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Daily Kos quoted from a TPM interview with Minnesota’s Hamline University adjunct law professor David Schultz, a purported expert on election law, to support its accusations against O’Keefe.
Was it just a coincidence that Schultz happens to be a strident opponent of a photo ID requirement for voters, opposing such a proposal in his own home state of Minnesota? He claimed in his blog that “[V]oter ID is one of the stupid public policies that I often rail about. Its apparent need is grounded in political myth.”
Yet when O’Keefe comes along and demonstrates the need for voter ID to curb election fraud, Schultz tries to make O’Keefe the target. He claimed that there was “no doubt” O’Keefe’s investigators violated a federal law that bans not only the casting of, but the “procurement” of ballots “that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held.”
Relying just on this isolated snippet of the federal law, Adjunct Professor Schultz concluded:
In either case, if they were intentionally going in and trying to fraudulently obtain a ballot, they violated the law. So right off the bat, what they did violated the law.
The problem with the adjunct professor’s argument is that he ignored the key introductory predicate of the federal statutory prohibition, which applies to persons who
knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by—
(A) the procurement or submission of voter registration applications that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held; or
(B) the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held…” (emphasis added)
O’Keefe and his colleagues never intended to “deprive or defraud” the residents of New Hampshire of “a fair and impartially conducted election process.” To the contrary, they were trying to help improve the integrity of the process by demonstrating a significant flaw. Only if they actually exercised a vote with the ballots they obtained using the names of deceased voters would they have actually undermined a fair and impartially conducted election.
Voter fraud is a real issue. O’Keefe performed a public service in showing how easy it is to commit fraud without an effective voter ID requirement. As usual, the Left will do anything to obfuscate the truth.
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