Messages to PolitiFact Missouri about the Will Kraus fact check

On Jan. 4, 2016, we sent the following message to PolitiFact Missouri writer Adam Aton. Though we included editor Mike Jenner in the salutation, we neglected to list Jenner as a recipient.

Dear Mr. Adam Aton, Mr. Mike Jenner

I’m a fact-checking journalist preparing an evaluation of PolitiFact MIssouri’s fact check of Will Kraus.
Your fact check faults Kraus for asserting that a voter ID law would solve the problem of voter fraud. But it isn’t clear that Kraus made any such assertion.
Taken in context, Kraus appears to argue that the 16-plus voter fraud cases in Missouri show a willingness to commit voter fraud. If Missouri is less vulnerable to voter fraud via impersonation as a result of a voter ID law, then Kraus has a sound argument, particularly in light of his emphasis that one fraudulent vote may swing an election. That part of the context of Kraus’ statement was not reflected in your fact check, so far as I can tell.
 
Q1: What is the justification for claiming (in your concluding paragraph) Kraus said a voter ID law would solve the problem of voter fraud? Your fact check contains no quotation of Kraus to that effect.
 
Q2: When Laura Swinford said “We don’t have reported cases of voter fraud. We just don’t,” did it occur to you that her statement was contradicted by your confirmation of 17 such cases since 2005?
 
Q3: Would a description of “Progress Missouri” have resulted in an improvement to your fact check? Perhaps “partisan advocacy organization” or the like?
 
Q4: Do you know what circumstances might lead to the exposure of voter fraud through impersonation? How do we detect that crime, in other words?
Thanks, and happy new year.
Note: It is the policy at Zebra Fact Check to make available to readers the full relevant context of interviews. That includes my statements setting the stage for questions, the questions themselves and your replies.

 

Given we had not included Jenner among the recipients, we sent nearly the same message again on Jan. 13, 2016 to Aton and Jenner:

(Note: I’m sending essentially the same message a second time, having neglected to include Mr. Jenner as one of the recipients the first time)
Dear Mr. Adam Aton, Mr. Mike Jenner

I’m a fact-checking journalist preparing an evaluation of PolitiFact MIssouri’s fact check of Will Kraus.

Your fact check faults Kraus for asserting that a voter ID law would solve the problem of voter fraud. But it isn’t clear that Kraus made any such assertion.

Taken in context, Kraus appears to argue that the 16-plus voter fraud cases in Missouri show a willingness to commit voter fraud. If Missouri is less vulnerable to voter fraud via impersonation as a result of a voter ID law, then Kraus has a sound argument, particularly in light of his emphasis that one fraudulent vote may swing an election. That part of the context of Kraus’ statement was not reflected in your fact check, so far as I can tell.

Q1: What is the justification for claiming (in your concluding paragraph) Kraus said a voter ID law would solve the problem of voter fraud? Your fact check contains no quotation of Kraus to that effect.

Q2: When Laura Swinford said “We don’t have reported cases of voter fraud. We just don’t,” did it occur to you that her statement was contradicted by your confirmation of 17 such cases since 2005?

Q3: Would a description of “Progress Missouri” have resulted in an improvement to your fact check? Perhaps “partisan advocacy organization” or the like?

Q4: Do you know what circumstances might lead to the exposure of voter fraud through impersonation? How do we detect that crime, in other words?

 

Correction Jan. 13, 2016: Fixed formatting on second message to properly encompass the parenthetical note at the top.

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