Voting fraud in Election 2012: How common is it? (+video)
The son of Rep. Jim Moran has resigned from his father's campaign for apparently condoning voter fraud. In the lead-up to Election Day 2012, both Democrats and Republicans have had such episodes.
With less than two weeks before Election Day, charges of voter fraud continue to mount up.
The latest involves the son of US Rep. James Moran (D) of Virginia ‚Äď Patrick Moran, Representative Moran‚Äôs campaign field director ‚Äď shown on a secretly taped video apparently discussing a plan to use forged documents to cast ballots for 100 registered voters who seldom vote.
In the latest video, Patrick Moran is shown going along with a man posing as a campaign worker who urges the use of voter fraud. At first Mr. Moran suggests the man‚Äôs time would be better spent on the campaign‚Äôs legal get-out-the-vote effort, but then he is drawn into discussing ways to fraudulently pad voting rolls, including the use of forged utility bills.
Patrick Moran quickly resigned from his father‚Äôs campaign.
‚ÄúAt no point did I take this person seriously,‚ÄĚ he said in a statement. ‚ÄúHe struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him. In hindsight, I should have immediately walked away, making it clear that there is no place in the electoral process for even the suggestion of illegal behavior: joking or not.‚ÄĚ
Mr. O‚ÄôKeefe‚Äôs methods ‚Äď including posing as a pimp in the ACORN case ‚Äď have been criticized, especially by liberals targeted by his organization Project Veritas. In 2010, O‚ÄôKeefe and three colleagues were arrested for illegally entering the offices of US Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) of Louisiana. O‚ÄôKeefe pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, for which he was sentenced to three years' probation, 100 hours of¬†community service, and a $1,500 fine.
Still, he‚Äôs had a clear impact on electoral politics.
‚ÄúThis is a fact, and it will [make liberals mad], but: James O'Keefe has had more of an impact on the 2012 election than any other journalist,‚ÄĚ writes Slate¬†political reporter David Weigel.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs just indefensible and [Patrick Moran] was right to resign,‚ÄĚ Representative Wasserman Schultz said on CNN.
But she also noted that in Florida, ‚ÄúRepublicans paid a firm that was caught deliberately, fraudulently registering voters, tossing out some registrations that were Democratic voter registrations.‚ÄĚ
¬†The reference was to a voter registration contractor fired last month by the GOP after the firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, turned in illegible, incorrect, and falsified voter registration forms to Florida election officials. Like the DNC‚Äôs Wasserman Schultz, Republican officials at the time said they had ‚Äúzero tolerance‚ÄĚ for vote fraud.
More recently, Rep. Jim Moran and two other congressmen have asked the US Justice Department to investigate voter registration fraud connected to Strategic Allied Consulting and its subsidiary Pinpoint in Virginia.
‚ÄúAs you are aware, Strategic Allied Consulting is currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and faces more than 200 allegations of voter registration fraud including registration of the deceased. Allegations of voter registration fraud by Strategic Allied Consulting also have been raised in Arizona and Colorado,‚ÄĚ the Democratic lawmakers wrote this week to Attorney General Eric Holder. ‚ÄúThe number of allegations in a multitude of locations would seem to suggest something more than the isolated acts of ‚Äėa few bad apples.‚Äô ‚ÄĚ
Earlier this year, the Pew Center on the States reported on why the potential for voter fraud exists. Approximately 24 million voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies, Pew reported in February. Among the highlights of the report:
‚ÄĘ At least 51 million eligible citizens remain unregistered ‚Äď more than 24 percent of the eligible population.¬†
‚ÄĘ More than 1.8 million¬†deceased individuals are listed as voters.
‚ÄĘ Approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.
‚ÄĘ About 12 million records have incorrect addresses, meaning either the voters moved, or errors in the information make it unlikely any mailings can reach them.
There‚Äôs another reason as well, writes Dan Froomkin, senior Washington correspondent for the Huffington Post: ‚ÄúThe main reason voter registration fraud is so common is that canvassers are sometimes rewarded based on how many applications they submit ‚Äď which can incentivize padding.‚ÄĚ