. . . here it is.
An interesting thing happened last year in the Miami area during last year’s primary elections. Over 2,500 fraudulent absentee ballot requests were submitted by unknown on-line actors during a 2 1/2 week period before the elections.
The scam requested that absentee ballots be sent to roughly 2000 voters who had not requested an absentee ballot (about 500 were duplicate requests). Making such a bogus third-party request is a felony violation of Florida election laws.
The timing and sources of the on-line requests were what initially tipped off authorities of the problem. At times, the bogus requests appeared to have been submitted entirely too fast to be from humans. Further, the 2500+ requests appear to have originated from only 15 IP addresses – 12 of which were located outside the US.
The perpetrators of this scam targeted 3 voting districts. In one Congressional district, the scam overwhelmingly requested ballots for voters who were registered Democrats. In contrast, two Florida state House districts showed requests for bogus ballots overwhelmingly for registered Republicans.
Yeah, the “system” caught this because someone noticed an obvious pattern. But that was only because the scam’s perpetrators were stupid enough to be obvious. If they’d been more subtle, they might have gotten away with it.
Voting is a right. But attempting to make it too “convenient” has the unintended consequence of also making it easier for someone to scam the system. And where someone thinks the system can be scammed – someone will try.
I used to be a fan of the idea of early voting via absentee ballot. Not any more. Allowing unrestricted absentee early voting simply introduces too many opportunities for fraud. Personal convenience is nice, but fair and honest elections are far more important than personal convenience.