Flirting with fraud
January 10, 2013
In December, the Government Accountability Board (GAB) staff presented a defense of Wisconsin’s polling-place voter registration system. It consisted mainly of self-serving assertions without empirical support.
An Associated Press reporter accepted pretty much uncritically the GAB’s cost estimates for ending same-day registration, and found a “non-partisan” source to claim there’s no evidence of voter fraud.
Had any reporters examined the GAB’s preliminary report, they’d have discovered about three-fourths of the “public outreach” budget was earmarked for paid ads on broadcast media that are required to provide free air time for public service announcements as a condition of licensure.
They’d also have seen that polling-place registrations spike in general elections, to about ten percent of total turnout. That’s not unexpected for a high-stakes election, and neither is the temptation to commit fraud. And if false registrations at the polls are ever detected, it will be long after the election is decided.