Greg Abbott

Gov. Greg Abbott

A new analysis of Republican-led "election integrity" prosecutions of alleged voter fraud found not only an extremely low success rate, but a common theme of prosecutions disproportionately targeting Democrats and minority voters.

This week the Washington Postpublished a report analyzing voter fraud prosecutions in six different Republican-led states — Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Texas and Virginia — dating back to the 2020 presidential election. The Post found that out of tens of millions of ballots cast in those states since then, there were only 47 confirmed convictions out of 136 total prosecutions. Additionally, 76% of defendants in those cases were either Black or Hispanic, compared to just 24% of defendants who are white.

"At best, these 'election integrity' units are for show, designed to placate far-right election denialists in the conservative base," Heather Sawyer, executive director of the watchdog group American Oversight, told the Post. "At worst, they are used to justify new voting restrictions and to intimidate people — especially racial minorities — from exercising their right to vote."

The Post's report additionally found that all of the 47 voter fraud-related convictions occurred in Florida, Ohio and Texas with Arkansas, Georgia and Virginia's prosecutions not yielding a single guilty verdict despite spending millions of tax dollars. And out of the 115 cases resolved as of December, the Post found that 42 of those prosecutions ended in dismissal, acquittal or dropped charges.

In addition to the investigations overwhelmingly targeting racial minorities, the publication found that 58 percent of defendants were registered Democrats while only 23 percent were registered Republicans. The remaining defendants weren't registered with any political party. And contrary to former President Trump's claims that he was unfairly disadvantaged by widespread cheating, the bulk of prosecutions were over minor mistakes, like falsifying a registration form or voting despite being barred from doing so due to a felony conviction.

"They did not have a record of fraud that they needed to go and create these investigative units," Rutgers University professor Lorraine Minnite said. "The fact that they have not produced evidence of fraud is support for their lack of necessity."

The Post's findings in its most recent report are similar to another deep dive into alleged voter fraud by Loyola University-Los Angeles law professor Justin Levitt. In a 2014 analysis for the Post, Levitt found just 31 credible instances of voter fraud out of more than one billion ballots cast since 2000.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Meet Fox's Fake 'Democrat' -- An Anti-Vax Libertarian (VIDEO)

Stephanie Edmonds

Fox News

Fox News has a long history of hosting conservative activists while presenting them as everyday American voters. The network has also been presenting an anti-vaccine activist as a “Democrat voter” — despite her past public comments declaring that she actually votes Libertarian for president and for Republicans in other races, and that Democratic candidates are “an automatic no-no.”

Stephanie Edmonds became an anti-vaccine political activist after she lost her job in the New York City school system for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine. She has an extensive media footprint, with interviews and appearances on outlets ranging from the mainstream CNN and CBS News to the right-wing Post Millennial.

On the Wednesday morning edition of Fox & Friends, a panel of voters gathered to discuss the previous evening’s town hall event with former President Donald Trump and Fox host Sean Hannity. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduced Edmonds, saying, “I know you’re a Democrat,” while Fox’s on-screen chyron identified her as a “Democrat voter.” Edmonds then criticized Trump on the grounds that he had “teed up a socialist vaccination program that then led to mandates” and promoted her work on an upcoming documentary about the pandemic shutdowns. She further added, “Democrats like me are fleeing from the Democratic Party.”

Edmonds has every right to voice her own opinions, of course. But for Fox to present her as a “Democrat voter” whose pronouncements generally reflect Democratic voters seems disingenuous. Edmonds has in fact described herself as “politically homeless,” and she seems to have registered with the Democratic Party simply in order to vote in local primary elections in a heavily Democratic area.

Earhardt should have known all this information about Edmonds — after all, the two of them had previously discussed this very matter. Edmonds had appeared on the September 28 edition of Fox & Friends as part of a voter panel gathered to respond to the second Republican primary debate. Earhardt explained, “You live in Stamford, Connecticut, very Democratic area, so you’re registered as a Democrat, but you say you’re politically homeless.”

In another segment an hour later, Edmonds further explained to co-host Steve Doocy, “I’m actually politically homeless. I’m Democrat because I live in a Democrat town, so it allows me to participate more effectively in the process.”

Doocy jokingly responded, “You want to be one of the cool kids — is that what you’re saying?”

Edmonds is also active on her personal account on X (formerly known as Twitter), where she promoted Wednesday morning’s Fox appearance and suggested that she would speak out against the “socialist vaccination scheme.” In past tweets, she explained that she first registered as a Democrat in order to support then-Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) in the 2020 presidential primaries and applauded Gabbard for “joining the Unaffiliated with me.” She also declared that she has “NEVER voted for either a republican or democrat for president” and that she expects she will “probably go libertarian again” in 2024. She has also stated that “Democrats are an automatic no-no for me,” and said that in the 2022 midterm election she was “voting down ballot Republican.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.