What voter fraud? California man busted using dead mother three times to vote in elections

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This editorial is brought to you by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

NORWALK, CA – But… we thought voter fraud doesn’t exist?

Caesar Peter Abutin has been charged with casting votes in three elections of behalf of his deceased mother. He then also voted as himself. “One man, one vote” wasn’t enough for this guy. For him, it was “one crook, four votes.”

All the way back in 2008, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) held hearings designed to shift attention from voter fraud to voter suppression. He didn’t want resources devoted to voter fraud as long as the possibility existed that someone in America couldn’t get to the polls on time.

During the hearing, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) complained that only eight people a year allegedly committed voter fraud.

Meanwhile, he claimed, voter ID laws threatened to disenfranchise uncountable numbers of voters who lacked the wherewithal to secure photo ID, despite the difficulty of functioning in American society without one. 

The eight people mentioned by Conyers does not seem like much, even if all of them voted four times apiece, like Abutin. Thirty-two votes in a country of three hundred million is unlikely to change an election. Is Conyers right? Is election fraud so rare we can afford to ignore it?  Except… there’s a big problem with this.  These are only the people caught and convicted.

According to a database on the Heritage Organization’s website, there have been eight cases of voter fraud that resulted in a conviction in California so far this year. That doesn’t include Mr. Abutin and his resurrected mother, and we haven’t had the presidential election yet.

Still, not a huge number, one would argue.

The type of fraud is important. Abutin impersonated his mother for the purpose of voting three times more than he was allowed.

Elsewhere in California, Bradley Jasperson was sentenced to two years in county jail for forging over 100 names on a ballot petition, many of whom were real county residents. Louis Wise and others were convicted of buying votes numbering in the hundreds.

These guys are more ambitious than Abutin. If each of California’s eight convictions represented 100 votes or more, that is no less than 800 fraudulent votes. That is enough to sway a county election, though probably not a state or national election.

Overall, the Heritage site has the details of 1,296 “proven instances of voter fraud” and 1,119 criminal convictions. It doesn’t sound like much but the point of voter fraud isn’t to go out and vote once for yourself. The point is to vote as many times as possible. Therefore, the 1,296 examples in this database represent many more than 1,296 votes.

Many of the convictions account for hundreds of votes each.  And again, these are the “caught and convicted” numbers.

Voter fraud is important because every time it happens, someone else’s vote is either cancelled or augmented illegally.

It is amusing to frame this as “dead people voting”, or “the turnout was great, we had 116% of the eligible population cast a vote” but in the end it is a serious issue.

Candidates and supporters spend great sums of money and effort to persuade others to vote for their candidate. Voters have a vested interest in the candidate most likely to deal fairly with their concern. Any fraud is a disgusting perversion of the voting process.

Mr. Abutin and the 1,296 criminals convicted of voter fraud have let down their fellow citizens (that is, if they are US citizens to begin with). They should be punished for what they did. To do that, we must remain vigilant for this kind of crime. Voter ID laws may represent an extra layer of inconvenience for some voters, but they help preserve the integrity of the vote and that is more important.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court just made it easier for Rhode Island to pull off the mail-in voting scheme.

Rhode Island – A state requirement for mail-in voting in Rhode Island, that has been on the books for over four decades, is being flouted by way of invoking the pandemic.

This requirement specifically obliged having two witness signatures present, or a notary sign-off on a mail-in ballot before a voter sends it out in the mail.

But since people shouldn’t be congregating, the requirement is being ignored this election season.

Rhode Island state officials suspended the need to have two witness signatures or notary sign-offs for mail-in ballots, which the Supreme Court allowed to continue unabridged on August 13th.

The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Rhode Island sought the interjection from the high court, but the effort didn’t reach the conclusion those parties wanted.

The court noted that “no state official has expressed opposition,” against placing the witness signature requirement on hold for mail-in ballots in Rhode Island this year, which seems to have heavily influenced the decision in this matter.

This suspension of the 1978 requirement was first used in Rhode Island for the state’s primaries on June 2nd, a move enacted by Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo while pandemic concerns were in peak season.

Roughly a month after the June primaries, the ACLU decided to bring a lawsuit against Rhode Island, saying that because of health concerns, this witness requirement for mail-in voting should be halted for both the September 8th primaries and the general elections in November.

This brought more fodder to the Supreme Court’s decision in not forcing Rhode Island to enforce the requirement, since it has previously transpired in June, and those tasked with enforcing the requirement aren’t against placing it on hold:

“[In] similar cases where a State defends its own law, here the state election officials support the challenged decree, and no state official has expressed opposition…The status quo is one in which the challenged requirement has not been in effect, given the rules used in Rhode Island’s last election, and many Rhode Island voters may well hold that belief.”

While members of the ACLU were thrilled with the court’s decision, members of the Rhode Island Republican Party were disappointed in how the court responded.

RIRP Chair Sue Cienki stated the following about the matter:

“We fear that this decision will create more, not less confusion.”

This confusion is in reference to the recent NAACP lawsuit in Alabama where the Supreme Court upheld the state’s right to enforce witness signatures on absentee ballots earlier in July.

However, the difference being that in these two cases, the state of Alabama was fighting to uphold election fraud safeguards, whereas the state of Rhode Island was the one to suspend the requirement.

As for Rhode Island, September’s primary includes both houses of the General Assembly, two seats in congress, and one seat within the Senate. For the September primary, the final day to request a mail-in ballot is on August 18th. Regarding the November election, the final day to request a mail-in ballot is on October 13th.

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Recently, the mail-in voting process has come under fire as more and more evidence of mishaps keep arising.

According to The Center for Voter Information, more than half-million inaccurate applications for absentee ballots were sent by mistake to people all across Virginia. Some of the ballots were sent to dead people, the wrong relative and/or residence, and comically, to pets.

This calamity was flagged by several people receiving the improper ballots such as election monitors, members of the League of Women Voters and a retired FBI agent.

The Center for Voter Information said the absentee application mailings were sent to “eligible voters” in the state and “some of the mailers may have directed the return envelopes” for the absentee applications to the wrong election offices.

The counties that were effected included Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Franklin City, Franklin County, Richmond City, Richmond County, Roanoke City and Roanoke County. 

The Center for Voter Information said in a statement:

“Approximately half a million applications sent to eligible voters in Virginia included incorrect information, and we are working diligently to address the issues. Mistakes in our programming are very rare, but we take them seriously, and our methods overall are extraordinarily effective,” 

The statement continued:

“We know that voters are on high alert as the November election approaches, and we regret adding to any confusion. Please rest assured that we are working with local election officials in Virginia to re-direct the vote-by-mail applications to the proper locations, and will rectify any errors at our own expense,” 

The Center uses the Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Company for their ballot printing. President and CEO, Jonathan Shapiro, responded to the mistake, saying:

“occurred because we incorrectly aligned a spreadsheet that matched the voter with their local election office.”

He went on to say the mistake:

“created confusion for voters who are trying to exercise their right to vote from home, safely and conveniently.”

The Center for Voter Information, and similar groups rely on information in the state’s official voter registration database.

According to Just the News, they asked the Virginia Department of Elections if it is working on updating the voter registration database so third party groups do not send absentee ballot applications to the wrong addresses or to deceased people.

The department spokesperson said:

“The Virginia Department of Elections does not coordinate with third parties on campaign efforts. You will have to contact the third party group directly regarding their data source,”

They continued:

“Regarding our records management, the Department engages in ongoing and extensive annual and monthly list file maintenance processes.”

The centers website makes a statement about the mailings, encouraging people to submit their ballot requests directly on the website. 

The statement reads:

“The Virginia Department of Elections has no affiliation with this group nor coordinates with any third party groups on campaign efforts. We are aware that voters in multiple localities that received an absentee ballot application were given pre-paid return envelopes addressed to the incorrect registrar’s office,” 

It continues:

“The Virginia Department of Elections encourages all voters that would like to receive an absentee ballot for the November election to apply electronically on our website www.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation.

Any applications that arrive in the wrong locality’s office will be forwarded immediately to the correct office for processing. If you have already applied for an absentee ballot, you do not need to submit a new application.

The first day that absentee ballots will be mailed is September 18, 2020,” 

Senior legal advisor for the Trump campaign, Jenna Ellis, commented on the absentee ballot application problems that occurred in Virginia, and compared it to what could happen in Nevada.

She said:

“Imagine if these applications were live ballots mailed out”

She continued:

“That’s what’s going to happen in Nevada under their recently passed AB4, and what Democrats are pushing for nationally.

What will stop a ‘printing flub’ for actual ballots under a universal vote-by-mail system? President Trump warned about these dangers months ago.

The Democrats’ plan to intentionally undermine election security will cause incalculable chaos unless we have securities that our campaign lawsuits are insisting on to protect all voters.”

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