In response to my earlier post on double voting, I was forwarded a copy of the following press release of efforts to police efforts by college students to double vote in Virginia. For those who are interested, I've put the bulk of the release under hidden text.
It'll be interesting to see if anything is done about this. It appears that it is pretty easy both to double vote but also to bust someone who double votes--if election officials decide to do anything about it.
HAMPTON -- Michael Wade, Chairman of the Third Congressional District Republican Committee, has begun delivering to general registrars and local electoral boards across Virginia the names and identifying information of hundreds of college students who are suspected of intending to vote twice in the upcoming presidential election: once in person in Virginia, and once by absentee ballot in a State of prior registration.
Specifically, each of the students on Wade's list is newly registered to vote in Virginia this year. But each also has requested -- and received -- an absentee ballot from the State in which they previously were registered to vote. In many cases, the student's registration in Virginia and request for an absentee ballot from another State were mere days apart.(show)"In a State which just three years ago had a statewide election decided by 367 votes out of over two million cast, this is an extremely troubling revelation," said Wade. Wade's request to general registrars and local electoral boards in Richmond, Montgomery County, Charlottesville, Fairfax County, Norfolk, and other localities with large student populations, calls for the listed students to be challenged if they present themselves to vote in Virginia on Election Day.
Va. Code 24.2-651 requires that election officials "shall challenge the vote of any person who is listed on the pollbook but is known or suspected not to be a qualified voter" on account of having "previously voted in this election." Section 24.2-651 still would permit the challenged students to vote in Virginia, but only after signing an affidavit, subject to felony penalties for making false statements, that they have not previously voted in this election, and that they will not vote in this election at any other voting place. "After the election," Wade explained, "we are going to compare voting records from the two States, and we absolutely will turn over to the State Police the names and addresses of any students who voted twice -- once in Virginia and once elsewhere."
Wade is transmitting his request, along with the names of suspected double voters, by e-mail to the election officials in the areas in question. Out of concern for the privacy rights and presumed innocence of the individual students, however, Wade will not be releasing the list of names to the public.
"Students who have not previously voted in the election have nothing to fear, even if they have requested and received an absentee ballot from another State, as long as they have not and will not cast it," Wade stated. "Only those students who are intending to commit vote fraud by casting two votes in this election should worry," Wade concluded. "And those students should know that we are onto them, and if they cast two ballots, we will find out about it and we will seek to have them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Here is the text of Wade's e-mail to the general registrars and local electoral boards:
From: Mike Wade, Third Congressional District Republican Chairman
Date: November 3, 2008
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL: Double-Voting by College Students
Dear General Registrar and Local Electoral Board Members:
The attached list contains the names and registered addresses of college students in your locality who should be suspected of having voted previously in the upcoming November 4, 2008 General Election. Specifically, each of the students on this list recently registered to vote in Virginia, but each also has requested and received an absentee ballot for the November 4 election from his or her State of prior registration. The list also includes each student's prior State, the date on which the student requested an absentee ballot from the prior State, and the date on which he/she registered to vote in Virginia.
I am providing you with this information so that the officers of election in your locality can discharge their statutory duty, pursuant to Va. Code 24.2-651, to "challenge the vote of any person who is listed on the pollbook but is known or suspected not to be a qualified voter" on account of having "previously voted in this election." Pursuant to Section 24.2-651, prior to voting in Virginia, the students on this list should be required to sign an affidavit, subject to felony penalties for making false statements, that they have not previously voted in this election, and that they will not vote in this election at any other voting place.
Two of the past statewide elections in Virginia have been decided by less than one percent of the total statewide vote, including one by just 367 votes out of over two million cast. Experts are forecasting the possibility of a similarly close election in Virginia this year. I trust you share my commitment to fair and honest elections, and to the bedrock principle of one man, one vote. Please guard against the dilution of my and others' votes by marking your pollbooks, providing this information to your officers of election, and instructing them to challenge the qualification of these students if they do in fact present themselves to vote in Virginia tomorrow.
If you have any questions about how I compiled this information, or need any additional information, please contact me as soon as possible.
Thank you for your immediate attention and response to this vitally important issue.