CBS News: Early voter fraud largely rhetoric, not reality

With all the talk of potential voter fraud coming from both parties, you’d think the whole thing was tainted. Well CBS News did a thorough study of 17 states by speaking with local election officials in several areas.

Here’s the report from CBS News:

To separate fact from fiction, CBS News conducted a detailed survey of 17 states that allow early voting – in person. What we found is that charges of widespread voter fraud or suppression are far more rhetoric than reality.

As of Friday, nearly 7 million people had voted early in those 17 states. CBS News made dozens of calls to top election officials, state party leaders from both sides, and watchdog groups, asking for clear cut examples of Americans being denied the right to vote, or voting improperly.

In virtually all of those 17 states the response was: No problems. No issues. No complaints.

“We’re taking aggressive action to stop suppression,” says Bob Bauer, general counsel for the Obama campaign.

“As yet, have you seen any evidence of people who wanted to vote, who were eligible to vote, that were turned away from voting?” Keteyian asked.

“No,” Bauer said.

In Ohio, Colorado and Florida political squabbles have sparked questions over the eligibility of hundreds of thousands of voters. Yet officials there could only point to a handful of people who were denied the right to vote or have committed voter fraud.

“It’s hard to put an actual number on voter fraud and say it’s ‘this big’ or ‘that big,'” says Brian Jones, an advisor to the McCain campaign on voter issues. “I think to just discount voting irregularities and say, ‘Well, it’s just a small number,’ is a very slippery slope.”

It’s a big part of an election battle that looks right now to be, little more than a high-stakes war of words.

The rhetoric, from both sides, has been heated whether it be about ACORN’s fraudulent registrations or claims that electronic voting machines are changing votes from Obama to McCain.

Sure, in such a large country with so many millions of votes, there will be some isolated issues. It seems that small, local stories usually seem bigger than they really are and local election officials, usually made up of a plurality of both parties, deal with and correct issues as they arise.

The only issue which seems to arise every year is long lines, sometimes people forced to wait hours to vote.

That being said, post any important stories you find the comments section and I’ll update this as warranted. Most vote fraud stories come out of local news outlets which is difficult for me to gather. I’ll rely on you loyal readers to alert us to stories from around the country if they arise.