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'The Truth is, Our Elections are Very, Very Secure': Winthrop Professor Debunks Basis for Restrictive Voting Laws

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Despite a long list of proposals in state capitols promising to secure our elections, the U.S. doesn't have a problem with election fraud, according to Dr. Scott Huffmon.

"This is a solution that can't quite find the real problem," said Huffmon, professor of politics at Winthrop University.

Huffmon also serves as the director of the Center for Public Opinion & Policy Research and the Winthrop Poll initiative.

"Our elections are secure," he said.

Georgia's new voting law has become the focus of recent controversy, but it's not alone. Texas and Arizona are also leading efforts to pass new restrictive voting laws. By the end of March, NBC News estimated 47 state legislatures had introduced 361 restrictive election bills, based on numbers from the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.    

In North Carolina, the Election Integrity Act states that absentee ballots must be turned in by the day of any primary or general election, following controversy after deadlines were extended in 2020 because COVID-19.  The bill also sets aside five-million dollars to create a program to identify voters who need a photo ID and to help them obtain one.

In South Carolina, there are two bills.  One plan would require that all counties have uniform election laws.   The second aims to bring legislative oversight to whom the governor can pick to serve in the Election Commission. 

But Huffmon says those legislative efforts run counter to the actual problems election boards are seeing across the country.

"In-person election fraud is all but literally non-existent," he said.  "Voter fraud by-mail exists to the tune of a couple every tens of millions of ballots.  It's almost non-existent."

Instead, the professor suggests voter suppression, historically, has been the far bigger problem plaguing electoral voting systems.

"There's been, in America, a strong history of trying suppress the black vote, especially in the South."

Read entire article at WCNC