An illegal immigrant was recently arrested for using a fake ID card to vote at his local polling station. The suspect has been sentenced eight years in prison and has been convicted for unlawfully voting by an illegal document. Another crime of his was voting as an immigrant who was not registered.
He was caught after he applied for an application for his passport. According to reports, such an incident is not a first in the United States of America.
Incidents like these are common ever since forged ids have increased in the country, especially since forging identity cards became easier.
The main reason behind the prevalence of fake id in 2020 is the advancement of technology.
Technology has boosted the use of counterfeit identity. Software and prints today are so good that it’s easy to make counterfeit cards. These IDs don’t need one document to be produced at a time, as mass-communication is the new orange today.
Secondly, the buyers and sellers no longer have to remain in physical contact, meaning that ID producers can be based in countries such as China and operate from there. This means two things lesser the prices and chances of getting caught.
Fact Checks – Fake IDs Relevant in US Elections?
Whenever there is a mention of a counterfeit ids, people immediately think it must be a minor wanting to consume alcohol or drive a car. But that is not the only reason forged ID cards are issued.
In fact, in a recently caught case, perpetrators planned to issue five fake IDs per person with different identities; this includes names, surnames, social security numbers, and a picture. The details are different in each ID card, which means that one person can cast votes multiple times.
In most cases, these people are immigrants because they don’t have an identity card. Neither are their records saved in the files, so these people are usually the best for this kind of thing.
Moreover, by the end of June 2020, the Federal Customs Officers seized 1,513 shipments from overseas containing fraudulent documents – including 19,888 counterfeit US Driver’s Licenses – just at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. In the last 18 months, officials say that they have confiscated a total of 2,000 fake IDs.
Most of the bogus licenses are made by Chinese firms and are available online for free. The majority of the ID cards are copied from college-age students with different pictures and details.
The cards are quickly sold for as low as $50 by online distributors, while people are usually ready to pay more than $100 for two cards. The more a person has orders for the IDs, the more they can earn. These are the bulk-buying perks as the price of individual fake licenses in bigger orders is very low. This means the more significant the order, the greater the profits.
There are concerns in the US that counterfeit identity cards have also led to vote frauds. Here are a few techniques in which this happens.
- An illegal voter pretends to be a legitimate voter and casts a vote. In these cases, the legitimate voter is dead, has moved to another place, or lost their right to vote. The only reason the illegal voter gets away is that the system isn’t updated as quickly as it should be.
- False registrations are made using the names and addresses of other people.
- The illegal voter registers in multiple jurisdictions to cast more than one vote
- Illegal voters ask for ballots of absentees and vote in their name. The legitimate voter mostly remains unaware that his vote has been cast.
- People are also paid to vote in place of an absentee voter.
- The vote count is altered at the central vote count location.
These are only some of the methods in which vote frauds happen. There have been instances when people have been caught doing these acts.
The 2020 elections are being mail-ballot. Can this strategy fight off the possibility of vote fraud?
Mail ballot voting
According to reports, in some cases, fake voter IDs are created to get more supporters to vote for and eventually win the elections. This has a notably high rate in the US around the election time, which is right now.
Due to COVID-19, it has been suggested that the US elections this year should follow the Mail Voting strategy. This strategy would ensure voters’ safety and also lessen voter fraud.
President Trump and his advocates have been quick to reject the strategy saying that this will cause rigging. They have yet to provide and evidence that would support their claim.
Here are six ways which solidify the claim that voter fraud will not happen in mail voting.
- Only registered voters will get the ballot.
People will only get the ballot if they are registered and eligible for voting. The ballot will reach the mailing address they have put in their form. In another way, people who wish to vote will have to request a ballot, and only after the election official approves their application, the voter will receive a ballot. This way of voting requires more identification then in-person voting system.
- Ballots aren’t easy to replicate.
ID cards have a specific design that is changed once in a decade; hence it is easy to make the exact replicas. However, the ballots each year have a particular design. The designs are challenging to replicate, therefore decreasing the chances of fake ballots ten-fold.
- Identity affirmation
In the Mail voting system, each voter is required to sign the ballot. The signature should be the same as on their application. There is a strict check on the signature if it deviates too much from the form sign, then the ballot vote is canceled. Fake voters can make an id, but they can’t replicate every sign.
- Mail ballot envelopes
The voters must send their mail their ballots in a special envelope that is sent with the ballot. Each envelope has a unique barcode, which will help the election commission identify the voter. Also, using the barcode, the voter can check the progress of their ballot. For instance, how much time before their vote is counted? The vote fakers could replicate this but what they can’t stop is getting the fake and real votes mixed as both will come and collide at the counting table.
- Postal Service
The vote will go through two detection channels one will be the election official and then the U.S. Postal Service. The postal service works closely with the election departments and can flag ballots that look too different from the standard ones. Also, the Postal service has its officers who keep an eye out for any crimes in the postal office. With all these checks in place, faking seems quite tricky.
These reasons alone establish how safe the mail ballot elections can be, and in the given circumstances, there isn’t a better way to do elections and ensure public safety.
In elections 2020, every one out of ten eligible voters is an immigrant. The immigrant vote is around 23 million in this year’s election. Surprisingly 61% of immigrant voters live in five states, namely.
- California : 5.5 million immigrant voters
- New York: 2.5 million
- Florida : 2.5 million
- Texas : 1.8 million
- New Jersey: 1.2 million
America has mass immigration in the last decade; while it has its pros, the cons weigh heavily. One concern that has arisen due to mass immigration is electoral fraud. It has been found that dual nationality holders and illegal aliens have previously voted in the elections. These votes significantly affected the election results in the past. The 2020 elections are approaching rather quickly. Immigrants groups are terming the fraudulent polls to be a small issue, but it isn’t. Only an America who has to live in America should be able to decide the future of America.
According to FAIR, there are about 27.1 million legal and illegal non- US citizens in US. At the same time, TRUMP may want to get rid of the immigrant voting power. Many other politicians are supporting it. This support boosts the immigrant sector’s morale and pushes them to register for the voting right.
On the bright side of things, alien voting can quickly be dealt with using the REAL ID ACT and consistent with verification systems like USCIS. The checks could make a significant difference in election results.
The heat is high as the elections are coming closer. Biden and Trump have brought out their offers to the public. The public will decide who will be their next President by casting votes on November 3, 2020.