E-Voting News and Analysis, from the Experts

Monday November 01, 2004

NYT story on vote fraud allegations

Filed under: — Rubin @ 1:56 pm UTC

A story in today’s New York Times alleges some pretty scary vote fraud already ocurring in swing states.

Some excerpts:

  • In Pennsylvania, an official of the state Republican Party said it sent out 130,000 letters congratulating newly registered voters but that 10,000 were returned, indicating that the people had died or that the address was nonexistent.
  • And in Michigan, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land said she had to put out a statement in mid-October about where to send absentee ballots after voters in the Ann Arbor area received calls telling them to mail the ballots to the wrong address.


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  1. Were those letters sent by the Pennsylvania Republican Party registered letters? Respectful of Otters described a case in Ohio involving the Republicans challenging hundreds of voter registrations on the basis of registered letters.

    The only thing that the return of a registered letter proves is that the recipient declined to sign for the letter, or they weren’t home when the mail carrier left a slip of paper informing them they had a registered letter from the Republican Party waiting at the Post Office, and they chose not to pick the letter up.

    In other words, there is no obligation to accept a registered letter, and so the return of a registered letter doesn’t indicate anything relevant about the addressee.

    Comment by Jeremy Leader — Monday November 01, 2004 @ 4:54 pm UTC

  2. I second Jeremy’s comment, and would add that, even at worst, the Pennsylvania incident indicates voter registration fraud, not voter fraud.

    It’s quite easy to register under a false name or address, and/or to register multiple times, and when people are paid to register voters, it happens. That doesn’t mean a real voter is going to show up at the polls and try to cast a ballot under false credentials.

    Comment by Mathwiz — Monday November 01, 2004 @ 5:38 pm UTC

  3. I doubt it is the case here, but a number of states allow you to register to vote without a postal address as well. Homeless can typically register to vote using a location, as opposed to an address (or might use an address of convience, such as the public library). Mail cannot be sent there, so these would also fail to be delivered.

    Comment by dfinberg — Monday November 01, 2004 @ 9:20 pm UTC

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