To the Editor:
Roger Seymour’s letter in last Wednesday’s Mercury about data on voter fraud and the paper’s “charade” against Secretary of State Kris Kobach has all the makings of misinformation and hysteria mas-querading as truth.
Seymour cites a study by the North Carolina Board of Elect-ions reported on a Raleigh-Durham TV station and asserts that it “found 34,750 cases of double voting.”
Seymour claims that such data is proof of voter fraud and exonerates Kobach’s and others’ efforts to institute draconian voter ID laws.
However, the Institute for Southern Studies has pointed out that the 35,000 number is not a record of double voting but rather a number generated by a 28-state, cross-state comparison of voters who happened to have the same first and last names. Moreover, this cross-state com-parison was conducted not by the North Carolina Board of Elections but by none other than Kobach’s own office.
As the Institute points out, Kobach’s office “has produced little evidence” that any of the 35,000 individuals double voted and added, “When asked in Oct. 2013, Kobach’s office couldn’t produce any evidence of a single instance in which the Interstate Crosscheck’s data has led to any actual charge of voter fraud.” Indeed, Kobach himself has admitted that “errors” in faulty cross-check methodology “alone have led to greatly inflated numbers of possible double voting.”
Before one decides to lam-baste the Mercury for wanting to protect the right to vote and for critiquing a political ideologue who is an embarrassment to the State of Kansas and to the values of this country, it’s important to have the facts straight. Too many people on one side of the political spectrum seem to be living in an alternate reality of fabricated “truthiness,” where voter suppression is a thing to be proud of.