Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Investigation Finds People Voting Twice in CO and KS

An ongoing voter fraud investigation has uncovered a dozen cases where Coloradans are suspected of voting twice. Previous investigations revealed ballots cast in the names of Coloradans who had been dead for months, sometimes years, before votes were cast in their names.

This is were Voter ID does not work, since these are Absentee ballots.

In six of the new cases, voting records show the same people voting twice in Colorado elections. In another six cases, people are suspected of voting in Colorado and another state during the same election cycle.

Lincoln Wilson, a registered Republican from Hale, in Northeast Colorado, is accused of voting in both Colorado and Kansas in 2010, 2012 and again in 2014. Wilson told said he voted in both states, but only “voted on local issues” and “didn’t vote twice for President.”

Randall Killian pleaded guilty to voting in Douglas County, Colorado and Kansas in the 2012 Presidential election. Ron Weems pleaded guilty to voting in Teller County, Colorado and Kansas in both 2012 and 2014. Both men were fined for their offenses.

My question: if you maintain and pay taxes in both states, should you be able to voter on local issues in each State?

Kansas has also charged James Criswell of Douglas County and Sharon Farris of Denver with double voting. Their cases have not been resolved yet.

“You’d be surprised how often people double vote,“ said Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. “Two of the cases are serial double voters. I think people discover they can get away with it and keep doing it.”

Kobach says his office is “aggressively prosecuting” double voting cases because it’s a crime that “can’t be caught ahead of time.”

He says after each Election, Colorado and Kansas crosscheck voters to identify double ballots and clean up their databases. But Kobach still believes 10,000 people are registered to vote in both Colorado and Kansas. “Any one of those 10,000 people could probably succeed in casting two votes,“ Kobach said. “We want to get the word out, ‘Don’t do it, we’ll catch you.’”

Colorado and Kansas are two of 28 states that share voting data as part of the Interstate Crosscheck program. Colorado also shares voter data with 10 other states in a different program, called Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC.

Florida doesn’t participate in either data sharing project.

Comparing Absentee ballots from Florida with Colorado’s Voter rolls found a suspected double voter with residences in Colorado Springs and Titusville, Florida. The El Paso County Clerk has forwarded that case to Prosecutors for review.

“Some states haven’t recognized the importance of participating in ERIC and making sure the integrity of the process is ensured,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Yet, some people, like Bruce Rickey, are being prosecuted for voting twice in Colorado. Rickey was charged with trying to vote twice in the 2015 Colorado election. Prosecutors say Rickey voted in El Paso County where he lived, and then allegedly tried to vote in Elbert County as well. Court documents say Rickey “hated” the Elbert County Sheriff and told an Election official he wanted to vote against the Sheriff on a term limit issue.

“There are individuals who break the law and they should, and are, being prosecuted for that,” said Williams.

But, Williams admits other Coloradans are getting away with it. Combing through Voter data, they found three suspected double voters in Denver, one suspected double voter in Arapahoe County and one suspected double voter in Douglas County. All five cases that were uncovered have now been referred to Prosecutors for possible criminal action.

“It’s a relatively small number,” said Williams, “But, it is a problem of any magnitude because we have close elections in Colorado.”

Williams said people can show up twice on Colorado’s Voter rolls if their information is slightly different, due to a change of address, a change of name through marriage, or a simple typo.

Since ballots were mailed out last week, Election officials have been contacted by a handful of voters who have received more than one ballot.

Is this a Board of Elections Voter Roll maintenance problem?

Teresa Hailey, from Northeast Denver, said she received two ballots, one sent to her home address, the other to her P.O. Box. “I want someone to take this very seriously,” said Hailey who has reached out to the Denver Elections Division to ask what happened and to clarify which ballot to cast. “If this happened to me, I’m sure it’s happened to somebody else.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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