election, you'd have needed 30,000-60,000 phony ballots. The proven fraud actually amounted to 0.0007 percent of all votes.

The people who oppose voter ID laws say they're doing it to rescue the votes of poor or elderly people who lack current IDs. Sure, yes, this would probably be the cover story they'd use if they were trying to make life easier for criminals. But perhaps they're not! It's a possibility Walker rules out.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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