Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson must have been a gymnastics major given the contortions she went through the other day in a desperate attempt to prove she was right on the voter fraud issue.
The timing of her questionable news bulletin was obvious. The day before its release, Ms. Johnson was hauled into federal court over her demand that every clerk in the state use the U.S. Citizenship check-off box as a perquisite to vote on November 6th.
Some clerks have thumbed their noses at her. But the ACLU and others are not taking any chances. They want the court to order Madam Secretary to cease and desist.
Hence the news release to "prove" there was a voter fraud issue which she says is at the heart of her effort to make sure only true Americans participate in the Democracy.
"Voter rolls could have some 4,000 non citizens" the opening line of the release boldly announced. The operative word, of course, was the qualifier, "could."
Yep. It sure could be 4,000 but it could not be.
Now if you stop at the headline, you came away thinking 4,000 is a hefty number and Ms. Johnson went to great lengths to underscore the point that many elections are very close and illegal votes could determine the outcome in those races.
Oh. This is getting scary.
But read on.
Come to find out, the SOS has verified that 1,000 non citizens are registered to vote.
So, we have 1,000 illegal's voting? Well not quite.
Turns out the crack SOS staff has determined that only 54 of those have an actual history of voting illegally 95 times.
So let's see: 45 actual illegal voters out of a registry of 7 million in the state vs. what could be 4,000. However in her defense, she argues she can not get her arms around the real number because the federal government refuses to give her adequate data to do it. Hence this stab in the dark.
Nonetheless let's hope Ms. Johnson is a good gymnast because her critics will contend this news release requires a lot of stretching to conclude fraud has reached epidemic proportions in this state.