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Election Integrity Units Yield Only 47 Convictions, Mostly Minorities

Election integrity units created after Donald Trump's 2020 election loss primarily targeted minorities and Democrats for prosecution while obtaining 47 convictions, the Washington Post reports in a new analysis. The units were established or expanded in six states. The analysis found that 76% of defendants whose race or ethnicity could be identified were Black or Hispanic, while White people constituted 24% of those prosecuted. Registered Democrats made up 58% of those charged whose party could be identified, while registered Republicans were 23%. In the rest of the cases, the defendant was not registered with a particular party. The Post was able to determine a defendant’s race, ethnicity or political party in roughly 70% of cases. The analysis also showed that election integrity units have not uncovered the type of wide-ranging schemes claimed by Trump and some Republican allies that might tilt an election.

Instead, the vast majority of the convictions represent small-bore cheating — or, as some defendants argue, mistakes — by individual voters, such as casting two ballots, falsifying a registration or voting even if barred by a conviction. The cases that the units pursued often collapsed. Of the 115 cases that have been resolved as of mid-December, 42 ended in dismissal, acquittal or dropped charges — nearly the same as the number of guilty verdicts. All of the convictions occurred in Florida, Texas and Ohio, while units in Virginia, Georgia and Arkansas failed to obtain a single guilty verdict, despite allocating dozens of staffers and millions of dollars to ferret out voter fraud. Republicans defended the units’ work, but the analysis’s findings alarmed some experts on voting fraud and advocates for minority groups. Heather Sawyer of the watchdog group American Oversight, which has tracked the work of the units, said the results show the units have been a waste of money and have undermined democracy.


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