James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas sent investigative reporters to the polls during the New Hampshire presidential primary on January 10. The goal was to show how easy it was for someone to obtain a ballot using the name of a deceased person. They attempted this at more than a dozen polling places, and were successful in obtaining ballots in all cases except one. That was one where an alert poll worker personally knew the deceased person. The Project Veritas reporters were careful not to actually cast the ballots as well as being careful not to infringe on the privacy of the voters’ secret ballots.
The reaction to this sting has gone nationwide, and it’s raising questions about weaknesses in our voting systems. If it is this easy to get a ballot using the name of an easily documentable case of a phantom voter, what about the other, subtler forms of phantom voters, such as people who have moved or the fictitious persons who have been registered in a deliberately fraudulent manner?
Traditionally, the bulk of the fraudulent ballots cast in these people’s names were cast via absentee ballots, but that has changed dramatically in the last five or 10 years due to early voting.
While the absentee ballots typically have a relatively weak system of written documentation, there is at least somewhat of a paper trail in the request and on the envelopes. Sometimes there’s enough evidence to lead to convictions for electoral fraud. With early voting, repeaters — the slang term for people in the electoral fraud trade who vote repeatedly in an election using assumed names — have a week or more to cast their fraudulent ballots rather than needing to cast them via absentee ballots or cast many fraudulent ballots on election day.
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