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Absentee ballot vote fraud

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Absentee ballot vote fraud is a type of vote fraud that occurs when a person attempts to fill out and turn in an absentee ballot either containing false information or with the name of a false or non-existent voter. The term "absentee ballot vote fraud" can extend to manipulation, deception or intimidation of voters made possible by absentee voting, an arena of voting that is less easily regulated and observed than in-person voting.[1]

According to a study conducted by the United States Election Assistance Commission, absentee voting creates one of the greatest opportunities for vote fraud and is the area of voting subject to the largest proportion of fraudulent acts.[1]

Examples of absentee ballot vote fraud

In a 2006 report, the United States Department of Justice lists the following examples, among other cases of election law violations, of actions that constitute voter fraud relating to absentee voting:[1]

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

  • Voting or attempting to vote more than once during the same election;
  • Knowingly causing false information about an election to be mailed or distributed and knowingly mailing or distributing such information;
  • Intentionally changing, attempting to change or causing to be changed an official election document including ballots, tallies and returns;
  • Intentionally delaying, attempting to delay or causing to be delayed the sending of certificate, register, ballots (in-person or absentee) or other materials, whether original or duplicate, required to be sent by jurisdictional law;
  • Intentionally making a false affidavit, swearing falsely or falsely affirming under an oath required by a statute regarding their voting status, including when registering to vote, requesting an absentee ballot or presenting to vote in person;
  • Registering to vote, whether in person or as an absentee, without being entitled to register;
  • Knowingly making a materially false statement on an application for voter registration, absentee ballot, early voting or re-registration;
  • Voting or attempting to vote in an election after being disqualified or when knowingly ineligible to vote;

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;[2]
  • Voting in a jurisdiction in which a person works but does not reside[2]
  • Other violations of residency requirements made possible by the use of an absentee ballot[2]

Laws concerning absentee ballot vote fraud

See also: Absentee voting

Critics of absentee voting laws in the United States believe that some laws make it easier to commit absentee ballot vote fraud.

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.[3]

Third-party applications

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.[3].

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 a 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.[3]

Absentee ballot vote fraud news by state

Please see below for recent news about absentee ballot vote fraud in the United States.

Alabama

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Alaska

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Arizona

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Arkansas

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California

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Colorado

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Connecticut

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Delaware

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Florida

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Georgia

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Hawaii

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Idaho

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Illinois

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Indiana

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Iowa

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Kansas

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Kentucky

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Louisiana

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Maine

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Maryland

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Massachusetts

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Michigan

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Minnesota

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Mississippi

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Missouri

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Montana

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Nebraska

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Nevada

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New Hampshire

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New Jersey

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New Mexico

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New York

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North Carolina

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North Dakota

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Ohio

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Oklahoma

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Oregon

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Pennsylvania

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Rhode Island

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South Carolina

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South Dakota

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Tennessee

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Texas

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Utah

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Vermont

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Virginia

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Washington

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Washington, D.C.

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West Virginia

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Wisconsin

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Wyoming

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See also

Ballotpedia:Index of Terms

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