Tue October 23, 2012
Absentee Ballots On The Rise As Fraud Issue Remains
Democrats are celebrating an interesting milestone this week: the one millionth request for an absentee ballot by a registered Democrat.
Since absentee ballots became available to anyone in Florida several years ago, the use of voting by mail has been dominated by Republicans.
While the GOP is still doing better than Democrats with absentee ballots, Democrats are giving them a run for their money.
Florida Democrats will celebrate a campaign milestone today: getting their one-millionth voter to request a mail ballot for the first time. That’s a threshold Republicans crossed in 2008. Still, it’s already 160,000 more than Democrats requested four years ago and a bigger gain than Republicans expected.
In Miami, though, absentee ballots remain the subject of scandal.
Investigators and election officials this year have found that there have been multiple ballot fraud scams all over Miami-Dade County. Local lawmakers have proposed some temporary measures to try to make it harder to commit absentee voter fraud, but these measures have had mixed success.
This is because absentee ballots are regulated very little in Florida and are wide open for fraud in areas like Miami where there is a large and vulnerable elderly population.
State lawmakers have also largely ignored absentee ballots. Last year, the Florida Legislature controversially rewrote many of the state's voting rules, but left absentee ballots untouched.