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Results of the Rhode Island Primary March 4, 2008
Votes cast in the names of deceased people
Voting in the name of a deceased person is a form of vote fraud in which someone casts a vote under the name of a deceased person, whose name remains on the state's list of registered voters.
There is debate surrounding the extent to which this and other forms of voter fraud occur. John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky—with The Heritage Foundation, which describes itself as a conservative think tank—wrote that "the media aren’t doing our democracy any favors by summarily dismissing the existence of voter fraud – like the almost 1,200 proven cases in the Heritage Foundation’s election fraud database – while questioning the very need for accurate voter rolls." Ώ] ΐ] According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute which describes itself as progressive, "The consensus from credible research and investigation is that the rate of illegal voting is extremely rare, and the incidence of certain types of fraud – such as impersonating another voter – is virtually nonexistent." Α] Β]
This and other pages on Ballotpedia cover types of election and voter fraud for which there are documented cases and around which there is debate concerning the frequency of instances and proposed responses.
Chafee was born in Rhode Island. He graduated from Brown University and later studied at the Montana State University horseshoeing school in Bozeman. He then spent seven years working as a farrier at racetracks in the U.S. and Canada. Ζ]
Chafee entered politics in 1985 when he was a delegate to Rhode Island's Constitutional Convention. The next year, he won election to Warwick's City Council. In 1992, he became the city's mayor, a post he held until his Senate appointment in 1999. Ζ]
Following his departure from the U.S. Senate in 2007, Chafee accepted a post as a distinguished visiting fellow at Brown University's Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, where he worked with undergraduates studying American foreign policy. He remained in that position until beginning his campaign for governor in January 2010. Ζ]
Mischief in Open Primary States
Allowing voters of any party to take part in either the Republican or Democratic presidential primary often invites mischief, commonly referred to as party-crashing. Party-crashing occurs when voters of one party support "the most polarizing candidate in the other party's primary to bolster the chances that it will nominate someone 'unelectable' to general election voters in November," according to the nonpartisan Center for Voting and Democracy in Maryland.
In the 2012 Republican primaries, for example, Democratic activists launched a somewhat organized effort to prolong the GOP nomination process by voting for Rick Santorum, an underdog, in states that held open primaries. That effort, called Operation Hilarity, was organized by activist Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the founder and publisher of , a popular blog among liberals and Democrats. "The longer this GOP primary drags on, the better the numbers for Team Blue," Moulitsas wrote.
In 2008, many Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary because they felt she had less of a chance of defeating presumed Republican nominee John McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona.
New Report Exposes Thousands of Illegal Votes in 2016 ElectionCOMMENTARY BY
Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal FellowElection integrity and public confidence in the election process are fundamental to preserving our democratic republic. iStock
The Government Accountability Institute concluded in its report that thousands of votes in the 2016 election were illegal duplicate votes.
The Institute points out that the quality of the voter registration data in some states is very poor, with missing and obviously incorrect information.
We have serious, substantive problems in our voter registration system across the country and that voter fraud is, without a doubt, real.
A new bombshell study released by the Government Accountability Institute shows why President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has such an important job ahead of it.
The Institute concluded in its report that thousands of votes in the 2016 election were illegal duplicate votes from people who registered and voted in more than one state.
The Government Accountability Institute, founded by Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash,” seeks to “investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance.”
Over the last few months, the Institute sought to obtain “public voter information” from every state in order to search for duplicate votes. This is the same type of information the president’s Election Integrity Commission has requested.
With this report, we may have a clue as to why some states are resisting providing this data.
The Government Accountability Institute was able to obtain voter registration and voter history data from only 21 states because while some states shared it freely, “others impose exorbitant costs or refuse to comply with voter information requests.”
These 21 states represent “about 17 percent of all possible state-to-state comparison combinations.”
The Institute compared the lists using an “extremely conservative matching approach that sought only to identify two votes cast in the same legal name.” It found that 8,471 votes in 2016 were “highly likely” duplicates.
Extrapolating this to all 50 states would likely produce, with “high-confidence,” around 45,000 duplicate votes.
The Institute obtained this level of confidence by matching not only names and birthdays—which can be the same for different individuals—but also by contracting with companies, such as Virtual DBS, that have commercial databases to further cross-check these individuals using their Social Security Numbers and other information.
According to the Government Accountability Institute’s experts, “the probability of correctly matching two records with the same name, birthdate, and social security number is close to 100 percent.” In fact, “using these match points will result in virtually zero false positives.”
The probability of 45,000 illegal duplicate votes is the low end of the spectrum, and it does not even account for other types of fraud such as ineligible voting by noncitizens and felons and absentee ballot fraud.
To put this number of fraudulent votes in perspective, Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire by fewer than 3,000 votes out of over 700,000 cast. Just this number of duplicate votes alone has the power to swing state results and, in turn, elections.
Unfortunately, New Hampshire refused to turn over their data for this study.
There have been other razor-tight elections in recent years. In 2000, the presidency was decided by 537 votes out of a total of 105 million cast. In 2008, Al Franken won his Minnesota Senate race by a mere 312 votes. He ended up being the deciding vote that gave this country Obamacare.
Though the Institute did not look at the 2008 elections in this study, there is little doubt that the 2016 numbers show that duplicate voting and voter fraud are a real problem that can have serious consequential effects.
The Government Accountability Institute also used the state of Rhode Island as a test case. Over 30 percent of all registered voters in Rhode Island have no Social Security or driver’s license number on file.
While it is legal to register without providing this information, the Institute notes that “confirming the identities of some of these voters is impossible using only the data contained in the state’s voter registration system.”
Without this “uniquely identifying information … there is no way to confirm a voter’s identity or citizenship …” This shows the vulnerabilities that are ripe for any person or group wanting to take advantage of them.
The Institute also found more than 15,000 voters registered at prohibited addresses “such as post office boxes, UPS stores, federal post offices, and public buildings.” In some cases, more than 100 voters “were registered to the same UPS store locations.”
They also found voters whose registered addresses were “gas stations, vacant lots, abandoned mill buildings, basketball courts, parks, warehouses, and office buildings.”
The Institute tried to bring some of these problems to the attention of Rhode Island election officials as part of their test case. They provided officials with a list of 225 voters who “were registered using prohibited addresses.”
But Rhode Island refused to do anything about the problem beyond sending a letter to the voters. If a voter did not respond, the state refused to take any further action.
Instead, in an obvious attempt to deter the Government Accountability Institute, the state said that the Institute would have to file a “voter challenge” and would be subject to a misdemeanor penalty if it filed a “false challenge.”
The fact that these election officials did not want to thoroughly investigate possible voter fraud illustrates one of the problems in this area: Too many election officials don’t want to know about these problems, and refuse to do anything when it is brought to their attention.
The Government Accountability Institute points out that the quality of the voter registration data in some states is very poor, with missing and obviously incorrect information. The Institute found 45,880 votes cast by individuals whose dates of birth were more than 115 years before the election.
Several hundred votes were cast by individuals whose registration birthdates “indicated they were under 18 years old at the time of the election,” although some of these were through provisional ballots.
All of this is just the latest evidence that we have serious, substantive problems in our voter registration system across the country and that voter fraud is, without a doubt, real.
The Heritage Foundation has a database that is being constantly updated. It documents nearly 1,100 proven instances of voter fraud, including cases where elections were overturned because of proven fraud.
This kind of work, which the Government Accountability Institute has done, will be invaluable to the Election Integrity Commission as it researches the registration and voting process and looks for ways to fix its vulnerabilities and security problems, enhance our democratic process, and make sure every eligible American votes and is not disenfranchised by illegal votes.
Election integrity and public confidence in the election process are fundamental to preserving our democratic republic.
Disclosure: Hans von Spakovsky is a member of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity mentioned in this article.
The electoral college vote
The Framers had viewed political parties with suspicion, but by the 1790s party politics had taken root—and with it the interests of party organizations began to exert influence. In 1796 the Federalist Party supported John Adams for president, but it split its vote such that Jefferson, the Democratic-Republican candidate, earned the second greatest number of votes, thereby securing the post of vice president (electors cast two ballots originally without designating a presidential or vice presidential choice). Adams thus governed during his presidency with the leader of the opposition as his vice president.
The 1800 election was a rematch between Adams and Jefferson, and to forestall the recurrence of the same situation from the 1796 election, the parties sought to ensure that all their electors were united. On the Federalist side Adams ran with Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, while Jefferson’s running mate was Aaron Burr.
As in the previous elections, there was no popular vote. Instead, the state legislatures appointed electors, and the Democratic-Republicans swept most of the South, including all the electors from Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, while Adams ran strong in the northeast, capturing all the electoral votes from Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. With Burr, a New Yorker, on the ticket, Jefferson won that state, and the electors from the remaining states (Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania) split their votes. The Federalists, realizing the potential for a tie, arranged for one of their electors, from Rhode Island, to cast a ballot for John Jay. All of the Democratic-Republican electors, however, cast their ballots for Jefferson and Burr, and since electors could not indicate a presidential or vice presidential choice, the result was a tie.
Article Two of the United States Constitution provides that for a person to be elected and serve as President of the United States, the individual must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the United States for a period of no less than 14 years.
Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of one of the various political parties of the United States, in which case each party devises a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position. The party's delegates then officially nominate a candidate to run on the party's behalf.
President George W. Bush was unable to seek re-election for a third term because of the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that a president may only serve up to two terms. His term as president ended at noon eastern standard time on January 20, 2009.
The main contest during the Democratic primaries was between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which was a very close race. Clinton won the popular vote, but ultimately Obama won more unpledged delegates and therefore the nomination.
All candidates except Mike Gravel, who switched to the Libertarian Party during the election, supported Barack Obama.
Barack Obama chose Joe Biden as the vice-presidential candidate on August 23, 2008.
Withdrawn candidates Edit
- , retired lawyer and wife of Bill Clinton , retired U.S. Senator from North Carolina (withdrew on January 30, 2008, and endorsed Barack Obama) , Governor of New Mexico (withdrew on January 10, 2008, and endorsed Barack Obama) , U.S. Representative from Ohio (withdrew on January 24, 2008, and endorsed Barack Obama) , U.S. Senator from Delaware (withdrew on January 3, 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama) , former U.S. Senator from Alaska (withdrew on March 25, 2008, to run for the Libertarian Party nomination. After losing the nomination, he endorsed Jesse Johnson) , U.S. Senator from Connecticut (withdrew on January 3, 2008, and endorsed Barack Obama) , U.S. Senator from Indiana (withdrew on December 15, 2006, and endorsed Hillary Clinton. He later endorsed Barack Obama) , former Governor of Iowa (withdrew on February 23, 2007, and endorsed Hillary Clinton. He later endorsed Barack Obama)
The candidates running for the nomination of the Republican Party were John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Tom Tancredo, Alan Keyes, Jim Gilmore, Sam Brownback, and Duncan Hunter.
Republican President George W. Bush was unable to run for re-election since a president is only able to be elected twice. Vice president Dick Cheney chose not to run.
Most of the candidates withdrew early. As a result, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney emerged as the three people most likely to win the nomination. Ron Paul became popular among libertarians.
John McCain was nominated by the Republican Party (by a decisive victory).
He chose Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential candidate.
Withdrawn candidates Edit
- , former Governor of Massachusetts (withdrew on February 7, 2008, and endorsed John McCain) , former Governor of Arkansas (withdrew on March 4, 2008, and endorsed John McCain) , U.S. Representative from Texas (withdrew on June 12, 2008, and endorsed Chuck Baldwin) , former Mayor of New York City (withdrew on January 30, 2008, and endorsed John McCain) , former U.S. Senator from Tennessee (withdrew on January 22, 2008, and endorsed John McCain) , former U.S. ECOSOC Ambassador from Maryland (withdrew on April 15, 2008, to run for the Constitution Party nomination. After losing that nomination, he ran as the America's Independent Party nominee.) , U.S. Representative from California (withdrew on January 19, 2008, and endorsed Mike Huckabee. He later endorsed John McCain) , U.S. Representative from Colorado (withdrew on December 20, 2007, and endorsed Mitt Romney. He later endorsed John McCain) , U.S. Senator from Kansas (withdrew on October 18, 2007, and endorsed John McCain) , former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services (withdrew on August 12, 2007, and endorsed Rudy Giuliani. He later endorsed John McCain) , former Governor of Virginia (withdrew on July 14, 2007, and endorsed John McCain)
The biggest issue during the campaign was the bad economy. Other issues included health care, the Iraq War, the war on terrorism, and energy independence.
The president during the election, George W. Bush (who eventually supported John McCain), was very unpopular due to the 2007-09 "great recession", and because of that, the Obama campaign compared McCain to Bush several times.
There were four television debates during the campaign: three of them were between the two presidential candidates, and one of them was between the two vice-presidential candidates.