LAPD Cracks Down On Use Of Homeless People For Ballot Initiative Fraud

Submitted by: trimble 2 weeks ago in News & Politics

Above: Officer Deon Joseph said petition signature scams pop up periodically on skid row, where he is the LAPD's senior lead officer. (Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

From: The Los Angeles Times
By: Gale Holland

A dollar goes a long way on skid row, Los Angeles Police Capt. Marc Reina said.

So investigators were not completely surprised to find homeless people there taking $1, food or cigarettes to forge signatures of registered voters on petitions to qualify initiatives for the ballot, police said.

Now, an LAPD crackdown this year on suspected election fraud on skid row has yielded eight felony arrests, including three last week, booking records show.

Arrests in May were bumped down to misdemeanor violations. The district attorney is still deciding how to charge the recent cases.

More here...
There are 35 comments:
Male 6
The homeless in California need to apply for Refugee status.
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Male 1,864
But I'm repeatedly assured by various IAB Liberals that organized voter fraud is just a myth from the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and doesn't exist!
In spite of dozens of cases across America every election, and those are just the ones who got caught...
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Male 2,185
gohikineko "...organized voter fraud is just a myth..."
The article specifically states that this is the action of a few people and is not organized.
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Male 1,864
semichisam01 Totally random! People doing the exact same thing to support the same party is pure randomness!
Not a thousand to one odds, heck no! My fine feathered friend...
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Male 6,502
gohikineko, "But I'm repeatedly assured by various IAB Liberals that organized voter fraud is just a myth from the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and doesn't exist!"

This isn't voter fraud, it's felony election fraud. The people doing this are signature gatherers out for the money. They pay a little bit to the homeless and get more for the signature. These are idiots who don't understand that each signature on the list is checked against those on the registration forms. Unless the homeless people are master signature forgers, their faked signatures would be stricken from the lists and the signature gatherer is arrested; which is exactly what happened.

These facts were in the article but you chose to ignore them to push your false narrative of massive voter fraud. It doesn't do any good for you to repeat the phrase "Facts matter" if you are not living by this mantra.

Where the anger should be focused is that signature gatherers are being paid per signature. How is that legal?
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Male 5,276
markust Hello my friend! Hope all is well.
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Male 6,502
Hi, trimble. Life is good. Thank you for asking.
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Male 1,864
markust Nice to see you Markust :-)
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Male 6,502
Hello, gohikineko.
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Male 281
gohikineko this isnt voter fraud in the sense youre talking aabout though, theyre adding things to the ballot that real people still have to actually vote for.

Dozens of cases? what Like 30-40? out of how many legitimate votes?
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Male 1,864
aegis1294 There's 3 levels: suspected, accused and proven. Think of it as 20:6:1
This is a proven case (1) with undoubtedly many more in the same area: one camera doesn't catch them all (6), eh? 
Now multiply that by thousands of counties across America... and there you have it! Massive voter fraud and 90% of it favours one party... care to guess which one?
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Male 9,627
gohikineko Now multiply that by thousands of counties across America... and there you have it! Massive voter fraud and 90% of it favours one party

And yet we have no proof to back up this claim.  Chris Cobach who lead the commission on Voter fraud FOUND NOTHING.  Trump appointed him to FIND VOTER FRAUD and he couldn't.  Care to explain that away?
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Male 710
normalfreak2 15 states refused to hand over data.  The rest did not hand over everything that was asked.  Sounds like a very thorough investigation was possible.

On the other hand the Brennan Center for Justice published a report in 2007 that indicates that the rate of fraud is extremely low.  They clearly provide multiple examples of fraud claims and the results of investigations indicating the actual fraud was low or nonexistent in these cases; most contain references. If you would like to read it, it can be found at this address.
https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legacy/The%20Truth%20About%20Voter%20Fraud.pdf

On the third hand...
"According to research done by Nichter, the United States has seen its fair share of turnout buying in recent elections. During the 2004 election, five Democratic Party operatives in East St. Louis were convicted in federal court for offering cigarettes, beer, medicine and $5 to $10 reward to increase turnout of the poor.[25] One operative pleaded guilty and stated that if they didn’t provide rewards, "they" (the poor) wouldn’t come out. A local election in Oakland is another example. Campaign workers handed out thousands of coupons for free chicken dinners in an explicit and targeted effort to draw voters to the polls.[25]" This was taken from the Wikipedia page at this address. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud#United_States

The reference is Nichter, Simeon (2008). "Vote Buying or Turnout Buying? Machine Politics and the Secret Ballot". American Political Science Review. 102: 19. doi:10.1017/S0003055408080106. JSTOR 27644495.

My personal opinion is that the right to vote is so precious and important that every effort should be made to:
1. ensure every citizen that wishes to can vote
2. ensure that only citizens vote
3. ensure that fraud such double voting, selling votes, etc. does not occur.

However, it should be recognized by a rational person that efforts to accomplish #1 restrict efforts to accomplish #2 and vise versa.....

Personally I think that we have a bigger issue with the lack of traceability and ability to verify how the cast votes are counted than with voter fraud. David Bismark gave an interesting TED talk about a cryptographic way to  accomplish this goal. Here is the youtube link to that talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izddjAp_N4I
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Male 2,185
dang007 "...United States has seen its fair share of turnout buying in recent elections..."
Interesting phrasing. Its 'fair share', according to the article cited, is one incident in East St. Louis in 2004 and one in Oakland CA in an unspecified year. 
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Male 2,185
dang007 "15 states refused to hand over data."
Of course, what matters is the kind of data they were asked to hand over. The Secretary of State here in Oregon (a Republican) sent the commission a polite letter that included the fee schedule for information that he is permitted by law to give them. They never responded.
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Male 710
semichisam01 Not my point.....  Whatever and however the information was not turned over.  You can not use the results of the commission to "prove" the absence or presence of voter fraud.
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Male 2,185
dang007 "You can not use the results of the commission to "prove" the absence or presence of voter fraud."
There are 50 states in this union. What did the commission determine about the status of voter fraud in the other 35?
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Male 710
semichisam01 >>What did the commission determine about the status of voter fraud in the other 35?<<

Sigh..... From my original post and the cited reference, "The rest did not hand over everything that was asked.  Sounds like a very thorough investigation was possible."

Sigh, again, as the article clearly points out "Implications therefore remain a point of contention. In fact, some US states (including Alaska, California and Mississippi) even allow parties to offer incentives for turnout during local elections (Hasen, 1326). Also controversial are official, nonpartisan inducements for turnout, which Karlan (1994, 1472-73) "tentatively" advocates while discussing lotteries, public transportation vouchers and event tickets as potential reward" The article was about the different ways of interpreting Stokes 2005 data, and how a better model of vote buying is turnout buying.  

In general, it seems that direct vote buying has given way to turnout buying which is actually legal in some US states. But direct vote buying was problem in the past. 
"Although wealthy democracies like the United States today experience very little crude vote buying, vote buying in the U.S. was once just as severe as anything we see today in the developing world." From: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2016/10/31/can-u-s-efforts-to-fight-vote-buying-offer-lessons-for-others/


If you need evidence of turnout buying in the US look at the following https://www.demos.org/sites/default/files/publications/Analysis.pdf

by the way how many examples are enough? Is it ok if 10 votes are purchased, 100?, 10,000?, 1,000,000?



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Male 2,185
dang007 You do a lot of sighing. I'm sorry to be such a burden to you, but you did write about the Commission, and then repeat, "Sounds like a very thorough investigation was possible." I had not known that before and thought you might have figures on the results of that investigation.
"Is it ok if 10 votes are purchased..."
It is not. I did not claim that it is. The article we are all commenting on does not mention vote buying. Is it possible to stay on topic? 
Is it OK to buy signatures on a petition? I say no. The law in many states says yes, but only under certain conditions. Freelance signature buying is discouraged by law because it will inevitably involve the kind of fraud shown here. But signature buying by organizations, as allowed by law here in Oregon, has also been shown to encourage fraud.
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Male 710
semichisam01 "You do a lot of sighing. I'm sorry to be such a burden to you,"  Hah Hah hopefully you took my sighing in the vein it was intended. if not then sigh.....

"Is it possible to stay on topic? " Well er yes. The SPECIFIC comment I was replying to was by normalfreak who attempted to use the Cobach commission as evidence that there is very limited voter fraud in the US. I was responding to this specific comment. I also offered a reasonably balanced approach providing information on both sides of the broader issue of voter fraud in the US. 

As to the 10, vs. 100, vs. 1000 etcetera comment that was specifically in response to your comment that the article I sighted only noted two cases of vote turnout buying. While, no you did not specifically say that 10 votes purchased is acceptable, it does seem to follow from the tenor of your post that the article only cited two instances that you feel some level is acceptable. I was simply attempting to ascertain what that level is for you.  You seem to say in a later post that 10 is too many. (You at least say that you did not say that it is not ok if 10 votes are purchased.) If that is the case would it not follow that we should be doing more than we are now to reduce voter fraud?

I  think that there will always be some small level of fraud and that it is probably larger than a few thousand votes in a single presidential election. Guess what? I am ok with that because trying to get to zero will result in the unintended result of limiting voting by eligible citizens.

"Is it possible to stay on topic? " Well er no. It kind of depends on how broad or narrow one defines the topic.  In my experience most discussions about just about anything wander a bit as participants bring up related perspectives and information. And to be honest I like that as it usually brings in a broader perspective to everyone's benefit. But fair enough, if we are only commenting on the video above I think the cop above is quite handsome.



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Male 2,185
dang007 '"Is it possible to stay on topic? " Well er no.'
No, of course it isn't. None of us can, because every topic is one end of a ball of yarns.
What I was referencing, and that I see I did not make clear, was that I suggested that two examples of 'turnout buying' wasn't very many, and you responded with, "Is it ok if 10 votes are purchased?"
As for Officer Deon Joseph, I'm not qualified to comment on his looks.
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Male 1,864
semichisam01 The ones honestly counting votes will happily co-operate and provide all required information.
What will the cheaters do? 
Hummm, I wonder... can you offer us any wisdom on that Mr. Pigeon? 
How about this example: 
50 persons are accused of a crime. 35 of them say "I did not do it, here is the evidence which supports me" and 15 say "I'm not telling you anything copper!"
Quiz: which group is more likely to be guilty? (There could be multiple persons involved eh? Not only one... maybe... 15 culprits?)
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Male 2,194
“It’s not really voter fraud, in terms of illegal voting and manipulation,” Logan said. “But I am certainly concerned about any activity that causes voters to lose faith in the process.”

Agreed. I'm also surprised these are misdemeanors. Shouldn't they be felony crimes?
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Male 9,627
Read the article 1 person was sent to jail everyone else got dropped.  What was the point here?  Voter fraud is extremely insignificant overall?
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Male 1,864
normalfreak2 Um, no you are not telling the truth, as usual. Facts matter, but not to you, not when they contradict the meme eh?
2 were convicted and given jail sentences: Hooks and Howard. Charges are still pending against 3 others, not 'everyone else dropped' ok? Yes some were dismissed, no explanation is offered, but that doesn't mean these crimes should be ignored or allowed in perpetuity. 
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Male 2,185
normalfreak2 "What was the point here? Voter fraud is extremely insignificant overall?"

Yep! that's the point. This happens periodically there. The police know all the homeless in the area. They found eight violations.
Here in Oregon, the Secretary of State, a Republican and a fanatic about details, has finished his investigation of the 2016 election. He found 54 cases of potential voter fraud and is checking them out. If they all turn out to be fraud, it will constitute 0.002% of the votes cast. And they will be prosecuted.
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Male 45,617
normalfreak2 This scam gets measures put on the ballot that otherwise would
not have the support to get there. Then on election day most people skip over
measures they don't know about so only the people pushing it end up voting
stupid regulations into place.   

So does anyone die from it? No.
Is it still important? I think so.
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Male 9,341
Article not available in my area.
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Male 543
LordJim http://hola.org/ free vpn, and it works :)
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6,907
LordJim   there's an ad in for chrome that I'll let you spoof your IP addressand make it look like you're from a different country to the website
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Male 9,341
dm2754 Is it worth the effort?
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6,907
LordJim this article no but yeah it is darn useful
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6,907
The homeless in California need to apply for Refugee status. that way they can be provided with jobs and housing. How come none of these people want to work. There's plenty of work to be had in the fields
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Male 281
dm2754 this may be anecdotal but ive listened to countless interviews regarding farm labor and illegal immigration, most farm owners dont want to hire Americans because they dont want to work 14 hours a day for below minimum wage.
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Male 2,185
aegis1294 "...most farm owners dont want to hire Americans..."
I'd be cautious about the word 'most'. Anecdotal material is useful, mainly as background and to put human faces on statistics, but also to provide direction for research. It isn't much help in determining numbers.
All of the farm owners I know in Southern Oregon hire citizens or legal immigrants. They also use interns at minimum wage plus room and board. The orchard owners I know mostly hire people of Mexican or Central American origin, and an occasional illegal slips in, but they pay decent wages. I know of one orchard worker who works only on contract. The orchardists think he's probably illegal, but he is one of the best pruners in the business, and he's paid accordingly.
That's my anecdotal experience, but it can't possibly be true of the country as a whole.
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