Minnesota’s Election System is Ripe for Abuse
Minnesota has the most lax election system in the nation. The combination of no ID requirements, no provisional balloting, Election Day registration and “vouching” makes Minnesota’s election system ripe for abuse. Indeed, Minnesota now leads the nation in voter fraud convictions, and these convictions represent only a small fraction of the total number of illegitimate votes cast in our elections!
Prior to research into election integrity issues by Minnesota Majority, it appeared that no one was even on the lookout for voter fraud. In addition to the actual voter fraud convictions, the evidence suggests a wide variety of election problems, including:
- non-existent voters
- felon voters
- non-citizen voters
- deceased voters on the rolls
- more ballots that voters accounted for as having voted.
- vouching fraud
Minnesota election officials were content to believe (and even insist) that no voter fraud has been occurring in a system that essentially invites it. Now we know better, and have an opportunity to stop it by passing the Voter ID Amendment.
Sample of Voter Registration Addresses
Below are several examples of bogus voter registration addresses from the 2008 General Election.
Here are a number of detailed reports on different aspects of Minnesota’s election system problems:
- Unverifiable Voters In Minnesota’s Elections
- Ineligible Wards Voting in Crow Wing County 2010 Election
- Felon Voter Fraud Convictions Stemming From Minnesota’s 2008 General Election
- Fraudulent Votes Cast by Ineligible Felons in Minnesota’s 2008 General Election
- More information
- Voter Fraud News Articles
Terminology and Facts
- Vouching is the Election Day practice of one registered voter (who doesn’t need to show any ID) vouching for the identity and residence of another unregistered voter wishing to obtain a ballot.
- Minnesota is one of only two states in the nation that allow election day registration and vouching.
- Minnesota is the only state in the nation that allows a single voter to vouch for up to 15 unidentified voters, and in some circumstances, an unlimited number of voters.
Provisional Ballots (See Election Assistance Commission: Casting and Counting Provisional Ballots)
- Provisional ballots are a “second chance” ballot for people who can’t be verified by normal means in the polling place. They are primarly employed for voters who lack the proper photographic identification on Election Day. Once cast, a voter has extra time (typically 7-10 days) to return and verify identity, at which point their ballot is accepted and added to the normal ballot counts.
- In Indiana, a state with a similar voting population to Minnesota and a strict Voter ID law, fewer than 4,000 provisional ballots were cast during the 2008 election. Superimposing that figure onto Minnesota’s slightly more than 4,000 voting precincts projects an average of less than 1 provisional ballot being cast per precinct if the Voter ID amendment is ratified.
- 44 States use provisional ballots to ensure everyone gets a chance to vote and that every voter is verified by the same standards. Minnesota is one of only 6 states that do not employ provisional ballots.
- Nationally, 80% of provisional ballots cast are ultimately validated and counted.
- Nationally, the number one reason a provisional ballot is not accepted (43% of rejections) is that the voter was not registered. With Minnesota’s election day registration system, this would never be an issue.