One of Chicago's unfortunate-but-true reputations is that it is known for voter fraud. Even people outside Chicago know the joke that people in the city will "vote early and vote often."
How about some proof that the potential for voter fraud exists when it comes to absentee ballot?
As Chicago's Democratic free-for-all starts to heat up with challengers looking to take down Rahm Emanuel, voting issues will come to the fore once again. Let's take a look at the issue of whether Chicago's Absentee Ballot process is open for fraud.
The Vote By Mail application
Thanks to a friend who is a registered Democrat (but who incidentally has voted Republican the past seven years in a row due to the failings of the Democratic Party in recent years), I took a couple pictures of the Vote By Mail application that my friend received.
As you can see, it's a pretty simple application. All that you need is your name and address. Voter Registration Number is optional.
The person is then required to sign the form, with the note underneath stating that the "signature will be compared to...the Registration Record" and that the signatures must match.
At the bottom is the curious part. If offers a place for the ballot to be mailed to an address other than the voter's address.
Now, liberals will argue that there are some circumstances where that is a helpful option. And there may be. But you also have to admit that this opens up the very real possibility that the option to mail the absentee ballot elsewhere could be used to redirect those ballots to those who will use them to literally "vote early and often."
One example of a legitimate use of mailing to an alternate address is if the voter recently moved far away from their current polling place. Another example of a legitimate use might be if the person is serving in the military overseas. A third example could be if a person is vacationing in some distant location. A fourth example might be if the person is handicapped and now resides in a nursing home.
Is there a way to curtail possible fraud?
My question is simply this: rather than merely allowing ANYONE to request the ballot to be sent to a different address FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER, why not require proof that mailing the absentee ballot to a different address is necessary?
In the first above example, this particular voter could send in a copy of his/her real estate contract (which becomes official after attorney review even if the date of closing has not occurred yet). By providing the contract with this voter's mail-in application, the voter can prove the change of address is necessary well before the election date.
In the second example above, this voter could mail in proof of his/her military service overseas.
In the third example above, this voter could mail in proof of his/her vacation residence (e.g., copy of title to vacation home in the same name).
In the fourth example above, the voter would simply show a current bill from the nursing home.
Yes, this requires that absentee voters take another step before being given a ballot, but it's not really a difficult step. Yet it can significantly reduce the risk of voter fraud whereby absentee ballots are redirected to some unscrupulous voter's address to be used to stuff the ballot box.
The absentee ballot envelope
What's more, look at the address where this vote-by-mail application is going:
Yeah, the same guy who is running for office.
Zero chance of voter fraud here, eh?
Agnostics say it takes a lot of faith to believe in God. I say it take a lot of faith to believe there are no shenanigans going on with absentee balloting.
Could there be absentee ballot fraud in Chicago? I don't have proof. But the process certainly leaves the door wide open.