A Billion Pennies: Why Widespread Voter Fraud Does Not Exist

Claims by politicians, questionable news sources, and some public officials, that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2016, 2018, and 2020 elections have contributed to a myth that it’s both easy and common to commit such fraud. The Brennan Center for Justice has done a good job of researching and debunking such claims of voter fraud and their groundbreaking report,  The Truth About Voter Fraud convincingly demonstrates that almost all cases of voter fraud are baseless.


According to their website, “extensive research reveals that fraud is very rare, voter impersonation is virtually nonexistent, and many instances of the alleged fraud are, in fact, mistakes by voters or administrators. The same is true for mail ballots, which are secure and essential to holding a safe election amid the coronavirus pandemic.”


But assurances by our political leaders, election officials, voting machine companies, and major news organizations that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent, fall on deaf ears to those persons inclined to “believe” this widespread conspiracy theory. The sheer futility of attempted voter fraud might be best explained by comparing it to bank robbery.


Bank robbery is a felony and will get you a prison sentence of several years to several decades.


Chances are slim that you’ll get away with it, but the payoff is huge and immediate. The money is all in one place, in large denominations and one person can carry out enough cash in a short period to offset the potential risk of capture and incarceration. At least for some desperate people, it’s worth the risk.


Now imagine a bank that keeps all its money, a million dollars, let’s say, in pennies scattered over a “mall-sized” parking lot. That’s a billion pennies.


How effective would it be to try and rob that bank? You’d have to evade detection and find, gather, and carry out enough pennies to offset the potential risk of incarceration. Knowing that you are committing a felony and risking jail time, would you try and rob the “penny bank”? Of course not!


Election fraud, like voting more than once or impersonating another voter, is also a felony, which carries jail time with a conviction. To commit election fraud, you’d have to register in multiple jurisdictions or register under multiple aliases, with multiple addresses and multiple IDs. Then show up at multiple voting precincts and wait in line to vote. Or you could collect multiple mail-in ballots from multiple fake addresses, which you would have to set up in advance.


The payoff for voter fraud, however, is not conveyed to the perpetrator and is not even guaranteed. Someone who manages to impersonate legitimate voters or deceased voters or vote on districts, not their own faces a multitude of checks on their residence, their signature, and their identification. Even if someone were able to vote multiple times in multiple districts, it isn’t guaranteed that his/her candidate of choice will win.


Knowing that you are committing a felony and risking jail time, would you try to steal a handful of votes (pennies from the bank)? Of course not!


Therefore, every year, almost no one is charged and convicted of voter fraud. This is why stories about how millions of fraudulent votes were cast in the last three elections are completely untrue. Americans don’t commit widespread voter fraud any more than they would try to rob a bank full of pennies.


William Sciambi

Born in Philadelphia, Bill has resided in multiple locations, around the US and Latin America. He is a graduate of Gettysburg College with a degree in Political Science and Journalism. He has thirty plus years’ experience in the wine industry in multiple sales, administrative and executive
capacities. He currently resides in New York’s Hudson Valley and is a consultant to the beverage industry.

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