Ignoring Georgia Illegal Voting Proves Democrats Don’t Care About Election Integrity At All

Ignoring Georgia Illegal Voting Proves Democrats Don’t Care About Election Integrity At All

While Democrats and their partners in the press push the Jim Crow canard, they ignore the real disenfranchisement that took place in the mess of the 2020 election.
Margot Cleveland
By

On Friday, when The Federalist broke news that recently obtained evidence indicates more than 10,300 Georgia voters—a number that continues to grow—voted illegally in the 2020 general election, the corrupt press ignored the story.

Instead, corporate and government media focused that day on Democrats’ calls to ditch the filibuster to push through H.R. 1, the so-called For the People Act, and the White House’s announcement that “Biden would travel to Philadelphia on Tuesday to discuss ‘actions to protect the sacred, constitutional right to vote.’”

In covering these stories, the press continues to parrot Democrats’ spin that H.R. 1 is necessary to protect the right to vote which, the left claims, is under attack by GOP-controlled states “after Republicans seized on former President Donald Trump’s false claim of massive voter fraud in the 2020 election as a pretext for passing new legislation curtailing ballot access.”

Democrats persist in their claims that these state laws “disenfranchise large numbers of voters, particularly voters of color,” with President Joe Biden calling them an “ongoing assault of voter suppression that represents a Jim Crow era in the 21st Century.”

While Democrats and their partners in the press push the Jim Crow canard, they ignore the real disenfranchisement that took place in the mess of the 2020 election, a minor fraction of which I detailed last week in reporting on new evidence that indicates more than 10,300 Georgia residents voted illegally.

Illegal voting might not be glamourous and it definitely doesn’t garner the headlines, but every illegal vote counted cancels out a lawfully cast ballot, thereby disenfranchising the latter voter. And a voter holds a right both “to cast his or her vote, and the corresponding right of each of those legally registered voters to be protected from having that vote diluted by illegally or fraudulently cast votes.”

But in Georgia it now appears near-certain that tens of thousands of residents voted illegally in the 2020 general election. Yet there is a collective yawn by the same politicians and press corps desperate to sell the tale of impending disenfranchisement in red states.

Documenting Thousands of Illegal Votes

Georgia law makes clear that residents must vote in the county in which they reside unless they changed their residence within 30 days of the election. As I explained last week, soon after the November general election, Mark Davis, an expert in voter data analytics and residency issues, obtained details from the National Change of Address (NCOA) database on residents who confirmed moves from one Georgia county to another Georgia county with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Then, by using data available from the Secretary of State’s Office, Davis determined that nearly 35,000 of those Georgia voters voted in the 2020 general election in the county from which they had moved.

While some of those nearly 35,000 voters may have been students, members of the military, or may have only relocated temporarily—situations which do not affect an individual’s residency for purposes of election law—everyone else in this group voted illegally under Georgia law. Now we are seeing from Davis’ further research that as of May 2021, more than 10,300 of those individuals have updated their voter registration to their new address, thereby confirming that the move they had previously informed the USPS of was permanent.

These facts matter because every illegal vote cancels out a lawful one. Also, as Davis told The Federalist, “I see them in every county, and in every state house, state senate, and congressional district in the state.”

In fact, “Of the voters who have since updated their own addresses, the voter data indicates over 94 percent of these folks would have been given the opportunity to vote in a House district they no longer lived in, over 86 percent would have been given the opportunity to vote in a Senate district they no longer lived in, and almost 64 percent would have been given the opportunity to vote in a congressional district they no longer lived in.”

Want to Vote? Follow the Same Rules Everyone Does

While the ramifications of voting illegally in a county for representatives who, in fact, will not represent you, provide a concrete example of the problem with such voting, the issue remains even when statewide races such as U.S. senator and president are at stake. And the issue at stake is that such a vote is illegal!

The right to vote can be denied by dilution of a vote just as effectively as the outright prohibition of the free exercise of the franchise. Further, that a citizen could have legally cast a ballot, but did not, does not make the illegal vote lawful. It also does not alter the fact that the illegal vote canceled out another legally cast vote.

Consider also that in Georgia, the data indicate that more than 100,000 individuals were similarly situated: they moved more than 30 days before the election and failed to register to vote in their new county. The vast majority abided by the law and did not vote illegally in their old county. Counting the votes of those who broke the law disenfranchises those who followed the mandates established by the Georgia legislature.

Democrats Don’t Care—And Why?

If Democrats cared about disenfranchisement, they would care about legal voters disenfranchised by scofflaws. They would care about what happened in Georgia.

But instead, when Georgia passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021, Democrats, led by Biden, targeted the state, calling the law “Jim Crow on steroids,” prompting Major League Baseball to move its All-Star Game from Atlanta. Then, after H.R. 1 stalled in the Senate, the Biden administration’s Department of Justice filed a frivolous lawsuit against Georgia, claiming the state’s election integrity law violated the Voting Rights Act.

The irony here is that, for all the Democrats screaming that Georgia’s law, and similar voting-integrity bills passed or pending in other states, represent Jim Crow disenfranchisement efforts, there is more evidence that voters are disenfranchised by fraud than any of the provisions sought to prevent fraud.

Yes, proof of widespread fraud in more recent years is lacking, but whether that is due to the difficulty of proving such fraud or because fraud only occurs at the fringes is unknown. As the Supreme Court has stressed, “it should go without saying that a State may take action to prevent election fraud without waiting for it to occur and be detected within its own borders.”

But the more fundamental problem rests on the specious focus on “widespread fraud.” That framing of the issue is pure misdirection: Every instance of voter fraud disenfranchises a legal voter and thus voting fraud need not be “widespread” to violate the fundamental constitutional right to vote—“a sacred right of the highest character.”

Reducing Fraud Is Never About Reducing Real Voting

Contrast that reality with claims that states’ time, place, and manner regulations of voting disenfranchise voters. Here, we see cases such as Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, which challenged Indiana’s voter-identification law.

In addressing the constitutionality of the Indiana law in Crawford, the federal appellate court, which was later affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, made an interesting observation: “There is something remarkable about the plaintiffs considered as a whole. . . There is not a single plaintiff who intends not to vote because of the new law—that is, who would vote were it not for the law.” “No doubt there are at least a few such people in Indiana,” the court added, but noted that “the inability of the sponsors of this litigation to find any such person to join as a plaintiff,” suggested the real problem was not disenfranchisement.

The Crawford court also made a profound point missing in today’s discussion of time, place, and manner regulations of voting and the false comparison of these laws to the Jim Crow laws that both in intent and application denied blacks the right to vote. Those laws included “poll taxes, literacy tests, property qualifications, ‘white primar[ies],’ and “grandfather clause[s],” the latter of which allowed citizens who could not read or failed to own property to vote if they had voted before the Civil War—in other words, whites were excluded from these laws.

But, as the appellate court in Crawford highlighted, Indiana’s voter identification “law is not like a poll tax, where on one side [of the equation] is the right to vote and on the other side the state’s interest in defraying the cost of elections or in limiting the franchise to people who really care about voting or in excluding poor people or in discouraging people who are black.”

In contrast, “the purpose of the Indiana law is to reduce voting fraud, and voting fraud impairs the right of legitimate voters to vote by diluting their votes—dilution being recognized to be an impairment of the right to vote.” In other words, such voting-integrity laws have “the right to vote is on both sides of the ledger.”

Yet the left has successfully excluded from the debate consideration of those disenfranchised by fraudulent votes while framing “the usual burdens of voting” as attacks on the right to vote. A complicit media may play along, but conservatives should not accept Democrats’ framing of the debate. Disenfranchisement is at issue—but it is the disenfranchisement of legal voters at stake, not that of citizens who refuse to exert the normal effort required to exercise their right to vote.

There’s a sure-fire way to prove the left doesn’t care about disenfranchisement: Ask them about the mounting evidence of tens of thousands of illegal votes cast in Georgia in the 2020 general election, because while widespread voter fraud may be difficult to prove, establishing extensive illegal voting is not.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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