Even though voter fraud supposedly isn’t an issue, it’s happening in the Constitution State. Home of Yale University and winner of the illustrious title “2011′s Fourth Most Dangerous City in the US,” New Haven, CT is grappling with a voter fraud scandal that broke only a week before today’s elections. And this is the fifth time in four years that the city has received complaints about absentee ballot fraud.
Election officials became suspicious when they noticed an “alarming” increase in absentee ballot requests and returns — many of which came in packets mailed from the same place on the same day.
“We know ballots when they come in, and sometimes they come in a little late but they don’t come in all at one time from one street,” said [City Clerk Ron] Smith.
Eyebrow-raising for sure.
After receiving complaints and affidavits from eleven New Haven residents, Smith filed a complaint of his own stating that at least eight people in an elderly living complex gave their ballots to another resident, who mailed them on their behalf or helped fill them out. Both of these accusations conflict with the State Elections Enforcement Commission’s statutes, which pushed Smith to bring alleged “criminal mismanagement of absentee ballots” to the Commission’s attention.
But in this instance, it wasn’t just that elderly voters were getting some help figuring out how to fill out the ballot (which is legal). Residents in another housing complex (in the same area) stated that some random woman in the neighborhood came by offering to help them vote, but:
Mary Bishop said, “I thought it was kind of strange that she was telling me who to vote for and that she was filling out the papers instead of me.”
And, awkwardly enough, this mysterious woman at the center of all these complaints is a “widely known volunteer” for Michael Smart — the Democrat-endorsed candidate running against Ron Smith for city clerk. And the eight ballot applications being investigated from Smith’s complaint just happened to be checked out by Smart. Needless to say, if all this was “official,” it’s illegal campaign activity.
One of the city clerk’s principal tasks is handling absentee ballots, an irony not lost on Smart’s critics. … “I look forward to a full investigation of this matter, and of course, I will cooperate fully,” Smart said.
Despite the left’s protestations that voter fraud is not something to be concerned about, New Haven is a lesson in reality. Not only do individuals lose their opportunity to exercise their civic duty, but fraud can affect the outcome of races – especially at the super-local level.
The moral of this story is that, yes, voter fraud exists. And it’s no joke.