General Question

seawulf575's avatar

What can be done to stop this sort of election fraud?

Asked by seawulf575 (16648points) November 7th, 2023
54 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Last month, Bridgeport CT had a Democratic primary. The incumbent mayor won the election by 251 votes. However the challenger brought a lawsuit challenging the election results, claiming voter fraud, specifically issues with the mail in ballots. He brought video evidence of several City Council members as well as courthouse workers dropping dozens and dozens of ballots into drop boxes, over and over again. These people were not registered as someone that is allowed to do this, as is required by state law. Several of these people actually campaigned for the incumbent mayor and one of them was on the ballot as well.

The judge in the case threw out the election results and ordered another primary to be held. However this brings up the problem. The primary was last month, the court case took time to complete and the ruling was yesterday. The general election is today and the judge cannot postpone that. So the water is getting even more muddied.

So the question becomes what can be done to stop this sort of thing…cheating and then forcing the victim of the cheat to go to the courts to get satisfaction? What should happen to those that participated? Obviously since the primary was tainted, that puts the general election at risk as well. And even if it is a clean election, the incumbent mayor should potentially not have been allowed onto the ballot.

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elbanditoroso's avatar

First off, you haven’t made a case for fraud. You have knitted together a couple of interesting events that possibly merit examination, but unless you have evidence of fraudulent votes (and evidence would be comparing names of voters to what is on the envelopes), then you have lots of paranoid suspicion but no facts.

I doubt you were there examining the ballots as they were dropped off.

But to the point you were raising.

In a local election, there is very little you or anyone else can do. Stealing elections on a state level goes back to the 1880s or earlier; look at the scandals of 1904 in Colorado, or 1888 in Indiana. States were rife with corruption in state elections.

In a municipal election, the possibility of enforcement is even smaller. Because it’s a low level and the people who are doing the enforcement are the ones benefitting from the corruption. And cities don’t have the money or incentive to ensure clean elections.

Bottom line response: Unless you can instill honesty and uprightness in all politicians, you will have corruption in some elections.

It’s American history – the American way.

canidmajor's avatar

Hahahaha, @seawulf575, you are very late to the “corruption in Bridgeport” party. Really.
Ho hum.

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso First off I didn’t make a case for anything. The courts viewed the evidence presented which included video evidence as well as documentation (or lack of) showing those stuffing the box were not in compliance with any of the state laws.

But it’s interesting that your answer seems to be “It’s always been that way and isn’t worth changing.”

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor I’m speaking to this case which, oh yeah, was decided yesterday. Or is it that you are okay with cheating in elections and you find any question about corruption to be comical?

chyna's avatar

THIS is what you choose to pick out as voter fraud? Not the fact that trump encouraged people to “fight like hell” and burn the capital and kill Pence because he lost the election fair and square?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@chyna – the obvious answer: In Bridgeport, Democrats were possibly doing the crime. Democrats are always wrong.

In the US elections, republicans were stealing the election. But Republicans are always right. At least in some peoples’ eyes. So there is no crime when Republicans cheat.

It’s that simple. Context matters.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, @seawulf575, count on you to wildly and inappropriately extrapolate absolutes from a silly example. <eyeroll>
I said nothing about being OK with anything, I merely pointed out that you making a point with that particular situation is as silly as claiming that it is a macro aggression against your demographic to be gently mocked on some TV comedies.

seawulf575's avatar

@chyna You are off topic. This isn’t whataboutTrump. This is a case of fraud…period. Are you saying it isn’t fraud? The courts determined it was. This is an example of voter fraud that you on the left always say doesn’t occur, that there isn’t any proof, etc. This is voter fraud. Or are you saying it’s only fraud if the media says Trump did it?

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso again, the courts decided so it isn’t that anyone was possibly doing a crime. It was bad enough that the only way to make it right is to redo the election. It is fraud. Are you okay with fraud? Party has nothing to do with it. But hey, keep deflecting. That’s your milieu.

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor No, what you said was “Hahahaha, @seawulf575, you are very late to the “corruption in Bridgeport” party. Really. Ho hum.” So you are saying I was late to the party. Does this mean corruption in Bridgeport happens all the time? Your response was a laugh and a Ho Hum. That means you find it funny and acceptable…no big deal. I asked a question about voter fraud and you responded with a laugh. You find it funny. You are okay with it and want to ridicule me for daring to actually point out documented voter fraud. And now you are trying to double down <eyeroll>

chyna's avatar

Okay, please flag my off topic answer.
On topic: there needs to be checks and balances of all votes completed by people who have no skin in the game. People who don’t care the outcome of the election. I’m not sure where those people can be found though. Because I would say at least 90% of the people have a price that they can be bought at.

jca2's avatar

Please feel free to flag my off topic answer.

I believe this falls under the definition of “flame bait.” Link for you to see for yourself what exactly the definition is.

From the Fluther Guidelines:

Controversial Questions
Feel free to ask questions on controversial topics; all we require is that you don’t just do it purely for the sake of it.

Asking a question on a controversial topic because you genuinely believe in the question and want an answer is acceptable, whereas doing so solely because you want to spark off a touchy discussion is not.”

To ask a question and then argue with everyone who gives an opinion (when an opinion is the reason for your question), is not really genuine. Asking a question on a controversial topic because you want to spark off a touchy discussion is not genuine or in line with the Guidelines. It’s not the first time you’ve done it, and I am guessing it won’t be the last. My guess is that this is why it’s mostly an echo chamber when you ask.

canidmajor's avatar

Do your due diligence, @seawulf575. Bridgeport has been a seat of corruption for many years. Hence the “ho hum” and the “late to the party” remarks that you keep misinterpreting. Look up Ganim and his history, then move to Bridgeport so you have a say in their hyper local, small city concerns
And make no mistake, my laugh was entirely at you, and your insistence on making a thing of stuff like this, not at the corruption in Bridgeport.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Until these people,(no matter what banner they fall under) are held accountable for their actions nothing can or will be done.

flutherother's avatar

It looks like someone stuck a sign saying “Official Ballot Drop Box” on a trash bin then filmed somebody dropping trash into it. I’d be more shocked if they ignored the bin and dropped their trash on the sidewalk.

gondwanalon's avatar

What can be done? Probably nothing. The fix is in if the election is close (it is easy to cheat).
An example is the 2004 Gubernatorial election in Washington State.
Between Dino Rossi and Christine Gregoire.
Dino Rossi was declared the winner initially and also won in a recount by a very narrow margin. But then someone found a box of mail in ballots (in a car trunk or under a staircase). And after they counted the newly found ballots of course Gregoire won (by less than 200).

JLeslie's avatar

Did anyone actually vote more than once? I think people should be able to turn in sealed ballots for other people. I don’t see how it can be considered fraud if the person actually voted and signed their own ballot and sealed the envelope. Yet, in my state they made tighter rules about turning in ballots for other people. It’s stupid. How is that preventing voter fraud? I agree we have to follow laws, but all laws inhibiting turning in a ballot for someone else I think should be challenged.

I do think some rules for voter fraud are important. I have always been ok with showing ID as long as we make ID available to everyone, including free for people who are poor. I think it is fine to do a signature match as long as people have time to correct any questionable ballot.

I think being able to start opening and counting mail-in ballots starting two weeks before election day is very important to ensure an accurate vote. That some people are against this is beyond my comprehension, and some of the same people are in favor of early voting. How does that make sense?

Allowing early counting means poll worker can do it calmly with less pressure. More mistakes can happen when having to work a long day well into the middle of the night. It also increases the chances of having to stop and continue the counting the day after the election. There is always some counting after election day for overseas ballots, but often the election can be called before those are counted. It is very upsetting to me that poll workers are ABUSED in states that do not allow early counting. no one seems to care about the exhaustion and pressure they are under when massive counting is attempted in one day.

Keeping voter rolls relatively cleaned up helps, but impossible for them to be perfect. It would be easier if there was a national database, but that won’t happen. I think there is some sort of system that some participate in to communicate with each other, but not all states use it. In the end, the laws against voting more than once and simply that 99.9% of people would not try it with or without a law takes care of this possibility.

If a voter does not vote for four years then a notice to check if they should be purged from the voter rolls is reasonable.

Social Security could report to supervisor of elections when someone dies. Maybe that is done already?

snowberry's avatar

Voter fraud happens when dead people “vote”. As in they are dead, but still on the roll, and someone casts the vote for them and turns in the absentee ballot.

Or as in the case where a dementia patient “voted” in the same way (someone filled out their absentee ballot for them and turned it in). I remember one case where when the daughter found out, she was furious, because his mind was gone, but someone fixed him up. This happened a lot in some nursing homes.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie People can turn in ballots for others, even in Bridgeport CT. However the law states they have to register as someone that is allowed to do that and there are limitations on how many ballots they can put in even then. The people in this case never registered and would have shattered the numbers anyway.

But that sort of highlights a problem with mail-in ballots. They can be a useful tool, but there are so many ways to cheat with them that it becomes problematic. You suddenly have to have someone to check signatures to ensure they match. You have to have guidance for those checking signatures and you have to follow the rules that are in place. This became a problem in Maricopa County AZ in the 2020 election. You have to establish the rules for people stuffing the ballot boxes such as registering people that are going to deliver ballots for others. The problems go on and on and in each problem you now have to establish ways to ensure they are met.

This case also brings up another issue. This was a primary election. There were irregularities and the “loser” had to go to court to get the issues addressed. In this case the judge agreed the irregularities were egregious and the only way to make it right was to hold another primary election. But that decision was made the day before the general election. So now they have to have the election with a ballot that may not be accurate. So if they re-run the primary election and the incumbent mayor loses, he shouldn’t have been on the general election ballot so the general election is now invalidated as well.

In my mind the behavior of those perpetrating this fraud is making a mockery of the election process. That behavior has cost a certain monetary loss, it has wasted everybody’s time, and could have resulted in a bogus outcome of the election. And I didn’t see anywhere that those people doing these things were being held accountable at all.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 I’ve seen far more inflammatory questions asked that I was told by moderators were not flame bait. And I believe you are reading more into this question. Election fraud is a problem that both main political parties have taken part in. It is also something that many people deny ever happens. This is a documented case that went to court and was ruled on.

This question identifies issues with people corrupting the voting process. Unless you feel unfair elections are the way to go it is not flame bait. The question identifies the issues and asks what can be done to correct this sort of behavior going forward. I’m not looking for any specific answer. However if you note, the first few answers were either outright attacks on me or were completely trying to ignore facts to make it about being only my view point that anything wrong was done. Those are not well thought out answers and are, in themselves, flame bait.

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor You’re good with corrupt elections. Got it.

JLeslie's avatar

Bullshit. Turning in sealed ballots for other people doesn’t increase fraud. I’m not voting for people, I’m just turning it in. We have a signature match. If someone wanted to vote for 30 people how would they guess their signatures?

Everyone thought Florida voting was great and we did a ton of mail-in even before some of the new more restrictive laws.

I thought Florida passed a limit on how many we can turn in, but now I’m not sure.

In Florida someone has to be specifically designated to pick up a mail-in ballot for someone else if they are not immediate family members.

We have some stupid laws like I can’t drop off my mail in ballot in person at my local voting on Election Day. I can’t just open my envelope and feed it into the machine.

Here’s a link to Florida mail-in voting laws.

Forever_Free's avatar

Bridgeport has been know for this. Nothing new to see here. Move along.

What can be done is exactly what you saw – Camera’s at drop off to show issues.

Case closed.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie It sounds like it shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Except look at what just happened in Maricopa County. The courts agreed that the poll workers and those in charge of the election willfully ignored the state law that says how they are to verify signatures. Those in charge told workers to not throw out ballots where the signatures didn’t match, but to put them in a separate pile for someone to decide if they matched or not. So if I signed your name on a ballot and my signature looked nothing like yours, that vote would often count. They also found organized setups where they were harvesting ballots and stuffing boxes. It was grossly organized.

If they want mail-in ballots to be much more secure, everyone that wants to use one needs to be finger-printed and they need to put a finger print on the ballot and on the envelope in a specified area. Then if the finger print doesn’t match what is on the ballot or if it doesn’t match what is on file for that voter it gets thrown out immediately. This could also be tied into a central computer for print confirmation that would also be able to see if that print showed up at any other voting centers. They should also follow up with a notice to that voter that their vote in whatever area was rejected and why.

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free “Nothing new to see here.” That’s sort of the problem, isn’t it? This sort of thing has been going on for so long that it is becoming the norm and people stop caring about it? Apathy sets in and the fraud continues, getting more obvious each time.

Yes, cameras can be set up at all drop boxes (which has been fought against in some districts) but even then…so what? Yeah, I got caught on camera dropping off hundreds of votes. But nothing happens to me so there is no down side.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Is there any proof someone voted twice or for another individual?

I understand they have to follow current law, so the judge is responding to that, but in terms of voter fraud, if it is one person one vote, that is how the US is supposed to be! We should be making it easier for individuals to vote not harder.

The law is stupid. Why does it matter if I turn in ballots for the 30 people living on my street?

chyna's avatar

^They have to make sure the votes weren’t coerced or even that the person actually voted, not the person delivering the ballots.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Of course it is illegal to coerce or falsify a vote, but if you give me your sealed ballot to drop off, what’s the problem? Maybe I’m going anyway and happy to do you the favor. The problem is it is ilegal, but what I mean is what is the actual problem in that?

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 As stated, good detection on all levels. It was found to work in this case. I am unsure why you are blowing it out of proportion.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie voting twice is not necessarily the only way to commit fraud. Knowingly violating election laws can be fraud. And the other issue is we don’t know if the ballots in those envelopes are actually the ones filled out by the people who supposedly voted. They could have taken a sealed envelope, steamed it open, replaced their ballot with the one they filled out. They could have filled out the ballots for someone who is mentally challenged and just had them sign for it. There are any number of ways that fraud could be committed. And in the end, these people involved knowingly violated the laws surrounding this part of the process. The judge agreed that their actions cast a huge pall over the entire primary and ruled the only way to make it right is to re-do the election. But nothing has changed, really. The people violating the rules were not held accountable, there was no punishment, there was nothing. So the general election (that now happened yesterday) was held and many of the same behaviors could have been done. The re-do of the primary could be done again with the same players doing the same actions. There is no punishment for it.

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free Detection is only a piece of the puzzle. Let’s say you are speeding down the highway at over twice the posted limit and you go by a cop with a radar gun on. He detected you breaking the law. But if it is known that there is no punishment for it, do you really care? Hey, your actions were detected, so that’s all that’s necessary, right?

In this case there were no actions taken against those that broke the rules. The only way it was known is that there happened to be cameras at two locations they were using AND someone forced the issue. The cameras weren’t actually for the boxes, but were there for security issues for the buildings. Nothing drives the checking of cameras for election boxes to see if anyone was stuffing them unless someone can actually get a court to hear a case. This has been very hit or miss in this country for a couple decades now. So yeah, there are cameras. So what? Does it mean anything to those that are stuffing the boxes? Nope. Because there is no penalty even if they are caught.

Forever_Free's avatar

@seawulf575 I answered your question as asked. NOTHING is perfect or flawless.
Feel free to argue every answer if you wish.

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janbb's avatar

And here’s the source of the issue.

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb So posting a citation that somehow ties this to Trump is the issue? The case was a Democratic contender challenging the election against another Democratic contender. All the key players are Democrats. How does a Republican suddenly become the cause of it?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

^^^^^ Liar liar pants on fire ! ^^^^^

Trump and the GOP can’t tell the truth

seawulf575's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Okay, how did the GOP end up causing Democrats to cheat against Democrats?

Forever_Free's avatar

^^ By their continued lowering of the moral bar of humankind.

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free Soooo…if the Republicans want to lower the moral bar (which I don’t agree with) that means Democrats have to try to outdo them? Democrats can’t hold their own standards, which we all know are so high? They can’t take the high, honest road even with each other?

seawulf575's avatar

I think the thread is going off-topic, but I got my answer. Basically no one from the left wants to do anything about events like this. They either feel it has gone on so long that it doesn’t matter, they don’t want to admit there is anything going on or that it has any importance at all, or they want to blame Republicans. Obviously Fluther is not the place to get a thoughtful answer on questions about election fraud and interference. There are some that are close to a reasonable answer (thank you @SQUEEKY2 and @chyna) but that seems to be a pretty good minority.

jca2's avatar

And there we have it. Most did not respond in a fashion that is deemed acceptable to @seawulf575 so the site gets insulted, “Obviously, Fluther is not the place to get a thoughtful answer on questions about election fraud and interference.”

Again, I wonder why @seawulf575 stays on this site when it consistently lets him down.

Forever_Free's avatar

I think part of the problem is that so many people can’t meet in the middle, can accept losing, and have to win at all costs.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 No, I asked a question and got answers to it. I have to say they are exactly what I expected, but hoped I wouldn’t see. And THAT is why I concluded that Fluther is not the place for thoughtful answers to questions like this.

Forever_Free's avatar

^^ ^^ When a question is asked, one must be prepared for all answers. Not just the ones you want to hear.
If there are concerns with the process that require a recount. then both sides should accept this.
When a candidate loses, they should graciously accept the outcome.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575 Well, again, I wonder why you stay here if the people and the politics are not to your liking, the people are inferior to you in intelligence and our moral standards are not up to your level, unless you just like to stir the pot for the sake of arguing.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Someone thinks he is the smartest person on the Earth @jca2 !

seawulf575's avatar

@Forever_Free Isn’t it amazing that none of you seem to be able to accept my answers graciously when I answer question you ask? And go back to look: many of the answers I got weren’t actually answers to the question I asked. I got answers that denied anything had happened (after the courts ruled it had), I got ridiculed for daring to ask a question about corruption in Bridgeport CT, I got lectured about Flame Bait, etc. And this is all in the General section. Those aren’t answers to the question. Please don’t act like you folks answered the question and I didn’t like the answers. The answers I DID get were what I expected but hoped I wouldn’t see: Who cares? It’s been going on forever? It’s only a local election. And when I tried expanding on those answers to see if I could get something thoughtful, you all get upset. Obviously thoughtful discussion is not what you came to this site for.

But I do thank you for this answer. You’ll see it again quoted when I get attacked for daring to have an opposing opinion on a question. Don’t worry though, I’ll give you credit for it.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575 If you ask people what they think about a topic, and they answer “I don’t care about it” or “that’s not actually fraud” or “it doesn’t matter, it’s a small town election,” or “I didn’t know that occurred,” you might not like those responses, but they are actually answers to your question.

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