As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Amy Hamilton reports, and by God every time it happens somebody ought to let you know–if for no other reason than to remind you how rarely it happens:
A Grand Junction woman was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor voter fraud after she allegedly cast a mail-in ballot for her adult son last fall after becoming frustrated that her adult children didn’t seem to be voting, according to the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office.
Gail Arlene Gray, 66, told an investigator she “did a terrible thing” but she was “really (angry) at my kids for not voting, none of them were voting and then that (ballot) came in the mail and I didn’t even think, I thought I am going to vote for him…” according to an arrest affidavit released Thursday…
In a phone call on Jan. 30, the son told the investigator he had talked to his mom and learned she had voted for him. When asked by the investigator, the son said his mother’s voting choices were “not necessarily” how he voted but he “did not have hard feelings about it,” the affidavit said.
Now before anyone starts pointing partisan fingers, we looked up Gail Arlene Gray’s voter registration, and she’s unaffiliated. Considering that allegations of voter fraud are almost both exclusively leveled by Republicans and (in Colorado, anyway) and almost exclusively committed by Republicans, up to and including a former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party–but in this case, what you have is a mother upset that her son was complacent about doing his civic duty. So Mom decided to take care of it herself.
Which is, of course, a crime.
As the Sentinel reports, the fraudulent vote was caught by the system working as intended, when the son turned up at a vote center to vast a ballot in person. After confirming that a mail ballot had already been cast in his name, a signature check revealed that he wasn’t the signer–and soon after that, Mom confessed to voting on his behalf. Because Gail Arlene Gray has no criminal record, and owing to her age and cooperation with investigators, she is only facing misdemeanor election fraud charges.
The incident marks the only case of suspected voter fraud in Mesa County for the 2018 election cycle, Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said. [Pols emphasis]
Again, it’s important to take note of these bonafide cases of election fraud when they occur. Republicans from President Donald Trump all the way down to state and local officials regularly invoke the specter of “illegal voters” subverting our elections, from former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s baseless claims of tens of thousands of such voters in Colorado to more recent and very similar allegations of “95,000 illegal voters” in Texas. Gessler’s claims about Colorado voters totally collapsed under scrutiny, and those “thousands” of fraudulent votes boiled down to fewer than five actual cases.
With the actual incidence of election fraud in Colorado an infinitesimal fraction of what the usual suspects claim it is, the argument for any of the “solution” measures proposed in response becomes much more difficult. To stop thousands of fraudulent voters, a crackdown that prevents some fewer thousands of voters from lawfully participating might be more justifiable. But to effectively disenfranchise thousands in order to prevent…one case? Even five cases? That’s a “solution” in search of a problem. A cure worse than the disease.
And it’s based on one of the biggest falsehoods in politics today.