Considering there are millions of voters in the United States, that doesn’t seem like a lot, but as an election integrity expert told us, you’re not likely to see the kinds of vote stealing that goes on every election cycle.
Linda Paine of the Election Integrity Project told Independent Journal Review that vote stealing is simple and in-your-face.
Paine told us that she doesn’t even call it “fraud” anymore. That doesn’t mean that it’s not fraud — it is — but she thinks it’s better understood as “voter impersonation.”
Videographer James O’Keefe showed the country what that looked like when the Project Veritas founder gave Attorney General Eric Holder’s name and address to a precinct worker in 2012 during the primary elections:
O’Keefe did the same in Detroit — he gave Marshall Mathers III’s name and address. You may know Mathers better as rapper Eminem:
In both cases, O’Keefe was offered the ballots to vote. He never took them, so he didn’t break the law, but he did show how simple it is to impersonate a voter.
Linda Paine told Independent Journal Review that people with nefarious ambitions know they can get away with voter impersonation for two big reasons:
“Registrars have eroded the integrity of the process and those who would be wiling to manipulate the voting process can do it. [The elections process has] got so many open doors to fraud it’s like swiss cheese.”
“You cannot actually catch a person who is doing an impersonation at the polls.”
She told Independent Journal Review that it all comes down to this list — the “Street Index” — which is posted outside every polling place:
I simply asked where the Street Index was displayed at my polling place and was directed to it by a helpful poll worker.
The list is a trove of information. The names, addresses, and party affiliations of every registered voter in that precinct is displayed. People who have already voted have their names crossed out.
Paine says the mischief starts at 4-5 p.m. in the afternoon. Anyone can avail himself of the Street Index, find out who hasn’t voted, write down that individual’s name and address, and go to the poll and pretend to be that person. Because no identification is required in some places, there’s no way to catch an impersonator:
“Our workers have documented people using the street index:s. We see a pattern of people about 4-5 pm using this information. Sometimes they go to another polling place and vote a provisional ballot.
Forty percent of all provisional ballots are voted in California and 90% of all provisional ballots in California are voted in LA County. If you’re going to commit voter impersonation, you get the names and addresses off the Street Index rolls and hand off that information to your cohorts in LA County where that vote will be stolen.
If you’re going to impersonate a vote you go to LA County to do it.”
Paine told Independent Journal Review that because state elections officials want people to speedily vote, they “never check the signatures.” There are other areas of lax oversight that she’s also reported to authorities, but her group’s concerns have been ignored.
As she put it, “It’s the perfect crime.”