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Liz Cheney’s Husband Registers to Vote in Two States? Is That ‘Voter Fraud’? | The Nation

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John Nichols

John Nichols

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Liz Cheney’s Husband Registers to Vote in Two States? Is That ‘Voter Fraud’?

Liz Cheney

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Voter fraud is quite uncommon. In fact, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of law, which has conducted an ongoing examination of voter fraud claims, refers to the supposed “problem” as a “myth.”

However, if we employ the standard of those who claim that there really is a voter fraud crisis in America, then there is a case that is worthy of note. And it involves Liz Cheney’s husband.

Liz Cheney is running for the US Senate in a 2014 Republican primary. But she is not running in her long-time home state, Virginia.

Rather, she is running in distant Wyoming—which her father, permanent Washington fixture Dick Cheney, used as a political redoubt for congressional service to the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

The Wyoming run has been an inconvenient one for Liz Cheney. She has been forced to uproot herself from a comfortable life in suburban Washington, and to buy an expensive new home in the one reliably Democratic county in Wyoming. She has struggled to figure out how to obtain a fishing license, after initially overstating her history in the state—and paying a fine for “[failing] to meet residency requirements as required.” And she has had to declare her opposition to her sister’s right to marry.

But it hasn’t just been tough on Liz Cheney.

Her husband, Philip Perry, who practices law with a major Washington firm, has had to claim that he, too, is a resident of Wyoming.

In March, he obtained a driver’s license. And he has gone so far as to register to vote there

Unfortunately, he is also registered to vote in McLean, Virginia, where he voted in 2012.

When Perry registered to vote in Wyoming’s Teton County, he did not indicate that he was on the voter roll elsewhere. Indeed, says Teton County Clerk Sherry Daigle, “He signed an oath saying he was not currently registered anywhere else.”

Oops.

So we have a glaring case of double registration.

Sound the alarm!

Or not.

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Perry can fix the problem by asking Virginia to remove him from the rolls in the Old Dominion. Officials generally allow for such clarifications, recognizing that mistakes are made. Despite the headline in the local paper—“Cheney Husband in False Oath Kerfuffle”—it is unlikely that the double-registration mess will result in anything more than a slight case of embarrassment for a prominent lawyer.

So this does not appear to be a particularly big deal—just like most cases of supposed “voter fraud.”

Indeed, as the Brennan Center reminds us, “Voter fraud is very rare, voter impersonation is nearly non-existent and much of the problems associated with alleged fraud in elections relates to unintentional mistakes by voters or election administrators.”

Read Next: George Zornick on Senator Tom Harkin.

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