Elections are coming up this month. Did you know that election fraud happens in every state? Election fraud can take a variety of forms, including: illegal assistance at the polls, impersonation fraud at the polls, false registration, duplicate voting, ineligible voting, buying votes, altering the vote count, and stuffing the ballot box.
Elections are often determined by a small number of votes. Some elections are won with margins of less than 30 votes as in the 2011 Chicago nonpartisan 45th Ward aldermanic contest between John Garrido (6024 votes) and John Arena (6053).
For larger races, you may see bigger margins but again, just a few votes plus or minus per precinct could swing the election the other way. In 2014, Mike Frerichs beat Tom Cross for Illinois Treasurer by a little over 9,000 votes out of over 3.5 million votes cast; with 9,984 Illinois precincts in 2014, that’s less than one vote per precinct. Recently in Virginia, a single vote was thought to have resulted in candidate Shelly Simond’s election, but the election was later determined to be a tie after a pollwatcher reported that a discounted ballot should be counted and a panel of judges agreed. Every vote counts.
Host your next roundtable discussion around The Policy Circle’s new brief, “Election Integrity: Your Role on Election Day.” Take a moment to pause, learn and discuss what election fraud looks like before, during and after election day, and what can be done to minimize it.
The Chicago River North Policy Circle recently discussed the election integrity brief. Member Kathy T. describes their conversation: “Our big takeaways are that not enough people know about how to help on election day, and also that people do not value enough the position of election judge. People don’t know that there are straightforward rules to follow, and that the integrity of our elections is in their hands!”
Not sure about what elections are going on in your state right now? Ballotpedia publishes a very easy to read election calendar where you can find out the dates of primaries, runoffs and general elections in your state. Ballotpedia’s Sample Ballot Lookup tool tells voters what will be on their ballot. No more excuses to be surprised at the voting booth! Being part of the process to ensure that every vote is counted accurately is easier than you may think. The new Policy Circle Election Integrity brief may inspire you to be a model citizen and volunteer this election cycle.
“Our Republic flourishes when citizens are confident that their vote is free, fair, and secure. Yet, according to a recent survey 81% of Americans believe that election fraud is a very real problem. This growing concern jeopardizes our entire system of government, eroding our trust in elected leaders and undermining our confidence in the system by which they govern – beginning at the polls and rising up through the highest offices in the land.” – Catherine Englebrecht, Founder, True the Vote
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The Policy Circle is a 501(c)3 that provides a fact-based, nonpartisan framework that inspires women living in the same community to connect, learn about and discuss public policies that impact their lives. Women across the nation are taking a leadership role in public policy dialogue on what human creativity can accomplish in a free market economy.