A Dozen People Voting Twice: Time To Panic! (Not Really)

Not recommended.

Not recommended.

As Election Day approaches and Republican electoral prospects get bleaker for a host of reasons that have nothing to do with the mechanics of voting, a significant number of (generally) conservative voters have sought consolation in speculation about the possibility of widespread vote fraud that might taint the results. These theories have been greatly boosted by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s oft-repeated claims that the election is “rigged,” and his refusal to promise to accept the results even if they’re adverse to him.

In Colorado, we’ve been dealing with allegations of “widespread election fraud” from Republican politicos for many years, particularly since former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler made nationwide headlines with his subsequently debunked claims that “tens of thousands” of people had voted illegally in Colorado. In truth only a small number of cases were ever referred to prosecutors, and of those the vast majority were explainable by mundane circumstances.

In late September, CBS4 Denver’s Brian Maass reported that he had found a handful of cases in which registered voters who were deceased had ballots turned in after their deaths. The story spread rapidly in conservative media, and quickly lost any realistic sense of the scope of the problem–which was, again, maybe half a dozen cases in a state with 3.7 million registered voters.

To be clear, nobody should be happy about any case of vote fraud, but if the remedy for the problem uncovered would prevent more people from voting than what we’re seeing in cases of alleged fraud, the cure would be worse than the disease. And the debate isn’t occurring in a vacuum, because one side has consistently worked to roll back all kinds of voting reforms from early voting to mail ballots–not to prevent fraud, but to make it harder for voters demographically opposed to them to vote.

With all of this in mind, Maass ran another story last night, with a dozen (that’s twelve) anecdotal cases of Colorado voters allegedly voting twice:

An ongoing CBS4 voter fraud investigation has uncovered a dozen cases where Coloradans are suspected of voting twice. Previous CBS4 Investigations revealed ballots cast in the names of Coloradans who had been dead for months– sometimes years- before votes were cast in their names.

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.

The cases of Colorado voters voting both in our state and another state appear to originate with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach is almost as notorious as Scott Gessler for making sweeping statements about supposed vote fraud that don’t hold up under scrutiny. But in these instances, there do appear to be a few individuals who tried to vote in his state and in Colorado.

And in most cases they’re being prosecuted. Colorado and Kansas both participate in a voter verification system that checks the rolls in participating states for duplicates–in most cases, completely uncontroversial duplicates resulting from people moving without updating their registration. As Maas reports, some states don’t participate in that system, and CBS4 found a few Colorado voters also registered in other states who may have voted twice. The cases CBS4 disclosed details on are not exclusively with any one party–both Republicans and Democrats apparently did it.

As we said, no one is going to argue that such cases should be ignored. Especially in close elections, it doesn’t take much of this kind of shenanigans to potentially affect the result. But there is no rational way to aggregate these few cases of individuals attempting to beat the system into anything that could be considered a threat to our elections. There are safeguards against this kind of criminal behavior, and reforms that would make it harder to cheat need not make it harder to vote.

And no matter how deep your denial may be, this isn’t why Donald Trump is going to lose.

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Sure had to write a lot of words about this non issue, eh Pols? 

    • BlueCat says:

      More James O'Keefe. Zero credibility. Also just because somebody tries to vote twice doesn't mean they succeed.

      O'Keefe is known for editing his videos to say or show whatever he wants. In the notorious PP baby parts selling videos he did things like slip in  a "yes" from an answer to some entirely unrelated question as an answer to something along the lines of "can you sell me baby parts?"

      The kind of voter intimidation that resulted in a consent agreement whereby the GOP had to promise to stop intimidating voters in 1981, set to expire next year if it isn't extended because of Trumpian voter intimidation threats, together with the long standing R practice of shorting the "wrong' precincts on voting machines and fighting extended voting opportunities tooth and nail, has been more than enough to actually affect the results of elections. A handful of fraudulent votes has not been shown to have affected the results of any election ever.

      Sometimes it takes more words to present an accurate case than the scant number in your pathetic little regurgitated sound bites.

      And Trump is going to lose bigly and take a lot of down ticket candidates with him

      PS a couple of hours later.

      Love that if I’m in a hurry and make lots of typing mistakes I can come back later and fix them!

    • Colorado Pols says:

      Sorry about using so many words with more than 5 letters in them. Just read slowly and sound out the big ones.

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Minimal substance in the RCP article. But doesn't really matter 'cause it's Vote Trump/Putin in 2016 !!!

     

  3. Old Time Dem says:

    It is entirely possible to be entitled to legally vote in two different places.Generally, status as an elector is conferred based on residency, but sometimes it is also based on property ownership.

    Until Maass eliminates that possibility, he's blowing smoke.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      The 'Keyser' effect? (Dual ballots in 2014)

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        Didn't Keyser receive two ballots because there were erroneous reports that his large dog ate the first one?

        And speaking of him, wonder if he would doing any better vis-a-vis Thurston than Darryl Glenn is doing? I guess we'll never know…..

        • MichaelBowman says:

          Wasn't it (as I recall) posting a picture of two mail ballots sent to a JeffCo voter, yet one of the two was for a special/municipal district election (the scenario mentioned above by OTD? 

          • Republican 36 says:

            You're correct. Keyser owned property in either Delta or Montrose county and there was a special district election of some kind that, as a property owner, he was entitled to vote in. He wanted people to believe Jefferson County had sent him two ballots and therefore there was massive voting fraud underway. There isn't a kind way to say it. He was lying and he knew it. He intentionally tried to mislead the public.

  4. mamajama55 says:

    The GOP has a program called "Crosscheck", which purports to find duplicate voters, but in reality, its sole purpose is to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters by inactivating their registrations until the duplicates can be "investigated". 35,000 were disenfranchised in North Carolina alone – but none have actually been prosecuted for voter fraud, as there is no evidence of double voting.

    Since this program has been shopped to Republican Secretaries of State in various states, I wonder if this is why Colorado's own Wayne Williams is promoting this "duplicate voter" narrative.

    Bottom line – it's evident to all but the most willfully blind supporters that the Trumptanic is sinking fast, and taking much of the Republican party with him. Yet, apparently, there is still hope of salvaging some down ballot elections for the GOP. But only if they cheat – by throwing thousands of eligible Democratic voters off the rolls in multiple states.

    • Powerful Pear says:

      Crosscheck, doing the job Democrats don't want done.

      • DawnPatrol says:

        Crosscheck: intentionally, selectively and cravenly disenfranchising minority voters just as the racist, lying, cheating, rapidly declining, desperate, unable-to-win-otherwise GOP wants done.

      • mamajama55 says:

        How Crosscheck works:

        Do you know anyone named John Smith? Are there, perhaps, many John Smiths in Colorado and other states?

        How about someone named Maria Chavez, or a common Somali name, Abdi Hassan?

        So with Crosscheck, you are on the hunt for "duplicate voters". When you find a John Smith, you leave him alone, but you nail all the Maria Chavez' and Abdi Hassans for "investigation of voter fraud". You make sure that their registrations are inactivated, and that they are purged from the voter rolls, because you don't want those sneaky Marias and Abdis voting twice.

        Kris Kobach, Kansas' Secretary of state, thought up this brilliant plan to disenfranchise minority and likely – Democratic voters. It's worked so great in Kansas. Ask any Kansan how their economy's doing under strict Republican control .

        Crosscheck Q and A: Colorado is one of 26 states still participating in this travesty. And Wayno Williams is giving political cover to this suppress-the-vote effort.

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