Ineligible Voter Problem Revealed in 2008 Still Persists
Today, Minnesota Majority filed affidavits with 70 county attorneys alleging voter fraud by ineligible felon voters in the 2010 General Election. In total, Minnesota Majority is asking for investigation of 743 individuals suspected of possible voter fraud.
Minnesota Majority researchers have vetted the list of suspected ineligible voters by reviewing court documents, removing names of people where identity matches were inconclusive, or where court records did not indicate the voter was ineligible at the time of the 2010 election. Where court records were unclear, those suspects were flagged as “inconclusive,” and forwarded to county attorneys for additional verification.
222 suspects had conclusive court records indicating ineligibility to vote, while the rest were less clear.
“We’re basically as sure as we can be that 222 ineligible felons slipped through the cracks and voted in 2010 Maybe as many as 743, which are fewer than we found in the 2008 election, but that was a presidential election year” said Minnesota Majority president Jeff Davis. “We clearly still have a problem with ineligible voters.”
Minnesota Majority’s research on felons voting began over two years ago and the group issued a report last year that found as many as 2,803 ineligible felon voters illegally participated in the 2008 general election. Most have not been prosecuted due to inability of prosecutors to prove voter intent, but over 100 ineligible felon voters have been convicted from the 2008 election and hundreds more have either been charged or are still under investigation.
“Voting by ineligible felons is the easiest kind of fraud to detect,” said Davis. “If we’re finding this, you can bet there’s plenty more, especially fraud involving Election Day registration and vouching.”
Davis pointed out that after the 2008 election over 23,000 Election Day registrants were later flagged for challenge (at the next election) because they provided information that could not be verified by election officials. Another 399 such unverifiable voters have been referred to county attorneys for investigation following the 2010 general election.
“Using a fictitious identity to vote is a crime that can be detected to some extent,” said Davis, “but they can’t be prosecuted simply because there’s no way to know the real names of the perpetrators. That kind of voter fraud is the perfect crime,” he said.
Davis advocates for what has been termed “21st Century Voter ID,” like has been proposed in HF 210 and SF 509, two bills now moving through Minnesota’s House and Senate. “This proposed election system will prevent voting with false identities as well as stop ineligible voters like convicted felons before they get a ballot. It looks likely to pass the legislature. I just hope the governor, who has been guarded about the issue will see the value in it and sign 21st Century Voter ID into law.”