Articles Tagged with voter fraud

A crazy election year is ahead, making it a good idea to take a look at voter fraud issues that could lead to some real problems for individuals who are charged. 

Voter Fraud Facts

The truth is that the majority of Americans do care about election integrity and believe that fraud of any kind is wholly intolerable.  That may be why voter fraud is tremendously rare in the United States, according to numerous studies, despite claims to the contrary by some. Claims floating around charging that the 2024 presidential election is “rigged” are unfounded, as the number of fraud cases related to voting is minuscule and would not impact election results.  Here’s what we know about recent cases of such fraud:

  • According to one study, the probability of non-citizen voter fraud is zero.
  • Only 31 credible cases of voter fraud related to impersonation occurred between 2000 and 2014 across the country.
  • The actual rate of voter impersonation is no higher than 0.003%.
  • Most questionable issues can be traced back to a clerical error of some kind.
  • In the 2016 election, there were just four cases of documented fraud.
  • Mail-in votes have been determined to be just as secure as in-person votes.
  • In multiple studies, the majority of voter fraud claims have been found to be meritless.

Examples of Voter Fraud

In the event someone did decide to try to commit voter fraud, there are a number of ways to attempt to break the law (although safeguards usually prevent success):

  • Voting or registering, or trying to do so, in the name of someone else or of a fictional person and forging a signature;
  • Interfering with mail-in ballots;
  • Voting despite ineligibility (such as due to citizenship status, felony status, or age);
  • Casting more than one ballot in the same election;
  • Voting in the name of someone who has died;
  • Changing the information on someone else’s registration form or throwing it away because you do not like the party they are associated with;
  • Buying, threatening, and/or selling votes;
  • Being paid to vote in a particular way;

Examples of Voter Fraud by Officials

  • Manipulating voting machines;
  • Trying to determine who someone has voted for;
  • Manipulating ballots by throwing them out, changing them, or casting ballots in the name of other voters.

Examples of Fraud by Campaigns or Candidates

  • Using taxpayer money to campaign;
  • Secreting the names of those who pay for advertising;
  • Campaigning within 100 feet of a polling location.

Penalties for Voter Fraud

While voter fraud is extremely rare, when it does occur, offenders can look forward to the possibility of serious penalties, including thousands in fines and years behind bars, depending on the charges.  Continue reading

When Americans go to the polls, they have to believe that their vote counts and that all votes will be counted honestly and appropriately for fair and free elections to take place. However, when the established rules are not followed and the system is abused, anyone involved in such actions can be charged with voter fraud. In California, voter fraud is a crime, just as it is in every state across the nation. There are four categories in which acts of California voter fraud can fall within the scope of the law. These are the four violation categories:

  • Voter registration
  • Petition initiative 
  • Election day and voting
  • Nomination and election campaign

California Voter Fraud Violations Explained

Below details a breakdown of California voter fraud violations.

  • Voter Registration Fraud – When ineligible voters are registered to vote, that will fall under voter registration fraud. Examples of ineligible parties would be animals, deceased persons, fictitious people, or anyone under the law who does not have the right to vote. If you are charged with California voter registration fraud, how you are charged will be based on the details of your crimes. As a wobbler crime, a prosecutor can decide to charge you with either a felony or misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges come with as much as a year to be served in county jail while felonies can come with up to three years of jail time. Fines may also be assessed.
  • Election-day Fraud – When there is an exchange of money for votes, aggression or threats for votes, voting multiple times in the same election, voting when you are not lawfully allowed to vote, falsely taking on another person’s identity to vote these acts are considered election-day fraud. These actions will result in California felony charges and the punishment can be jail time up to three years and fines as high as $10,000.

Being arrested and charged with voter fraud violations in California is serious and there are many consequences for such actions. Other illegal acts related to the voting system include:

  • Trying to intimidate or influence a vote within 100 feet from the polling location
  • Having a gun at a polling place
  • Meddling with a voting machine
  • Fraudulently voting with mail-in ballots

Continue reading

An investigation into voter fraud by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has caught the attention of the California State Attorney General’s Office for possible voter intimidation.  According to the ABC affiliate KDRV, about a week before the primary, deputies went door-to-door with loaded rifles to the homes of Asian Americans of Hmong descent threatening them with arrest for voter fraud. The county sheriff claimed that 200 voter applications looked questionable, so deputies and state investigators went to the listed addresses on the applications.  Specifically, due to poverty, many Hmong families live in the same dwelling as other families to be able to make ends meet. That makes it look like there may be a conflict in voter registration addresses.

Hmong communities have historically been the most marginalized and impoverished Asian American community in the nation. The Hmong were key allies with the CIA against the North Vietnamese and Vietcong during the Vietnam war. After the fall of Saigon, many of them were evacuated to the states, mainly central California.

Because of the door-to-door threat of arrest, many stayed home and did not vote. Immigrants who were intimidated fear deportation back to a country that wants them dead.

What is Voter Intimidation?

In what could only be described as the most divisive election in American history, voter intimidation of low-income and minority voters has been on the rise. Voter intimidation can generally be described as trying to coerce or scare someone to abstain from voting, or to vote a certain way. For example, in Virginia, it has been reported that armed militia men standing outside voting booths harassing Democratic voters may be voter intimidation. Other more institutional forms of voter intimidation include police threats of arresting people who have unpaid parking tickets, or misleading robocalls in African-American communities telling them they did not need to vote.

Yes, Voter Intimidation is a Felony

Voter intimidation in any state is a felony. Numerous federal laws prohibit voter intimidation by government officials and by private actors and in most states, those laws are reinforced by state laws prohibiting voter intimidation. Federal law prohibits government actors from discriminating against voters based on race, ethnicity, or religion. However, there is no bright line to distinguish between legitimate poll watching activities and outright voter intimidation at the polls.

Other Relevant Laws for the Election

While every person should be able to exercise his or her civic duty to vote, Californians cannot take a ballot selfie on November 8. While Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law last month making it legal, it will not be legal in time for this election. Continue reading

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