Does Election Fraud Exist? If so, How Bad Is It?
In 2013, I ran for a seat on my town council with a team of two others and a mayoral candidate. I ran as a Republican in what can be described as a Democrat stronghold. We lost the election, as had republican teams before us and since, by a margin of 2-to-1. The numbers each year were eerily similar.
Dem and Repub parties are permitted to send poll watchers to each polling place. Additionally, the candidates are designated as poll watcher at-large and can issue a challenge at any polling station in the district. As such, I visited a number of polling stations to make sure it looked like everything was on the up and up.
What did I find? I found a minor problem at my own polling location when I discovered someone politicking for the Democrat party outside the location but within the restricted 100-feet from the entrance. The individual was respectful and pled ignorance and moved further away. The second incident was not so friendly.
When I walked into the polling station, the first thing I noticed was that the rear door on one of the two voting machines was swinging wide open. As I inspected further, I discovered that the door on the other machine was being held closed by three pieces of scotch tape. The doors had locks but no one seemed to know anything about where a key might be.At that point, I asked who was in charge and questioned what was going on with the open doors. That started a firestorm. I informed the poll-workers that the open doors were a clear violation of election laws and protocol. As the conversation proceeded, the poll workers began to get abusive, telling me everything was going well until I came along and started raising a ruckus.
Why in the world would open doors on an election machine be concerning to me as a candidate running in the minority party? That, my friends, was well above the intellectual capability of these people to figure out.What would I have expected as a reasonable response? “Oh my, we. Don’t know why those doors are open. Please, allow us to look into it.” Reasonable, right?Instead, as related above, no one seem to know where there was any key to lock the machine doors, and they indicated so, and then followed their berating of me for spoiling their day and asking them to actually do their jobs, the right way.
Does voter fraud exist? Is it rampant? Does it affect election outcomes? Do I need to answer other than to tell you the answer to all three questions is the same?
Finally, why would poll workers, who claim they are civic minded and working for the community, become enraged at those who would question obvious abnormalities that could possibly corrupt the outcome of the vote?
In the accompanying pics, you see the first machine with the door swinging wide open. The second pic shows the second machine with three pieces of scotch tape holding it in place.