Donald Trump has continued to insist, despite evidence to the contrary, the election is rigged and rife with voter fraud. It is so bad, he says, that he has encouraged his followers to go into polling stations and monitor, especially in minority areas.

However, the only cases of voter fraud that have occurred are isolated instances that are in favor of Donald Trump. And it should be noted these people are being caught, because there are checks and balances in place for that very reason.

In another case, 88 year old Audrey R. Cook of Alton, Illinois, voted for the Republican nominee in place of her recently deceased husband.

Ms. Cook is an election judge who says she has no regrets whatsoever about voting in place of her deceased husband. She does not feel as if she did anything wrong, she said, because she voted as she knew her late husband would have had he survived to vote for himself. Her husband, Virtus Cook, also served as an election judge, and worked as a computer consultant for the city of Alton.

She was charged with the Class 3 felonies of election code perjury and violation of the vote by mail ballot provision. The charges allege Ms. Cook made a false statement by forging her husband’s signature, and knowingly taking the vote of another person by marking the ballot on that person’s behalf when she knew he was deceased.

Ms. Cook explained,

“My husband was very sick, and we applied for absentee ballots for both of us,” she said. “We got them a couple of days after he died, and I knew how he wanted to vote. He was a decent, honest and wonderful man,” she said. “I knew what he wanted… Now they’re not going to count it.” (Source)

Audrey and Vic Cook were very active in Republican causes for many years in Alton.

The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office is in charge of the case. Ms. Cook is currently free on $20,000 bond. The attorney handling the case, Tom Gibbons, explained the anomaly was discovered during a routine audit of the absentee ballots against death records. This is a standard practice done by Democratic and Republican election judges inside the county clerk’s office. When Vic Cook’s name came up, the information was turned over to his office for investigation. At that time they determined what charges to file.

This election voter fraud is a huge topic. Polling shows that mostly white, conservative voters are convinced it is a problem.

Overall, researchers have found that instances of voter fraud are minuscule, with only a handful of cases that would be highly unlikely to swing a national election. In 2014, Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt, who studies elections, found 31 credible claims of someone pretending to be someone else at the polls from more than 1 billion ballots cast since 2000. Richard L. Hasen, an election law expert who teaches at UC Irvine, said allegations of voter fraud have long been used as part of a political strategy. There have been Republican operatives who have used unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud as means of trying to rile up the Republican base,” Hasen said, though he added that “many of the people who will go and volunteer in these so-called integrity efforts really do believe that there is a major problem, and there is no amount of evidence to convince them otherwise.”(Source)

At least for now, it seems the only voter fraud is a few isolated cases of cheating Republicans.


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