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Double Voting:

This report out of Atlanta is scary. They find thousands of people who are registered to vote in both Georgia and another state. And several people who have actually voted in more than one state.

One really key concern that this story suggests is the potential for fraud among college students. Because there is no law that requires you to unregister in one state if you register in another, it is very easy to register in a new state and still vote in your old state (leaving aside the ethics of college students voting in a state where they have no plan to establish permanent residency). I really hope that this is not a big problem, but I fear that this hope may be somewhat naive.

early bird (mail):
Yeah, ignore all that stuff about how the youth vote never materializes, it's actually full of double-voters!
11.4.2008 2:26pm
Steagles:
I haven't read anything on this blog about GOP voter suppression efforts (like telling people to vote tomorrow, or saying that an outstanding traffic ticket will land you in jail, things like that).

Why is that?
11.4.2008 2:28pm
AF:
Let's focus on the people who have actually voted twice. As you said, being registered in two states is not illegal. Who cares if people are registered in multiple states.
11.4.2008 2:30pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
I've heard of this happening sometimes with retirees in Florida, too.
11.4.2008 2:31pm
Light Hearted (mail):
Any reason to suspect this is more of a problem now than at any time in the last several decades? I knew several people in college who voted in their home state and at college. It allowed them to vote for Propositions affecting the state they lived in with their parents and also for Propositions affecting the state they lived in the rest of the year. I'm not justifying it, merely pointing out it was common several decades ago. Worse now?
11.4.2008 2:31pm
burntbeans (mail):

And several people who have actually voted in more than one state.


several=three; and those people should be prosecuted. you are given the impression this is some kind of massive voter fraud, when it's just three cases out of 112,00. i too am registered in two states, because i just moved. the secretary of state should have been looking at this in advance, as opposed to releasing this the day before the election; unnecessary hysteria.
11.4.2008 2:34pm
byomtov (mail):
So three double voters are of grave concern to Zywicki, and the GA Sec of State, but the up-to-ten hour waits for early voting were no big deal. The pious Sec. Handel, is so concerned about one issue, but refused to extend early voting hours.
11.4.2008 2:35pm
Kristjan Wager (mail) (www):
Obviously, people who voted twice should be prosecuted to the full extend of the law. However, judging from the numbers, it seems to be a very limited problem.

Seen from outside the US, attempts to disfranchise voters and the lack of paper trails in electronic voting, would appear to be a much greater issue to voter confidence. E.g. these things appears to be much bigger threats to democracy. Especially in those cases where the authorities have been involved - as we saw in the now in-famous fiasco with the purging of Florida voters at the last US Presidential election.

It's not entirely in jest that I sometimes suggest that the EU and the UN sends observers to US elections.
11.4.2008 2:36pm
FantasiaWHT:

Who cares if people are registered in multiple states.


What about me? I just checked Wisconsin's database and I'm still registered at an old address in Milwaukee as well as in my current city. I work and go to school in Milwaukee, so it would be incredibly easy for me to vote twice.

Several = three = three CAUGHT in just a couple hours of looking. How many do you think can be found after a thorough search? Also, it's no proof necessarily that the same actual person voted under that name both times - somebody else could have been voting under their names (which is just as bad of course, but makes prosecution all but impossible)
11.4.2008 2:38pm
Azatoth:
Have the GOP lawyers already drafted the lawsuits challenging the election based on some sort of voter fraud, or will they wait until the results are in?
11.4.2008 2:38pm
Displaced Avenger:
Am I the only one who finds it telling that Steagles automatically assumes that these double-voters are democrats? There's nothing in the video or in Todd's post indicating a party affiliation...
11.4.2008 2:38pm
Wayne Jarvis:
College students voting not once but twice? Color me skeptical.
11.4.2008 2:39pm
AF:
Several = three = three CAUGHT in just a couple hours of looking.

Actually, it was an entire month of looking, and they examined the entire list of registered voters in GA, FL, and OH.

Am I the only one who finds it telling that Steagles automatically assumes that these double-voters are democrats? There's nothing in the video or in Todd's post indicating a party affiliation...

In fact, the only person in the segment who was caught voting twice was a white male senior citizen with residences in GA and FL. Demographically, the high likelihood is that he is a Republican voter.
11.4.2008 2:41pm
UVA 1L (mail):

Because there is no law that requires you to unregister in one state if you register in another, it is very easy to register in a new state and still vote in your old state (leaving aside the ethics of college students voting in a state where they have no plan to establish permanent residency)


Except, of course, that when an individual registers to vote in a new area, that area's registrar is required to send notice to the individual's past domicile informing them to remove that individual from the old domicile's voter rolls. So this may or may not be a problem on the part of, for example, youth college voters with double addresses, but registrars.
11.4.2008 2:43pm
Ugh (mail):

leaving aside the ethics of college students voting in a state where they have no plan to establish permanent residency


Oh for fncks sake. I'm guessing most college students have no idea where they're planning on establishing permanent residency until sometime during their senior year. In the meantime, they spend most of their year in the state where they go to school.
11.4.2008 2:47pm
Alan P (mail):
In fact my son is still on New Jersey rolls ( I know because his name is right after mine in the register) although he lives and votes in New York and has not voted in New Jersey for over six years.

The problem is not fraud but inadequate resources and a lack of coordination between States. Why should this surprise anyone?

When States lack the funds to develop proper voting systems and there is no central data base to check against and the paranoid right and left fight against national ID cards, this is what results
11.4.2008 2:48pm
Sarcastro (www):
Ima start a pre-riot now just in case Obama steals it. Wish me luck!
11.4.2008 2:49pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Let's focus on the people who have actually voted twice. As you said, being registered in two states is not illegal. Who cares if people are registered in multiple states.


Because we do not allow people to move their vote to wherever they think they'd have the most impact, they must instead vote inside their residency. What defines their residency is open for debate - what should not be open for debate is weather they can "move" their vote to a battleground state.

This wouldn't matter if we didn't use the electoral college, but we do - so gaming the system should be prevented.
11.4.2008 2:50pm
steve lubet (mail):
Judging by their career paths, it seems that several of the Conspirators have moved from state to state over the past years. Did any of you actually unregister in one state when you moved to another? If not, you can add a few VCers to the list of the double registered.
11.4.2008 2:52pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):

Ima start a pre-riot now just in case Obama steals it. Wish me luck!


You are apparently criticizing the imaginary republicans hiding under your bed, given that none of them in this thread even remotely suggested anything like that.
11.4.2008 2:54pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

I haven't read anything on this blog about GOP voter suppression efforts (like telling people to vote tomorrow, or saying that an outstanding traffic ticket will land you in jail, things like that).



and why do you ignore voter fraud and focus on voter suppression? you are guilty of the same thing you are implicitly accusing zywicki of. start your own blog and point out the voter suppression.

only 24 more hours until people like you disappear for 3 years. thank god.
11.4.2008 2:56pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Funny how the GOP's pet "voter protection" scams to harass poor and minority voters can't and won't stop this particular crime. You would think that they had some ulterior motive!
11.4.2008 2:57pm
unwelcome guest:

leaving aside the ethics of college students voting in a state where they have no plan to establish permanent residency


perhaps young professors should refrain for the same reason. Bring back the land ownership requirements?
11.4.2008 2:59pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

why do you ignore voter fraud and focus on voter suppression?


Because there has been a huge outcry about voter fraud, which appears to be a minimal problem, and not much outcry about voter suppression, which appears to be a much larger problem. The point is not that voter fraud should be ignored but rather that attention should be concentrated on the big problem, which is voter suppression.
11.4.2008 3:00pm
Daniel Wolf (mail):
I'm from California but went to grad school in Connecticut. When I registered in CT, the registration required identification of a prior registration address elsewhere. The mechanism appears to have worked as my name was struck from my CA roll. When I returned to CA, after six years of full-time residency in CT, I registered in CA, where the application required the same information. If these two states can be taken as a typical sample of practice, it appears that a system is in place, with any delays in deletion due to administrative practices rather than widespread attempt by voters to vote fraudulently from more than one address.
11.4.2008 3:08pm
Thom:
Most people who move to another state end up registered in multiple states. I wouldn't know how to "unregister" to vote even if I wanted to.
11.4.2008 3:10pm
JPG:
Registration process in the US maybe one of the most unefficient systems I encountered. It truly deserves some tweaking, perhaps a permanent voters list should be considered as a viable option.
11.4.2008 3:14pm
wooga:
The point is not that voter fraud should be ignored but rather that attention should be concentrated on the big problem, which is voter suppression.

Actually, the BIG problem is outright counting fraud. When more votes show up than ballots cast, somebody is cheating. When a machine shows 2,000 votes for a candidate at the moment voting starts, somebody is cheating.
11.4.2008 3:16pm
Closet Libertarian (www):
Only three caught doing absentee/early voting in both states. The more common fraud is probably doing early voting in one and live in the other state. Hopefully they will be prosecuted and lose their right to vote and hopefully that will be enforced.
11.4.2008 3:23pm
Loren (mail):
You know, as an accountant/auditor, part of my job is to design internal control and financial systems that make it difficult for any single person to defraud the system.

Unfortunately, no such mindset seems to apply to our voting system.

Already having 3 persons discovered who may have double voted and gamed the system, with no indication that there is any control to prevent others, indicates a system ripe for exploitation. Whether exploitation has actually occurred is almost beside the point, the fact that the door is open should be the real concern. That the "fraud" was not detected by the systems in place indicate no/poor controls. Detection was dependent on an outside "auditor" (the TV station), and even though detected, the votes have already been recorded and are irretrievable.

Even when voter A has moved and their old registration is still valid in the old polling location there is a problem in that any person aware that voter A moved 6 months ago could cast a vote using voter A's registration, at least in states like Minnesota that require no identification for registered voters. The only chance of detection is that the election judge at the registration book personally knew voter A before he moved.

Minnesota has "motor voter" instant same-day registration. So anyone could cast an absentee ballot at your old location and then register and vote at you new polling place on the day of the election. If you are moving interstate, chances of detection are nil. For that matter, even within the state, I am unaware of any procedure to detect a double vote in a motor vote situation. And even if detected after the fact, both votes will be counted, since the ballot is anonymous.

Either side could exploit these weaknesses. So everyone, on either side, should be interested in closing these internal control holes. That someone might not be interested in closing the hole, only makes me suspect that they are aware of and/or desirous of exploiting the weakness in the control.

I think Congress would have a cow over a corporation with financial controls as poor as we have over our voting franchise.
11.4.2008 3:25pm
Sarcastro (www):
[States are super protective of their own voting laws. I don't see sufficient political pressure to preempt those laws, especially via an unfunded mandate.

Gotta reform this state-by state.]
11.4.2008 3:33pm
David Warner:
TZ,

"This report out of Atlanta is scary."

Pull yourself together, son. It'll be ok. Really it will.
11.4.2008 3:36pm
Michael Hertzberg (mail):
One of the things that enables dual voting (and did in the case of the double voter in the TV report) is early voting. He voted a few weeks ago in Ga., then went down to Fla. to vote again. If he had to vote only on election day, it would discourage much of this chicanery. I know all about absentee ballots, but their free availability without some sort of affidavit of necessity also encourages multiple voting. Making it easy to vote makes it easy to cheat. There's nothing wrong with enduring a little inconvenience in order to vote; it makes it more meaningful. The way it is now, my vote is so diluted by the cheaters, it makes the whole process discouragingly anti-democratic.
11.4.2008 3:46pm
smitty1e:
It kind of makes sense to just expand voting to be completely global, and let everyone vote in all 57 states for every Congresscritter and Executive brancher.
That way, when total clowns like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are sodomizing the economy and whatever else, I get a chance to vote against them. That whole taxation with representation thing.
Plus, if everyone votes everywhere, the multiple voting problem is obviated.
What's not to like?
11.4.2008 3:51pm
blindgambit7:
I've lived in my current state for over a year now. I have a driver's license and am registered to vote. Nonetheless, I received an absentee ballot from the State of Virginia (my last state of residence) about two months ago. I never even voted in an election in Virginia during my two years of living there. I think this sort of thing is bound to happen given the (relative) mobility of the American populace.
11.4.2008 3:54pm
SeaDrive:
One of the offices I voted for this morning was Registrar of Voters. Of course, I had never heard either name before, at least not to recognize.

There are state standards, but if we are going to have local control of voter registration, it is not going to get better.
11.4.2008 3:58pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
I do not know the scale of voter fraud. I do not know the proportion of fraudulent registrations that get translated into fraudulent votes.

I--as apparently Michael Hertzberg supra--am gravely concerned that they current system has no controls to actually stop voter fraud. I am not at all convinced that false registrations equate to no false votes. Tens and hundreds of thousands of false registrations cannot be discounted as 'doesn't mean anything'.

The scale of the fraud is immaterial when the very basis of one-person/one-vote is challenged, even in perception.

I think all current voter registrations should be invalidated on Nov. 5, 2008. All citizens who want to vote would have to re-register, providing positive ID. That positive ID (after accounting for the fact that people do move) should be required when a voter goes to actually vote or when requesting an absentee ballot. These IDs should be in a single, national database that can be checked by election officials in all voting precincts in in the US for every national election. Its use in state or local elections is optioned to the states.
11.4.2008 4:03pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
smitty1e: Good idea! Then we can all have to first week of November off so that we can go through the nominees to make our selections.

I'm certainly willing to take the time to get rid of whoremongers like Dodd and turds like Waxman and Pelosi.
11.4.2008 4:05pm
bleh (mail):

Because there has been a huge outcry about voter fraud, which appears to be a minimal problem, and not much outcry about voter suppression, which appears to be a much larger problem.


Based on what? What methods do we have for measuring voter fraud or voter suppression?
11.4.2008 4:07pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
Voting should be Federalized and one national register (together with government identification cards) would prevent these games from being played. Time we put effort into making it so.
11.4.2008 4:10pm
Kristjan Wager (mail) (www):
I think this sort of thing is a bigger problem.

Tim Robbins Faces Mix-Up at Polling Place

And this is just one of several such stories I've seen.

In general, the current US system seems extremely flawed, and need some kind of overhaul. Unfortunately, fixing the problems (both with double votes and with voter purges) would require some kind of centralized register, which it appears never will go through in the US.
11.4.2008 4:14pm
Gilbert (mail):
I am currently registered in 3 states (as far as I know). Stop using duplicative registration as a measure of voter fraud; it's not. The measure is the number of people who actually vote twice.

As these three people will probably find out, double dipping on a system that is explicitly indexed on your personal identifying criteria is a really bad idea.
11.4.2008 4:28pm
RPT (mail):
"I'm certainly willing to take the time to get rid of whoremongers like Dodd and turds like Waxman and Pelosi."

You probably don't deserve to have a real congressman like Waxman.
11.4.2008 4:45pm
trad and anon:
I changed states a few years ago and I don't think I ever unregistered. I'm sure they still have me on the voting rolls.
11.4.2008 5:05pm
Lior:
If there is "no law" against such multiple registration then what is the problem with them? As long as no state denies the right to vote to anyone who is clearly a resident, why cannot two states consider the same person a resident of both?
11.4.2008 8:01pm