Absentee ballot vote fraud
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According to a study done by the United States Election Assistance Commission, absentee voting creates one of the greatest opportunities for fraud and is the area of voting subject to the largest proportion of fraudulent acts.
More information on the process and laws governing absentee voting is available here.
Examples of Absentee Fraud
In a 2006 report, the United States Department of Justice gave the following examples, among other cases of election law violations, of actions that constitute voter fraud relating to absentee voting:
Other types of absentee ballot fraud include:
- Temporarily and superficially changing residency or lying about one's residency status simply in order to vote in an election;
- Voting in a jurisdiction in which a person works but does not reside
- Other violations of residency requirements made possible by the use of an absentee ballot
Laws concerning absentee voting fraud
- See also: Absentee voting
No-fault absentee voting
A majority of states across the nation have no-fault absentee voting, which means that there is no excuse needed in order to be granted an absentee ballot. This practice has gathered opponents who argue that it allows for easy voter fraud, as it makes it much easier to obtain an absentee ballot. These critics urge laws requiring evidence of a valid reason a voter is unable to vote in person to be provided before an absentee ballot is issued. No-fault absentee voting has been criticized widely by the Heritage Foundation, which has been adamant on this issue since massive absentee ballot fraud in Alabama featured in the late 1990s. Proponents of no-fault absentee voting say that it encourages a large voter turnout and that this benefit outweighs the increased chance of voter fraud.
Another source of absentee voting fraud complaints has been the distribution of absentee ballot applications by third party organizations, such as presidential campaigns and political parties. During the 2008 elections, there were increased complaints against both presidential campaigns over the legitimacy of absentee ballot applications being distributed by third party organizations. Organizations such as the as The Heritage Foundation and the National Campaign for Fair Elections argued that state laws should allow only voters, their immediate family members or their caregivers to deliver absentee ballots either to the post office or directly to election officials, in order to avoid manipulation of voters amounting to fraud..
Signature and witness verification
Since the chaos that occurred in the 2000 election in Florida, more states have required absentee voters to have a witness sign off on the certification on the envelope or submit a photocopy of photo ID when submitting an absentee ballot. This law, which attempts to prevent absentee voter fraud, has been championed for a long time by organizations like the National Campaign for Fair Elections and the Heritage Foundation.
- U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program (With links to military and civilian absentee voting information for US citizens)
- Long Distance Voter absentee voter guides for every state (includes forms and directions]
- GoVoteAbsentee (ZIP code matched absentee ballot forms for every state & municipality with detailed instructions)
- Archived list of states' rules on the timing of absentee ballot counting, and who does the counting
- Historical Absentee Ballot Use in California
- U.S. overseas absentee voter registration website (by Democrats Abroad)
- Astronaut Casts Vote from Space
- No Vote By Mail, Problems with Absentee, Postal, and Vote-by-mail systems
- Fraud and abuse
- "Voting is Easy" by Rock the Vote includes absentee information geared toward college students
- Election Crimes: An Initial Review and Recommendations for Future Study, December 2006
- National Review Online, "Wisconsin 2004: The reports of more ballots cast than voters recorded were found to be true," February 26, 2008
- Heritage Blog, Absentee Ballot Fraud: A Stolen Election in Greene County, Alabama, Sept. 5, 2008