The Corner

Voter Fraud Changed the Outcome of a Missouri Election

In the midst of the scandals engulfing the White House this week, an interesting story out of Kansas City, Mo., has gotten lost. Those who insist that (a) there is no voter fraud and (b) it does not affect elections when it occurs are probably happy about that.

On Monday, John C. Moretina pleaded guilty to a federal felony count of voter fraud. In the August 2010 Democratic primary, Moretina falsely claimed he was living in Missouri’s 40th legislative district just so he could vote in the primary there. 

This is a Democratic district so the winner of the primary, John J. Rizzo, was highly likely to (and, in fact, did) win the general election for district representative. Why is this particular voter-fraud case so important? Because Rizzo defeated his Democratic opponent, Will Royster, by only one vote, 664 to 663.

The plea agreement did not say whom Moretina voted for. But he is Rizzo’s uncle. It is not too much of a stretch, then, to surmise that he gave his nephew the winning margin of victory. Moreover, there were allegations that Moretina’s wife fraudulently voted in the primary, too, although she was not charged.

Clearly, however, voter fraud changed the outcome of this election. As the Kansas City Star says, “The wrong candidate was declared winner of the 2010 Democratic primary.”

Voter fraud is real. And it can—and does—threaten the integrity of our electoral system.

— Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation (follow him on Twitter @HvonSpakovsky) and coauthor with John Fund of Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk.

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