LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As the President of the United States and his allies, including those in Kentucky, continue to make claims of voter fraud across the country, the office of Kentucky’s Republican Secretary of State, Michael Adams, said this week that “there are no known cases” of voter fraud in commonwealth from the 2020 General Election
It’s not a surprising claim — voter fraud is exceedingly rare in Kentucky, just as it is in every other state — but with President Donald Trump alleging “VOTER FRAUD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!” it’s still worth highlighting, said Joshua Douglas, a University of Kentucky elections law professor.
“We must correct the record,” he said. “The media has an important role in not sensationalizing the allegations but instead in providing facts about the security and safety of our elections.”
The facts are that Kentucky has now held two voter fraud-free elections during a worldwide pandemic. First came the June primary, which Adams has called a "clean election" without any widespread voter fraud. This is despite the state’s use of absentee ballots increasing from 2% to 75% in the primary, a change that Adams said intitally gave him “some concern.”
Further evidence that voter fraud is not a problem in Kentucky can be found on the website of Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Like Attorneys General before him, Cameron operates an Election Law Violations Hotline. This year, according to Cameron’s website, the hotline fielded 465 calls. The majority were procedural questions.
The biggest category of fraud-related calls were categorized as “General Election Fraud/Other.” Cameron said Wednesday those included “calls regarding unsolicited candidate text messages, emails and phone calls” along with“concerns regarding the legitimacy of voter registration organizations.”
Neither of those are examples of alleged voter fraud since they are accusations against candidates and organizations, not individuals.
Douglas said these details are an important part of putting Trump’s “post-election actions into proper context.”
“The only reason he is peddling these lies is to undermine people's confidence in the election,” he said. “There is no massive voter fraud. Saying it over and over doesn't make it true.
This information from Kentucky’s Secretary of State and Attorney General, both Republicans, comes as other members of their party continue to make allegations about voter fraud that haven’t held up. Sen. Rand Paul has sent several tweets since Election Day suggesting that voting by mail is ripe for voter fraud. He sent another suggesting that more than 1 million dead people may have voted in the General Election. There is no evidence of that. Paul's office did not respond to a request for comment.
In Frankfort, State Sen. Damon Thayer, a member of Republican Senate leadership, tweeted that concerns about vote-by-mail fraud should be weighed as Kentucky decides whether to make permanent the changes implemented for 2020 election. His tweet included a voter fraud database maintained by the Heritage Foundation, a Libertarian think tank. The database shows 14 instances of fraud in Kentucky over the last decade and most are examples of election fraud, such as vote buying, not voter fraud.”
It’s not just the political right making allegations of voter fraud in Kentucky. Some online liberal activists have suggested that Senate election results show signs of fraud. They point to Sen. Mitch McConnell winning counties where Democratic registration far outnumbers Republcan registration. This is not a new trend though and there's no evidence of any fraud related to the Senate election.