The issue of voter fraud is very hot again, politically. While there’s no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud anywhere in the nation, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a serious concern for the authorities. Make any “unorthodox” steps at the ballot box, and you can definitely end up arrested and charged.
Take, for example, the case of a 70-year-old man who was charged with voter fraud and other crimes after registering and voting in New Hampshire while actually living in Massachusetts. The odds are good that he probably thought nobody would ever look that closely at his records to see what he had done.
Voter fraud can actually take on numerous different forms. Some examples include:
- Voting in an election despite not being a citizen of the United States
- Voting in an election despite being barred by the law due to felony conviction
- Voting on behalf of an elderly relative by pretending to be them at the polls
- Signing someone else’s mail-in ballot for them
- Changing someone’s vote or filing in an empty box on a ballot when you work the polls
- Destroying ballots when you work at the polls
In many cases, voter fraud is accidental. A green card holder, for example, may not realize they cannot legally vote and may have assumed the poll workers would stop them if they aren’t allowed. Someone signing their ailing mother’s mail-in ballot may think they’re okay so long as they faithfully follow their mother’s wishes.
Even though true voter fraud is relatively rare, a simple mistake during the next election could cause you serious legal trouble. If that happens, make certain that you have an experienced defense attorney protecting your rights.