“As Election Day rapidly approaches, many discussions throughout the last several months have surrounded voter fraud. And this Tuesday corporations like HAYSTACK Information Discovery with their team of forensic examiners will be on high alert. Though many experts argue that the potential of voter fraud is rare, the government is being proactive in deterring the issue and avoiding any chances of it affecting the outcome of local, state and federal elections.
The arguments have appeared to be highly charged politically, with Republicans and Democrats taking two drastically different approaches toward the potential threat of voter fraud. Whether the issue will plague the election or be seen as completely non-existent is yet to be determined, but many states have increased voter identification requirements.
Prevention as a crucial factor
ABC News recently reported that Texas has been especially proactive in quashing any voter ID fraud this year, increasing its level of requirements and restrictions months ago. According to the news provider, the state has seen 51 convictions for voter fraud in the last 10 years, though the vast majority of these cases did not involve voter impersonations.
Voter identification laws, no matter how stringent, only prevent impersonation attempts by fraudulent forces, something that has been cited by many as extremely rare. ABC noted that four out of the 51 voter fraud cases involved impersonation, while all of the others were carried out by different methods. This is a trend across the country, with many states increasing voter identification laws though only very few instances of this specific fraud have been proven over the last several decades.
Human rights organizations and other opponents to the voter identification laws in several states have issued concerns about making it harder for some citizens to cast their votes. Still proponents of the laws believe that they are entirely necessary to ensure a smooth and accurate election.
Detection and analysis a formidable duo
Whether or not voter identification fraud occurs or not, there are a variety of other methods criminals use to successfully cast fake ballots, and many of which are difficult to detect before it is too late. The National Center for Public Policy Research asserts that dead voters, ghost voters and double voting are more common, with 53,000 dead voters who are still registered to vote uncovered in Florida alone.
If voter fraud is believed to be an issue following the election, the government will contract firms with the most advanced detection and analysis capabilities to uncover crimes. Predictive coding software, as well as other programs common in eDiscovery proceedings, can be especially useful when trying to find instances of voter fraud. The ability to sift through mountains of data to find inconsistencies and potential fraudulent ballots will be key in establishing a fair and accurate election this year.