UPDATE: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, issued a statement, a week after the election to address those rumors. He said, in part:
Aug. 13 statement: First, I can assure all voters who participated in last Tuesday’s election that all eligible ballots will be counted – no exceptions. It is also important to keep in mind that the results provided on Tuesday are unofficial and the official results will not be available until county boards of elections complete the official canvass, which must be done by August 24.
As to concerns of potential voter fraud, my office has done a lot to clean up the voter rolls. During my tenure, we have removed more than 680,000 deceased voters, reconciled nearly two million duplicate registrations, and now have complete information on over 90 percent of voters – up from just 20 percent when I took office in 2011. As I have always said, while voter fraud exists, it is rare and we hold those who commit it accountable.
Back in June, the US Supreme Court upheld a ballot integrity law passed by the state of Ohio. The law simply allowed voting officials to purge the voting rolls of people who had moved or couldn’t be proven to exist. The “vote fraud doesn’t exist” crowd was in an uproar. As it turns out, Ohio had a damned good reason for doing this.
Yesterday, I posted on the still-tentative win by Republican Troy Balderson in the special election in OH-12. Balderson squeaked out a 0.9 percentage point win. The non-profit watchdog group Government Accountability Institute did a review of Ohio’s voter lists before the election. OH-12 has 170 voters who are older than 116. Of that 170, 124 were born in 1800. Seventy-two of the 170 showed up to vote in 2016.
Superannuated voters aren’t unheard of. Like this from the Washington Times:
In the recent research, Allegheny County’s voter rolls for the April 26, 2016 primary election reveal that 367 people were listed with birthdates of 1/1/1800. Another 106 had birthdates from 1890 to 1915, with voters’ ages ranging from 101 to 126.
In the 2014 mid-term election, 427 people in Allegheny County who voted had birthdates of 1/1/1800, and 108 had birthdates from 1890 to 1914 (ages 100 to 114 at the time of voting). This includes 58 aged 110 or more.
In 2010, the United States Census found only 330 “super centenarians,” that is, people 110 or older, in the entire nation. However, voter rolls in the three combined Pennsylvania counties turned up at least 176 “super centenarians” who voted in 2012, not counting the hundreds listed with the 1/1/1800 birthdate, who could be of any age.
Some people have claimed this is all data entry error, but that is highly unlikely given the lack of random distribution in birthdays. In addition, this date of birth is visible on the poll book of the worker at voter check-in, so, in the case of the 72 worthy ancients who showed up to vote in 2016, someone knew the birthday was fake and issued a ballot anyway.
Vote fraud is real and it is pervasive in some jurisdictions. In some places, it seems like it is so common that no one even bothers to hide it. Instead of looking under our beds for Russians or worrying about them hacking voting equipment that is not connected to the internet, how about we clean up the voter rolls and require an ID to vote? Surely it should be at least as difficult to have a voice in the fate of the nation as it is to buy a six-pack of cheap beer.
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