March 30, 2022

Voter Fraud Misinformation

Voter Fraud Misinformation

A friend of mine recently forwarded me an email he had received with a link to this webpage, posted by the Texas Nationalist Movement, claiming that there were 33 counties in Texas where more people were registered to vote than the population of citizens over 18 and that this was a “clear sign of election fraud.”  The claim is complete and utter nonsense.

The Texas Nationalist Movement is a group that advocates that Texas should secede from the United States.  The movement’s leadership has traveled to Russia for meetings  with other “nationalist” groups and the Free Russia Foundation has alleged that it receives financial support from the Russian government.

Its claim, published on March 23, 2022, is based on a “study” conducted by Judicial Watch.  The webpage says that the Judicial Watch study was “released this week” but it was actually done in September 2020.

The Judicial Watch study compared the estimated population of citizens of voting age (VCAP) prepared by the U.S. Census each year to the number of people shown on the Texas Secretary of State as being registered to vote in each county.   JW claimed the difference represented “ghost voters.”  In Texas, their study says that the number of registered voters exceeds the VCAP in 33 Texas Counties.  This is the summary of their finding that TNM published on their website.

You will note that the table only has percentages and does not give actual numbers.  That is because there were some small counties with a very high discrepancy, thereby making much more of an impact if stated on a percentage basis.  For example, the number one example of election fraud was Loving County where, according to Judicial Watch, the number of registered voters was 187% of VCAP!  What the table does not reveal is the entire population of Loving County, which is in far west Texas, is 115.  There were 116 registered voters against a VCAP of 60, resulting is 56 “ghost voters.”

When the numbers for all 33 counties are aggregated, the JW study shows a difference of just over 37,000 votes (1,944,273 vs. 1,906,900, 1.96%).  Just for context, in 2020 Texas had just over 16 million registered voters, so the alleged “ghost voters” were about .2% of the total.

But even that turned out not to be accurate.  As we all know, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census every ten years.  However, between censuses, the Bureau issues estimates of population data based on surveys that it conducts each year.  JW used the Bureau’s survey from 2018, even though by the time of its study in September 2020, the actual numbers for 2020 were available.  In other words, JW was comparing estimated population data for 2018 to the 2020 voter rolls.

When you put in the actual Census numbers for 2020 instead of the 2018 estimate, there are only 20 counties where the number of registered voters exceeds the VCAP.  All are small, rural counties with an average VCAP of 8,700.  The number of “ghost voters” drops to 11,385 or .04% (4/100s of one percent) of the States’ registered voters.

If you aggregate all 33 counties identified by JW using the 2020 Census numbers, instead of the 2018 estimate, the 2020 registration rate was about 95%, which is in line with State averages.

But it gets worse.  JW included in its total registered voters, Texas’ “suspense registrations.”  These are primarily people whose voter registration card was returned by the Post Office to the voter registar, typically because they had moved.  It is possible to vote even if your registration has been suspended but the voter must essentially re-register to do so.  Former election officials tell me this happens infrequently.

Only nine of the counties had non-suspended voter rolls that exceeded the Census’ estimate for VCAP.  Total of “ghost voters” in those nine counties was 4,151 or .02% of the States’ registered voters.

McMullen County Courthouse

Finally, just because someone is registered where they should not be, that does mean they actually voted there.  There was only one county, McMullen, where the total votes cast in the 2020 election were higher than the VCAP and that was by a whopping 41 votes.  The total number of votes cast in the 2020 election in these 33 counties was about 70% of the VCAP, which was only slightly higher than the State average at about 65%.  And, by the way, Trump won 22 of the 33 counties identified by JW and TNM as being hotbeds for voter fraud.  He won 91% of the vote in McMullen County.

You have all heard the old saying that if something is too good to be true, it probably is.  My corollary to that saying is that if something sounds incredible, it probably is.  When you see something that is this outlandish, and especially if it confirms some pre-existing suspicion you have, I would respectfully suggest that stop and consider that perhaps someone is fabricating a narrative, not to elucidate but to reinforce a false narrative.

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