Minor amount of ballot fraud can change close election outcome, congressman warns

"Every single incident of criminal behavior in our electoral process, if it permeates the system, then it becomes more widespread, like we see now in Georgia," Illinois Republican Rodney Davis said.

Updated: September 15, 2020 - 8:27am

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Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., the ranking member of the House Administration Committee, says a minor amount of voter fraud such as double voting can change the outcome of an election, so preventing it should be taken seriously by local, state and federal officials.

Georgia officials are reportedly investigating about 1,000 cases of double voting that occurred in the state's primary.

"As somebody who has been in close races before — I won my first race by less than two votes per precinct — if there was a small amount of fraud the election could have gone the other way. And just to put it into perspective, some Democrats that year in 2012, won by smaller margins. So fraud matters," Davis told Just the News following a mail-in voting discussion on Thursday with local and state election officials in New York.

"Every single incident of criminal behavior in our electoral process, if it permeates the system, then it becomes more widespread, like we see now in Georgia, where they have identified 1,000 people who actually cast two votes in the last election," Davis said. "That is something that our policymakers need to be aware of. Fraud is bad. Fraud happens."

Some Democratic politicians and political activists have argued that voter fraud is a "myth" since it isn't widespread. 

"This goes back to what many of my Democratic colleagues, they decide to push off as as, 'Oh, it's so rare that we shouldn't really care about these instances where there's fraudulent behavior,'" he said. "There were over 1,000 people who voted twice — that dilutes the votes of other registered voters."

Davis said instances where people double voted have been rarely prosecuted in the past.

"We've got to do what we can to make sure that our local prosecutors realize that vote fraud is a crime that needs to be dealt with, just like other crimes that are happening in our communities," the congressman said. "It's not an innocent crime. What it does is it allows others to think that they can get away with it to the scale that we saw in Georgia. I think this is why we have to make sure that our local election officials are cognizant that these instances happen."

As many states commit to an abrupt shift to large-scale mail-in voting amid coronavirus fears, Davis warned about the "danger of mailing live ballots to every registered voter" in heavily blue states like California and New Jersey.

"We also have seen in California alone, Secretary of State [Alex] Padilla was a witness at a hearing a week ago, where he actually didn't know if they removed already identified dead people off of their voter rolls," Davis said.

"How are you the Secretary of State," David continued, "and you don't know if your local election officials, after they've already been identified, have removed dead people? At some point, you've got to take serious every instance of behavior, not just from the voter, but from those who are in public office, who are also doing their work to corrupt the process."

President Trump suggested that voters in North Carolina could try voting twice to make sure their vote is counted. In response to Trump's suggestion, Davis said: "Don't do it. It's illegal."

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