While Arizona took steps yesterday to eliminate one avenue for voter fraud when the governor signed the bill making ballot harvesting a criminal act, voter fraud was revealed in Ohio.
True the Vote (TTV), the nation’s leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today announced details surrounding its effort to help Cuyahoga and Franklin County officials in Ohio remove more than a thousand duplicate voter registrations ahead of voting in 2016.
Upon receipt of True the Vote’s research, 711 duplicate voter registrations were removed in Cuyahoga County, while 465 sets were processed in Franklin County.
“Because of Ohio’s consistent role as a decisive swing state in America’s elections, it has a duty to ensure that its voter records are in the best shape possible,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said.“Having duplicate voters in Ohio’s poll books not only creates confusion at the polling place, but raises the possibility of fraudulent double voting. The Buckeye State has recently seen first-hand just how far some are willing to go to see their candidate or cause win.”
Significant Evidence of Foul Play
Roughly 30 percent of voters registered twice in the Cleveland area evidenced falsified birthdates, Social Security Numbers and other identifiers, originally submitted by Democratic-leaning organizations (i.e. ACORN, Field Works, The Strategy Network, Organizing for America), according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Each confirmed duplicate voter registration was subsequently purged or merged into an existing, verifiable record.
“While many voter records may become duplicated due to data management breakdowns, you have a different issue entirely when nearly a third of the irregularities show a pattern of intentional forgery,”Engelbrecht said. “Americans working in the polls and casting ballots must be extra vigilant this year to help spot irregularities that can throw an entire election into question.”
ACORN’s Record of Questionable Voter Registration Activities
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) held a well-established track record of supplying local election officials with questionable voter registration forms across Midwestern and other political battleground states for years. The organization boasted more than 1.3 million voter registrations submitted in 2008 alone. After its formal dissolution, 18 employees were convicted or admitted guilt to committing election crimes. Significant amounts of their work were officially questioned:
- In Ohio, a Cleveland man claimed he was given money and goods to register to vote dozens times, resulting in subpoenas;
- In Indiana, more than 2,000 applications were falsified as part of a batch delivered hours before the registration deadline; and
- In Florida, 11 ACORN workers were arrested after submitting roughly 1,400 applications with approximately 900 of those falsified.
Prior Maintenance Successes
Although True the Vote does not have authority to lay citizen challenges on voter registration files, it is allowed to review maintenance records held by the counties in question, according to public inspection rights under the National Voter Registration Act. As of this release, TTV has been notified that thousands of duplicate voter registration pairs have been removed in a similar effort in North Carolina.
True the Vote originally brought a federal lawsuit against the State of Ohio in August 2012 over allegations of voter roll maintenance failures, finding three counties with more registered voters than voting-age residents. The suit ended in a favorable settlement agreement in January 2014 with measurable reductions in bloated voter rolls sustained thereafter.
In February, Arizona legislators heard compelling testimony from community leaders last week as to why the state should is looking to join the majority of states and end the practice of ballot harvesting. Sergio Arellano, a southern Arizona native and community leader, stunned lawmakers when he spoke truth to power about the abuses of mostly minority voters by political operatives. During questioning of Arellano by a white democrat lawmaker, who claimed ballot harvesting was important for his constituents, Arellano responded, “First of all Representative Larkin, with all due respect I am a first-generation American, and I know the struggle in the Hispanic community. My mom works three jobs – no father – absent father – I’ve lived in poverty – cockroaches – I mean you name it – I was there growing up.” The wounded warrior, who now serves as the Arizona State Director of the Republican National Committee continued, “I still continue to live and die in fight for these people every single day because they’re being oppressed and lied to by people from the Democratic Party; unfortunately because those are the operatives out picking up ballots.”