Voting has commenced for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election and with that comes legitimate concerns of voter fraud. One of the most recent cases of voting interference involves a ballot drop box in Los Angeles County that was set ablaze. Approximately one hundred ballots were damaged, either from the fire itself or from water damage caused from extinguishing the fire. Fortunately, firefighters were able to recover dozens of unscathed ballots.
Los Angeles County officials responded to the suspected arson stating that law enforcement officials would investigate the incident. They also reassured other voters that pickup at other ballot boxes would be increased to deter criminals from tampering with the ballots. (I don’t think anything successfully deters a fraudster from carrying out their scheme, but let’s hope their efforts work.)
Voter fraud is not a new concept for fraudsters and occurs to a certain degree in every election. There are people who are still facing federal charges for voting in the 2016 Presidential Election as a result of allegations that they were ineligible to do so. (Leave it to bureaucratic red tape to make it so cases are still pending four years later.)
Nineteen people are facing charges in North Carolina after being accused of illegally voting in the 2016 election. Prosecutors claim that the defendants are illegal residents from Mexico, Haiti, the Philippines and Poland, which makes them ineligible to vote. (Voters must prove citizenship in order to vote, and prosecutors have to prove they aren’t citizens. These kinds of cases make for a lot of back and forth.)
Added measures are being taken by government organizations to prevent federal voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released a statement that they have created an Election Crime Coordinator and task force that will work with other federal agencies to expediently determine if voter fraud was committed. Here are a few types of voter fraud they will be looking out for:
- Presenting false information to vote
- Voting more than once by mail or in person
- Electronic voting system crimes such as hacking
- Impersonation fraud by using the name of someone else who is registered to vote
- Voters being paid to vote for a certain candidate
- Voting by individuals who are not citizens, are convicted felons, or are otherwise ineligible
The taskforce will also be in charge of responding to reports of civil rights violations such as voter intimidation or attempting to prevent someone from voting when they are eligible to do so. Additionally, they will be partially responsible for monitoring potential threats of interference posed by foreign governments.
If you suspect voter or election fraud, contact the Election Assistance Commission by calling their hotline at 1-866-552-0004, by emailing email@example.com, or via their online complaint form.
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “FBI says they are ready for potential voter fraud this November election,” published by MSN on October 15, 2020.
As the November 3 general election draws closer, the agency sees more traction when it comes to election fraud.
“Voting is the foundation of our democracy and the FBI makes it a priority to protect that right,” Special Agent Luis Quesada with the FBI in El Paso said. The FBI said they have looked over election crimes since the 1970s.
Additional Articles Referenced: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article245451185.html