It’s entirely possible to insist that there just aren’t any non-citizens on the voter rolls. It would be incorrect to do so but it it’s still possible – politics does not, of course, consist of only saying things which are true. It’s, to make a less strenuous claim, entirely possible to insist that even if there are such then there aren’t enough to make any difference to anything. So, don’t sweat it.
Except this doesn’t seem to be true either. Texas currently claims that it has found 95,000 non-citizens on the voting rolls. Is that a large number or not? Well, it’s about half the margin between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke in that last Senate election. So, umm, yes, it is the sort of number that’s important within the context of the system and other numbers concerning it.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday that the state has discovered 95,000 non-citizens on the voter rolls going back to 1996, 58,000 of whom have voted in at least one Texas election — an announcement likely to raise fresh concerns about the prospect of voter fraud. Texas has some of the toughest voter ID laws in the nation and has been one of the main battlegrounds in the Republican-led fight against alleged voter fraud. [/perfectpullquote]
Note that this is with strong voter ID laws. So we can expect the problem to be greater in places with less restriction. But that’s not really what we want to know. As in so many areas of life we know that something happens. What’s important though is whether it happens often enough to be of importance. To be extreme about it that one person jaywalks once doesn’t mean that all pedestrians must be locked up for their own safety. That one or two fleeing the cruel oppressions of the European Union vote in an American election unrighteously doesn’t mean that 200 million Americans must therefore be so restricted as to their proofs of citizenship that they cannot vote.
So, how important a number is it?[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Candidate Party Votes
Ted Cruz Republican 4,260,553
Beto O’Rourke Democrat 4,045,632
Neal Dikeman Libertarian 65,470[/perfectpullquote]
That number of unrighteous voters appears to be about half that winning margin, more than the total vote for the third place runner up. That is, enough to swing a close run race if there is some difference in voting patterns between those who are citizens and those who are not, if those who shouldn’t be there swing one way more than the other.
So, yes, it is a problem, a large enough number that something should be done. Quite what is another matter of course.