Voter Fraud Is Real, Elections Expert Says

Zachary Stieber

Voter fraud isn't a myth, with nearly 1,300 proven instances, an elections expert told The Epoch Times.

Hans von Spakovsky, a lawyer who manages The Heritage Foundation's Election Law Reform Initiative, pointed to a database managed by the foundation that has 1,298 proven instances of voter fraud.

"And that's not a comprehensive list. It's just a sampling of cases," von Spakovsky told The Epoch Times this week.

"The problem here is that many potential cases of fraud, nothing is done about them. Elected officials don't send them to law enforcement, law enforcement doesn't investigate them. And we know the potential cases out there is far, far larger than the proven cases we have in our database."

Recent additions to the list include Reginald Holman, a city council member in Ashtabula, Ohio, who pleaded guilty and resigned after an investigation confirmed he illegally registered at his parents' address in Ashtabula rather than his actual residence in another town, and Courtney Rainey, a Mississippi resident who was found guilty of bribing and harassing individuals to win a municipal election.

Courtney Rainey in an undated mugshot. (Madison County District Attorney’s Office)
Courtney Rainey in an undated mugshot. (Madison County District Attorney’s Office)

The unprecedented increase in mail-in voting in this year's primary elections and the record number projected for the Nov. 3 general election are concerning to some experts, who point out that in many cases, a larger percentage of mail-in ballots are rejected than in-person votes. That's on top of the system being ripe for fraud, especially in states without signature requirements.

The problems don't only affect local and state elections.

One in five mail-in ballots cast by voters in New York City in the June Democratic presidential primary were rejected. California rejected more than 100,000 mail-in ballots in the March primary. In the 2018 general election, younger, newly registered, and minority voters who voted by mail in Florida and Georgia were more likely to see their ballots rejected.
“This issue more disproportionately affects younger voters and voters who are persons of color than anyone else," Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) told The Epoch Times last month.

That year, the race for the U.S. House seat to represent North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District ended up with a 900-vote margin. Seven people were charged with allegedly tampering with absentee ballots in that election, and a judge ordered a new vote be held.

Other issues include votes cast by non-citizens and outdated voter rolls.

Nearly 350,000 dead registrants remain on voter rolls across 41 states, according to an audit published last month.
A roll of voter stickers at Santa Ana Downtown Plaza voting center in Santa Ana, Calif., on March 3, 2020. (Chris Karr/The Epoch Times)
A roll of voter stickers at Santa Ana Downtown Plaza voting center in Santa Ana, Calif., on March 3, 2020. (Chris Karr/The Epoch Times)

The Public Interest Legal Foundation report found tens of thousands of people credited with voting after they were dead, tens of thousands of others who were registered in more than one state and voted in more than one state, and tens of thousands of voters who were registered more than once in the same state and cast more than one ballot.

"The total potential cases of fraud that they uncovered is over 140,000 cases, just from the last two federal elections," von Spakovsky said.

People across the country have been receiving multiple ballots in the lead-up to this year's presidential election, with photographs of the splayed out documents circulating widely on social media. That issue related to voter rolls.

"The statewide voter registration lists are in notoriously bad shape. Election officials don't do a very good job of maintaining their accuracy. They're not good at taking people off after they've moved away or taking people off after they have died," von Spakovsky said.

"And because of that, those states that have made the decision, I think an unwise decision, to simply mail out an absentee ballot to all registered voters are guaranteeing that ballots are going to arrive at people's homes for people for folks who don't live there anymore, or for individuals who have died, and the potential is there for others to gather up those ballots and to try to vote them.

"And whether or not they'll pass election officials is going to depend on, how good are the election officials that at detecting fraudulent ballots? Past history shows they're not very good at that."

Jan Jekielek contributed to this report.