CRAWFORD COUNTY — With the election next week, here are FBI warnings on how to recognize voting fraud.
- First, voter/ballot fraud. A voter intentionally gives false information when registering to vote (such as false citizenship claims) or an ineligible person votes in a Federal election (such as a non-citizen and some felons.)
- Vote buying schemes where a voter receives money or something of value (such as money, cigarettes, or drugs) in exchange for voting for a specific candidate or party in a Federal election.
- An individual votes more than once in a Federal election, such as obtaining absentee ballots or voting in the name(s) of others.
- An election official corrupts their office to benefit a candidate or party, such as stuffing the ballot box with illegal ballots or changing a ballot tally.
- Civil Rights Violations. A voter is threatened with physical or economic harm unless the voter declines to vote or casts a ballot in a particular way.
- Efforts to prevent qualified voters from effectively voting by deceiving them as to the time, place, or manner of an election (voter suppression).
In 2016 and 2018, the FBI received reports of potential voter suppression through social media. Election Day is always the first Tuesday after November 1st. While there are some exceptions for military overseas using absentee ballots by email or fax, citizens cannot vote online or by text on Election Day. Any reporting that suggests otherwise may be an attempt to suppress voters.
THESE ARE NOT FEDERAL ELECTION CRIMES?
- Giving voters a ride to the polls or time off to vote.
- Offering voters a stamp to mail an absentee ballot
- False claims about oneself or another candidate.
- False or forged nominating petitions.
- Asking an opponent to withdraw from the race.
- Honest mistakes by polling place workers.
- Campaigning too close to the polls.
NOTE: The FBI offers the following information. “Armed FBI Agents are prohibited from responding to a polling place while voting is ongoing. However, FBI Agents may be armed at a polling place for the purpose of casting their own vote.”