Minn. Conservative Group’s Voter Fraud Allegations About Five Percent Accurate

A County Attorney in Minnesota — where Tea Party and conservative groups are staging an anti-voter fraud push — has charged 47 individuals in voter fraud cases stemming from the 2008 election.

But Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told TPMMuckraker that conservative groups have exaggerated the threat of voter fraud. He also said that their investigation revealed that there was no coordinated campaign to commit voter fraud. Freeman said that 43 of the cases involve felons who were ineligible to vote and four cases involve double voting.The conservative group Minnesota Majority first alleged that 1,250 people, including over 800 felons, were illegally voting. But the vast majority of those claims didn’t pan out.

“They claimed in November 2009 to have 800 additional individuals who were illegal felon voters,” Freeman said. “When they summited names to us in late February 2010, it was down to 451. We have processed that 451, and more than half of them were either not felons or not on probation when they voted. The rest of them we investigated more fully, and today we reported that the remaining cases presented sufficient support to charge, so we charged them.”

Freeman said he made a commitment to get the cases taken care of before the 2010 elections. He noted that .00006 percent — six-one-thousandth of one percent — of the voters in Hennepin County had been charged with improperly voting.

“I think we’ve had a reaction from the right and the far right that there was significant voter fraud, and the fact is the facts show that there’s not,” Freeman said. “The right thing to do is to review and investigate claims of illegalities, that’s my job and we do that. But Minnesota has a proud history of clean elections. We get into in our commercials — witness Michele Bachmann and Tarryl Clark and some others — but the voting process in this state is very pristine.”

The charges were reported by Minnesota Public Radio.