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How widespread and serious is voter fraud in Texas?

There is voter fraud in Texas.

How common is it, and how much of a threat does it pose for system integrity and accurate democratic outcomes?

That depends on who you ask.

Consider the viewpoint of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, for instance. The state’s highest-ranking government attorney portrays voter fraud as an issue of vast importance for state residents, referencing his office’s “sheer number of prosecutions.” He recently stressed that the amount of wrongdoing points to “organized voter fraud that is happening in our state.”

Now contrast Paxton’s stated assessment with views being advanced in a number of diverse quarters. The collective bottom line that one recent national news piece reports is being commonly expressed is this: Yes, fraud does exist, but some of the alarming numbers announced by the AG misrepresent the truth.

Critics of the “we’ve got a real problem here” stance say that is this: the concern is minor, with the outcome being decidedly underwhelming and perhaps even trivial.

They stress too that the AG’s remarks are misleading the public. They prominently cite to the incontrovertible fact that about 90% of announced fraud instances ultimately end up with defendants entering a prosecution diversion program. That outcome seldom results in cases where criminal activity is deemed serious.

Opinions on the extent and severity of voter fraud in Texas will obviously differ. They can broadly converge, though, on the certainty that the issue will continue to be raised and debated going forward.

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