Clerk’s Corner: Voter fraud statistics and important election details
The 2016 presidential election is by all accounts one of the most unusual and anxiety-producing events in recent American history. In such an important election, it is essential that each and every vote is accounted for and legally cast. Many voters and election officials have been equally alarmed by news reports claiming voter fraud using the names of deceased persons. While there are cases where votes have been cast in the name of a deceased individual, in most cases the vote was mistakenly cast due to clerical error or misinformation rather than actual voter fraud.
An investigative reporter evaluated Colorado voting history from 2001 to 2013 and compared it to the Social Security death database. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams was then informed of potentially fraudulent votes that had been cast in the names of Coloradoans who were deceased at the time of certain elections. He has since been working to resolve the issue with county clerks throughout the state.
Moffat County was notified that one vote was cast in the name of an already deceased individual in the 2004 primary election. However, this case was discovered to be due to clerical error rather than actual voter fraud. A man mistakenly voted in the name of his deceased father when he and the election judge failed to notice that the signature card was issued for the senior, rather than the junior, individual of the same name. His father had never been removed from the registered voter database because he had died out of state and that information had never been relayed to the state of Colorado. Under federal and state law, it’s difficult to cancel a voter from the registry unless there is an exact match on name, date of birth and either full address or Social Security Number.
Of the 3,712,000 voter registration records, 78 voter records met the minimum matching requirement for cancellation. The secretary of state has made changes that resulted in each of the deceased voters in question being removed from the voter registration lists. Three voter records on file are currently being investigated for voter fraud. These voters have a record of ballots cast after the decease date, and district attorneys are investigating for possible prosecution.
Since 2013, the secretary of state and county election officials have employed new, more reliable strategies to cancel as many deceased voters as possible. Secretary Williams has promised to work with legislators to make it easier to cancel dead voters in the future.
While we can all agree that even one single dead person voting is one too many, the reality is that the number of deceased records on the registration lists compared to the number of registered voters is statistically insignificant.
Speaking of which, Election Day is nearly here! The general election is Nov. 8, and this is an ALL-MAIL BALLOT ELECTION. The Moffat County Election Office will begin mailing ballots to all active registered voters Oct. 17. Sample ballots are now available in office or on our website http://www.co.moffat.co.ushttp://www.co.moffat.co.us..
Remember, if you don’t receive your ballot, you can contact our office directly or check your voter status at http://www.govotecolorado.comhttp://www.govotecolorado.com. Ballots are not forwardable, so it is very important that your physical and mailing address are correct. Your physical address determines the ballot issues you are eligible to vote on. . Ballots are not forwardable, so it is very important that your physical and mailing address are correct. Your physical address determines the ballot issues you are eligible to vote on.
http://www.govotecolorado.com. Ballots are not forwardable, so it is very important that your physical and mailing address are correct. Your physical address determines the ballot issues you are eligible to vote on.
The Voter Service and Polling Center is located at the Moffat County Courthouse and will be open to voters Oct. 24 through Nov. 8. We will also be open on Saturdays, including Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. Services provided at VSPCs include:
• Replacement ballots
• In-person paper voting
• In-person accessible machine voting
• Ability to make an address change
• Ability to register to vote
• Return a voted mail ballot
Until next month … Cheers!
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