Federal election panel hyped up voter fraud findings
Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday April 11, 2007
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The federal Election Assistance Commission warned that concerns about fraud committed by voters was "open to debate," when a report submitted to it had actually found very low incidences of the problem, according to a story in today's New York Times.

Ian Urbina writes that Republican fears that voters would alter the outcome of elections by casting ballots illegally were played up in the final report issued by the EAC.

"The revised version echoes complaints made by Republican politicians, who have long suggested that voter fraud is widespread and justifies the voter identification laws that have been passed in at least two dozen states," he wrote.

But the original draft report submitted to the EAC based on a study it had requested made different findings.

"There is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,” the study's authors concluded.

The Commission's chair claimed the lack of staff for the group resulted in the final release saying what it did.

"We were a small agency taking over a huge job,” said Donetta L. Davidson a 2005 Bush appointee, to the Times. “I think we may have tried to do more research than we were equipped to handle.”

But Democratic Members of Congress saw a partisan basis for the final release and its findings.

“By attempting to sweep this draft report under the rug, the E.A.C. is throwing out important work, wasting taxpayer dollars and creating a cloud of suspicion as to why it is acting this way,” Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY) told the Times.

The Times' full story can be accessed at this link. The Times has also supplied links to the draft and final versions of the report.