HOUSTON – While the State of Texas invests time and money into defending its voter ID law in federal court this week, KHOU 11 News has found the problem isn’t as extensive as portrayed.
KHOU 11 News asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to sum up the defense of the state’s law.
“There are two main things that we want to prove in this case. One that voter fraud is a serious problem in the state of Texas,” he said.
So KHOU 11 News requested a list of voter fraud cases in Texas to see the extent of the problem.
The total number of cases on the AG’s own list was 62 since 2002.
“Voter fraud is very real. It is something that I have aggressively prosecuted,” Abbott said on Monday.
In fact, there are more counties in Texas than cases.
Try to find the biggest county in the list of cases and you find one case.
“Our national security should be so good,” said Rice University political science professor and KHOU 11 News Analyst Bob Stein.
Stein said he’s surprised by the AG’s number because it is so small.
“I think that the attorney general has made the case for the plaintiff’s in this case. Voter fraud simply in this state by this account is a small, if not infinitesimal portion, hardly characterized by the word huge,” he said.
According to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, since 2004 there have been 39,072,039 ballots cast in major elections in Texas.
Doing the math on that, if you assume that all 62 of the AG’s cases are valid, the percentage of fraud by comparison is .0001 percent.
There is another problem, according to Bob Stein.
“When voter fraud occurs it most likely occurs in this state when somebody illegally requests for somebody other than themselves a mail in ballot,” he said.
We find that in the AG’s cases, as many as 40 involved mail ballots, and that is something that the voter ID law would not prevent.