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The Truth About Voter Fraud

June 2007

Justin Levitt


This report from the Brennan Center for Justice takes an in-depth look at voter fraud in the United States. They argue that many perceived instances of voter fraud are simply clerical errors: either errors of poll books (e.g. reports of a dead citizen voting turned out to simply be a check mark next to the wrong name), errors in registration records, and other simple human errors. The author analyzes several case studies, finds the instance of voter fraud to be incredibly small, and further concludes that voter ID laws would have no effect.

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Policy Implications

This report argues that voter ID laws are attempting to solve a problem that does not exist. Most cases of fraud are in fact clerical errors, and the fraud that does exist accounted for between .0002% and .0004% of the vote in case studies. Even in those cases, the authors concluded that voter ID would not have helped. The only potential effect of these laws was the possibility of disenfranchising legitimate voters.

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