Election Watchdog Hands Florida 173 Cases of Alleged Voter Fraud

By: William Patrick FloridaWatchdog.org | Posted: August 17, 2013 3:55 AM


A Texas-based watchdog known as True the Vote is staying one step ahead of Florida’s elections officials.

The organization has identified 173 cases of alleged interstate voter fraud, or double voting, in Florida and Maryland, the group announced Monday.

Each case represents a single person voting in both states during the same federal election cycle, dating to 2006.

“The 173 cases does not mean 173 illegal votes,” said Logan Churchwell, communications director for True the Vote, a nonpartisan voters’ rights and election integrity group. “It means at least double that.”

The group used updated 2012 voting data to cross-reference Florida and Maryland registration lists. Maryland is the latest state under review in what Churchwell described as the “snowbird” project.

Using names, dates of birth, residential addresses and federal voting information, True the Vote has already identified potential double voting abuses in Florida by way of Ohio (534 cases), New York (32) and Rhode Island (2), as of October last year.

True the Vote submits its findings to the U.S. Department of Justice and state elections officials for further investigation.

Florida Watchdog contacted the Florida Department of State Division of Elections for comment but did not receive an immediate response.

Voter fraud is a third-degree felony in Florida and carries a maximum penalty of $5,000 and five years in prison.

In a news release, Catherine Engelbrecht, president of True the Vote, said double voting is attributable to the fragility of our absentee voting systems.

For various reasons, including convenience, absentee ballot voting has increased in Florida in recent years, though proper safeguards are still being debated.

“Voter ID can’t do anything against an absentee ballot fraud case because it’s all done in the mail,” said Churchwell.

As previously reported, absentee balloting, or vote by mail, was the focus of a grand jury report led by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle after irregularities were found in the area’s 2012 elections.

The report highlighted several clear violations and the rise of absentee ballot voting in general in Miami-Dade County -- 27 percent of the total 885,067 votes in November, as opposed to 7 percent in 2000.

True the Vote’s recent findings show the highest instances of absentee ballot interstate fraud occurring in Escambia, Clay, Duval, Pinellas and Volusia counties.

According to Pew Research, 2.75 million Americans were registered to vote in more than one state last year. But that does not mean they committed fraud.

Still, for those like Wendy Rosen, the temptation to double vote could be hard to resist.

Rosen ran for a seat in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District last year but ended her campaign less than two months before the general election when it became known the Maryland resident also voted in Florida.

Churchwell said True the Vote will continue to offer Florida and other states assistance even if they don’t get credit. “It’s a bipartisan issue, and the absentee voting system is only as good as the list maintenance process is,” he said.

Updated as of 5:07 p.m. A spokesman for the Division of Elections said in an email that,”The division is reviewing the files.”

Contact William Patrick at william@floridawatchdog.org or follow Florida Watchdog on Twitter at @watchdogfla Like Watchdog.org?

Tags: News, Politics

Comments (3)

Victoria Thiel
10:57PM AUG 18TH 2013
The only ones who want no IDs and claim voter suppression are the liberal progressives, who keep on saying "alleged" voter fraud. I witnessed voter fraud which although investigated was too late to make a difference on the current election. The only reason not to want a valid ID is to perpetrate voter fraud. Busing people over state lines to vote when they don't live there is voter fraud; illegal immigrants voting (under fraudulent IDs or using a dead person's ID is voter fraud. The only people whose vote is suppressed are legitimate voters who are cancelled out by a fraudulent vote.
8:57PM AUG 20TH 2013
Sorry, Victoria, but your "alleged" fraud is clearly meaningless (especially the busing folks over state lines lie) . . . . maybe you'd like to tell us where you filed that police report so we can verify your "alleged" voter fraud and what that police report outcome was (otherwise, consider yourself part of the "Big Lie" politics crowd) . . . .

And then I can show you the way to an independent study estimating 201,000 voters were suppressed during the 2012 Presidential election in Florida alone . . . . suppression I experienced standing in hours long lines while watching elderly women with walkers finally having to give up or face heat stress . . . . my voting experiences were documented by our local media in both film and text, which I can easily produce . . . . WHERE'S YOUR PROOF . . . show us your police report . . . . or is all you have more Tea Party hoped-for truthiness . . .even if 99.9% of the Orlando Sentinel study on voter suppression were to be in error, there would be still more voter suppression than voter fraud in Florida during the last Presidential election . . . Tea Party outrage facts are so predictable, so easy to disprove and so . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
10:54PM AUG 17TH 2013
Ah, yes, 173 of ALLEGED voter fraud . . . . . compares nicely with the Orlando Sentinel study of 201,000 voter suppressions . . . . worse than a 1/1,000 ratio of voter fraud/voter suppression . . . so which is the larger number (and bigger problem) . . . 173 or 201,000 . . . . except, of course, to partisan True the Vote's "Big Lie" politics . . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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