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Fraud in Florida – Dual Registered Voters

Absentee ballots are being delivered this week to the mail boxes of Florida voters in preparation for the August 14th primary. Retired FBI Special Agent Stu Senneff writes in an email, “Of particular interest to me is the subject of ‘voter fraud’ on a national basis but since I live here, specifically the possibility of voter fraud in Florida. Actually, I became interested subsequent to the Bush – Gore 2000 presidential election. Since Florida has a veritable plethora of home owners who spend part of the year in another state, I believed it not only possible but probable that persons could register to vote in more than one state. It is a simple matter to vote by absentee ballot in one or both of the states in which one resides.”

Russ Buettner, New York Daily News staff writer, wrote in an August 2004 article titled “Registered to Vote in City & Fla.“, “Some 46,000 New Yorkers are registered to vote in both the city [of New York] and Florida, a shocking finding that exposes both states to potential abuses that could alter the outcome of elections, a Daily News investigation shows.”

“Registering in two places is illegal in both states, but the massive snowbird scandal goes undetected because election officials don’t check rolls across state lines. The News found that between 400 and 1,000 registered voters have voted twice in at least one election, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. One was Norman Siegel, 84, who is registered as a Republican in both Pinellas Park, Fla., and Briarwood, Queens. Siegel has voted twice in seven elections, including the last four presidential races, records show,” writes Buettner.

Former FBI Special Agent Senneff notes, “As a police officer and subsequently an FBI Agent, if I wanted to check to see if a person was wanted anywhere in the United States, I could simply provide the necessary background information and within a matter of seconds ascertain a person’s status. If I use my credit card in order to make a purchase, records are immediately checked with regard to the legitimacy of the credit card. . . I have often wondered why no such system exists on a Federal level for voting and indeed believed the lack of checking nationally may well have resulted in massive voter fraud over the years.”

Kathy Dent, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections, responding to Senneff’s concern states, “Until we have a national voter registration database, we have no way of determining who is registered in more than one state. Florida does let other states know when a person registers here and they let us know on the application where they were previously registered. But that information is an optional field on the application and not required to be completed. A step in the right direction would be to get our legislature to require previous registrations.”

“We can determine if someone tries to register in two different Florida counties because of our statewide voter registration database. Therefore, we have no dual registrants in Florida,” notes Supervisor Dent.

Kansas is taking the lead in cleaning up registration rolls so that people won’t vote in two states. The architect of what is called the Kansas Project, or the Interstate Cross Check Project, is Kris W. Kobach, the Republican Secretary of State who was elected in 2010. Mr. Kobach has set up a database with 14 other states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee. Six more states are considering joining.

Supervisor Dent warns, “Florida law states it is a third degree felony punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years and/or a fine of up to $5000.00.”