WVU Experts Say Mass Voter Fraud Not an Issue in Upcoming Election

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Voter identification laws have been a contentious issue for many voters and candidates this election and in many states there is still heavy debate over their passing.

In some states, those laws have been struck down and suspended. In states with voter ID laws, voters will still have to identify themselves in some way, but there are more options.  

“I do think it’s a concern for people that voter ID could be preventing people from voting in this election,” said Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law at West Virginia University.

However, in West Virginia that won’t be the case for this election. While the legislature did pass a voter ID law in this year’s session, it will not take effect until 2018.

“My understanding of how the law will work is that there will be an identification card option for identifying oneself, but there’s a limited list of other options as well,” Ellis said. “The effect is coming but it’s not quite clear yet since we haven’t seen an election where it’s applied.”

Voter ID hasn’t been at the forefront of political issues this presidential race, but it was mentioned in the 3rd debate, with Donald Trump raising concerns about voter fraud and rigged elections.

“In fact in that debate he specifically referred to voter registration as a concern and certainly the Trump campaign has been advocating for their followers to observe elections on the belief that there would be folks who would not be authorized to vote actually attempting to vote,” Ellis added.

Ellis says the idea of voter fraud isn’t a concern in this election, and to do so in mass form is nearly impossible.

“Only 31 credible instances of voter impersonation voter fraud have occurred out of over a billion votes cast in elections since 2000,” he said.

Ellis also adds that even with voter fraud not being an issue, there are still some states where voters struggle to get the correct identification, even when identification laws are not in effect. 

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