Political expert debunks voter fraud speculations

Posted at 5:42 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 12:40:25-05

Claims of voter fraud continue to surface after the results of the presidential election.

President Trump has requested a recount in several states that flipped from red to blue, securing the win for president-elect Joe Biden.

But how common is voter fraud?

Well, voter fraud isn't as common as you would think, according to Dr. Jeffery Dixon Professor of Political Science at A&M Central Texas.

However, after an incident that led to the arrest of social worker in Limestone County now charged with 134 counts of voter fraud, some people aren't too sure.

If it can happen in Central Texas, then can it happen anywhere?

Some people took to the 25 News Facebook comments in disapproval of the election results and concerns of voting fraud.

Kelley Regan Brunner is facing up to 10 years in prison after allegedly acting as an agent of election fraud in Limestone County. The county's election administrator, Jennifer Southard, says Brunner did not get past voter registration checks.

"They were caught at the time of submission," she said. "These were applications to register to vote, they were not applications for ballot by mail, they were specifically applications to vote.”

After working with elections for over a decade, Southard said election officials are trained to spot any discrepancies, no matter the form of voting.

“The voter turnout, high or low, does not change the processes. So, it is still our responsibility to watch out for irregularities,” said Southard.

But if we look at the bigger picture?

“Just from your knowledge and the research that you have done, have you seen any evidence, on a large scale of voter fraud with this election?” 25 News asked Dixon.

"No," he replied.

Dr. Dixon explains voting by absentee ballot is the most susceptible to voting fraud. However, there are some dead give aways that hint at it on a larger scale.

“With voter fraud, what we should see is strong holds of the winning party there's a much higher turnout rate than usual. That would indicate a ballot stuffing. We don’t see that so far. One study finding that out of billions of votes cast, only 31 could be described as voter impersonation fraud," said Dixon.

And as far a recount is concerned, Dixon says this request is normal. He says most states do have an automatic recount rule if the margin of votes falls within a certain parameter.

“They are an ordinary part of the process designed to make sure that we haven't made mistakes," Dixon said.

A senior research analyst, Deb Otis at FairVote said in the 5,778 statewide elections over the last 20 years, there have been 31 completed statewide. Only 3 of those recounts resulted in overturn in the challenged races. Reporting in the margin of victory was less than 0.05%.

Forty-two states plus the District of Columbia allows candidates or voters to request a recount. However, many of them require a fee for the requesting party, which can be upwards of $1 million.