Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, defending the state’s voter photo I.D. law, said in a Fox News interview on July 15, 2012: "What we have proved in Texas is that voter fraud exists. We have more than 200 dead people who voted in the last election -- and we proved that in court in addition to the fact that the voter ID law will have no disenfranchisement effect on the voters in the state of Texas."
The Texas Voter Photo I.D. case currently before a federal Washington D.C. Circuit Court will decide whether Texas can enforce its year-old voter photo I.D. law. The three-judge panel composed of D.C. Circuit Judge David Tatel, and District Court Judges Rosemary Collyer and Robert Wilkins heard testimony in that five day trial earlier this month.
PolitiFact: To recap trial testimony pointed to by Abbot: An elections official testified that after comparing a list of 50,000 dead registered voters -- where’s that headline? -- to records of voters in the recent primaries, "we believe" that 239 "folks voted in the recent election after passing away," meaning 239 voters cast ballots using voter registrations of dead Texans. According to his testimony, the state then took the best matches and sought death certificates "for as many of those as we could round up in a short time."
Ten death certificates came back and, the official testified, four names, birth dates and Social Security numbers completely aligned on the lists and death certificates.
So the 200 dead people Abbott says voted in the last election boils down to four who may or may not have "voted after they died." In follow-up of other, similar, allegations over the last several years, further investigation has shown that:
- The person who's dead isn't the same person listed on the voter rolls.
- The person who's listed as voting didn't actually vote due to a clerical error at the polling place.
- The person who's listed as dead isn't actually dead due to a clerical error at the vital records office.
- The person who's dead mailed a vote by mail ballot before death.
- There was actually a fraudulent vote by mail ballot cast.
Last January, the DMV Director of South Carolina claimed in a sensational hearing that 950 dead people had voted in an election in that state. He made the claim to explain that South Carolina desperately needs a voter photo ID law to stop voter impersonation fraud. The South Carolina attorney general's office gave the State Election Commission six names off the list of 950 allegedly dead voters, and this is what they found:
In a news release election agency spokesman Chris Whitmire handed out, the agency disputed the claim that dead people had voted. A review of the six "dead voters" by the South Carolina State Election Commission revealed:
- One was an absentee mail ballot cast by a voter who then died before election day;
- Another was the result of an error by a poll worker who mistakenly marked the voter as Samuel Ferguson, Jr. when the voter was in fact Samuel Ferguson, III;
- Two were the result of stray marks on the voter registration list detected by the scanner – again, a clerical error;
- The final two were the result of poll managers incorrectly marking the name of the voter in question instead of the voter listed either above or below on the list.