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9/27/2012 6:00:00 AM
Nine new voter fraud cases found in Arizona from 2008
AJ Vicens
Cronkite News

Using an interstate database, Arizona officials have found nine new cases of people voting in more than one state in the 2008 presidential election, Secretary of State Ken Bennett said this week.

Bennett, speaking at an event hosted by Catholic Charities Community Services as part of National Voter Registration Day, said that although voter fraud is statistically rare in Arizona, elections officials are on the lookout for it.

"In addition to helping people get registered to vote and encouraging everyone to vote, we want everyone to vote once," Bennett said.

It's the second time Bennett's office has referred cases of double-voting from 2008 to the state Attorney General's Office.

Last year, officials reported six cases.

All 15 cases have to do with Arizonans voting in at least one other state, he said.

Those convicted of voting twice can be charged with a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a $150,000 fine.

Bennett said cases in which people vote more than once often involve those who split time between Arizona and other states and cast more than one mail-in ballot.

"We want to make sure that everyone knows that those kinds of things are being checked," he said. "We will do everything we can to identify those voters."

Arizona participates in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which according to the Kansas Secretary of State's Office has 15 member states.

After each state provides data on registered voters, including whether they voted, officials in Kansas look for potential duplicate entries and report back to states for follow-up.

People with similar names in different states can come up as matches, so it takes time to get it right, Bennett said.

"That's why it takes months or even years sometimes," he said.

Voter fraud is exceedingly rare in Arizona and across the nation. According to data collected by News21, a national reporting consortium made up of 11 universities and hosted at Arizona State University, Arizona has had seven cases of alleged election fraud reach a courtroom since 2000, four of which involved people accused of voting twice.

Bennett acknowledged that voter fraud isn't a "statistically large problem in Arizona" but said any amount is too much.

"Whether it's nine cases or 90 or 900, we're going to try to identify if it's happening, and when it does, we're going to prosecute and we're going to try to prevent it from happening at all," he said.

Matt Roberts, Bennett's spokesman, said National Voter Registration Day was an ideal time to announce the new cases of suspected voter fraud.

"There are two essential elements to our electoral process: registration and participation," Roberts said in an email. "Both should be seen equally to ensure the integrity of the election and improve voter confidence in the process."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012
Article comment by: me, myself and I mr.c.

@ Former Snow Bird/ You were just joking right? I can think of at least (5) Five good reason's for NOT allowing more then one vote, any where or any time you want, regardless of residency. Can you picture everyone just voting anytime or anywhere they want, just because!!!! The ramification of such a "right" would in my "opinion" be the beginning of the end of Democracy under our Constitution.

Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

I'll's been stated over and over that there is NO voter fraud. Are any of those that claimed zero voter fraud going to stand up and say they were mistaken?

Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

I think in Florida they just uncovered real voter fraud in a company registering deceased folks, etc., it was a republican financed company, seems to have spread from one county to multiple counties and is a major scandal for the Goveror there trying to purge democrats from the voting rolls, but then he ran a billion dollar company which got caught for a major medicaid/medicare fraud, ended up paying a huge fine and used his wealth to win a one term in governors office since he will never see two terms! Every cycle some anonymous folks try to jam phone lines, intimidate voters at the voting places, hand out fake flyers directing folks to wrong place, wrong day for voting, scare tactics of you will be arrested for out standing child support, traffic tickets all directed at voters who some deem likely democrat voters, but these feeble tricks are not working anymore to any major degree like this latest gambit it was exposed because folks are aware and watching!

Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Article comment by: Kitty Stimson

RE: Voter Fraud I can attest to first hand I worked there. There is a LOT more voter fraud than this article cares to admit. Leaders never want to admit they are somewhat helpless where they can't come up with good answers. I love Mr Bennett but he Did understate this problem. It IS most likely the ones who have summer and winter homes in AZ or spend most of the work-year in other states and come to AZ for Rn'R. OR MORE the RV'ers who actually travel/live in their mobils. Yes, there is a problem there-but I don't know either what to do about it. ~Kitty

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: Former Snow Bird

Interesting discussion!

For several years I was a snowbird with my primary residence in the California Sierra and a secondary residence in Kingman. As a property owner in both states I had local financial and political interests in both states.

Several times I was tempted to vote in both states. Generally my interests did not involve the political parties but rather local laws and bond issues, etc. which could be considered reasonable if they were not against the law! My voting would not have hurt either state since I'd only be voting my interests in each state where I lived!

It would have been very easy for me to register to vote in Arizona by using my Arizona home, perhaps a car and boat, etc. to show me as an Arizona citizen.

I did not do that simply because I've always been "squeaky clean" honest. I actually registered to vote in Arizona after selling my California home and transferred all of my vehicle registrations and driver's license.

My point, however, is to show that perhaps there may be some circumstances when dual voting should be legal.

Of course the real reason now for restricting voting "fraud" is the well recognized discouragement of handicapped voters by the conservatives simply because they have no desire to help people in trouble.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: It isn't Fair

I guess that we can even out the election. We can early vote, absentee vote or otherwise travel to states that don't require ID (most states) and keep your wallet in your pocket and vote. Nothing says that you have to vote Democrat to vote without an ID. Although most US born people have integrity, this is war. All is fair.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

It's been stated over and over by the usual suspects (to steal one of their favorite terms) that there is NO voter fraud. there NO voter fraud...or is it done only by Republicans? Can't have it both ways. None or some...which? I don't care who it's done by....if it's intentional it should be prosecuted. Would voter ID laws help? Maybe not in all cases...but what would it hurt? I'll wait for the typical "disenfranchising low income voters" rant.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: I Agree

To OH NO...I completely agree with you. All of these libs crying about the tiny number of proven voter fraud cases never factor in the difficulty of proving a negative. If no I.D. check is in place, it stands to reason that anyone that showed up to vote under whatever name they gave, would be assumed to be that person. We'll just take their word for it. Case closed, right? Guess there's no voter fraud. And....holy smokes, Anson's nephew. I can't wait 'til this election is over, because if you devote as much time to positive pursuits as you do this opinion page, we'll see world peace within weeks. Give it a rest, buddy.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Voter fraud? Yep and it’s the Republicans behind it. The elections supervisor in Palm Beach County discovered the suspected fake registrations, some of which listed home addresses as those of a gas station and a car dealership. Out of 304 Republican voter-registration forms recently dropped off by a firm employee at a small "satellite office" of the Palm Beach elections office, 106 were flagged as potentially fraudulent -- including "a lot" with "similar looking" signatures and others with apparently phony addresses, Palm Beach election supervisor Susan Bucher said in an interview. The allegations are under investigation by the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: tj denton

yeah fox hound. the republicans are trying to oppress black people. one problem is that history has proven time and time again that the democratic party is racist. they just go about it in a very passive way so to go unnoticed

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: It isn't Fair

Illegal aliens can vote in as many states as they want without documentation but a person born in the US with documentation can only vote once. The fix is in.

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Article comment by: OH NO

Perfect reasons Not to Vote, mistakes like misidentification can cost piles of cash for the citizen. If someone else votes in your name how can you prove that was not you? Real hard to prove a negative.

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Article comment by: Doing Research

So there you go - the only voter fraud taking place is Republican-backed voter ID laws.

For all the people whining about voter ID laws being OK, it sounds to me like a photo ID would not have changed this since it was a mail-in ballot/in person ballot combo.

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

What? This can't be true! Ask our local expert...there is NO voter fraud. None, zip, zilch, nada. That's what he it must be a fact.

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Article comment by: concerned citizen

Wow! 15 cases of voter fraud!
All those republicans were right! That's enough to throw the whole election system into total chaos!
I think we should make everyone wear election bracelets to confirm their citizenship, along with numbers on their arm.

Wait a minute I think that's already been done in Europe. Never mind!

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Seems 15 went to 90 and is alluded to being 900! I do love the right wing math! If they did this prosecute them proves voter fraud cannot be successful in the long run and doubt any election result was altered by 15 votes! They have found one case of a lady voting in Florida who is 72 who immigrated to America many decades ago, got registered to vote when she got her drivers license, has a green card could have been a citizen after 5 years but is to senile to realize she voted illegally, if this is the best the GOP has to offer its a fiasco, doubt this whole vote fraud thing will amount to a hill of beans in the end, and post election 2012 they will drop it as a major issue since many white elderly vote republican and do not drive anymore, hence they may be disenfranchising more their base than anyone!

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

Voter fraud is not only rare in Arizona. It's rare all over America. If you doubt that simply look at the number of people who where charged and tried over the past 10 years. The number is less than one percent. Yet the Repubs have been busy passing laws to try and limit blacks and the old from voting. They know that they will vote for the President because he is more in touch with their problems. As Peggy Noonan, Reagan's speech writer said the other day. If the Repubs don't reach out to a broader population they are doomed to be losers until they change their policies to be more in line with the American population. The tea party took the house by promising to focus on jobs. Don't hear much about what they are going to do lately. I guess they were only talking about their job.

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

The irony is breathtaking from our Republican friends. If they applied the same regulatory response to the minute number of voter cases to other issues, such as environmental regulations or financial fraud, hypocrites like Bennett (an eternal candidate for governor) would be screaming OVERREGULATION!

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