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Friday, January 15, 2021

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Voting fraud claims ‘dramatically overblown,’ UH prof. says


Renee Josse de Lisle/The Cougar

Renee Josse de Lisle/The Cougar

False voting fraud claims have been abundant since the results of the 2020 election were announced, but as reports are confirmed, the state of Texas has less claims than expected.

With a total of 197 complaints comprised between the years 2015 through 2020, Texas considers this a small amount according to KHOU.

“The specter of voter fraud has been used to justify increasing voting restrictions and not expanding opportunities to vote,” said UH political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus. “The data shows that (voting) fraud investigations and convictions are rare, so using that as a pretext is misleading.”

This 2020 election resulted in 23 complaints total out of the 197 in the five-year span.

Only six of those 23 filed complaints came from the Houston area, and the state agency received 18 complaints from the city over the past five years.

“This is about what I would expected since it is a rare event, but considering how much (voting) fraud is amplified by some politicians, the public would likely expect a higher number,” Rottinghaus said.

The data collected to the Texas attorney general’s office does not include offenses to local law enforcement.

The merit behind the voter fraud complaints is held by the statutes, under which how they are prosecuted vary, but they require specific evidence that cannot be fabricated, said Rottinghaus.

“The good news is that (voting) fraud is rare and prosecuted swiftly,” Rottinghaus said. “The bad news is that claims of voter fraud are dramatically overblown.”

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