With less than two weeks until the election, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has amped up charges that the election is “rigged” against him. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has warned at rallies about voter fraud “around the country.” While voter fraud is rare — one study found just 31 credible claims of fraud amid more than a 1 billion ballots cast since 2000 — a few instances of voter fraud and voting irregularities have been found ahead of the election. At the same time, there have been accusations of voter suppression across the U.S., as civil rights groups have said Trump’s instructions to supporters to “go check out” polls in “certain areas” are a call to monitor minority votes. Here’s a recap of reports of possible election interference that have surfaced so far. The most prominent recent example of alleged voter fraud has been in Indiana, where the head of state police said last week that an ongoing investigation of a voter registration project turned up evidence of fraud. The group under investigation, the Indiana Voter Registration Project, submitted 45,000 voter registration applications this year from citizens who are racial minorities. Indiana State Police Supt. Douglas Carter said authorities had found examples of fraud. Carter did not share details of the nature of the alleged fraud nor how many instances of it had been found.
The group, which does nonpartisan registration but is affiliated with Democrats, says the investigation is a Republican-led political hit job. Carter is a Pence appointee, and tensions heightened last week when Indiana’s GOP Secretary of State Connie Lawson said “thousands” of name and date-of-birth changes on voting records could point to fraud. Lawson said she “turned … findings over to the state police, who are currently conducting an investigation into alleged voter fraud.” Days later, she said the changes the office found could be legitimate.
On Tuesday, TargetSmart, a Democratic-affiliated group hired by Patriot Majority USA, said an analysis it ran of the Indiana voter file kept by Lawson’s office found 837,000 voters with out-of-date addresses, 4,556 double registrations, 3,000 records without birth dates and 31 registered voters who are too young to vote. “There is clearly bad, missing and incomplete data,” TargetSmart Chief Executive Tom Bonier told the Associated Press. “So if you’re seeing a lot of names changing or dates of birth changing, that’s likely because the information she had on the file is incorrect.”
Local police and the FBI launched an investigation in late September into 19 dead Virginians who had been re-registered to vote in Harrisonburg, Va. The investigation came after a clerk recognized the name on a registration as the recently deceased father of a well-known local judge. In another case, relatives of a dead man who was registered to vote received mail congratulating the man on registering.