By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
FAIRFAX, Va. — Want a real-life example of voter fraud? Fairfax County election officials say they have 17 — and they’re providing names to local, state and federal authorities for prosecution.
The 17 voters reportedly cast ballots in both Fairfax County, Va., and the state of Maryland during the 2012 presidential election.
Officials from Fairfax and Montgomery County, Md., identified dual voters by matching first and last names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
Brian Schoenemann, secretary of the Fairfax County Electoral Board, said he sent letters and evidence to county Commonwealth Attorney Ray Morrogh, state Attorney General Mark Herring, U.S. Attorney Dana Boente and the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice requesting further investigation.
Names of the voters were not disclosed. But Watchdog.org learned that one of the multiple voters had been casting double ballots for the past decade.
The Virginia Voters Alliance and Election Integrity Maryland instigated the two-state investigation.
Reagan George, president of the nonpartisan VVA, said his group has been asked by residents in several more counties to assist in urging local election boards to investigate duplicate registrations.
George said the presence of dual voters demolishes the argument by political “progressives” that voter fraud doesn’t exist.
“Their next point will be that voter fraud is such a small percentage that such voter fraud should be ignored. What percentage of the overall vote is tolerable for progressives?” George asked.
“VVA believes we should have zero tolerance for voter fraud in our elections,” he said in a statement.
VVA has also been asked by several states on the eastern seaboard to conduct additional private crosscheck investigations, since their states do not participate in the free Interstate Crosscheck capability offered by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
When asked if her group had been requested to assist in ferreting out additional dual voters in Maryland, Cathy Kelleher, president of the nonpartisan Election Integrity Maryland, responded, “Are you kidding?”
“We’re a blue state. No one except for a few political candidates is interested in doing that,” she told Watchdog.
Kelleher said EIM sent names of 164 alleged duplicate Virginia-Maryland statewide voters to Mary Wagner at the State Board of Elections.
“She passed them on to the State Prosecutor Emmett Davitt. We have not received any response to the inquiry,” Kelleher said.
In all, Watchdog has reported that as many as 43,896 people hold active voter registrations in both Virginia and Maryland.
Of that total, 50.9 percent were registered Democrats and 20.4 percent were Republicans in Maryland. The remainder belong to other parties or were independents.
Virginia doesn’t register voters by party, and Kelleher didn’t provide a breakdown of the 17 dual voters.
Schoenemann said the Fairfax board “takes its responsibility to ensure election integrity seriously. After our initial review of county voting records and a comparison to Maryland voting records, we determined that it was in the public interest to refer these individuals to law enforcement for investigation.”
He added, “It is important to note that the individuals named have not been accused of a crime and are of diverse ages, genders and political affiliations.”
Herring spokesman Michael Kelly told Watchdog late Monday: “This office takes all allegations seriously, even though incidents of voter fraud are statistically rare.”
“We will review any evidence and, if further investigation is warranted, will work within our statutory authority with local or federal partners,” he said.
Kenric Ward is a national correspondent for Watchdog.org and chief of its Virginia Bureau. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward