Update: This post originally did not reference "election fraud" and exclusively used the term "voter fraud", but was amended to reflect more accurate terminology.
Last year, I was a victim of what looks a lot like election fraud. It looks like that’s about to happen again this year, with a bit of voter fraud thrown in.
In 2016 I went to vote at the same polling station I went to the year before. Both my wife and I voted at this location in 2015 with no issues, but in 2016 I learned upon arriving that my registration had been purged from the system. My wife was unaffected, but as a result of this I was given a provisional paper ballot and was unable to vote privately.
Instead of being sent to a booth, I was told to sit at a folding table with a poll watcher sitting across from me, watching everything I filled out. Within moments, one of my neighbors sat down right next to me with his own paper ballot and began doing the same.
There was no divider of any sort - our elbows were touching and we could both easily see every way the other person voted. Before I finished, another neighbor had sat down on my left. Anyone who cared could see how we were voting and the poll watcher was just as guilty. I called the Board of Elections afterwards and they told me I was indeed registered, but that my address had been removed from my registration, though they wouldn’t (or couldn’t) say how.
I could feel pressure to vote the way I knew my neighbors were voting thanks to their various political yard signs and have zero confidence that the vote I did cast was accurately counted.
Since then we relocated to another state, but that doesn’t seem to have helped our voting woes.
Due to family issues and health hazards, we’ve had to move three times since leaving our last state of residence. The most recent move was relatively sudden and happened a bit over two weeks ago. Neither of us have had the opportunity to update our voter registrations yet, and it looks like that fact could mean both of us might end up as victims of voter fraud this year.
We were just informed by the Board of Elections that our ballots were mailed to us. We had not intended on voting by mail; we always vote in person on Election Day, every year. Even off-years. We no longer have access to our past addresses and since you can only complete one USPS mail-forward each year our mail is not being forwarded to us anymore.
Some quick research showed that a few years ago this state passed a law requiring all registered voters to be mailed a ballot. Because of this law, someone else is going to get our ballots. The State legislature here intended to make voting easier, but at least in our family’s specific case all it has done is make it easier for our votes to be fraudulently stolen.
Some of our extended family members had moved here as well but have since relocated out of state. They too are having ballots mailed to their former address. This law intended to simplify voting has exposed the system to at least four potential fraudulent votes. And there are surely more.
We want to believe that vote fraud in this country is rare and anomalous, but in my personal experience it is anything but. Vote fraud has arguably changed the outcome of some elections, and when you personally have been repeatedly victimized it’s easy to see how this can happen. It sucks, but anyone who says it doesn’t happen simply hasn’t had it happen to them yet.