(Quin’s column Dec. 5, in the Washington Examiner):  Decades of excellent reporting by CBS’s Major Garrett show that he should know better than to put forth the near-slanderously one-sided story he did on Dec. 4 on citizen efforts to ensure the integrity of voter rolls.

Despite the clear insinuations otherwise from the 7-minute, 23-second CBS Mornings report , voter fraud and substantive voter irregularities actually are a real problem. Likewise, despite the CBS report, efforts to clean up voter lists usually are not intended to keep eligible citizens from voting, nor are they particularly meant to disenfranchise minority voters.

While former President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was illegally stolen from him are absolutely , irrefutably false , Trump’s lies do not negate the indisputable fact that the nation’s voter rolls are a mess and that fraud does occur in amounts large enough to change the outcome in some close elections.

It was not a sketchy right-wing group but the universally respected Pew Research Center that reported in 2012 that 1 of every 8 voter registrations, about 24 million in the United States, “are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate,” that “ more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters,” and that “approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.” Improved state laws and better enforcement since then have cleaned up some, but nowhere near all, of this mess.

That’s why Garrett’s report, especially as bookended by inflammatory comments by CBS Mornings hosts, was so unfair. With Garrett’s all-but-explicit endorsement of the claim, black Georgia voter James McWhorter told Garrett that a mistaken citizen challenge to his own voter registration was part of a deliberate effort “to disenfranchise certain demographics, trying to put a foot on someone else’s neck.” Garrett amplified the insinuation by asking the citizen who issued the challenge, a retired white woman named Gail Lee, if she could “understand how people who are African American might feel this deeply, personally, in that your work feels threatening to them?”…

That allegation is patently unjust. Despite numerous assertions and insinuations to the effect that citizen challenges have been motivated by race and a desire to stifle otherwise eligible voters, Garrett actually provided not a shred of evidence of such intent….. [The full column is at this link.]


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