The Boston Globe reports this morning on a suspected case of voter fraud in East Longmeadow, MA, a suburb of Springfield in Hampden County on the Connecticut border. While the facts of the case are still under investigation, and no charges have yet been filed, the alleged acts at this point appear to have been sufficient to have changed the outcome in an upcoming primary election for state representative in the district. Obviously, in the context of voter id laws being passed around the country, ostensibly to guard against voter fraud, and the recent reports of extremely low numbers of confirmed cases of in-person voter fraud since 2000, the events in East Longmeadow represent a significant development. Do they bear out Republican fears of widespread Democratic voter fraud?
Follow me to the flip...
Ummm, no, they don't:
The district attorney in Hampden County is investigating whether a Republican candidate for state representative orchestrated an illegal scheme to cast absentee ballots on behalf of hundreds of voters in hope of winning a primary election.First, because the fraudster here was a Republican candidate for state representative. Second because the fraud scheme involved absentee ballots, which voter id requirements would never be able to prevent.
The scheme involved using privileged access to the town of East Longmeadow's voter registration rolls to change the party identification of about 450 mostly elderly Democrats to Republican or independent so that they could vote in the upcoming September 6 primary, request absentee ballots in the names of those voters, and then fraudulently submit those ballots to benefit the Republican fraudster. According to the attorney for the fraudster's opponent, the absentee ballot requests were "concentrated on certain streets and in certain neighborhoods... [and] many of the voters were age 60 or older." According to the attorney, many of those affected by the fraud were
hard-core Democrats, including members of the Town Democratic Committee and a retired judge.Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who has been conducting his own independent investigation into the alleged fraud, stated:
It’s very serious... It’s like stealing a person’s identity to steal money from them, but it’s worse. You’re trying to steal an election.This scheme was caught before the votes were actually cast, but it came close. And, of course, it originated in the party best known for voter suppression.