Amid continued assurances that voter fraud never happens, federal officials in Maryland have somehow successfully prosecuted the case of a mystery man who, despite being an illegal alien, managed to vote for nearly twenty years. They’re only referring to him as John Doe at this point because he won’t give up his actual identity, but he had a full set of identification documents which would be the envy of many citizens. Sadly, all of them carried the name of someone else who actually was a citizen. (Baltimore Sun)

A foreign national — whose real name prosecutors still don’t know — was convicted Friday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore of stealing a U.S. citizen’s identity and committing voter fraud, Social Security fraud and passport fraud over the course of 20 years.

Government authorities still don’t know the true identity of the man, who was referred to only as “John Doe” during his three-day trial. The Diplomatic Security Service is seeking the public’s help in determining the man’s name before he spent two decades living under the assumed identity of an American.

The defendant used the victim’s personal information to obtain driver’s licenses and other identification cards in the summer of 1997, according to evidence presented at his trial. He then built on these documents, acquiring a U.S. passport, Social Security card and registering to vote. He most recently voted in the 2016 presidential election, officials said.

No word on whether he voted for Hillary or Trump at this time, but being an illegal alien I could hazard a guess. Still, it’s somewhat amazing that he could get away with it for this long without getting caught up in some sort of conflict with the person whose identity he stole. Perhaps the fact that the victim was originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands made that easier.

But here’s the catch. The press is, as usual, reinforcing the idea that a case such as this is rare beyond belief and this never really happens. But stop and consider that this is just the latest guy that you caught. How many more are out there who are more careful and may never be tripped up? Until you can answer that question definitively, it’s deceptive to report that there are only a handful of situations such as this. We’re basing the conclusion on an incomplete set of data.

Incidents of fake identification, including voter registration cards, are thankfully lower this year at border checkpoints, but it’s still a major problem. As the case of John Doe showed, once you have one fake document in hand it makes it far easier to get additional, official ones. And completing the entire set can keep you on track to go about your business for quite some time as long as you keep your nose clean.

But you just keep telling yourself it never happens. Repeat that mantra long enough and you’ll eventually start believing it.