‘Two justice systems’: Anger as white Trump supporter who used dead mother’s vote walks free while Black woman faces jail for voting error

Graig Graziosi 5/4/21

A white man who pretended to be his dead mother in order to cast an extra vote for Donald Trump was sentenced to five years of probation after being found guilty. A Black woman, who cast a provisional ballot while on probation but who claims she was unaware she was ineligible to do so, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Despite GOP rhetoric, there have been fewer than two dozen charged cases of voter fraud since the election

By Philip Bump May 4, 2021 at 10:29 a.m. EDT

On Election Day last year, a man named Ralph Thurman allegedly walked into Sugartown Elementary School in Malvern, Pa., to cast his vote. He allegedly asked whether he needed to produce identification and was told he didn’t. He then allegedly asked if he could vote for his son and was told he couldn’t. He left.

Forty-five minutes later, Thurman (again, allegedly) returned, wearing sunglasses. He claimed to be his son and asked for a ballot. Somehow, the people at the polling place saw through his scheme. Thurman faces felony fraud charges.

By our count, there have been only 16 incidents in which someone has faced criminal charges stemming from their attempt to vote illegally. 

Those incidents:

  • Thurman, above.
  • A man and woman from Austin who allegedly tried to vote in Illinois by claiming residence in that state. It’s not clear whether they obtained ballots.
  • A man in Lisle, Ill., who allegedly signed a ballot certification with someone else’s name.
  • A man in Carol Stream, Ill., who allegedly filled out an online ballot application for someone who shared his last name. It’s not clear whether the ballot was provided.
  • A woman in Naperville, Ill., who allegedly signed a ballot certification with someone else’s name.
  • A woman in Buckingham, Pa., who allegedly signed a ballot declaration for her dead mother.
  • A woman in Quakertown, Pa., who claims to have accidentally mailed a ballot for her mother after she died.
  • A woman from Milford, Maine, who reported herself for voting twice, once by absentee at home and once in person at college.
  • A woman from Bowdoinham, Maine, who allegedly voted with an absentee ballot for a former roommate.
  • A woman in Cedarburg, Wis., who allegedly submitted a ballot for a dead person.
  • A man in Stockton, N.J., who allegedly submitted a ballot for a dead person.
  • A man in Carteret, N.J., who allegedly voted twice with different names.
  • A man in Woodbridge, N.J., who allegedly registered at his business instead of his home.
  • A man from Media, Pa., who admitted to casting a ballot for his dead mother.
  • A man from Canton, Mich., who admitted to filling out his daughter’s ballot when she was at college.

A Sampling of Recent Election Fraud Cases from Across the United States

The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database presents a sampling of recent proven instances of election fraud from across the country. Each and every one of the cases in this database represents an instance in which a public official, usually a prosecutor, thought it serious enough to act upon it. And each and every one ended in a finding that the individual had engaged in wrongdoing in connection with an election hoping to affect its outcome — or that the results of an election were sufficiently in question and had to be overturned.  [Looking at a sample of states from 2018-2019 only.]

  • Texas 7 cases
  • South Carolina 1 case
  • Connecticut 2 cases
  • Idaho 0 cases
  • Georgia 0 cases
  • Nevada 0 cases
  • Utah 0 cases
  • Florida 1 case
  • Ohio 7 cases
  • Alabama 1 case
  • Wisconsin 1 case
  • Michigan 0 cases

Look at the interactive chart HERE.

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