Accuracy in Media

chris matthews hardball

MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews, who has consistently been railing against voter ID laws, admitted on Thursday night’s program that voter fraud exists, but he claims that it hasn’t changed the outcome of an election.

Matthews was discussing Colin Powell’s statement on North Carolina’s newly enacted voter ID law, saying that it turns off a voting block that the Republican Party needs, and makes it more difficult to vote:

The general is so smart because he’s not denying that there’s any voter fraud, of course there’s voter fraud, things happen, there’s some big city machines, we grew up with, we know, I’m not sure if it’s Chicago, but it has a place like Philly over the years. But it doesn’t change the results of statewide elections, their big congressional elections, or anything like that.

So Matthews glosses over voter fraud just because he can’t cite an instance where election results have been affected?

How about the 1997 Miami mayoral election, where the losing candidate became the mayor after a judge threw out more than 5,000 fraudulent absentee ballots?

There have been many more suspected cases of voter fraud—the 1994 Maryland gubernatorial election comes to mind—where it was revealed that dead people had voted. But the courts refused to consider a challenge to the results. That’s why voter ID is important. It will help prevent fraud from occurring in the first place.

And while the big political machines that Mathews mentioned no longer exist, the advent of early voting and voting by mail, increase the likelihood of fraud occurring.

Last year, at an AIM conference, John Fund, who has written extensively on this subject, cited a recent case of a Democratic congressional candidate who had to resign because she had voted in both Florida and Maryland in four separate elections at the same time. He also pointed out that President Obama used to be a lawyer for ACORN, the community organizing group “infamous for its well-documented history of fraudulent voter registration tactics.”

Matthews and his fellow liberals consider voter ID laws to be voter suppression, but election results prove otherwise. For example, minority turnout actually increased in three states with some of the strictest voter ID laws in the country.

In a post 9-11 world, presenting identification is almost a daily occurrence for most Americans. My wife recently had to provide a driver’s license to make a doctor’s appointment, of all things. So why is providing some sort of ID to vote discriminatory?

It isn’t, and Matthews knows it. So the only thing he can do is try to turn this into a race issue, which is something Democrats and liberals have been doing with increasing frequency over the last  five years.

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