Delegate Pat McDonough, the Republican running for Congress in Maryland’s second district, is predicting massive voter fraud in the state. But Dutch Ruppersberger, the incumbent Democrat, vigorously challenged that allegation as both men appeared on WYPR’s Midday.
McDonough said an investigation by a volunteer group in Frederick County revealed a large number of non-citizens were registered to vote. But Ruppersberger said McDonough can’t back up his allegations.
"Give me the facts and I’ll work with you," he insisted.
"We’re very serious about this," McDonough said. "He (Ruppersberger) can dismiss it if he doesn’t care about voter fraud."
Ruppersberger said the U.S. voting system is the best in the world, and people who allege fraud are poor losers.
Repeated studies have found little evidence of voter fraud, dismissing it as a myth.
A 2007 study by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law found claims of voter fraud were “greatly exaggerated.”
Delia Bailey, of the Washington University in St. Louis, unearthed nine federal election fraud cases occurring between 2000 and 2005.
Ruppersberger and McDonough also disagreed on the Iranian nuclear deal. Ruppersberger voted for it. McDonough called it a serious mistake.
McDonough supports Donald Trump, and agrees with the Republican presidential nominee that a wall should be built along the U.S. southern border and that Mexico will pay for it. McDonough also alleged that illegal immigrants are taking away jobs from African-Americans in Baltimore City.
"I don’t think we need any new laws. I just think we need to enforce the one we currently have," McDonough said.
Ruppersberger agreed that the border needs to be secure. He criticized House Republicans for not allowing a vote on an immigration reform bill.
"Until we start dealing with this problem, we are going to have problems," Ruppersberger said. "We have 11 million illegal immigrants in this country and we haven't done anything other than try to get some felons."
The candidates found common ground on climate change, and both agreed the environment needs to be protected.
McDonough said climate change exists, although he downplayed how much of it is the result of human activity.
McDonough is in his fourth term in the House of Delegates. Ruppersberger is in his seventh term in Congress. Before that, Ruppersberger served as Baltimore County Executive and on the Baltimore County Council.