Voter fraud is real. It’s time to take it seriously.

If you don’t believe that election fraud is real, you should take a look at The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database. This one-of-a-kind research tool tracks a sampling of proven instances of voter fraud from virtually every state in the nation.

At present, the Heritage database has 1,259 total examples—1,085 of which ended in criminal convictions for people who tried to cheat or steal elections. Heritage has tracked down cases of corrupt politicians who rig their own re-elections through bribery and coercion, of ballot harvesters who steal votes from the most vulnerable, and poll workers who take advantage of their positions to ensure races come out the way they want. These cases are often egregious, but alarmingly, they are almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg. As Heritage points out, the database is neither exhaustive nor comprehensive; in all likelihood there are many more cases that are never discovered, investigated, or prosecuted.

Elections are the pathway to power, so there will always be unscrupulous people willing to exploit electoral vulnerabilities for personal, political, or partisan gain. That’s why it is imperative for officials to do all they can to safeguard the democratic process by preventing election fraud and prosecuting the people who commit it.