What is it about being from Belmont and being accused of voter fraud. Earlier this year, a fringe candidate for the Republican presidential candidacy claimed that long-time Belmont resident and fellow candidate Mitt Romney was committing voter fraud, an allegation – later proven baseless – that was quickly picked up by websites and left-leaning political cable television shows.
Now a Belmont resident studying at the University of Maine is now at the center of a growing controversy in which the chairman of the state’s Republican Party claiming out-of-state students were engaged in voter fraud, according to a Maine media site.
Christopher Knoblock is among 206 students on the list submitted in July by Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster to the secretary of state for investigation of voter fraud. “Webster is attempting to challenge students’ right to register and vote where they attend school, indicating some had registered in their home state and then re-registered on campus,” according to a report this week from the Bangor Daily News.
According to the news account, Knoblock first registered to vote in Belmont in 2007 and voted in the February 2008 presidential primary.
In the fall of 2008, Knoblock attended the University of Maine and registered in Orono to vote in the presidential election that November.
When the next election came up, in November 2010, Knoblock voted back home in Massachusetts. He never unregistered in Orono.
“I’m surprised to be on this list and I’m surprised that it’s an issue that I voted in Maine at all,” he said. “We were encouraged to vote when we were on campus, and we were told that voting on campus was legal. I think this unfairly targets out-of-state students, as it’s much harder for those of us who are out of state to vote via absentee,” he said in the Daily News.
While voting officials don’t like the fact that someone can be registered in two different places at the same time, it does not constitute fraud.