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The big election is just one week away, but how confident are you that your vote will count?
Presidential contender Donald Trump has made an issue of a “rigged” election this year, but he's not the only one wondering about the integrity of the voting process. So far this election season, there have been at least 14 cases of suspected or attempted voter and registration fraud.
According to the Pew Charitable Trust, one in eight voting records in the country is inaccurate, due to bad information, addresses, etc. The 2012 study also found that nearly 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states, and 1.8 million registered voters are dead.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation reports that making registering to vote easier via the “motor voter” law has resulted in non-citizens and other ineligible people registering and voting in several Virginia counties, thus diluting the votes of eligible citizens.
Recently, videographer James O'Keefe showed a key Democratic worker admitting to buying cars at auction and using them to transport people across state lines to selected precincts to vote illegally.
The tales of fraud outnumber the actual number of cases brought against people. Here are just the cases that have been filed so far this year — and we aren't even to Election Day yet:
A man who's a resident alien but not a citizen successfully registered to vote in Maricopa County on a bet with a workmate. The man admits to lying about his citizenship on the form but used his real driver's license information and social security number. He told the local ABC 15 TV:
“It makes me really think the system is rigged. Not towards a political party but that the system is broken. How can it be 2016 and all these departments can't catch that I lied on my registration?”
He told ABC 15 News that he won't be voting, but says, “If I got [the voter card] there's something wrong.” Whether the man votes or not, the county attorney is considering charges.
Colorado and Kansas
CBS 4 in Denver has uncovered a dozen cases of Colorado voters voting twice — many of them in two different states.
Six people were found to have voted twice using their own names and in “another six cases, people are suspected of voting in Colorado and another state during the same election cycle.” Two Republicans and one unaffiliated voter were identified.
The State of Kansas is investigating six of the people who live in Colorado but who voted in Kansas.
A Miami-Dade County election worker was arrested for suspected voter fraud. Seventy-four-year-old Gladys Coego was charged with illegally marking ballots for a mayoral election.
In another case, 33-year-old Tomika Curgil was charged with five felony counts of filling out voter registration for non-existent or dead people while working for the group People United for Medical Marijuana.
Also, in Seminole County, mail-in ballots of several voters, including this couple, were stolen and fraudulently cast:
“Lawrence Halperin called the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office to find out what was going on. He was stunned to learn their ballots had already been cast. Someone had stolen the Halperins' ballots, faked their signatures and voted.”
Another victim, Joy McGahey, told the Orlando Sentinel that she's learned a valuable lesson:
“I don't think I'll vote by absentee ballot again. I think I will go to the precinct from now on.”
Florida officials are investigating these cases.
For generations, dead people have been accused of voting in Chicago. The Democratic “machine” supporting John Kennedy is believed by some historians to have conjured 8,858 votes from Chicago graveyards and elsewhere to steal the 1960 presidential election from popular Vice President Richard Nixon.
The city was riven amidst a massive voter fraud case in 1982 with 100,000 fraudulent votes.
Now, CBS Local Chicago reports there's a new crop of dead people filling out ballots, though not as many as in “the bad old days,” as the city's elections commission spokesman put it.
The station reports that 119 dead people have magically risen from the grave to fill out a ballot and vote 229 times in the last decade. One dead man has voted eleven times.
These fraudulent votes are under investigation.
Illinois officials are also investigating three reports of people being offered bribes to vote for Hillary Clinton and another Democratic candidate.
The Daily Journal reports that Kankakee County officials are also investigating hinky looking mail-in ballots and reports of people being driven to the polls for early voting:
The investigation will also focus on the authenticity of vote by mail requests. Several applications have been filed with the election authority that appear to be fraudulently executed.
Late last week, Kankakee County Clerk Bruce Clark said potential voters were being brought to the clerk's office to vote early.
“Whoever it is should not be doing this,” he said. “People should be allowed to come in here and vote without being harassed.”
Both Judicial Watch and True the Vote have previously sued the state of Indiana for failing to promptly purge its voter lists of dead people and other illegal voters, such as convicted felons. A left-leaning political organization, TargetSmart, now also claims that the state's voter rolls are filled with 837,000 people with out-of-date addresses.
To complicate matters, Patriot Majority, a group affiliated with TargetSmart, is under investigation for turning in “suspicious” voter registration forms.
Voters are conflicted over the debate, with one side claiming that mere talk of voter fraud suppresses votes, while the Indiana State Police is taking the potential offense to the election system seriously and investigating all possible voter fraud.
Three people tried to vote several times in Polk County, Iowa. Two of the incidents involved casting mail-in ballots, and the third person tried to vote in a county's early voting location.
St. Louis County prosecutors and the FBI are investigating allegations of voter fraud by the mayor of Berkeley, Missouri. While canvassing neighborhoods asking for peoples' votes, Mayor Theodore Hoskins offered them absentee ballots and told voters that he'd pick up their ballots when they were done. That may be against Missouri law.
Three Comanche County residents were investigated for trying to vote twice in the March presidential primary. They submitted absentee ballots and then tried to vote again in person before they were busted.
An organization tied to Democrat party voting efforts has been raided in an investigation of voter fraud. Philly.com reports:
The warrant did not specify the nature of the probe, but said agents also were looking for “templates...utilized to construct fraudulent voter registration forms” and “completed voter registration forms containing same or similar identifying information of individuals on multiple forms.”
The group, FieldWorks, has been scrutinized in Ohio before.
Texas state officials have opened an investigation into reports of so-called 'vote harvesting,' the practice of filling out and delivering mail-in ballots for other people in Tarrant County.
Texas law forbids an individual to witness more than one non-family member register or fill out ballots in a year. There's concern that retirement and nursing homes are selected by partisans to “help” residents vote and deliver their ballots.
Governor Greg Abbott has confirmed that an investigation of voter fraud is underway.
Also, some voters have reported that voting machines flipped their votes to the opposite party, but Texas officials say the 'flipping' is due to human error. Independent Journal Review previously reports that at least one machine has been taken off line for inspection, and other machines have been removed from early voting use because of the complaints.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation recently uncovered more “1,000 noncitizens who have registered to vote in just 8 of Virginia’s 133 voting jurisdictions. These ineligible voters have cast nearly 200 ballots in American elections. Each fraudulent registration and vote is a potential felony.”
The report was just released in early October, and no charges have yet been filed.
However, in another case, a Virginia man was charged with forging voter registrations and registration fraud.
As Yahoo! News reported:
Vafalay Massaquoi, 30, was arraigned on two felony counts of forging a public record and two counts of voter registration fraud.
“There is no allegation that any illegal vote was actually cast in this case,” said Virginia Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Porter. “Furthermore, since the fraudulent applications involved fictitious people, had the fraud not been uncovered, the risk of actual fraudulent votes being cast was low.”
While that sounds like a crisis-averted situation, Linda Paine of the Election Integrity Project in California told Independent Journal Review that doesn't make her feel better:
“We don't even use the term 'voter fraud' anymore. There's an overall manipulation of the voter process, including lax statewide standards, that allow people to be impersonated at the polls. And because poll workers don't check signatures or ID, there [is] almost no way to catch it — unless they choose to.”
Paine told Independent Journal Review that a good start toward getting rid of voter manipulation would be checking for citizenship by comparing voter rolls to e-verify lists.
We've chronicled 14 cases, but we're not talking about a total of 14 votes. For some of these examples, numerous registrations or votes were affected. And one can only reasonably expect that more cases are to come as we inch closer and closer to Election Day.