In several states, election officials have sought to ensure only legitimate voters cast ballots in elections. At least 1.8 million dead people and many noncitizens have been found on voter rolls.
Democrats claim the number of fraudulent voters is insignificant. Citizens likely disagree. No one wants his or her vote negated by an illegally cast ballot.
Furthermore, the number of fraudulent voters is enough to matter in close elections. In Florida, 207 noncitizens have been found on voter rolls. In 2000, George W. Bush officially won that state (and the presidency) by a margin of just 537 votes. A pool of 207 bogus votes would have been significant in that race.
Other major and lower-tier elections have been decided by razor-thin margins. In 2008, Democrat Al Franken won the Minnesota U.S. Senate race by only 312 votes. In Washington state's controversial 2004 gubernatorial election, Democrat Christine Gregoire won by 133 votes. A 1974 U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire had a margin of only two votes; ultimately, a do-over election was required.
A Texas city council race was decided this year by a coin toss after two candidates tied. A Democratic primary in a Kansas state House race was decided the same way in August after a tie vote.
Oklahoma has seen its share of close races. In 2006, state Rep. Todd Thomsen, R-Ada, won his House seat by two votes, but only after four ineligible votes were thrown out. Last year, a special House election in Tulsa was tossed after irregularities made it impossible to determine the true winner; the apparent margin of victory was a single vote.
Those races show the importance of every legitimate vote. That voter fraud isn't widespread is reassuring. But that's no reason to end efforts to weed it out completely.