WASHINGTON – Discrepancies between a draft version of a federal report on voter fraud and the final version are raising concerns among some Democrats who say politics played a role in determining the report's conclusions.
Last December the Election Assistance Commission, chartered by Congress in 2002 and established in 2005 by President Bush, approved a report that appears to fall in line with Republican concerns that voter fraud seems to persist — a fact used to bolster the argument for new voter identification laws — reports The New York Times.
But the version of the report that was handed to the commission by the report's authors says there is no widespread evidence of voter fraud.
For instance, the paper says the original report says there is “evidence of some continued outright intimidation and suppression” of voters by local officials, especially in some Native American communities.
But the final report says only that voter “intimidation is also a topic of some debate because there is little agreement concerning what constitutes actionable voter intimidation.”
The paper said that, according to the original report, most experts believe that “false registration forms have not resulted in polling place fraud." The final report, however, cites “registration drives by nongovernmental groups as a source of fraud.”
Among those critical of the report was Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y, who last month requested the unpublished draft from the commission chairwoman.
“By attempting to sweep this draft report under the rug, the EAC is throwing out important work, wasting taxpayer dollars and creating a cloud of suspicion as to why it is acting this way,” he told the paper.