Voter fraud is a real worry, and the way the Democratic Party opposes sensible ideas like voter ID laws, there’s got to be a suspicion that they’re the ones benefiting from it. When California’s traditionally Republican-leaning Orange County helped put seven Democrats in Congress last month, it was natural for people to look for evidence of fraud – and some claim to have found it. So was it foul play that gave the Dems those mid-term victories? Or are some people just not very good at math?
Suspicions about the Orange County result reached their peak when Gateway Pundit, a conservative media site, put out an analysis piece that – they said – showed serious discrepancies in voter numbers, suggesting fraud on a large scale. Are they right? Unfortunately (because Gateway Pundit is a site we like) no, they’re not.
• There’s no evidence of actual voter fraud – nobody caught voting twice, no names of long-dead Democrats on the voter rolls, no diverted ballot boxes that could have been stuffed with extra cards. The whole story is based on alleged discrepancies between how many people voted for Democrat congressmen and how many voted for a Democrat governor.
• Statistical evidence like this can be useful, but not if it’s wrong. The story claims that 300,000 more people in Orange County voted for a Democrat representative than for gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom. And that just isn’t correct.
• The story’s author seems to have been given incorrect data. For example, they say that Republican John Cox got 12,422 more Orange County votes than Newsom in the race to be California’s next governor. The real figure was 2,934 votes – less than a quarter as many. That’s a pretty big error.
• Voter numbers are based on the tallies from six congressional districts that fall at least partly inside Orange County. In fact Orange County stretches across seven congressional districts.
• Figures for the entire congressional districts were used, and not just for votes cast in Orange County. For example most of the 49th Congressional District is in San Diego County. This district cast 150,366 votes for Democrat Mile Levin – but only 31,958 of them were in the county. Levin’s opponent Diane Harkey beat him comfortably when only Orange County votes are tallied, but Levin won the district thanks to San Diego.
Does voter fraud happen? Yes; we’re sure it does, we think it should be cracked down on and we’d really like to know why the Dems are so opposed to voter ID laws. But did it swing the results in Orange County? No, it doesn’t look like it.