Each time conservatives expose voting irregularities, Democrats metaphorically wave their hands and scream there's nothing to see, that it's a tiny example in a country in which some 135 million people voted in the last presidential election, that the accusing organization is just trying to suppress votes.
Most Americans who take their voting privileges seriously see through that hand-wringing.
And examples of voter irregularities continue to be exposed. The most recent are what was revealed in watchdog organization Judicial Watch's efforts to get states and counties to comply with the Clinton-era National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
Previous litigation by the organization has been successful in trying to bring counties and states into compliance with the law, and now notice-of-violation letters have been sent to 19 large counties in five states in an attempt to get them to comply.
Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act requires voting jurisdictions to take reasonable efforts to remove ineligible registrations from their rolls.
Pursuant to the most recent letters, Judicial Watch found major voting list issues in counties in California, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the last four of which are swing states in which voting irregularities could make the difference in which presidential candidate carries the state in the fall.
California, with an annual massive influx of illegal immigrants, is a continuing problem.
A Judicial Watch analysis of recent data released by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission indicates 378 counties nationwide have more voter registrations than citizens living in the county and old enough to vote. Together, those counties had 2.5 million more registrations than voting-eligible people.
That's a lot and enough to swing elections in several states, but it's a drop of about a million from Judicial Watch's previous analysis of voter registration data a year ago.
A big part of that drop came from California's San Diego County, which purged 500,000 inactive names after Judicial Watch settled a lawsuit over its voter rolls with Los Angeles County, 124 miles to the north. Nevertheless, San Diego County still has a registration rate of 117% (registrations to voting population), one of the highest in the country.
In its letters to the counties, Judicial Watch reminded them an unusually high registration rate indicates a county is not removing voters who have died or moved elsewhere, as the law requires, or that the number of voters removed — which must be reported to the Election Assistance Commission — is low compared to how many might be expected to be removed.
In Pennsylvania, where Donald Trump won by .72% of the vote (some 44,500 votes out of 5.9 million cast) in 2016, Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, the second most populous county in the state) had an implausible registration rate of 98% and had removed only 72 voter registrations in the last two-year reporting period; Bucks County (bedroom community for Philadelphia and fourth most populous in the state) had a registration rate of 96% and had removed only eight voter registrations in the last reporting period; Chester County (bedroom community for Philadelphia) had a registration rate of 97% and had removed only five voters; and Delaware County (bedroom community for Philadelphia and fifth most populous) had a registration rate of 97% and had removed only four voters.
In North Carolina, where Trump won by 3.66% (some 174,000 votes out of 4.5 million cast), Guilford County (Greensboro/High Point/Burlington, the third most populous county in the state) had a registration rate of 102% and about one in five registrations inactive, and Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, the most populous county in the state) had a registration rate of 107% and about one in seven registrations inactive.
Of the other states to which letters were sent, Democrat Hillary Clinton won California, Colorado and Virginia.
In addition to California, previous Judicial Watch lawsuits have led to major voting roll adjustments in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. In Ohio, it took a U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the federal lawsuit settlement.
So while Democrats may belittle such efforts and cast voter roll cleanups as voter suppression, most people should call what has been going on in these counties what it is — a type of fraud. The more voters who have died or moved away, the easier it becomes to have some of them "vote." And the larger the county, the harder it is to detect such fraud.
We'll be curious as the year goes forward to see how these counties respond and if voting becomes a little fairer as we approach the crucial November election.