Roundup of vote irregularities

November 4, 2012

VoteTracker: Here is a partial look at recent reported incidents of voter registration and vote irregularities, with links to full stories on the issue.

Nov. 4 -- FLORIDA -- 'Let us vote!' The state Democratic Party filed a lawsuit to extend voting in four counties and voters waited for hours to try to vote Sunday in Miami-Dade County. Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the Miami Herald the county headquarters had temporarily shut down, prompting a protest by voters screaming 'Let us vote!,' because he hadn't authorized the additional hours. Gimenez relented, allowing hundreds more to vote. Florida traditionally has permitted Sunday voting, but the GOP-controlled state Legislature eliminated it last year.

Nov. 3 -- OHIO -- New fears. Voters waited in freezing lines for hours to case early ballots for president. Scores of ministers urged their flocks to join them after services to vote. "The way stuff is happening here, they'll have some law by tomorrow that says none of us can vote Tuesday,'' said Pastor Dexter Wise of Columbus, who prayed this election wouldn't be decided by ''deceit and fraud.'' Voter advocates also challenged a weekend order by Ohio's GOP secretary of state they say will lead to more challenged ballots -- and longer lines on Election Day.

Nov. 2 -- VIRGINIA -- Vote-dumping probe widens. State officials are expanding their probe of a former Republican National Committee worker who trashed voter-registration cards to a huge consulting group that has received more than $21 million from GOP campaign committees for work in the past decade. Voter activities by the same group prompted a fraud investigation last month in Florida. Read the full story 

Nov. 1 -- FLORIDA, MISSOURI, OHIO, VIRGINIA -- Poll-watchers mobilized.  A leading civil right group will be monitoring polls in nine states because it fears attempted suppression of voters through intimidation, deception or challenges to their eligibility. Other states under review include Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas. Read the full story. 

Oct. 30 -- PENNSYLVANIA -- Will Sandy hurt Keystone State vote? You have two more days to request an absentee ballot because storms closed election offices early this week. But you must return those ballots by the same deadline, Friday, says Gov. Tom Corbett. The storm also hampered processing of new registrations. In Philadelphia County, commissioners were still struggling to process 28,000 new registrations. Read full article here.

Oct. 30 -- WISCONSIN -- Training poll workers to mislead? Romney campaign documents encourage the candidate's poll workers to hide their affiliation to the public and to election workers, the liberal ThinkProgress.org claims. Poll workers also are told that  people convicted of a felony cannot vote, although legally, felons can vote when they complete their sentence and probation. The Romney camp called the report false. Read the full story.

Oct. 26 -- FLORIDA -- Duplicate absentee ballots created. About 27,000 absentee ballots already cast by voters are being painstakingly copied by hand to make sure they can be read in a scanning machine, the AP reported. Otherwise, the votes wouldn't be counted. Printing errors have caused problems on thousands of absentee ballots nationwide. Read the full story.

Oct. 25 -- NORTH CAROLINA -- Bogus callers tell people they can vote by phone. Election officials warned voters of the fraudulent messages, which have also been reported in the swing states of Florida and Virginia. Officials in one county also are recalibrating voting machines that recorded the wrong votes, the Charlotte Observer reported. Read the full story.  

Oct. 24 -- VIRGINA -- Congressman's son quits campaign after vote fraud video. Patrick Moran, the son of 11-term Rep. James P. Moran Jr. resigned from his father’s campaign Wednesday hours after an undercover video showed him discussing possible voter fraud with an activist posing as a campaign worker. Moran’s campaign issued a statement, calling it “an error in judgment.” Read the full story

Oct. 24 -- FLORIDA -- FBI brought in to investigate bogus voter purge letters. The effort targeted prominent Republicans in 28 Florida counties, a group alleges. The letter asserted it had received information from the state “bringing into question your eligibility as a registered voter.” It directs the recipient to “please stop by our main office with any original documentation that demonstrates U.S. citizenship” and says vote fraud is a felony. Read the full story

Oct. 23 -- OHIO, WISCONSIN -- Dozens of voter fraud billboards coming down. Civil rights groups had said the billboards, paid for by an anonymous group, were a brazen form of voter intimidation. The billboards, which featured a massive judge's gavel and warned ''voter fraud is a felony," were in African-American neighborhoods in Cleveland, Columbus and Milwaukee. The billboard company was Clear Channel Outdoor, which is co-owned by Bain Capital, Mitt Romney's old private equity firm. Read the full story

Oct. 23 -- VIRGINIA -- Federal probe demanded. Three members of Congress have asked for a federal probe into vote fraud allegations. Virginia Democrats have been calling for a wider investigation since the Rockingham County sheriff’s office announced last week that it had arrested a Pennsylvania man on 13 counts of voter registration fraud. Colin Small, who had worked for a Republican Party contractor, was allegedly seen discarding completed voter registration forms in a Harrisonburg dumpster. Read the full story

Oct. 23 -- PENNSYLVANIA -- More billboard complaints. Billboards advertising a state law on voter IDs are confusing people and could suppress voter turnout, voter advocates told the Philadelphia Daily News. A court delayed imposition of the law until 2013, but some billboards, part of a $5 million state advertising campaign, remain. Examples include 10 billboards in primarily Hispanic neighborhoods showing a woman with a driver's license saying in Spanish: "This Election Day, if you have it, show it.'' Read the full story

Oct. 22 -- OHIO, ARIZONA -- Whoops, wrong Election Day.  Authorities in a swing county in Ohio sent out notices to some voters announcing the elections as Nov. 8 instead of Nov. 6. The election director, a Republican, attributed the problem to a computer glitch. In one county in Arizona, the same error was made in Spanish-language voter registration cards. Officials called it an honest mistake. Read the full story

Oct. 16 -- MARYLAND -- Online voter registration suspect? A voting rights group and some of the nation’s leading researchers on election technology are urging Maryland voters to check the accuracy of their online voter registration files after warning that the data had been left vulnerable to tampering. The letter warned that anyone with access to a Maryland voter’s full name and birth date could exploit a simple online tool to change the voter’s address, party affiliation or other information. Such changes, especially a change of address, could lead to a voter’s ballot not being counted normally on Election Day. Ross K. Goldstein, deputy administrator of the elections board, said the state had taken unspecified steps to protect voter files. Read the full story.

Oct. 12 -- VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, IOWA -- He's back. Nathan Sproul, fired by the Republican National Committee amid fraud allegations in Florida, advertised for a voter canvassing operation this fall in as many as 30 states, his spokesman tells the Los Angeles Times. Virginia, Wisconsin and Iowa were three of the states where Sproul advertised for the $15-an-hour "conservative voter identification'' effort. The Republican National Committee fired Sproul after authorities began an investigation into suspect forms in up in 10 Florida counties. Read the full story

David Beard is a writer, editor and director of digital content for The Post. He also edits The Optimist, a weekly e-newsletter, and has been a foreign correspondent.
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Felicia Sonmez · November 4, 2012