Arizona has spent enormous amounts of time and money waging war against voter fraud, citing the specter of illegal immigrants’ casting ballots.
State officials from Gov. Jan Brewer to Attorney General Tom Horne to Secretary of State Ken Bennett swear it’s a problem.
At an August news conference, Horne and Bennett cited voter-fraud concerns as justification for continuing a federal-court fight over state voter-ID requirements. And some Republican lawmakers have used the same argument to defend a package of controversial new election laws slated to go before voters in November 2014.
But when state officials are pushed for details, the numbers of actual cases and convictions vary and the descriptions of the alleged fraud become foggy or based on third-hand accounts.
An examination of voter-fraud cases in Maricopa County shows those involving illegal immigrants are nearly non-existent, and have been since before the changes to voter-ID requirements were enacted in 2004.