"Examiner Reporter Wonders Whether ‘Illegal Alien’ Voter Fraud Helped Franken Win"
Today, the anti-immigrant group, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), re-posted an article that was featured in yesterday’s Examiner in which “reporter” Jim Kouri warned against the infinite dangers of “illegal alien voter fraud,” suggesting that the phenomenon might have played a role in the election of Minnesota’s new senator, Al Franken:
“Just last month, in an extremely close race in Minnesota between incumbent Senator Norm Coleman and comedian Al Franken, Franken was finally declared a winner months after the actual election. While the recount battle raged, no one within the government or within the news media gave a thought to investigating whether or not illegal aliens or legal immigrants voted in the Minnesota for that contested senate seat.”
Kouri also suggests that “illegal aliens” may have cost Al Gore the state of Florida during the 2000 presidential race. He goes as far to include a nasty quote from New Jersey GOP strategist Janice Martin who seems to pose her own conspiracy theory:
“Americans would be shocked to discover that hundreds of thousands of general election voters are illegal aliens, green-card immigrants, and criminals who’ve murdered, raped and robbed US citizens. And guess which political party benefits the most from their votes? The one that’s pushing for amnesty and a bag full of free goodies.“
Kouri relies on a 2008 Heritage Report which uses anecdotal “research” and self-contradicting arguments to fan the flames of paranoia and convince right-wingers that they’ve acquired more dirt on the immigrant population. The report repeatedly contradicts itself, first claiming that “thousands of non-citizens are registered to vote in some states, and tens if not hundreds of thousands in total may be present on the voter rolls nationwide,” and then later admitting “there is no reliable method to determine the number of non-citizens registered or actually voting.”
If a reliable method did exist, chances are it would make Kouri and the Heritage Foundation blush. NYU Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice goes as far to claim that one is more likely to be struck by lightening than to come across a case of case of widespread voter fraud. The Brennan Center explains that many accusations of voter fraud, such as those put forth by Kouri and the Heritage Foundation, are actually due to database errors. The report ultimately states:
“Many of the claims of voter fraud amount to a great deal of smoke without much fire…These claims of voter fraud are frequently used to justify policies that do not solve the alleged wrongs, but that could well disenfranchise legitimate voters. Overly restrictive identification requirements for voters at the polls — which address a sort of voter fraud more rare than death by lightning — is only the most prominent example.”